7 suggestions when God is silent

Elijah had been used of God to hold back rain from the people for over three years, because of their sins. Obviously, he was not well liked as a preacher. I can imagine the stress he experienced during those years.

Something strikes me, however, that seems to further complicate Elijah’s situation.

Consider 1 Kings 18:1:

“And it came to pass after many days, the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying: Go, shew thyself unto Ahab, and I will send rain upon the earth.”

According to a couple New Testament passages, this “After many days” was actually three and a half years. The famine was three and a half years long. For three and a half years, the people apparently continued to sin, Elijah continued to hold on by faith, but God said nothing. God was apparently inactive…not speaking…even to His great servant Elijah during this time.

Have you ever been there? Has the silence of God in your life ever been eerily strong?

Imagine you had been faithfully serving… God is using you…you are in constant communication with Him…and then suddenly…everything is quiet. You have to wait.

The separation must have seemed unbearable. Elijah is not liked and unpopular. He’s an outcast from the people and the One he trusted most was seemingly absent.

God would soon do a miracle through Elijah…one he couldn’t even imagine…certainly not script, but during this period all Elijah could do was wait.

If you have been a follower of Christ for more than a little time, you have had periods where it seems God is nowhere to be found. We often call them periods of spiritual dryness. Sometimes I refer to it as being in a spiritual funk.

What should we do during the times of silence, before the miracles of God come through for us?

If you are like me, you can figure out how to celebrate a miracle. You don’t need much help doing that. The tough part of life is figuring out what to do during the years of silence… during the years when miracles are seemingly nowhere to be found.

What do we do during the spiritually dry periods of life when we don’t hear clearly the voice of God?

Here are 7 suggestions for those times:

  1. Don’t ignore the silence – Some of the biggest moves God has made in my life have come after a period of spiritual dryness… when it seemed like God was doing nothing in my life. Stay very close to God and watch for Him to eventually display His power. He will in the fullness of time.
  2. Confront known sin in your life – This wasn’t the problem of silence for Elijah, but the problem for the Israelites was that they were chasing after other gods and living lives in total disobedience to God. Sin may not be the reason you don’t sense closeness to God right now, but if you have known sin in your life it will affect your intimacy with God.
  3. Go back to what you know – Get back to the basics of the faith that saved you. You’ll do it 100s of times in your life, but you must remind yourselves of the basis of faith…which is the very character and promises of God. God is in control. He really is… even when it doesn’t seem that He is anywhere to be found.
  4. Make a decision…Choose sides – You can’t adequately serve God and the world. (Consider Joshua 24:15). Something happens in life, often sin, busyness, boredom, or a tragedy…but if we are normal, we have periods where we grow away from our close relationship with God. God hasn’t moved, but if you’ve shifted in your obedience, get back securely on the right side.
  5. Trust More…Not less – Times of silence may be filled with fear, but ironically, these times require more faith. Times come in our spiritual life when our enthusiasm isn’t as real as when we began our walk with God. That’s not an indication to quit… it may be that God is using that time for something bigger than you could have imagined… but whatever is next will most likely require a deeper level of trust.
  6. Listen and Watch Closely – Some day God is going to make His plans known to you. Don’t miss them. He may come to your personally, through His Word, circumstances, or another person. You’ll need to be in a position to know that God is moving. (Read THIS POST if you need help discerning God’s will.)
  7. Get ready to receive – God will break the silence some day… and when He does it WILL be good. If you mope around in your sorrows, you’ll be less prepared to receive the good things to come. Not because of your circumstances, but because of your faith, clothe yourself in joy as you wait for God to bless you after the period of silence.

Are you in one of those periods of silence today? How do you handle these periods of time?

Ron Edmondson authored this article. He pastors Immanuel Baptist Church. Find out more at: http://www.ronedmondson.com/about

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A hunger for Him… — vwoods1212

God: can be quite intriguing…. Psalm 42:1-2 (KJV) “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” As sinners in a sinful world, we get drawn by God to enter relationship with […]

via A hunger for Him… — vwoods1212

In praise of spiritual dry spells

The ideas in this article were largely taken from other sites and forums, posted here as they may help encourage people who are going through similar dry spells in their spiritual reading and prayer life.

Here are some insights:

God created the physical seasons to illustrate the spiritual seasons a Christian will pass through in his or her life. Jesus talked a lot about seasons (Matthew 21:41; Luke 12:42; Luke 21:30; John 4:35; John 5:35).

Paul told Timothy to “be prepared in season and out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2). A dry spell is a spiritual drought. You feel as if you are just going through the motions. God is the author of dry spells. He plans them, He creates them, He brings them. And He eventually removes them.

So what is going on during a dry spell? God is searching us out, asking, “Do you want Me only during the good times (ie. a “fair weather friend”) or do you want Me in the dry times also?” The greatest spiritual growth often takes place during the dry spell. But that growth is imperceptible. The dry spell can be used therefore to sort out the wheat from the chaff: it is the Lord’s winnowing tool (Matthew 3:12; Luke 3:17). As it is written:

Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire (Matthew 3:12).

A dry spell can usually be broken…but sometimes it cannot. At such times you have one option: batten down the hatches, hunker down and walk through it.

Blessed is the church – and Christian – who can ride out the dry spell in faith.

Other insights from a forum where someone posted on going through a spiritual dry spell:

* Start on your knees and pray so you can allow your thoughts to be inspired by God’s most awesome and gentle way.

* Pray that the words you write and share are words of praise and worship to our God. A ministry to reach out to others.

* Speak out about life in relationship to the Father. Speak about the struggles. Speak as the Holy Spirit leads you, for He will give you the words.

* Stay focussed on the Lord Jesus, I understand how prayer and steeping yourself in the Word of God does that for us. Trust that He is in you and be prepared. He is using you.

What to do when grace departs

I thought I’d write a brief posting on how the Lord Jesus has lead me to cope with a recent dry spiritual spell, as this may help and encourage others going through similar things.

Recently I had a situation where I felt dried up and lacking in faith, it was really quite difficult to push through. Then the Lord brought the following scripture passages to mind, quietly, while I was reading the Bible. He reminded me that steeping myself in the Word of God and prayer is essential – not optional – for maintaining a strong spiritual life. Faith grows from this:

Romans 10:17
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

John 15:7-8
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

John 6:35
And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

John 6:63
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

I hope the above has brought as much strength and comfort to you as it did me. If you ever feel weak in faith, or lacking in spiritual strength, just reflect on the above passages then turn to intense meditation and prayer upon the Word of God. You will grow by the milk of the Word. As it is written:

1 Peter 2:2
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby