Summary: This sermon discusses the answers to the question, "When God is Silent, is He still working?" Some might immediately say yes, but there are examples where people limit God and cause Him to be silent.. We tie His hands through our unbelief.
Valley Grove Assembly of God
July 17, 2016
The Silence of God
Introduction: When God is silent is He still working?
You either have to answer “yes”, or “no,” “maybe,” “don’t know,” “I don’t have the slightest idea,” or “I’ve never even thought about it.” On the surface, you might immediately answer—Oh yes, God is always working when He is silent, but I don’t think this is always the case. Why do I say this?
When God is silent don’t get unduly alarmed by His silence but don’t ignore it either. The silence of God is unsettling to us and it tests our faith. James 1:3,4 tells us “Knowing this that the trying of your faith worketh patience but let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” Let patience work—let patience do its job to complete the work that needs to be completed. We are often too quick to say, “Oh, it must not be God’s will” and give up way too soon. God is still working on it in His silence. It often takes time for things to work out. Hold fast to your faith during the silent times. Answers are often just around the corner.
On the other hand there are often times when God can’t work because He has given people free will to either choose to follow Him or not. We can make the choice to believe Him or to go our own way. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own ways…”(Isaiah 53:6). There are often periods of silence when God lets people go their own way and take the consequences of their wrong choices before they turn things around. In Mark 6:5 Jesus could do “no mighty work save that he laid his hands on a few sick fold and healed them. He marveled because of their unbelief.” He couldn’t do what he had the power to do because the people didn’t believe. That day a lot of people experienced the silence of God when they could have been healed. It doesn’t say WHY they didn’t believe. There is a scripture that says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). If you talk to people today, you would find out that a lot of people do not believe that healing is for us today and will say that ended with the apostles. We have some friends that say we do not believe in prayer for the sick. God does not do that today. If people lack knowledge on God’s provisions, they will not receive what they need. We need to see what promises are there for us and apply them to our situation whether it is for healing, or finances, or whatever else we need today.
Another reason for God’s silence is deliberate sin. “If I regard iniquity (cherished sin) in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalm 66:18). A barrier will go up and we don’t hear from God. He is silent for a reason. We used to sing a song—Nothing between my soul and my savior. If we identify the silence as sin we can get that taken care of. “If we confess our sin, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanses us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9).
When it seems that God is doing nothing, we may be too busy to notice. Day in and day out rushing here and there, we are not aware of what is happening. Don’t ignore the silence—watch to see if He is working or not. Habakkuk 2:3 tells us what to do. “I will stand upon my watch to see what he will say to me.” Slow down in the rush of the day and listen and watch closely. You may be rushing right on by something important. Get ready to receive by clearing the way. Go back to the basics. If you get off track, the Holy Spirit will get you back on track. He will “guide you into all truth” (John 16:13).
God works throughout our lives silently. Sometimes we are just in the planting and growing season and nothing is wrong with the silence. The timing is not yet right for the harvest.
We looked at a van one time and were going to buy it that day but for some reason they wouldn’t make the deal that day. We went home and didn’t buy it. The next week we found a nicer van and bought it. In the case of the first van it was not the right one. The second was fewer miles and we got a lot of good miles out of it and traveled all over the place. We traded it in a man from Montana called and bought the van which was in Columbus, Ohio and drove it back to Montana.