This originally appeared as a weekly devo for Western Hills.
It’s not God’s silence that bothers me. It’s when He is clear. That is when it gets disturbing.
When He’s clear, my obedience and courage is put on trial. My confidence level in Christ is on full display when He is clear. Do I move to obedience or do I stall out with excuses?
I’ve learned to walk with God when He is silent. It can be uncomfortable – silence can do that to you – but in my older age I’ve grown to enjoy the “wait and see” position. I’m getting better at enjoying the journey as much as the destination.
But when He is clear…that’s a whole other story. That is when things get interesting. And intense.
And I think God is clearer than we give Him credit for. Why do I say that? Let’s start by busting two huge myths about when God speaks.
Myth 1: ‘If I don’t have a peace about it…then it isn’t of God.’
There probably isn’t a more misinformed statement about when God speaks. Let us not forget that it WAS Jesus who sent the disciples into the storm, into a graveyard with a naked, crazy man, into the Temple as He turned it inside out, out into the world that was going to hate them and eventually kill them. It was Jesus that promised hardship, persecution, and death to those who would follow His voice.
Which leads to Big Myth #2:
Myth 2: “God wants me happy.”
My sister-in-law has a saying – “Hard is not bad. It’s just hard.”
Think about that for a moment. I am not sure where this ridiculous assumption crept into our thinking – that if something goes “wrong” or gets hard – that we’ve somehow misread the voice of God. Being a Christ-follower in places like Jerusalem, Samaria, Antioch, Ephesus, Corinth and Athens wasn’t easy. Those were hard places to follow Christ. It was expensive to one’s reputation and pocketbook. Yet that’s exactly what Jesus told certain people to do – plant a church in that place, be a Christ-follower in that world, risk to be misunderstood and persecuted.
If you remove these two myths, God may be a lot more clearer than you ever imagined.
This is why I keep coming back to my original premise – it’s not the silence of God that bothers me. It’s when He is clear.
So maybe we should pray more for courage than clarity.