What If God Is Silent?

May 12, 2010

There aren’t many things as difficult as enduring times of silence from our God in Heaven.  We ask ourselves over and over, “What am I doing wrong”?  We cry out to God yet He remains silent.  Why?

I have personally gone through this and I can attest from my own personal experience it was because the prayers I was bringing to the Lord were prayers brought with wrong motives as James speaks of: “You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” James 4:2-3.

I did not kill but I did covet.  I did quarrel and I did fight.  I didn’t have because when I did ask it was from selfish desires.  Many of you know of what I speak because you too have experienced the same.

There is a book that I strongly urge each person who is reading this to purchase.  It is called, “The Christian In Complete Armour” by William Gurnall.  This has been one of the most fulfilling books I have ever been blessed to receive.  It was written in 1655 but they thankfully have updated the language to make it palatable to our ears today.

I want to share an excerpt from this fantastic book.  This is such a writing that you can literally just pick it up, open it anywhere and begin reading and you will find exactly what you need for that moment in your life. I am not exaggerating.

Here he speaks of what happens when our relationship with God has declined to the point that we are no longer able to abide in Christ as we should and hence, God is silent.

First he speaks on how to recover when sin is the cause.  He says:
“1) Renew your repentance.  Here is Christ’s counsel to the church at Ephesus: Repent, and do the first works’ (Rev. 2:5).  In essence He is saying, ‘Repent, so that you may once again do your first works.’  A repenting soul is promised healing (Hos. 14:2-4).  Therefore, go and search your heart as diligently as a murderer was hiding, waiting to cut your throat in the night.  When you have found the sin that has done the mischief, fill your heart with shame for it and indignation against it. Cast it before the Lord in a heartbreaking confession.
2) Reaffirm your faith.  When you have renewed your repentance, then renew your faith in God’s promise to pardon (1 John 1:9).  Repentance is a purgative to remove the tendency to sin; faith, a tonic to restore strength.  Even if your godly character has wasted away to almost nothing, faith can quickly restore its strength.  Faith infuses you with peace from the promise, called ‘peace in believing’ (Rom.  15:13). From peace flows joy, and joy provides strength, according to the scripture, ‘The joy of the Lord is your strength’ (Neh. 8:10)
3) Renounce your lusts.  Having repented and claimed God’s promise of forgiveness, back up your actions by rooting out sin wherever it threatens to crop up.  Where weeds thrive, flowers die.  Grace that does not grow vigorously and blossom profusely is most likely being choked out by some contrary lust.  You know the hardy constitution of your lusts! If you do not mortify them daily by the Spirit, they will spring up overnight.  So chop at the root of every sin with the axe of mortification.  Then watch God bless and improve the character of your grace.”

Taken from “The Christian in Complete Armour” by William Gurnall, page 255.

This is barely a scratch on the surface of the problem but Gurnall has such a way with words that when I read them, they speak directly to my heart in a way that modern theologians and Pastors seldom do.

I admit it is indeed hard to put a finger on all the various reasons on the why God is silent in our lives at times.  But I can say with all boldness that it basically boils down to two things: sin and sin.  Once we have corrected this through confession, it does not guarantee a road free from blockage.  Sin will be forgiven but we must never forget than even though it is forgiven it still has its consequences. Just ask King David after his sin and confession concerning Bathsheba.  The baby born from their unholy union died at birth. David was stricken with grief. Did God forsake him?  No!  God was merciful to him in his sin. He did forgive, but the consequence of his sin cost him dearly.

Think about it. If there were no consequences for our sins, we would sin all day and just say, “Lord I am sorry I sinned against you. Please forgive me my sin and cleanse me of all unrighteousness.”  God will and does forgive, but he does not give us a free pass to go on sinning.  If He did, would He  truly be a loving Father if He did not discipline us when we are willingly disobedient to Him?   If we are the type that does such a thing, we might want to question our relationship with our Lord (1 John 3:6)

When God is silent, be assured it is for our own good.  God is desperately seeking to get our attention.  Our problem tends to be the other way around.

In Christ,

P.S.
Here is the cover of the book I own. Again, I strongly urge to go to Amazon and acquire a copy. 

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4 Responses to “What If God Is Silent?”

