Have you ever been in a dry season spiritually? When you can’t seem to hear God’s voice and you feel uncomfortably empty inside? I have, along with many believers in the body of Christ around the world. But today I want to encourage you that there is a purpose to these seasons.
If you feel that your days of clearly talking with and hearing from the Lord have come to an end, you may be left wondering if God’s even listening to a word you’re saying. Or perhaps you’ve already given up talking to the Lord because you figured that there was no point in continuing the one-way conversation.
Today I want to encourage you to keep pressing in. Don’t give up on the Almighty, because He hasn’t given up on you. In fact, He’s actually pursuing you during the quiet seasons that feel like dry and bitter storms in the desert.
“For everything there is an appointed time, a time for every matter under heaven… a time to be silent and a time to speak.” Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7 LEB
“For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.” Romans 5:7-9 NASB
Why exactly does God go silent?
First, it’s important to acknowledge that the pain of not hearing from God is very real. We can easily feel rejected when the rest of His body just seems “to get it”. We can also feel abnormal, as if we’re not getting something right – maybe we’re not praying enough, waking up early enough to have quiet time, or worshiping the Lord enough. We must not be doing something right, or else He would be speaking.
“But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:10-11 NKJV
I believe God wants you to know, in the power and authority of Jesus’ name, that He does not want you to indulge in self-pity, fear of rejection, or holding your head down low believing (even for a moment) that God does not see you, know you, and love you. God is interested in you – He’s extremely interested in your heart and the affairs of your life.
“For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory. Let his faithful people rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds.” Psalm 149:4-5 NIV
In studying His word (and through my own personal time with the Almighty), here are three reasons in why God may go silent:
1. As a Loving Father, He’s seeking a deeper, intimacy with us. God knows that as He becomes silent, we become painfully uncomfortable. In doing so, we also become increasingly hungry to know Him and to experience Him. In these seasons, we are ripe for intimacy and growth in the form of experiencing His everlasting love and believing in His word. This season is a real gift from the Lord.
“So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19 ESV
2. As a Loving Father, He’s seeking to correct us. If we are ever in a place where we have heard God’s voice and He then becomes silent, or we have never heard God’s voice for ourselves, then we can be keenly aware that something is not right. This is a good time to evaluate your true heart condition. God may be pursuing you through silence to show you a sin in your life that needs to be eradicated through His forgiveness. Whenever I find myself entering into a season where the Lord is quiet, I always start here. We’re all sinners in need of grace, beloved.
“My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you. For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.” Proverbs 3:11-12 NLT
3. As a Loving Father, He’s seeking to mature us. Perhaps you have repented from sin, but God is still not speaking. You may be in a season of developing maturity, and the Lord may use His silence to test you. When God doesn’t speak, one of the outcomes is a hunger to hear from Him, as in the first reason above. But these seasons can also produce righteous fruits, specifically patience, faithfulness, and self-control. These are beautiful gifts from the Father that we should praise Him for!
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 1:2-4 NLT
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