God can speak through silence.
I had many ambitions since the very moment I had graduated from college. In the kind of school I attended, I was made to understand that I was born to reign; that I was made a winner in all ramifications; that I was made to take all the good things that belonged to me. It was a real christian school that gave me the opportunity to grow spiritually. It was the school where I knew God better than the kindergarten knowledge I used to have. I was baptised in the Holy Spirit through good spiritual friends who helped me stir up he zeal to have the Holy Spirit in me. I seemed to be following God closely and all that mattered at some point in my life was to grow spiritually and scatter prayer points like I saw some students do in school; though with time, when I saw my Cumulative Grand Point at some time, I gradually drifted but came alive later.
I expected that as I attended a school like that with such spiritual knowledge, I would scale through my counterparts from other universities. I knew I had a second class honours, lower division result, but I expected ‘in faith’ (apparently it was a milk faith I was operating in at that time) that I would get a very beautiful white-collar job with the shirt so crisp-hard, it would seem I wore a cardboard paper. I imagined wearing a black pointed shoe by Alberto Guardiani. In fact, I imagined riding a RAV4 that early.
Actually, there is nothing wrong in those dreams. At some point in my life, after staying at home for some time, God made me exhaust all the hopes and high expectations and fantasies I had in Him in order to send me a message. My course-mates were travelling out for their masters degree programmes and some already had jobs. The ‘almighty Emmanuel’ didn’t have one yet.
“But will I ever have one?” I asked in despair one time. “How is it that God designed mine to be like this? Why am I at home?” I even told God, “Jehovah, in all my years of the academia, I have never stayed at home one extra day. Why this now?” I began to enquire and desire, until I acquired no Sequoia.
One time I specifically knelt down to ‘hear from God’ what it was that He had in mind for me. I wanted to find out the plans He had for me. As I did, the Holy Spirit ministered Jeremiah 29:11 to me, but I didn’t keep it to my heart. I felt I had heard that scripture for almost the four years I stayed in college. It even always came up in one of my courses. “I know He has good plans for me, but what are the good plans itself?”
Then I remembered a film I watched, where someone asked who God was. The man answering him, asked if he had ever prayed. He affirmed. Then he said, (paraphrased) “Whenever you pray, God’s the guy that ignores you!” But I was quick to yank that thought off though.
I kept doing the asking and I was getting somewhere: take a big guess? A BRICK WALL!
I didn’t know Jehovah was trying me out. I didn’t know He was refining me as silver and trying to remove the dross from me. I expected to hear a deep voice and a cry of trumpets from Heaven after fasting for seven days and praying for some time in the Holy Spirit. True, when you do these sometimes, they earn you results in the supernatural. But Jehovah had something different for me. Opportunities came: I went for some aptitude tests and they ‘refused’ to call me back (that was what I thought; I didn’t think I didn’t do well), some got me to interview stage and I went late and as such bounced me back, some I applied for and got no invitation for even a test; the list was endless.
When I kept praying and praying and I saw no real results that would satisfy me, I began to take a back. I started thinking. I so much thought, and thought that it burst into a poem I wrote as a lamentation. I was really bothered. I then decided to be calm. Or let me put it this way: God helped me out to be calm. I read a book, ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ by Rick Warren, and in it he was talking about communication with God. He said we didn’t need to ‘hear’ from God to feel He was there. He said that sometimes, it would seem, as we praised God or talked to Him, that He wasn’t there, like we were talking to no one in the dark. He said there was a time when it seemed we were distant. He encouraged me not to give up, or start doubting my eligibility to serve Him. He said it wasn’t a time to start guessing the wrong things I must have done. My Heavenly Father spoke through Pastor Warren that I shouldn’t feel inadequate. It wasn’t a time for being sorry. Instead, he said I should keep on in the seeming silence. That silence, strengthened my faith such that I didn’t need to be ‘spiritually moved’ before I knew God was around me. Hebrews 11:6 says that those who want to come to God must believe that HE IS, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. And of course, He did reward me. I knew more about faith, walk with Him, Christianity and life. I knew that the main reason for Jesus’ coming was to primarily give life (taking our sins or dying for them was a means to that end of life-giving).
With these, I knew better. That even if I asked for anything in His Name, I should believe I have received it, and it would be mine (Luke 11:24). Jehovah may not roar from Heaven for me to hear, or may not speak to me in a ‘still small voice’ like He did once, but Jehovah my Father has asked me to tell you too, as His son or daughter, that you should believe.
‘Believe’ does not mean to merely hear and swallow it hook, line and sinker, and then fold your arms because He is the Most High and powerful God. Yes it surely involves that, but extremely much more. ‘Believe’ here means doing your bit to ensuring that you play your part in fulfilling God’s destiny over your life. It is why the famous song never wears out: ‘Read your Bible, pray everyday!’ That is the reality! You need to always read your Bible to know God’s Word. What does God say to you concerning a situation? It’s in the Holy Bible! When Jehovah is silent, what does it mean? Learn to worship God even when it doesn’t seem He’s listening. Do it even when the song is not interesting. I must admit that there are some songs or people who sing that have the tendency for you not to feel God’s presence. Just keep moving. Don’t focus on that. It’s a distraction. Keep on. Loving Jehovah and worshipping Him is not dependent on the situation. If it is a ‘silent’ time when He seems to be quiet, take that as an opportunity to worship God ‘in the storm’. Yes, take that as times when you worship God as you’re not getting anything in return. It shows Him how much you love Him and how committed you are to Him. Bishop David Oyedepo once said, “God will never be more committed to you than you are to Him.” For each level of the supernatural in which you operate with God, He opens up a new level of intimacy and spiritual reality (eternity) with Him. Jehovah will always relate with you on the level with which you know Him. So, why don’t you take it higher? Your commitment, that is. Know Jehovah to the extent to which you would love Him to know you. And with time, you wouldn’t see God as being ‘silent’ anymore. How? Why? Because you have grown past that level of doubting. You no longer drink spiritual milk, you now eat spiritual meat!
Take your spirituality to another level. And let God meet you on that level. That is faith. Faith is doing your part to move God. The more levels of spiritual highs that you climb, you will always see Jehovah on a whole new plane of greatness. Take away the lid on your limits to knowing Jehovah. Raise your expectations and the Heavenly Father will never let you down. You came up by faith and He will sustain you.
Image courtesy flickriver.com