Everyday we have choices. We have decisions to make, paths to determine, and words to carefully select. Many of these decisions are simple things that confront us on a daily basis, but sometimes we come to a fork in the road. The path of life splits in two directions and we arrive at a life defining moment. We have to choose if a certain job opportunity is God’s will or if moving to a certain place is the right thing to do or whether or not we should take a stand on a difficult subject. As Christians, I hope the first thing we do is consult God, but what happens when we don’t feel like we’re getting a response? The sun disappears from over our path, the clouds darken, and God goes silent.
Firstly, let’s get one thing set in stone: God will never leave you unequipped for your task and He will never leave you without an answer, the answer just may not come how we expect it to. He will never leave you or forsake you.
A popular saying that I see around the Christian social media sphere is “If you aren’t hearing God, remember that a teacher is always silent during a test.” I believe there is a lot of truth to that statement, but not in the way that I see many interpreting it. The way I see most people interpreting that statement is that God sometimes throws us into situations we have absolutely no idea how to handle and we just have to deal with it, but that’s not the case. Will God put us in situations that are too great for our own abilities to teach us to lean into Him? Yes. But He will never leave us without help.
The whole point of a test is to examine the skills that you have already been taught. It’s a list of questions that you have already been given the answers to, you just have to remember them.
If God goes silent, chances are you probably already know what to do. God only grows silent after He’s already given the instructions and there is nothing further you need to know. God will always answer, so if you’re not hearing His voice, you can be fairly certain that He’s already answered you.
For example, if I asked my mom for a candy bar when I was growing up, I was only allowed to ask one time. If the answer was “No,” I was not allowed to ask again. If I kept asking, I learned my mom would no longer respond because she had already given me the answer. And if I continued asking, then there would be consequences.
Recently, I had a difficult decision to make. It was probably one of the more stressful times I’ve ever gone through in my life. So I went to God and asked for direction, but I didn’t seem to be getting an answer. I asked for an indicator, for God to give me some undeniable sign as to what His will was… none came. I began to get frustrated. Why wouldn’t God give me an answer! What the Holy Spirit helped me to realize was that God wasn’t withholding an answer, but He had already given me an answer and expected me to act on it. Deep down, I knew what the correct decision was, but everything inside of me wanted God to give a different answer. So I kept asking, hoping for a different response.
Now, if we don’t hear God the first time we ask, we shouldn’t automatically conclude that we know what to do and go and make a reckless decision. Sometimes we need to wait on the Lord, but if you are continually asking and not receiving a response, examine yourself to make sure that you haven’t already been given an answer.
In my case, I had walked up to the fork in the road and had to make a decision. There was already a road sign telling me where to go, but I wanted to go the other direction so I asked God for a different sign. God won’t audibly call down from heaven when He’s already got a sign posted at the fork in the road.
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