Have you prayed for God’s help in making a decision or experiencing a certain result, only to get no answer? This has surely happened to all of us, has it not?
What was or is your response, then? Anger? Frustration? Confusion? Disappointment?
What should be your response? Patience? Faith? Obedience?
Every situation, at least to some degree, is different, so I will not pretend to be able to relate to the ups and downs you face in your life. What if the necessary response to God’s silence, though, is repentance?
Could it be that God is calling you to repentance – a turning away from your sins and turning to Him – before He answers your prayers, makes you aware of His presence, and gives you the hope, peace and joy only He can give?
I must certainly admit, from my own experiences, that when I am failing to walk in faith and dependence on God, and then I seek His direction, I am much less likely to experience His wisdom.
Clearly, His Word tells me who I am to be and how I am to live. In Jeremiah 29:13, for example, God says, “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” When? When you search for God with “all your heart.”
Deuteronomy 4:29 says, “You will search for the Lord your God, and you will find Him when you seek Him with all your heart and all your soul.”
If we are living in sin, can we possibly seek God with all our heart and all our soul? If we are failing to trust and obey His Word, are we truly seeking Him at all?
No, for a partial act of obedience is absolutely an act of disobedience. Wholehearted seeking of God certainly cannot take place when wholehearted obedience to God’s Word is not taking place, and this is why repentance is so important.
Why will God not answer?
Well, how is your daily walk with God? Do you have a genuine relationship with Him? Are you daily seeking to turn away from your sins and walk in close communion with Him and with His church?
If not, then you cannot expect to be aware of His presence, experience His power, and trust His promises. Rather, you will likely experience His silence, just like King Saul did multiple times during his downfall.
Lord willing, I plan on finishing my sermon series – Becoming the Villain – Sunday morning. “Villains Follow Fear” (1 Samuel 28:3-19), and if we expect to hear from God without seeking Him through His Word and obeying Him according to His Word, then we prove to be fools and eventual villains (enemies of God).
Too often, people want to claim Jesus’ promise in Matthew 7:7 (“Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you.”), but they want that promise apart from repentance and obedience. As a result, they are blind to the truth of God’s Word – the truth that Jesus’ promise there is in accordance with God’s will. And, we cannot know God’s will apart from God’s Word.
God’s Word tells us God’s will – that we be obedient followers of Jesus Christ by the power of His Holy Spirit. Maybe God’s silence in your life is due to His calling you to repentance.
If you only seek God in a crisis, then you will be blind to His Word in the midst of that crisis because you haven’t been walking with Him all along.
Does God sometimes choose to make His followers wait and/or to make His followers suffer? Of course He does, and His Word is full of examples and direction in how to respond. Even in the midst of suffering and difficulty, though, you can be assured of God’s presence and faithfulness, but only if you are living a life of repentance.
Why will God not answer?
Examine your heart to make sure you have sincerely repented of your sins and are sincerely seeking Him. Cry out to God in faith and repentance before expecting His response.