January 31                                         Day 31

How Then Shall We Live?

Devotions on Living a Deeper Christian Life

“Hold thy peace, and I shall teach thee wisdom.” – Job 33:33

When God is Silent in Your Life

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In the book of Genesis, there is an interesting lesson in the life of Abraham that the casual reader may miss. Abraham assumed that he was walking in the center of God’s will for his life, but by taking matters into his own hands, he learned one of the most difficult lessons a child of God can learn.

Abraham was eighty-six years old at the conception of Ishmael, the child of his handmaid and the result of his flesh. The Bible mentions that God didn’t speak again to Abraham for the next 13 years! (Genesis 17:11) Can you imagine not hearing from God for thirteen long years? How many of us give up hope when we don’t hear from God in an hour, day, week or a month?

God was teaching Abraham an important lesson that He wants us all to learn in this life; when a child of God takes things into his or her own hands and attempts to manipulate people, relationships, or circumstances, God will allow us to do it. He may not even say a word at the time, and in Abraham’s case, He may remain silent for 13 years.

This story illustrates that God’s grace is greater than our foolishness and He is able to clean up the messes we make. If you have learned the lesson God has been trying to teach you through delays and detours, you will be more than ready to listen to him the next time He speaks to you. That’s what happened in Abraham’s life, and the next word he received from God was the promise that within a year their long awaited son Isaac would be born.

Delay is not denial in God’s timing. Just because you don’t feel that God is answering your prayer (the way you want him to), doesn’t mean that he is ignoring you, or even that he is necessarily saying “No.” God knows what is best for you in a given season of your life. Often times he asks us to wait for His perfect timing. Sometimes the way that seems most desirable to us, may end in disaster if we don’t allow God to guide us though. Walking in this type of faith is often difficult, because we long to know what God is leading us to do in a given circumstance.

Imagine for a minute in retrospect, if God said “yes” to all of our prayers. Think of who you might be married to or what career change you might have made. Wisdom comes from walking in the ways of His Spirit and listening to God’s perfect leading.

Abraham was given the promise of descendants as numerous as the stars, yet God delayed this event and asked him to wait in faith. The result was a son born of his flesh, or a man-made problem, that Abraham had to deal with the rest of his life. How many things will be born in our flesh that we will have to deal with for the rest of our lives until we yield to God’s wisdom? If today God is silent in your life, wait, be still, for tomorrow He may speak to you and lead you in the way that you should go.

 


Words to Think About…

<>—I SOUGHT GOD—<>

In the late 1950s, twenty-three year old Armando Valladares was thrown into a Cuban prison, where he remained for 22 years. Executions were staged each night during his first year in prison. Later, he endured some of the most vile and sadistic tortures imaginable. In his memoirs, Against All Hope, Valladares wrote,

I sought God…. I never asked Him to get me out of there…. I only prayed for Him to accompany me.”

<>—WORRIED ABOUT THE FUTURE?—<>

Don’t worry about the future–worry quenches the work of grace within you. The future belongs to God. He is in charge of all things. Never second-guess him.” – Francois Fenelon 17th-century French Bishop