7 Actions for the Times God is Silent

Elijah had been used of God to hold back rain from the people for over 3 years, because of their sins. Obviously, he was not well liked as a preacher. I can only imagine the stress he experienced during those years. Something struck me recently, however, that seemed to further complicate Elijah’s situation.

Consider 1 Kings 18:1 “After a long time, in the third year, the word of the LORD came to Elijah: “Go and present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the land.”

According to a couple NT passages, this “After a long time” was actually 3 ½ years. The famine was 3 ½ years long. For 3 ½ years, the people apparently continued to sin, Elijah continued to hold on by faith, but God said nothing. God was apparently inactive, not speaking, even to His great servant Elijah.

Have you ever been there? Has the silence of God in your life ever been eerily strong?

Imagine you had been faithfully serving…God is using you…you are in constant communication with Him…and then suddenly…everything is quiet.

The separation must have seemed unbearable. Elijah is un-liked and unpopular; he’s an outcast from the people and the One he trusted most was seemingly absent. God would soon do a miracle through Elijah, but during this period, all Elijah could do was wait.

If you have been believer for very long at all, you have had periods where it seems God is nowhere to be found. We often call them periods of spiritual dryness. Sometimes I refer to it as being in a spiritual funk.

What should we do during the times of silence, before the miracles of God come through for us?

If you are like me, you can figure out how to celebrate a miracle. You don’t need much help doing that. The tough part of life is figuring out what to do during the years of silence; during the years when miracles are nowhere to be found.

What do we do during the spiritual dry periods of life when we don’t hear clearly the voice of God?

Here are 7 actions I encourage you to consider:

Don’t ignore the silence…
Some of the biggest moves God has made in my life have come after a period of spiritual dryness; when it seemed like God was doing nothing in my life. Stay very close to God and watch for His power to be displayed.

Confront known sin in your life
This wasn’t the problem of silence for Elijah, but the problem for the Israelites was that they were chasing after other gods and living lives in total disobedience to God. Sin may not be the reason you don’t sense closeness to God right now, but if you have known sin in your life it will affect your intimacy with God.

Go back to what you know
Get back to the basics of the faith that saved you. You’ll do it 100’s of times in your life, but you must remind yourselves of the basis of faith. God is in control. He really is…even when it doesn’t seem that He is anywhere to be found.

Make a decision…Choose sides
You can’t adequately serve God and the world. Something happens in life, often sin, or busyness, or boredom, or a tragedy…but if we are normal, we have periods where we grow away from our close relationship with God. God hasn’t moved, but if you’ve shifted in your obedience, get back securely on the right side.

Trust More…Not less
Times of silence may be filled with fear, but these times will definitely require more faith. Times come in our spiritual life when our enthusiasm isn’t as real as when we began our walk with God. That’s not an indication to quit…it may be that God is using that time for something bigger than you could have imagined, but it will require a deeper level of trust.

Listen and Watch Closely
Some day God is going to make His plans known to you. Don’t miss them. He may come to your personally, through His Word, circumstances or another person. You’ll need to be in a position to know that God is moving. (Read THIS POST if you need help discerning God’s will.)

Get ready to receive
God will break the silence some day…and when He does….it WILL be good. If you mope around in your sorrows, you’ll be less prepared to receive the good things to come. Not because of your circumstances, but because of your faith, clothe yourself in joy as you wait for God to bless you after the period of silence.

Are you in one of those periods of silence today? How do you handle these periods of time?

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24 thoughts on “7 Actions for the Times God is Silent

  1. Thanks for posting this i've gone over this many times and each time seems new to me. Any bible passages to support each 7 step enumerated above? Thanks

    • Gabriel, I was going to work on this but decided I may not be helping as much if I do the work on this. These are all Biblical principles. I think it would help you greatly to research each one. Get a Bible concordance either in print or online and search words like “silence” “trust” “faith” and “fear”.You'll find lots of great verses. Then if you still have questions get back with me.

  2. The Bible say in James 4:6 “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble”. In other words, when your thoughts are centered upon you, you are in effect worshipping you, and God will oppose you for it. However, when you center your thoughts upon Him, you are putting His interests before yours, and you are humbling yourself by doing it. When you humble yourself below God then He can bless & hear you. http://u-open.blogspot.com/2011/02/are-you-god.ht

  3. It's amazing the way things can change in just nine weeks. This message hits me more today than when you posted it nine weeks ago. I've been having to wrestle with anger toward God over all of this because I know He's in control of all things so His silence means He's choosing not to talk to me.

    This will probably sound stupid but mentally I kind of feel like the kid in the backseat of the car saying "are we there yet" and dad's stopped answering because I've asked it so much.

  4. @ Ron… Yeah… Those Times… RGGGHHH!!! I am kind of just walking into the stuff I spoke of (Like a Huge POP in my spirit a couple of weeks ago that came w/the knowledge)… I hope that if I can keep receiving His Love… the waiting won't be so bad. Like the outcome doesn't matter so much…. You know we throw out seeds all over the ground, and the Lord grows the harvest.

    In any accord… I have great respect for You- Ron… and I give You Great Honor for who You are, and how You know Him… and how He smiles @ the thought of You… You are His Beloved Miracle and His Favorite Son!!!

  5. Interesting Post, Ron!!! Really twisting me around this morning… A couple of thoughts if I may- where my perspective might be a side note to yours: Faith, I see faith as substance of God (Actual Physical Matter). Through Faith Abba spoke the world into being. I would define belief as the active choice to engage faith. Circling on top and all around Faith & Belief is Love. Abba is not the god of love, He is Love!!! I guess I can't understand the perspective of the silence of God??? Because He is never silent??? His Love & His Word are Living, Breathing, and Active… We only need to choose to receive His Love to Hear His Sweet Voice… There are times when we don't have specific answers, but I see those times as joyful anticipation- like a young child waiting for a snow filled Christmas morning. We expect His answers because He is Good, and we know how deeply He Loves. Sin will cause bondage that would prevent us from hearing and receiving the Love of the Father (I see sin as literally turning our hearts away from Him)… but bondage also could be indirect with generational bondage… or bondage from perspectives & mindsets in the world that work against the truths of the Kingdom. Very Humbly, with Gratefulness for You, Ron… and For Your Amazing- Wisdom Drenched Insightful Words…. and With Great Love for My Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ Jesus… Lord & King of All!!!

    • Thanks Matthew. I certainly agree God is never purely silent. Even to an unbeliever Romans reminds us that He has made Himself know so man is without excuse; even if only through His creation. There are certainly times in my life, however, where it feels as if He is silent and certainly times where He has us wait for His direct answer. Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

  6. Yes, I've been there – never want to experience it ever again, although it was an informative and formative trial. The thing that preserved my relationship with Jesus during that time was relying on "what you know " – without the intellectual affirmation of what I knew to be true, it would have been difficult to make it through.

  7. To be honest I had been in one of those times. I spent the majority of time on my knees seeking. This has been a long 6 months, but yesterday a word of hope came.

    Thank you. I think this will definitely help some people…

  8. This was great and very helpful. People do not usually address the quiet times of God, we are so drawn to the busyness of life that we feel as though God has to conform to that in order for us to know he is still there. But God is always with us whether he is quiet or speaking and moving in amazing ways. We just need to be cognizant of his presence.