There are seasons in our lives when it seems like God speaks so clearly to us, and every prayer from our heart is answered. But then, there comes a time when our Father seems just a little bit too silent. We read that God never leaves us nor forsakes us, but what do we do when we feel like He has? This is a question I would begin to ponder on for most of the beginning phases of my relationship with God.
There were so many moments when I’d feel as though God had completely abandoned me and left me to fend for myself. I’d pray. I’d cry. I’d worship. I’d pray again. And still… nothing. Then, one day it finally hit me. Perhaps God had said enough in this season of my life, and maybe He’s just waiting on me to trust what He’s said and use His Word to fight against whatever comes my way! How can we grow in our faith without a little testing here and there? Strength is never built without exercise and some growing pains.
So, here are a few things that I’ve learned throughout my own experience that I wanted to share with you guys. My prayer, as always, is that it encourages you and that your trust and faith in God would grow stronger!
1. Remember to quiet the noise around you
Whenever I feel spiritually drained or just simply way too far from God, the first thing I like to ask myself is, “Why?” What’s distracting me? When’s the last time I fully catered to my spirit-man? What’s taking away from my time with God? Which ultimately leads me to some sort of fast.
Fasting and consecrating yourself is so crucial and I can't stress that enough. And I'm not just referring to abstaining from food for a period of time, either. I'm talking about removing anything that's distracting to you and tends to satisfy your flesh more than your spirit. I've found that many times God is speaking to me but there's so many things going on around me, crowding the ears of my spirit, and making it extremely hard for me to hear God at all. So, here's a few frequent things that I like to do to consecrate myself:
Fast from food or certain foods (i.e. fast foods, sugary foods, meat, bread, etc.) … AKA things I really enjoy eating!
Break away from social media for a while
Listen to worship music or go without music
Dedicate more devotional time throughout the day than what I normally do, and meditate on it (i.e. Read my bible 3+ times that day instead of only once in the morning or in the evening)
Leave the TV and Netflix alone
Place extensive effort into talking to God throughout the day about EVERYTHING
2. Remember what His Word says
I always like to say that it's ok if God is silent right now, because His word already says enough. There's so many answers we look high and low for that are right in His Word, and it's important for us to seek Him through His Word and speak it into our hearts and minds because it builds faith, assurance, and strength to wait for God.
3. Remember that patience is a virtue
If I can be honest, patience is something that I'm always working on because I can be such a busy body! If I have questions, I want answers right then and there. But obviously, God doesn't operate that way. Our ways aren't His ways, and our thoughts aren't His thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).God's timing of things are never according to our time, no matter how busy our schedule may be, or how urgent our situations may seem. And, it's important for us for know that and trust His timing because it's perfect (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Our faith should rest in the fact that our Father will answer. That's all. Whenever He decides to answer should be left up to Him.
4. Remember what He's done for you in the past
Why do you believe what you believe? What makes your relationship with God so personal to you? What has He done specifically for you and only you? These questions alone give me chills because I’m immediately reminded that God loves me and has always loved me, even in the moments when I couldn’t find an ounce of love for myself. He’s protected me. He’s shown me mercy and grace. But most of all, He saved me and I now have eternal life in Him!
Usually, that’s always more than enough to whip my faith back into shape but sometime I like to reflect on the specifics. So, I always keep a journal with me, and one of the things I've learned to do is right down all of my prayers and the ANSWERS to my prayers, no matter how big or how small they are. It's a quick reminder that if He did it before, He most certainly can do it again!
I hope that this has been a blessing to you and encourages you to never EVER give up on God, even in the moments of silence. Use that silence to build your faith and remind yourself just who God is.