  1. sandra said

    I enjoyed this post, God does not allow us a free pass to go on sinning, thats true, so I have a question for you. My sister and I were just talking about something very similiar to this about a week ago. We had a family member who was, putting it politely, in an alternative lifestyle. Now this person was saved and baptised at a young age, but got off track somehow when he was older. We wondered when he died did he go to heaven? I personally belive that we cannot lose our salvation, but then again, if we are saved we should be convicted of our sin and want to repent. what would be your personal opinion? I never considered that the person was anywhere other than heaven until recently, and now I dont know. Of course we cant know what God did, but I just wondered what you thought of this. ( by the way, I am so enjoying your new blog! its refreshing)

    • Jeff D said

      Good morning Sandra. You are correct when you say God does not allow us a pass to go on sinning. You bring up a very good question that we all deal with at some point or another and it is not a pleasant topic for sure.

      I would have to direct your attention back to what I mentioned at the end of the post and the verse from 1 John 3:6 which says, “No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.”

      However, as with any passage of Scripture we need to look at the entire context to get to the root of what the Lord is saying. Let’s back up and begin with verse 4 and go through verse 10.

      “Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. NO ONE WHO LIVES IN HIM KEEPS ON SINNING. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. NO ONE WHO IS BORN OF GOD WILL CONTINUE TO SIN, BECAUSE GOD’S SEED REMAINS IN HIM; HE CANNOT GO ON SINNING, BECAUSE HE HAS BEEN BORN OF GOD. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.” (Emphasis mine)

      Now, at first glance this might appear that John is saying that we will no longer sin at all once we are born again because of God’s seed that remains in us. However that is not what he is saying. What he means is that once we truly become born again we will not CONTINUE A LIFESTYLE of sinning as we did before the Holy Spirit entered our lives.

      As you know, when you commit a sin Sandra, you are convicted because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The longer you go without confessing that sin and repenting, the more miserable you become because of the convicting power of the Holy Spirit that forever dwells within you. I believe this passage makes it clear that those who live a lifestyle of sin, regardless of what lifestyle it is, the common denominator being sin that is willingly committed with and accepted by that person CANNOT be a true child of God.

      There are countless people who have made professions of faith, me included, who were not born again. Yes, I was baptized…twice. The first time was because of peer pressure at the age of 13 at a revival at my church. One of my best friends went down the aisle and I thought, well, I once prayed the prayer of salvation so I went down as well, having no real understanding of what it meant to be a child of God. To make matters worse, no one followed up with me to help me grow the victorious Christian life .

      It wasn’t until I was 18 that I truly surrendered my life to Christ and gave it all to him. This time there was no magical prayer of salvation. There isn’t one. There was the simple confession to God that I was a sinner in need of forgiveness.

      Sandra, I still remember the exact words I said in my heart to God as my close Christian friend who had been witnessing to me the night of December 26th and into the morning of the 27th in the year of 1983 stood beside me. In my heart I said these words to the Lord, “Lord I am a sinner. Forgive me. Please forgive me”. It wasn’t the words so much as it was the intent of my heart that made all the difference. For at that moment, I decided I was no longer going to be the town Jack Ass and hang out with my drinking buddies, raising hell all hours of the night. I was done with it and let it all go. There wasn’t any big lightning strike or clap of thunder or any other sign from God that I had so desperately sought from God all the years before when I prayed and prayed that God would MAKE me become a Christian. This was a decision from the heart as Paul talks of in Romans 10:9-10, “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

      Sandra, the hard truth is that not everyone who confesses Jesus as Lord will be saved. Our Lord and Savior made it crystal clear in Matthew 7:13-23, “”Enter through the NARROW GATE. For wide is the gate and BROAD IS THE ROAD that leads to destruction, and MANY ENTER through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and ONLY A FEW find it. “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. BY THEIR FRUIT you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree CANNOT bear bad fruit, and a bad tree CANNOT bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, BY THEIR FRUIT you will recognize them. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but ONLY he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I NEVER KNEW YOU. Away from me, you evildoers!” (Emphasis mine)

      Those are hard words yet they are the words spoken by the Judge Himself. Earlier I quoted from 1 John 3. I STRONGLY urge you to read the entire epistle and pay special attention to chapter 2.

      I pray this has been some help. I know this may not be comforting but we must speak the Truth in love and I am honestly seeking to do that. This is what I understand to be the Truth on this matter.

      In Christ,

      Jeff

      • sandra said

        thanks, thats pretty much what I had in my mind, my mother always said he was so miserable and unhappy all the time because he knew he was living wrong. Ive heard a preacher say that before too. About how homosexuals want so bad to push their lifestyle on us, to the point of being obnoxious about it. they want to be recognized as right, because in their heart, they know they are living wrong. how bullheaded and hard hearted and stupid!! that people wont just repent and ask God for help and forgivness. I dont know why someone wouldent want to stay close to the lord, its strange to me to ponder on, but thanks alot.

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