In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Silence of God isn't always Bad

"I feel strongly both ways" could be my life statement.

It seems that I'm constantly seeing the need for balance, continually seeing the wisdom on both sides of many issues. I'm constantly noticing that things are rarely ever extremely cut and dried, black and white.

Because of this very thing I decided to check a book entitled God Talk, Cautions for those who hear God's voice by Ruth A. Tucker out from the library. If you know me at all you know that I believe that God does talk to His people. I wrote that whole thing back in March about Why would someone think God doesn't talk to us today . I know that God does talk to us.

Yet...

Sometimes I'm really uncomfortable with some of what some Christians say God told them.

Just like you, I've seen some who claim to be Christians use the old "God says" to manipulate others. Or what about when people say that God told them things that seem wrong to me? The classic example that many of us have heard, or perhaps even experienced ourselves, is the young man telling a young woman that "God told him they are to wed" only the young woman has received no such revelation.

A kind of similar phenomenon is the whole "answered prayer" thing. I tend to be uncomfortable when someone who lives where I do, southern California, tells me that they prayed for it not to rain and bless God, He answered their prayer. But what about that fact that we need rain and most likely many southern Californians are praying for rain? Or worse yet, the person who jubilantly tells you that they prayed their team would win, and God answered their prayers by making them win. I always find myself wondering if anyone on the opposing team was praying that they'd win?

Another thing, I'm not sure exactly how to say this, but I find it quite odd/interesting how the God many people say they hear speak, seems to espouse the exact same opinions as their own. Sometimes the interactive personalized spirituality that I see among many Christians, seems to fail to recognize our human bent toward subjectivity and self-absorption.

So yes I know God speaks, but I also know God is silent.

It's the silent part that caused me to pick up Tucker's book. She makes a statement in her introduction that captivated my interest:

"Much has been written on the silence of God, but most often with a sigh of resignation - as though the silence is something that we endure. Here I maintain that silence is better than speaking if for no other reason than the fact that silence is far less open to misinterpretation and disagreement than is the spoken word. When God is silent, no one can claim to be God's spokesperson and interpret for God. We too must be silent, and that's not all bad."

As I'm reading this book it's apparent that Tucker is a Dispensationalist. Specifically, she seems to believe in that part of dispensation theology that thinks God works in specific ways only during specific times. So she would, and actually does, say

"the talkative God of today is a second-rate version of the tirnitarian God, who as the Father spoke in times past, who as the Son incarnate lived among us, and who as Spirit inspired and illumines the Scriptures, the silent Word of God"

Seems to me she thinks the only way God speaks to us today is by the Holy Spirit illuminating God's written Word, the Holy Scriptures.

While I can't exactly agree with that, I think she makes some very interesting points. And I would sincerely be very interested in hearing your thoughts on what she has to say. Specifically, do you think that the "talkative" God of today is a second rate version of God? Why or why not? Do you think that we're better off silent sometimes?

4 comments:

photogr said...

Quite interesting thoughts.

I would have to think that God is a very busy God in todays time. He might well delegate some of His talk through others. Per scriptures, I have read of a few instances that His angels came to people in the bible and conveyed the messages from God. That could very well be happening even today.

I do believe that the Holy Spirit is the intecessor for God in our prayers and it may well be the same in Him communicating with us.

One thing we have to be aware of and Jesus warned us in the comming times about false prophets deceivers and the anti christ that they will deceive many ( even the most faithful believers).

Perhaps when one says God told me this or that and it sounds really off the wall, then they are possibly being deceived.

I don't think God is silent or talkative per say. He talks directly when a point has to be made. I think our problem is we think He has to say something even when we pray for foolish request or do foolish things.

We are not better off being silent as far as giving thanks and praise to God, Just lay of the give me more riches ( money) and I want a better home/ car kind of request.

It is rather difficult to comprehend what God does do for us in our lives but in many cases we might be aware of His miracles and grace.

All we can do is put our faith and trust in Him and allow Him to work with in us in order to lead a better life in service to others less fortunate.

Victor S E Moubarak said...

Hi Tracy,

Sorry to bother you. Is something wrong with Blogger today?

I left a comment here earlier on, and another comment on another Blogger blog. They both appeared in the comment box ... and both have now vanished. Thanx.

God bless.

David-FireAndGrace said...

Well, I believe that one should hear the voice of God. The more intimate and passionate we are with God, the more we will hear his voice.

After 35 years in the business of being a child of God, I know that God speaks in many ways, I wrote about them here:

http://fireandgrace.blogspot.com/2009/02/rhema-hearing-god-right-now.html

I also know that sometimes we are in a desert season, and we don't hear a lot from God. I wrote about that here:

http://fireandgrace.blogspot.com/2010/06/waiting-for-rain-acting-on-promise.html

Silence can happen when we aren't listening, and also when God is allowing us to act on things we have already learned.

The norm for Christians is to hear from God as often as we need to hear from God. If we are going no where, then we don't need directions, do we?

David-FireAndGrace said...

Right, and about praying for games and political elections, God only has one will. How can ask for something that He does not want us to have?

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