The silences of God are the devil’s playing field.
Today I am face to face with a painful silence from God over an issue I have been struggling against for over 20 years. On top of that, there is the accusation of betrayal by someone I trusted. Why didn’t God give me a heads up before I got entangled with him? It is not a happy day.
God could intervene. He didn’t.
It is hardly an original problem.
The Israelites had to wrap their minds around a God who clearly could and simply wouldn’t. He showed His power in all sorts of ways, crushing the Egyptians. With all that display of power, He simply refused to do anything about the crushing brickyard dynamic nor did He speed up their exit from Egypt to accommodate their pain.
Clearly He could have addressed either of those issues. And just as clearly He did not. And more to the point, even though Moses had some pretty impressive access to God, God declined to explain Himself on either of those issues.
The silences of God.
In that place the devil studies our theology and depending on our worldview, comes at us with one of two standardized accusations. On one side is an attack on our worth. We are assured that because we don’t measure up to God’s will, He is doing this to us. We are simply not worthy of God’s intervention.
On the other hand is an attack on God’s worth. He still uses the same suggestion he made to Eve that God is not deeply vested in your well being. He has things to do and tosses some crumbs your way occasionally, but in essence, He is not a go-to source for life and goodness.
The silences of God are the devil’s playing field.
God is fully aware of this. The capacity of His followers to adhere to a single command without deviating from it or second guessing it over long periods of time is a source of vast pleasure to Him and honor for Him.
He is also fully aware that this is the exception, not the norm. So, The Almighty spends vast amounts of time playing brinkmanship with our sorry little souls. He refuses to stoop to the level of answering each of our whiny demands for perspective or intervention. He stretches the silences far beyond anything we ever thought we could – or should have to – endure.
Then, when we are beyond frayed, getting close to being shattered, He plays His restoration card which is some grand intervention.
For the Hebrews, it was the death of every single Egyptian soldier and officer. The Hebrews watched their bodies wash up at the edge of the Red Sea while they stood in uncontested freedom on the safe side of the Sea.
“When the Israelites saw the great power the LORD displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.” Exodus 14:31 NIV
Such an irony. Fear breeding trust. Yet that is what God does.
In the face of long silence, He suddenly does something so huge it produces reverent fear in His people. And once we have personally experienced the fact that God can and does intervene, the spirit of distrust is pushed away for a brief season.
Until God becomes silent again.
God well knows that His silences are the devil’s playing field. That is why He commands us to remember, remember, remember. If we are not relentless in remembering His faithfulness, the devil will be relentless in reminding us of all the times we wanted Him to intervene and He was silent, distant, detached.
The non-silence from the enemy about the painful silences of God is a wicked virus that will worm its way into the core of our faith.
I don’t know why God’s silence on my big pain point hurts so deeply today. It is an old issue. I have asked about it many times. He has ignored my question every time. I have tried all the tools in my tool box and none of them has broken through.
Most of the time, I just focus on moving the ball and blocking the pain. Today, blocking is not working. So, I grudgingly turn my soul toward the possible reasons for the silence of God.
-Sometimes it is simply a matter of time. God noted with satisfaction that He had executed His master plan with utmost precision. The Israelites left Egypt 430 years to the day from when they came in. That mattered to God. Did anyone figure that out ahead of time? I doubt it. Is there a special date for my big breakthrough that God is waiting for? Could be. He has not told me yet. And I sure have not figured it out if there is.
-Sometimes it is a matter of purity. But we have looked under so many rocks in the last 20 years, and I have gone to so many ministry teams and prophets that my repenter had to go in for service. It was out of warranty because of excessive harsh usage. Could there be a whopping big blind spot that is holding me hostage? Sure. Of course. Considering the mess I came from, that is certainly possible. All I can say is that I have given God every opportunity I know how to tell me nicely or harshly if there is an offense between us, and He has been silent.
-Sometimes it is just a matter of fighting harder. And longer. And smarter.
For me is it #1, #2 or #3? Who knows. For now, even if it is #1, doing #3 is the smart move.
So I will war some more. Harder.
I have asked a prayer partner to join me daily for remembering the faithfulness of God, to share in Holy Communion as we vehemently celebrate His faithfulness, and then for warfare against the enemy of God’s reputation and of my peace.
Today’s audio clip is my personal rage against the accuser of my God.
Copyright December 2015 by Arthur Burk
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