One of my great joys in life revolves around helping people discover the wonder of hearing God's voice. We are all called to be prophetic, which at it simplest simply means that we hear God and respond accordingly.
God talks—a lot.
The stories of God intervening in the lives of His children continually have me in awe of Him. I can't imagine a life devoid of that precious, stunning, otherworldly avenue of communication between this humble, created human and an immeasurable, indescribable, all powerful Creator! There's nothing like being in the zone that results in a regular stream of dreams, visions, prophetic words, fresh revelation and supernatural interactions. I thank God He is still alive and kicking today!
There are also times when God goes silent. I really do not enjoy those seasons, but I've come to appreciate them.
Here are some quick points that help me when I enter a silent season:
1. God loves me. Period. It can be easy to feel rejected, or to presume that God has become tired of me and my weaknesses, when He stops talking.
Remember that God is love. His passion for us is so extreme that it would be utter foolishness to think that He'd fall out of love with us just because we are experiencing some growing pains.
"And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him" (1 John 4:16, MEV).
While it's true that God continues to love us, the enemy would love to use God's silence against Him by causing us to fall out of love with Him! Be careful not to disengage in your adoration and worship, especially when you don't feel His loving presence the way you are used to. (Matt. 22:37, MEV).
2. God uses silence to awaken us to something. When God stops talking, I go into a time of reflection and personal assessment. It is possible that I need to be more aggressive in shifting into a new season. I might also have a negative heart issue that might need to be dealt with.
During this reflection, however, it's important that I do so with a healthy heart. His silence should draw me closer to Him, and not result in division between us. You'll notice that accusation against God can result in silence:
"The chief priests accused Him of many things, but He answered nothing. So Pilate asked Him again, 'Do You answer nothing? See how many things they testify against You.' But Jesus still answered nothing, so that Pilate was astonished" (Mark 15:3-5, MEV).
Is it possible that I have accusation in my heart against God on a matter? Complaint or resistance to His lordship in my life most certainly can result in Jesus refusing to respond to me. He will go silent, and the last thing we want during silence is more silence!
Instead of becoming more angry or frustrated, I propose we respond as Pilate did: Be amazed. Be humbled by the wisdom and unmovable nature of Jesus. As we do, our remedy is then to sincerely repent and embrace God as He is—whether we appreciate the way He is presently functioning in our lives or not.
3. Busyness will result in silence. It's truly rare for God to go silent for long periods of time when I'm praying in the Holy Spirit, with passion and groans that can't be uttered, on a continual basis. When I'm in that place of fervent pursuit and deep intimacy, it's uncommon for that electric connection between God and me to cease.
When other things edge out our prayer life, or minimize it, one can only expect to stop hearing from God. Prayer is His medium for communication. The simple, obvious truth is that if we aren't in that burning, fervent zone of prayer, we won't have the ability to receive communication from God. When the radio is off the speakers are silent.
"See then that you walk carefully, not as fools, but as wise men, making the most of the time because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is" (Eph. 5:15-17, MEV).
4. The Bible is never silent. No matter how deafening God's rhema silence might be, the Word of God never ceases to shout!
Dive into the Bible with determination to see its truths explode in your life. Get excited about everything you read and grab hold of all of it!
It's a powerful moment indeed when, at a time of divine silence, the eternal Word of God shakes us, invigorates us and causes our faith to rise. No matter how much or how little you are feeling God's presence in your life, read the Bible and believe every single word you read. It's just not possible to stay frustrated when the very words of God are being seared into our spirits!
Reject your personal experience, history or common sense when those messages conflict with the miraculous messages of Jesus. Refuse to doubt. Declare the Word in prayer. Move mountains with your faith. Don't get frustrated waiting on God to speak personally to you about a matter. He's already speaking more loudly than we have ever considered, in the Bible.
"My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you" (Prov. 3:1-2, MEV).
5. Nothing should steal your peace or joy. If God's silence results in you losing your joy, you might want to refer above to point number two again. He may be attempting to calibrate you to his heart.
Even when God is not speaking, we can and should still remain steadfast in a place of extreme joy, faith and love.
"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit" (Rom. 15:13, MEV).
"Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, you righteous one; and shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart!" (Ps. 32:11, MEV).
6. Appreciate the calm before the storm of victory. I've noticed my reaction to seasons where God's activity is slowed directly results in my position in the season that follows. A right response and a refusal to give in to complaint, despair or apathy and a resolve to go even deeper in God through both the Word and prayer, results in advance and promotion. It also strengthens my character and stretches me into greater maturity. Silence is a necessary part of growth and advance.
I've met a lot of people who stop in their tracks when God isn't talking, opening doors, giving prophetic words or doing other such things to move people forward. God very often will refuse to relate to us in that manner when we are failing tests or ignoring truth that has already been established in Scripture. As we react in a right manner during the silence, and focus on obeying the Word of God, we will pass the test and experience glorious, divine open doors!
"For this reason make every effort to add virtue to your faith; and to your virtue, knowledge; and to your knowledge, self-control; and to your self-control, patient endurance; and to your patient endurance, godliness; and to your godliness, brotherly kindness; and to your brotherly kindness, love. For if these things reside in you and abound, they ensure that you will neither be useless nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 1:5-8, MEV).
7. Ask. Seek. Knock. "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you" (Matt. 7:7, MEV).
You are guaranteed to hear from God if you are unrelenting in your pursuit of Him.
If you aren't given to the sacrifice of seeking, don't expect to find much of anything. Hearing from God requires a devotion to prayer and interaction with Him at a degree that most are not comfortable with.
Press through the crowd and touch the hem of Jesus' garment. Wrestle with God until He blesses you. Cry out from your cave. Refuse to stop until you encounter God's love, power and glory! It will be well worth the effort.
John Burton has been developing and leading ministries for over 20 years and is a sought-out teacher, prophetic messenger and revivalist. John has authored nine books, has appeared on Christian television and radio and directed one of the primary internships at the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City. Additionally, he has planted two churches, has initiated two city prayer movements and is currently directing a prayer- and revival-focused ministry school in Detroit called the School of Prayer. John's mandate is to call the church in the nations to repentance from casual Christianity and to burn in a manner worthy of the King of kings. He is equipping people to confront the enemies of God (established religion, Jezebel and so on) that hinder an extreme, sold-out level of true worship.
For the original article, visit burton.tv.
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