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.
Living in God’s Embrace
“‘For seven days present food offerings to the LORD, and on the eighth day hold a sacred assembly and present a food offering to the LORD. It is the closing special assembly; do no regular work.’” — Leviticus 23:36
We’ve just been through a month-long intense and intentional journey with God. We began with the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, followed by Sukkot which we celebrated by living in our huts for seven days. Now, the Bible commands us to commemorate one more day — “on the eighth day hold a sacred assembly . . .” What is the purpose of this eighth day?
To understand what this final day of festivities is about, let’s revisit one of the themes of Sukkot. Sukkot celebrates our relationship with God. While a sukkah is more or less a makeshift hut, there are some laws and guidelines. One such requirement is that a sukkah must minimally consist of two full walls and a third wall that is at least three-and-a-half inches tall, known as a “handbreadth” in Jewish law.
The sages explain that these basic walls represent God’s arm and the sukkah is His embrace. In Song of Songs 2:6, we read, “his right arm embraces me.” The rabbis explain that God’s arm embraces us through the sukkah. The first wall is like God’s arm, the second wall like God’s forearm, and the third small wall is like God’s hand. Together they surround us with a hug.
The day after Sukkot, this eighth day, is a time of parting. The Jewish sages explain God’s institution of this holiday with the following analogy: “There once was a king who invited his children for a banquet of several days. When it came time for them to go, he said to them: ‘My children, stay with me one more day — your parting is difficult for me . . . ’” God is the King and we are His children. However, notice that it says “YOUR parting is difficult . . .” The sages explain that this is because only we depart from God’s embrace; God never leaves us.
Our leaving the presence of God is necessary. We need to go back to “real life” where we will naturally encounter more distance from God compared to the intensity of the holiday season. However, we take this final day to recognize that while we are about to separate from God, we get to decide exactly how far away we will go. No, we can’t stay in the sukkah forever, but we can take the sukkah with us and keep it in our hearts.
As we go about our daily routines, let’s resolve to keep as close as possible to God. He is always with us, but it’s up to us to be aware of His presence and make it felt. Take moments throughout the day to pray, study, and perform acts of kindness. In this way, while the holiday season may end, our relationship with God will continue to grow stronger with each passing day.
Luke 5:3-11 Then He entered into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, nevertheless at Your word I will let down the nets.” When they had done this, they caught such a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; so they signaled to their partners in the other boat that they should come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Yeshua’s (Jesus’) feet, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” For he was astonished, and all that were with him, because of the catch of the fish which they had taken, And so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Yeshua (Jesus) said to Simon, “Fear not, from now on you will catch men.” So when they brought their ships to land, they forsook all and followed Him.
This Sunday night begins the Festival of Sukkot (Tabernacles)! Be sure to get a glimpse of the lunar eclipse taking place late Sunday night into Monday Morning.
Sukkot is a festival about rejoicing in the blessings that God has provided, but let’s be sure our focus is on the Lord of blessing – instead of the blessings!
We read in Luke that Yeshua (Jesus) told His disciples to go into the deep waters and let down their nets for fish. When they did, their nets were filled up with fish to the point of breaking. Being fishermen and businessmen, they may have been tempted to start doing business. I mean, think how much they could make!
But God had a different purpose. The disciples’ occupation as fishermen was just a vehicle for God to demonstrate His great power and love. He wasn’t blessing them with fish so that they would get excited about fishing — He was blessing them with fish so that they could get their eyes off their fishing and on to the greater call He had for them! Thankfully, they left the fishing business and went off with the Lord to do great and mighty things.
Let’s make sure we’re not getting up wrapped up in fish! We seek the Lord for His blessings, prosperity, and success. But true discipleship is focusing not on the blessings of the Lord, but on the Lord of the blessings!
We can rejoice in our blessings this Sukkot season, but let’s not dwell on them! Let’s set our eyes on the Lord and the calling He has for us. When He sees that we have pure and willing hearts, He will be faithful to use us to accomplish His glorious plan!