Where Did God Go? How to navigate seasons of silence.
Have you ever asked the question, “Where did God go?”
If you’re a person who actively pursues an interactive relationship with God, then there’s a good chance you’ve went through seasons of silence. Sometimes it seems as though God just decides to check out and go AWOL for a while. Today, I want to give you one possible answer to the question, ‘Where did God go?” I also want to leave you with some guidance for navigating seasons of silence.
In 2 Chronicles 32 – God is wrapping up a little bragging session on King Hezekiah. If you’ve never read his story in the Bible, it’s pretty remarkable. God performed some jaw dropping miracles on his behalf, and follows them up by saying that everything this king did prospered.God left him alone only to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart. – 2 Chronicles 32:31
There’s a sneaky little line in the record of awesomeness though in 2 Chronicles 32:31b which says, “God left him alone only to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart.” If you miss that one little line, you’d be missing a great big glimpse into the way God works within our lives.
We already know that God will never leave us or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5) So what is God doing when he leaves a king who is apparently doing just about everything right?When you obediently follow Christ, all of your life’s experiences have passed through a divine filter of protection – even the bad ones.
On a daily basis, God intervenes in our lives. He keeps us from tempting circumstances. He protects us from dangerous situations. When you obediently follow Christ, all of your life’s experiences have passed through a divine filter of protection – even the bad ones.
This protection most definitely keeps us from some pretty catastrophic screw-ups in life. Matthew Henry eloquently said, “We know not the corruption of our own hearts, nor what we shall do if God leaves us to ourselves.”We know not the corruption of our own hearts, nor what we shall do if God leaves us to ourselves. – Matthew Henry
Occasionally though, God does want to know. I don’t think it’s as much for His benefit as it is for ours, but God does use life experiences to occasionally test us. Although He never leaves us, God does occasionally steps back to give us the opportunity to show what is truly in our hearts.
Sometimes we experience these moments unaware, but I think other times, they’re the seasons in life when it seems like the presence of God is a very far away place. Have you ever experienced those seasons when you pray, and it feels like you’re talking to a brick wall?Although He never leaves us, God does occasionally steps back to give us the opportunity to show what is truly in our hearts.
Maybe you’ve experienced seasons when God didn’t intervene and cause everything to work out just as you had planned, and it causes you to think that He has abandoned you.
These moments are the almost the opposite of the old poem ‘Footprints’. Some days we’re walking along with God and suddenly look back to see only one set of footprints, and find out they’re yours because God has vanished.
Often times during seasons of silence, God just wants to know if your heart is really committed to Him.
When He steps back, do you immediately lose all faith and begin to question Him?
When He steps back, do you resort to old habits and destructive methods of coping?
Seasons of silence are opportunities for us to see ourselves as we truly are. Have we conquered our sinful nature, or is God just protecting us from it? Have I begun to truly take on the nature of Christ within my heart? We find the answer to these questions in seasons of silence.
Remember these three tips next time you find yourself asking the question, “Where did God go?”
How to navigate seasons of silence.
- Remember that God will never leave you or forsake you. It doesn’t matter what the evidence says, God is still there and wants the best for you.
- Watch out for old idols. Avoid turning to the old habits, thought patterns, and sinful activities where you used to take refuge before meeting God.
- Maintain your disciplines of faith. God hears, whether you feel it or not! Keep praying, reading the word, and spending time with other believers.
Don’t let a season of silence become a season of regret. If God seems distant today, pursue Him even more passionately. Take the approach of Job, and let that season become a blazing testimony of your faithfulness and love for God.
But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. – Job 23:10