Why Isn’t God Speaking?
The Bible speaks of times when God chose to be silent—to an individual or to humanity as a whole. David cried out to Him but discerned no answer (Psalm 22:2). Then there was Job, who must have felt the Lord had abandoned him. And during the gap between the Old and New Testaments, God had no prophet for 400 years.
We don’t always hear from the Lord when we expect to. Sometimes we’re so caught up in the world and our own interests that we simply can’t detect His voice over all the noise. There are also other reasons for His silence—He may be choosing to remain quiet because …
He wants our attention. We can’t expect God to answer simply because we’ve summoned Him. Perhaps He is reminding us that He is in charge.
There is unconfessed sin in our life. When we’re willing to deal with our sin, God is ready to talk to us. To continue living in sin, however, communicates that we’re not interested in His will for us.
We’re not ready. If we’re doing our own thing and are unwilling to walk in obedience, God might be waiting for us to make up our mind to follow Him.
He’s teaching us to trust Him. If we’re motivated to love God only when there’s indication that He’s listening, our relationship with Him is based on feeling rather than faith.
He’s teaching us to distinguish His voice from others. When God speaks softly, we listen more closely and eventually recognize His voice better.
Whatever the situation, we can be certain of one thing: God’s quietness is always for our good.
We believe that in accord with your Word the hour has come for Your children to be received into glory and it is plainly evident to those with eyes to see and ears to hear. We ask that You would now glorify us that we may glorify You. We have greatly desired to be with Your Son, our Lord, and now we will see Him face to face. We have accepted Your Son and His message and have placed our faith in Him for the forgiveness of our sins. We know that He rose again from the dead and ascended to Your right hand. As surely as You live, we know He lives and reigns with You. And as surely as He rose He will come again. We have brought You glory on earth and have obeyed the commandment of Your Son to share the Gospel of grace with every nation.
Your Holy Spirit within us has convicted the whole world of sin. The world You love has rejected Your offer of forgiveness, but all of Your sheep have heeded the message and await the fulfillment of the promise You made to redeem our earthly bodies. We know that You will not lose even one of us. Free us from these bodies of sin and death and seat us with our Lord in the heavenly realms. Hide us with Christ on high. We accept Your irrevocable gifts of eternal life and the authority to reign over the nations. Clothe us in incorruptible and immortal bodies. Make us like Your perfect Son. Let us walk with Him clothed in white with new names and as everlasting pillars in Your heavenly temple.
We have fought the good fight and kept our faith to the end. We have overcome the world not by our works, but by our faith in Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. And now our accuser and his accusing angels are preparing a cosmic assault to destroy us, yet we are not shaken. We will overcome him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony. We have loved not our lives unto death. Together we cry “Abba! Father!” Deliver us from the wrath that is to come and count us worthy to escape all the things coming on the earth and to stand before the Son of Man. Purify and sanctify Your Church. Remove everything that divides us. Make us one just as You and Your Son are One. Make us one in the Spirit and in the truth. Keep us until the end. Let us faithfully follow You and Your Word, never flinching in the face of persecution and adversity.
For those who still refuse to come to Your Son to find life, we pray that You would now prepare them for the coming wrath. When we go to You, open their eyes and bring them to repentance. Let them finally recognize that You are the LORD of all the earth and no god was formed before You, neither will any god be formed after You. Open their blind eyes and unstop their deaf ears. Melt their hard hearts. Please show them great mercy even in the midst of wrath. Let them finally come to know You and let them hold fast to their faith in You even as great horror is unleashed upon the earth. Surround them with people and Scriptural knowledge that will help direct their path in the midst of great opposition and deception. Let them not be deceived. Keep them from taking the beast’s mark.
We pray also for protection for Your people Israel. Please bless them with abundance and let not their enemies triumph over them. Let them finally recognize that Jesus is their Messiah. Help them to fervently seek the truth despite what will be the greatest opposition they have ever faced. Protect the remnant and send on them provision for their every need. Keep them in the palm of Your hand.
Finally, we pray that You would stir up our hearts with faith and courage, so that in these remaining days we would share the Good News and the lateness of the hour with a greater fervency and zeal than we ever have before. Let us no longer just be fed ourselves, but let us go and feed Your sheep. Make each brother and sister aware of what they can do to alert the Church and the world to what is coming. Give them courage and provision to carry Your plans through to completion. Help them to deliver the message boldly. Help them to pray this prayer unceasingly.
