Sometimes it seems like God’s on mute. And He does it at the most inconvenient times.
Sometimes God’s on mute during my sermon prep. One day I prayed, studied, paced the floor, then prayed, and studied some more. Still God was silent. So I ate lunch at my desk while listening to TD Jakes sermon for a little inspiration. I thought to myself “Man, Jakes is a freaking genius with a huge vocabulary… I’m a total moron who has no business preaching at all”. Then I browsed around and listened to other preachers on youtube and thought to myself, “Ok, maybe I’m not too terrible of a preacher”. So I continued to pray, study, and pace, only to find that I still could not come up with a fresh Word from God or a creative angle to Bring the text to life.
Or maybe I should talk about the countless decision that have to be made in and for the local church. How so often I feel sure about a decision in the morning but by the afternoon I have an unsettled feeling in my stomach. So I begin asking questions like, “God can’t you just give me a yes or no?”, only to discover I didn’t hear anything, feel anything, see any signs, or get any impressions at all. I heard absolutely nothing.
Or maybe I should talk about times I desperately needed to feel affirmed when I made a tough leadership decision that would seriously effect someone, only to find out that those decisions didn’t come with a pat on the back or a polished trophy.
No one ever told me that when I became a leader it would still be difficult to hear from God. I thought it was something that came with job. So when you hear leaders say they are absolutely sure God has told them something, there is a good chance it’s more like they are 85% sure.
Most often, that’s the way it works for me anyway. Because I’m a man scared by sin with emotions, who is shaped by a lifetime of experiences, who has a limited understanding of the mind of God.
A mentor of mine says that God’s quiet because the teacher is always silent during the test.
Sometimes I feel like God is speaking so clearly and rapidly that my brain begins smoking from a processor overload. Other times I feel like God’s on mute.
So here are some thing to try when it seems like God is silent:
1. Continue doing the last thing God told you to do.
2. Look at your life and seek out any sin or pride that might prevent you from hearing God’s voice. If so, come clean and confess that sin.
3. Read the Bible and say YES to what God calls you too.
4. Brace yourself for a blessing. (As a parent, I learned that when the kids are quite it probably means they are up to something. If God is quite maybe He’s up to something as well.)
5. When it’s dark, remember what God told you when it was light.