Troublesome Topic: Why Is God Silent?

We have all experienced it; we need guidance, we desire God’s wisdom, yet God is silent.

Sometimes God does give us indications of which way to go. He can and does speak to us from His word, or while we are in prayer, or in visions. He will occasionally give a sign when we ask for one like Gideon did. But the reality is that these instances are not as frequent as we would like.

We ask questions like: “Why does God not give us more direct information with which to make decisions?” and “Why does God not make things more clear?” We even assume something is wrong with us, or with God, because this thing we call prayer isn’t working.

The Main Reason God Is Silent

The biggest problem in hearing from God is us. We want direction for a decision, or help with a problem, and then we are set on going back to the way we were before.

We want quick fixes;

God wants a relationship.

So in His wisdom and in His desire for what is ultimately best for us, God does not shout His answers to our requests, or write them in the sky, or send a message via the Angel Delivery System. He requires that we grow closer in our relationship with Him, and then we will care about the relationship more than our specific needs.

He loves us so much that He values our growth more than our comfort. He is willing to have us think He is not answering our prayers, or that He is not a good God, or that He does not care. He takes the risk of having us think that prayer does not work, but He will not consistently give us the easy way out; He would rather have us work for it. Oh, occasionally He will surprise us with a special blessing, or answer a request for a favor, but usually He makes us take the difficult road because that is the one that will make us stronger and draw us closer to Him.

I have said that God’s call to us is always “Come.”  What does come look like? It will be different in each situation, but it could be any of the following and more: Come could mean repenting, reconciling with someone we have hurt or who has hurt us, acting on faith, getting rid of a bad habit, enjoying more time with God.

A Few Other Reasons God Is Silent

If we already know that something is wrong and we should not do it, if we keep asking God about it, He will be silent because He has already told us in His word. If God wants us to do something because He has told us in His word that it is the proper course of action, we do not need to ask for confirmation. God does not need to confirm what He has already stated clearly.

God does not often repeat himself. If we get an answer we don’t like, and ask the question again, He will most likely be silent.  Don’t expect Him to respond more than once.

There are also times that if we don’t like what God is saying, and we beg to do our own thing, God will let us do our own thing and then suffer the consequences. This happened a number of times in Scripture.

He wants to teach us something important along the journey. We are focused on getting to what we perceive as the destination. For us the journey is just an annoying necessity. But God seems to care as much about the journey as He does the destination. It is along the journey that He can teach us many things. Once we arrive at the destination (whether that be financial, relational or spiritual in nature) we are not very motivated to learn anything.

We think in terms of accomplishing goals; God wants us to focus on getting closer to Him. That happens more while we are on the journey than when we have reached our self-established goal. Once we have reached one goal we just set another one and take off again. It is on the journey that He has our attention, that we must depend on Him, that we must draw closer to Him.

God gives us opportunities, dreams and passions, and then He lets us decide how to use those things. He expects us to manage well everything He has loaned to us.

In this way He is preparing us to reign with Him some day. In order to reign we will need to know how to use authority, be leaders, make tough decisions, and apply His principles to a variety of situations while remaining in His will and His purpose. Our tendency is to place too much of ourselves into the equation.

So God gives us a dream and then backs off to see how we will pursue that dream. God gives us a responsibility and then watches to see how we will execute that responsibility. He gives us many opportunities but does not force us to take them. This is all part of bringing Him glory.

God has also given every man a small kingdom to govern; that kingdom is his home. The father is the king and the mother is the queen, and together they choose the direction their kingdom will go, they create a culture, they set the tone, they determine what is acceptable and what is not. They also establish priorities and decide how to use the resources available to them. In all these things and more, God gives us great freedom to manage and administer; He does not tell us how to do each thing. He does not expect each Christian household to look like all the others. He gives us the freedom to manage.

He actually has more than two, but for the sake of this discussion we will say that God has two options: He can tell us what to do at every turn, or he can give us guiding principles and a realm to manage and then step back and let us manage it. It seems to me that God often chooses the latter. God does not answer all our requests for guidance because He wants us to learn by doing. It is the tougher road of the two, but it is the way in which we will learn to be better managers.

The next lesson is: How Can I Find Guidance for Decision-making?