Where Did God Go? How to navigate seasons of silence.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

About the Author

Jeremy BinnsWhen I'm not trying to save the world from the coming zombie invasion, I love my wife, hug my daughters, write, photograph, listen, observe, explore, and worship.View all posts by Jeremy Binns →

  • Lisa Martin

    I’ve been thinking a lot about these seasons in my own life as of late. Feeling abandoned for a season, only to look back and realize He was there all the time, working on my behalf, I just couldn’t see His handy work until I made it through to the other side and looked back. Thanks Jeremy. Now, I’m smiling :-)

    • http://www.jeremybinns.com/ Jeremy Binns

      Hopefully all this talk about life seasons doesn’t mean we’re getting old. :) Thanks for reading Lisa, if you’re smiling then that makes me smile too!

  • John

    There was a reason GOD tested him….”But Hezekiah’s heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness shown him; therefore the LORD’s wrath was on him and on Judah and Jerusalem.”…..2 Chronicles 32:25.

  • John

    For the last 7 years I was my mother’s caregiver. A job GOD had given me, and blessed me and my mother through it. In the last year GOD did provide ways to turn our financial situation around, and I was able to just start building my mother’s savings account, buying things needed for her care. On Aug. 1st, 2013, she suddenly passed away and with her went my purpose in life (to care for her), The structure of my life collapsed. (my purpose for getting up in the morning, most of my income, my brother moved in with me, but there goes the privacy of my home). I know the move is helping him get started again, but it’s also draining my savings, he also unemployed. (but starting a business with my cousins).Instead of building for the future for the both of us (me and my mother), I’m now looking at bankruptcy and food stamps. I know she is in heaven, and in a better place. What troubles me is, for 7 years, you’re doing what GOD has asked you to do, you’re being blessed, and suddenly it’s all taken away, no response from GOD, no other doors are opening…..you’re left in a desert, wondering how you’re going to get by, if things don’t change quickly.

    • http://www.jeremybinns.com/ Jeremy Binns

      Hi John – my heart goes out to you. I can’t relate to your all of your situation directly, but other parts of it could be taken off the pages of my own story.

      Around 4 years ago, my wife and I walked away from a business we had built over 10 years. It was just starting to become profitable, and we had several investors looking to franchise what we did across the U.S.

      I just knew that as soon as we stepped out by faith, that another door would open right up. Isn’t that how it’s supposed to work!?! :)

      To make a long and terribly painful story short, the next door didn’t open up for about a year and a half. During that time, we went through the most difficult financial time of my life. I learned first hand how humiliating it can be to pay for food with food stamps when you are an able bodied and willing worker.

      I am just recently finding some financial breathing room. I have a considerable amount of debt that would easily be enough to file bankruptcy if that were my choice. However, I know that without a doubt I’ve grown in ways that I never would have chosen or wanted on my own.

      I trust today that His will is being done for my life. He’s redeeming my errors and setting me in a wide open space. I had people, and even my own mind, during the down time who said, ‘See, God isn’t on your side.’

      What I see now though is the beautiful handiwork of a God who is foremost concerned with my character and heart.

      I believe that as you continue to walk through this season in your life and allow the attitude of Christ to be formed in you and expressed through you, you’re going to come out on the other side like pure gold my friend.

      I’ll be praying for you and your brother.
      ~Jeremy

      • John

        I am struggling with the issue of, just as GOD is blessing you and you’re slowly getting back on your feet….the road ahead is looking clear, suddenly the rug is pulled out from under your feet and now you’re worse off then you were before. Why the building up of the blessings, to suddenly take it all away? I am going through this alone…not married and no children. Sadly some in my family are acting like Job’s friends. What I need most, is for GOD to restore the blessings that were taken away.

  • John

    Talked
    to a friend this morning over all the issues that have been happening.
    He said….”John, you paid a very high price for caring for your mother.
    You did the right thing, but at a high cost to you. You set your life
    aside to care for her. Others could not, but you did. This is why
    you’re struggling with this….realizing
    the cost. It’s paying the price, for doing the right thing.” It’s the
    struggle of understanding GOD’s timing of events. I did the right thing,
    yet everything came apart to put me in a worse position, then when I
    started caring for her 7 years ago. I don’t know where things are going
    to go from here….he said “John, I know you don’t want to hear this,
    but I’m excited to see what GOD is going to do. I said, you’re right, I
    don’t want to hear that, because until there are changes I can see, I
    won’t be happy about this. He did put some things in perspective……there are times when GOD will ask you to give, and you know the cost upfront….I now realize, there are other times where he’ll ask you to give, but only at the end, do you realize the cost of your giving….I guess the question for those times would be…after you realize the cost, would you do it again? If I had to do it all over again, I would do it. (knowing, would not lessen the pain). I believe you can be tested either way.

  • TR Ulrich

    God is here but its like he is disappointed in us. We have always loved and followed him. We are lost and have no place to go except him and he, it seems, has turned away from us? We are terribly scared.

  • david jones

    I’m tired of playing that game. I would much rather just live my life without all these silly “tests”.

  • Flogged

    I’m just a the point where I feel like my words and prayers have fallen on deaf ears. My depression will never go away – it is what it is – lack of faith is not the reason it exists nor is it a demon. For whatever reason, I’m stuck and more and more often suicide seems like such a better option, because lets face it, things are only going to get much worse as time goes along especially for those of us 50+ folks who cannot compete with the younger minds on cognitive performance tests that companies use to hire people these days. I’ve always been a misfit but even more of one now. I have nothing to offer anyone and after six solid years of the same prayers and life (I work only, have no life, do not drink, use drugs, gossip, insult people, or insult them; I exercise regularly – not too much but overall I’m physically healthy; I try to help others and counsel people, and encourage them but now only feel like a fake because I no longer believe in my own advice).
    The bible gives us signs of the times to come but somewhere God left out information and guidance on how to deal with these depressing times other than to remind us to have faith in Him. I guess others are far more worthy of His time and ears than this misfit of a human being (that He created).

    • http://www.jeremybinns.com Jeremy Binns

      Hi flogged. Sorry to hear about what you’re going through. I’d like to pray for you, what is it that is causing you to feel most depressed?

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

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