Episode 21: Hearing God when God is silent

Episode 21: Hearing God when God is silent


Episode Description:

Are you in a place where God is silent or appears silent? Join Gary & Jane as they unpack this topic and explore why it may appear that God is silent. They touch on numerous reasons why we may feel God is silent and not recognize God communicating with us. Throughout this episode, Gary & Jane encourage you to be honest with God and to turn your heart to Him. They emphasize that, above all, God desires a relationship with you.

Episode Notes:

First Principle: Be honest.

  • Be honest with God.
  • The problem is always on our end, not with God. He hasn’t moved.
  • Usually, we think God is silent when things haven’t worked out like we thought they should.
  • God is not a vending machine. We want a roadmap that explains everything.
  • God wants a relationship. It doesn’t require faith if God tells me exactly everything to do.
  • God’s character doesn’t change because we’ve experienced loss. In his sermon several days after his wife died of cancer, Bill Johnson said, “God doesn’t owe us an explanation”.
  • Don’t critique God.
  • Lean into Him.
  • Not the time to pull away.
  • Desert experience. Ask, ‘What are my current circumstances? – valley of dry bones, grief, trauma, disappointment with God.
  • Journal your pain, but don’t camp there. Journal also your miracles so you can remind yourself. You are responsible for the seeds you plant in your heart.
  • Don’t allow the enemy to fester disappointment and bitterness.
  • Those times invite us to grow and explore, to change our position and posture.
  • Be honest with a trusted person.

Second Principle: Go back to the last time you heard God.

  • What did He say?
  • Have you obeyed Him?
  • What’s happened in your life since?
  • Have you moved from God or have an issue with Him?
  • Am I offended by God?
  • Am I disappointed with God?
  • On the road to Emmaus in Luke 24:13-32 – the two disciples were walking along when Jesus came alongside them, and they didn’t recognize Him. Perhaps you are not recognizing God amid what you are going through.
  • May need to repent of unconfessed sin.
  • Don’t judge God by what He didn’t do.
  • Look at your theology. Do you believe God is always good?
  • In 1 Samuel 13:14, we see David is called a man after God’s own heart, but in Psalm 22:1-2, David writes, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest.”
  • Psalms always end up worshipping and praising God apart from 2 Psalms, one being Psalm 88.
  • Psalm 13:1-2 – lamentation “How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?”
  • Has God already answered you, but you haven’t recognized it? Isaiah 59:2 “But your iniquities have separated you from your God, your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.”
  • Psalm 66:18 “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;”
  • Wrong motives: James 4:3 “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”
  • The answer may still be coming: Daniel 10 – fasted for two weeks until heard God.
  • Grow faith and dependence – Luke 18:1-7 the parable of the persistent widow.
  • Am I quiet enough to hear the whisper (1 Kings 19:12)?
  • May be looking for a different answer or way of receiving.

Third Principle: Is God wanting to use my situation to increase my trust?

  • Remember His faithfulness.
  • Importance of memory stones – In Joshua 4:1-18, God told Joshua to get 12 memory stones after crossing the Jordan River.
  • When God appears silent, it doesn’t mean He is unresponsive.
  • Fight the good fight. John 16:33
  • Look at your theology, your beliefs about God.
  • We live life. Life has pain. Philippians 4:4-7. We wouldn’t be given those instructions if life was easy.
  • Invitation to grow and explore with God.
  • Keep showing up. Keep reading the Bible. Keep the lines of communication open.
  • Psalm 37:4
  • Deuteronomy 31:6
  • 1 Kings 18:43-44
  • It may be a time of being patient and trusting God is working behind the scenes.

Fourth Principle: Silence can be a sign of intimacy.

  • Oswald Chambers (an early 20th Century Scottish evangelist and teacher) wrote in “My Utmost for His Highest” – “When you cannot hear God, you will find that He has trusted you in the most intimate way possible with absolute silence, not a silence of despair, but one of pleasure, because He saw that you could withstand an even bigger revelation.”
  • God is near in the silence.
  • James 4: 8 “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
  • Trust God for His Presence despite how I feel.

Prophetic activation:

Sit quietly before God for about 10 minutes.

  • Start with an awareness of your surroundings and acknowledge the sounds.
  • Invite God to come and sit with you.
  • Delight in being with God.
  • Ask, “Lord, what would you love to say to me?”

Time Stamps:

[0:47] – Gary & Jane share briefly how they have heard God this week.

[3:14] – First Principle – Be honest.

[7:56] – Jane encourages listeners to journal and have ‘memory stones’ (Joshua 4).

[9:18] – Gary explains a ‘prophetic act’ may be appropriate.

[9:41] – Second Principle – Go back to the last time you heard God.

[10:25] – Don’t judge God by what He didn’t do.

[11:16] – Jane shares why Psalms can be helpful to read.

[13:16] – Am I looking for a different answer?

[15:44] – Third Principle – Is God wanting to use my situation to increase my trust?

[17:19] – Jane encourages you to keep the lines of communication open with God.

[19:42] – Fourth Principle – Silence can be a sign of intimacy.

[21:16] – Prophetic activation.

[22:35] – Gary & Jane both share a prophetic word for a listener.

[24:36] – Gary prays for you.


Resources / Links Mentioned:

Bible Verses Mentioned:

  • Joshua 4:1-18
  • 1 Samuel 13:14
  • Psalm 22:1-2
  • Psalm 88
  • Psalm 46:10
  • Psalm 13:1-2
  • Isaiah 59:2
  • Psalm 66:18
  • James 4:3
  • Daniel 10
  • Luke 18:1-7
  • 1 Kings 19:11-12
  • Philippians 4:4-7
  • John 16:33
  • Psalm 37:4
  • Deuteronomy 31:6
  • 1 Kings 18:16-46
  • James 4:8
  • Isaiah 43:19
  • Luke 24:13-32 (the disciples didn’t recognize Jesus)

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