When God Is Silent
Over the past few weeks, I’ve needed to hear God’s voice more than ever.
It seems He’s speaking in the subtle everyday moments. Yet, if I’m honest, there are some big choices that I need His voice to blare in. As in I need the audible, burning bush, splitting heaven open, talking through a megaphone kind of voice from God...From deciding which direction to take my children’s education to figuring out what it looks like to be a pastor’s wife, I need God to not just gently whisper but shout from the rooftops!
Have you ever been there?
Today, maybe you are in the middle of a major decision, frustration, or transitional moment and you need God to speak. Really...speak. You to need to reach the point where there’s no doubt you are going in the right direction. If so, you are not alone. In fact, we wouldn’t be the first people to wonder if God is listening and has an answer. Luckily, we know the truth...He is not distant and is overly invested in us, even when we can sense His presence or recognize His voice.
As I was praying about this struggle in my own life, the Lord spoke 3 phrases:
Worship Him Alone
I’ve found that these three intentional acts will free you from the agony of not knowing what to do next and put you in position for you to hear God clearly. In fact, I would say that even if you never got a definitive answer from the Lord, the time you spent in His presence and in purposeful rest will help you know His heart for you and make decisions with greater ease.
Have you ever been intently listening to someone speak or sing? Suddenly, you realize your body is physically leaning in to get closer to the sound. Instinctively, your body knows the closer my proximity, the better it can hear and process what’s happening. This happens a lot even when someone is speaking softly. We lean in just a little closer to the sound. In our case, now is the time to lean in to God’s voice. When we can’t hear Him, we should instinctively yearn to draw a little closer.
If this means waking up early to pray, we do it.
If this means studying the last scriptures He highlighted to us, we do it.
If this means seeking Godly counsel, we do it.
If this means cutting out distractions, we do it.
We make a choice to push anything out of the way that can be standing in our way of hearing. There’s a sense of yearning for His presence so deeply that we actively pursue more of Him by any means necessary. The more we lean in, the easier it is to hear. May our hearts ring, “Speak Lord, I’m listening.”
The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10
In my home, you can always count on worship music being played throughout the day. It’s not that I’m opposed to secular music or even religious about playing the music for so many hours a day. Actually, in my home, having an atmosphere of worship reminds me that the Lord is near. I’ve also found that it calms the atmosphere when I’ve chosen to have this music as the soundtrack of my home. As a mother of six, anything that keeps the house calm is a VICTORY!
Worship, however, is more than songs; it’s an attitude. When we worship, we say to the Lord, “I honor you for who you are.” This means our life should exude worship. Everything we do in life from how we treat our children (His creations) to how we love strangers, should be an act of demonstrating a response to His great love.
When my heart is set towards intentional worship, His voice rings clear in my heart.
It’s during moments of worship that the Lord has shown me visions or directed me on the next steps to take. The heart of worship says, “Lord, I want to pause and show you I’m madly in love with you.” As we have this heart and attitude, our attention becomes turned towards Him versus our personal needs. I’ve found in this place of drawing close, it’s easier for me to hear what He’s saying.
Come near to God and he will come near to you. James 4:8 a
Tucked within the Psalms, you will find the word, “Selah.” For years, I ignored the phrase myself thinking it was unimportant. Yet, this word is not accidentally placed it’s an intentional action. Selah means “pause and reflect.” Even more so, it means look at what’s occurred directly before, remember, and reflect. For some, it means take a deep breath.
Musically, the selah moments can be described as the times when the music softens abruptly after a loud, dynamic moment. It’s the composers way of reminding you to soak in the beauty of the piece. During my time as worship leader, these intentional moments of quiet were always the best part of the song.
Today, I feel the Lord is calling us to create selah moments. These forced times of calming down the noise and reflecting. In other words, quiet down the distractions, take a deep breath, and reflect on what’s happened before. Depending on your situation, calming down the noise may mean a social media break or a hiking trip. For others, a selah moment can mean strategically planning to spend time with the Lord. In my own life, selah moments have meant removing myself from organizations that were causing more stress than peace. Whatever the case may be, ask yourself, “What would it look like for me to pause for a moment?” Even now, if you sat absolutely quiet for 30 seconds you would become aware of sounds all around you. The hum of the air conditioning unit, birds tweeting, laughter, or cars may be around you but because your mind is too busy, you miss it.
In the same way, selah moments allow us to hear from God clearly. They give the Lord the opportunity to speak to us without distraction. It’s possible that just like the sounds in our current background, God is present and speaking; we are just too busy to hear it. If you’ve been struggling to hear His voice, make a choice to seek moments of quiet and reflection.
As you move forward in your journey of discovering God’s next move for you, I leave you with this quote from Pastor Robert Madu,
“God can speak in any situation, if we’re willing to listen.”
Lean In. Worship Him Alone. Selah.