What to Do When God Seems Silent

2 December 2012


1.   Introduction

·         Jn.10:27 My Sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”

·         We all have the ability to hear the voice of God.

·         To follow Jesus we must be able to hear His voice, recognise when He is speaking.

·         He speaks to us in many ways, and through may different channels.

e.g. Bible; Messages preached; People; Counsellors; Circumstances.

·         We can develop and cultivate our ability to hear His voice in our spirit.


2.   What Happens When God Seems Silent?

·         Ps.28:1 “…Do not be silent to me, lest if you are silent to me, I become like those who go down into the pit.”

·         God always responds to us but not always what we want or when we want.

·         It can be “very troubling” when you asked direction – but no reply

You listened for His voice – but no response

You need help – but God seems silent

·           When God seems silent and does not seem to respond to us it is very easy to:

Wonder if you have missed his direction

Feel angry and resentful

Think God has rejected or abandoned you

Become discouraged and maybe depressed.

·           2 Chron.32:31  “God withdrew from him in order to test him to know what was in his heart.”

-       God does not leave us or abandon us. We are joined to the Lord. (1 Cor. 6:17)

-       Sometimes we may not be aware of His presence or voice.

-       In times when God is silent issues in our relationship with Him surface.


3.   What Not to Do when God Seems Silent


(i) Don’t withdraw from your assignment

            e.g. Luke 24:13

·         Disciples were full of grief and disappointment

·         They withdrew from their place of calling


(ii) Don’t Harbour Resentment and Blame

            e.g. Jn.11:21 “Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died.”

·         Martha full of grief over her loss – blames Jesus for his delay and Lazarus’ death.

·         She failed to see the bigger picture and the greater outcome – resurrection.


(iii) Don’t Harbour Offence against God

       e.g. Lk. 7:20-23 “Blessed is he that is not offended in me”

·          John expected God to move – expected Jesus to get him out of prison.

·         When God does not do what we expect it is easy to be disappointed and harbour offense.


(iv) Don’t Harbour fear and anxiety and act presumptuously

            e.g. 1 Sam. 13:4-11 “When I saw …. I felt compelled and offered a burnt offering”

·         Saul faced mounting problems, loss of support, delay in God speaking.

·         Out of insecurity he asked presumptuously – fear and anxiety dominated his emotions and he tried to control the situation.


(v) Don’t Strive to “Help God Out”

e.g. Gen 16:1-3, 11-12 “You shall call his name Ishmael, because the Lord has heard your affliction.  shall be a wild man”

·         Consider the problems in the Middle East – the descendants of Ishmael.

·         Abraham was 10 years in Canaan waiting for promised child.

·         God gave direction but didn’t speak about famine (Gen. 12:10) or delay.

·         Abraham was 86 when had Ishmael (Gen.16:16) and 100 when had Israel (Gen. 2:5).

·         He came up with his own idea to help fulfil God’s purpose.

·         The consequences of our Ishmaels are painful.


4. What to Do when God Seems Silent


(i) Examine Your Relationship with the Lord (Is.59:1-2)

·         Any sin?                                        What did God last say? Doing it?

·         Any compromise?                                    God spoke but thought it was only a person

e.g. Acts 27 – Paul


(ii) Strengthen Yourself in the Lord (1 Sam.30:6)

·         Pour out your heart, feelings, pain, struggles

·         Remember past victories and experiences

·         Meditate in the Word of God on His faithfulness


(iii) Seek Wisdom (Eph.5:15)

·         When not hearing from God and Bible not clear on the issue : seek wisdom

·         Counsel of wise friends (proven track record) (Prov.12:15)

·         Continue to ask God for wisdom (Jam.1:5)

·         Set aside time in the presence of God to wait on Him.


(iv) Affirm Your Trust in the Lord (Prov.3:5)

·         Don’t draw back – constantly affirm your trust in His faithfulness.

·         Follow the peace in your heart. (Col.3:15)


(v) Stick with the Plan

·         For a time doing the last thing the Lord said.

·         Follow through your own plans – don’t be passive

·         Application

1. What did the Holy Spirit speak to you about today? – what impressed you?

2. What steps will you take to respond to this?

3. Pray for one another.