Ok, so 5 weeks and 2 newborn babies later, I thought it was about time I rounded off this mini-series on guidance.
This is the shortest post in the series, due in large part to it’s simplicity. Here’s the big idea – God often speaks most powerfully by staying silent. I think it was Ronan Keating who sang “You say it best when you say nothing at all.” While it’s fair to say that Ronan probably wasn’t crooning about divine guidance, these lyrics still capture perfectly one of the most profound lessons that I have personally come to learn about how God communicates His will for our lives to us.
Allow me to elaborate…
We live in an age when everyone wants to know “what’s next?” Our generation, perhaps more than any before it, is obsessed with pursuing new adventures, fresh challenges and the latest experiences. People seldom seem to stay in the same place, the same job or even the same relationship for long – believing that there’s always something better just around the corner.
This mindset is as rampant in the church as everywhere else. I’ve spent time with so many Christians who are obsessed with finding out what’s next? They pray, they study Scripture, they read books, they seek godly counsel, all in the name of discovering their destiny.
“God, what do you want me to do?”
“Where do you want me to go?”
“Who do you want me to marry?”
“Which church should I go to?”
None of these are bad questions to ask, but what if God doesn’t answer? I mean literally what if there’s complete silence on the other end of the line? For many this leads frustration and even anger.
“God, why won’t you speak to me?!!”
The truth is that in the deep silence God is speaking. He really is. The tragedy of the “what’s next?” generation is that they’re so obsessed with their future that they miss the beauty and the significance of the moment. They’re so concerned about the there and then that they miss the here and now! And that’s tragic, because while God does have a future mapped out for us, He also has today planned too!
So here’s my parting shot: If you’re a Christian who has been seeking God’s will for your life, and God doesn’t seem to be saying anything to you about it, then maybe, just maybe as far as God’s concerned, you’re in the right place at the right time doing the right thing.
That should be both encouraging and reassuring.
For what it’s worth, my advice to you is to keep doing whatever it is you’re doing with joyful contentment to the glory of God. If/when He’s got something else for you, He’s powerful enough, caring enough, creative enough and loud enough to make Himself heard!
In the meantime, embrace the silence and give Him all you’ve got!