Abba, we await Your Son from Heaven. We long for deliverance. Maranatha and AMEN.
Most of us have known the Golden Rule since childhood: We are to treat others the way we want to be treated. And for young children, this standard seems to make sense. It is logical to share if you want others to share with you, and to avoid hitting because you wouldn’t like being on the receiving end.
But as life continues and relationships become more complicated, this simple ethical code doesn’t always seem to fit our circumstances. For instance, imagine being wronged by your business partner. How can you treat him respectfully when he has taken advantage of you? What if a kind, forgiving attitude opens the door for you to be hurt again?
God’s command nevertheless does apply in this situation. Obedience can be challenging, however, because when we are hurt or mistreated, our instinct is to retaliate. This might take the form of speaking badly behind a person’s back or showing subtle disrespect to his face. Human nature wants revenge for wrongdoing. In fact, we are unable to do anything different on our own.
Thankfully, as believers, we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, who enables us to forgive. So while our own strength is insufficient for a godly response, we have the option to obey through the Spirit.
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, [and] self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23). Are these characteristics evident in your interactions with others—even with people who are difficult to love? Ask for the Lord’s supernatural strength so you can respond correctly.
Your dominion endures throughout all generations.
Yahweh is faithful in all his words,
and loving in all his deeds.
Walking Your Path In Love And Wisdom
Although the Lord showers His goodness on all men and women, the ability to perceive and enjoy it is limited by a refusal to reverence Him as God. To experience the fullness of His kindness, we must honor Him by choosing His way of submission and obedience. The Lord will never withhold His goodness from those who walk uprightly with Him.
In love and wisdom, the Father has specifically designed a pathway for each of His children. Because no two people are alike, each path will look different. What may be best for one person may not be good for another. Comparison of God’s ways in different lives will lead only to discouragement and misjudgment. We have neither the wisdom nor the eternal perspective to understand why the Lord leads some people down a road of pain and hardship, but we can know that He is always good.
Every step on God’s pathway represents a deliberate choice to follow Him. By looking around instead of fixing our eyes on Jesus, we may start thinking that we are missing out on some really good experiences or possessions. If we leave the Lord’s course to follow one that looks better, we will forfeit His good blessings and discover, as Adam and Eve did, that any other way leads to loss.
Take time periodically to ask yourself, Am I on the path the Lord has chosen for me, or have I taken a detour to follow another direction that looks good? To build our own course and ignore the goodness and abundance of His pathway is foolishness. God alone knows the way we should take.
The Power Of Forgiveness
Out of the depths I cry to you, LORD — Psalm 130:1
There is a story from Spain about a father and son who had become estranged. The son ran away from home, and his father set out to find him. The father searched for months, but to no avail. As a last-ditch effort, the father took out a full-page ad in a Madrid newspaper. The ad read: “Dear Paco, meet me in front of the newspaper office at noon on Saturday. All is forgiven. I love you. Your father.” The next Saturday, 800 men named Paco showed up, all looking for love and forgiveness from their fathers!
How many people in life are walking around looking for love and forgiveness from their Father in heaven?
If you’re like the rest of us, you have probably messed up once or twice in your life. We all make mistakes! As it says in Ecclesiastes 7:20, “Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins” (NLT). However, there is also a danger in thinking that you are only a sinner. Every time we fall, there is the risk that we will be too discouraged to get back up again. The next step after sin is repentance; yet sometimes, we find it hard to move on.
In Psalm 130 King David exclaimed, “Out of the depths I call out to you . . .” The sages explain that the “depths” David was referring to was the depths of sin. Sometimes when we sin, we feel so low and so far from God. We feel like we are deep in the gutters of life. How can we possibly climb out? How can we face our God again? We feel distant, unlovable, and unworthy.
The sages caution us, “Do not consider yourself wicked in your self-estimation!” If we give in to those feelings of unworthiness, we will never be restored to our true selves. In Psalm 130 David also reminded us that God is forgiving. He implored us to “put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption” (v.7).
God is waiting for us, loving us, and anticipating our return so that He can forgive us. We just need to return to Him.
Imagine that you open the newspaper today and you see an ad with your name on it: “Dear _____. Meet me in church on Sunday at noon. All is forgiven. I love you. Your Father.” Believe it — God is sending us this message every day! We just need to turn to God in repentance, and He will do the rest.