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.
Now we know better. According to his widow, Susan Williams, the comedian had no alcohol or illegal drugs in his system when he died and had been sober for eight years. Nor was his death the result of depression. Rather, he was a victim of what Susan calls “the chemical warfare that no one knew about.” Specifically, her husband was a victim of Lewy body dementia (LBD), a progressive disease caused when normal proteins in the brain begins to aggregate and interfere with the brain’s ability to transmit signals.
LBD victims experience confusion, reduced attention span, memory loss, hallucinations, and wide mood swings. Doctors who examined autopsy results told Susan that her husband’s disease progression was one of the worst they had ever seen. She now believes that Robin knew he was losing his cognitive abilities, and chose to die before his condition got even worse.
This news is important for several reasons.
First, it highlights the fact that many people face devastating diseases most of us don’t know exist. According to the National Institute of Health, LBD afflicts one million people in the U.S. Yet I had never heard of it before Susan Williams made her husband’s condition public.
Second, her report shows that it’s always too soon to judge other people. It is never true that “I know how you feel.” Even if I am in the exact circumstances you face, I experience them differently than you do. I remember reading a counselor’s advice when dealing with people who disappoint or frustrate you: there’s always “one more thing” you don’t know. If you knew that fact or factor, you might still disagree with their behavior, but you would understand it better.
Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.
“Break up your fallow ground.” “Fallow” means “hard”. A hard heart cannot love; and often cannot even receive it. A hard heart will block relationship with God and with others. Whatever the cause; anger, woundedness, bitterness, unforgiveness, the result will be a superficiality in relationship, an inability to empathize, and a corruption of your motivations. You will become manipulative, deceitful, proud, and unresponsive. God’s message, His word to you will be difficult to hear and you will resist it. Like a layer of rock under shallow soil, where the rain cannot penetrate, love and truth will fail to penetrate your heart and affect your actions. Thus, a hard heart is deadly, because sin is petrified there, and the wages of sin is death.
How do you break up fallow ground? How do you change a hardened heart? You start with your will. You make a choice. You decide. Your decision is to soften, in spite of the way you feel, the things you remember, or have chosen to forget. Your decision is called “repentance”, a changing of the mind, a turning of the will, in the opposite direction. The power of the will to repent is astounding because it opens the door for God to heal and transform your heart; to rain His love upon you and remove bitterness, unforgiveness, anger, and hatred or any other sin that is hardening your heart. Do you want to love? Do you want to be loved? But your heart is hard? Try repentance. Test God’s power and will to heal and change you. But you must be willing to mourn. ” Blessed are them that mourn.” Repentance will open you to the rain of tears so that the pain and bitterness can pour out of you. But you will be amazed at what happens with your relationships. Love will enter and remain in your life; God’s love and love with others too.
Millions have tried it; repentance works. Make it a lifestyle, and you will live and walk in love.