When God Speaks with Silence

When God Speaks with Silence

God’s faithfulness speaks loudest in the silence
Don’t mistake quietness for a lack of guidance
He brought you here without saying a word
Don’t mourn because it’s not what you preferred
God doesn’t have to give you an explanation
Just trust that He’s leading you to your destination
Even in the silence, His hand still remains true
Just as He promised, He will be faithful to you

          A few weeks ago, I began to write poetry with fewer words. When God Speaks with Silence was my first attempt at this. Like all my poems, there is one obvious meaning and there is one hidden meaning. If you reflect on what I write, you may be able to interpret the second meaning. For example, the obvious purpose behind this poem is to remind us that God often speaks with silence. Too often, we believe that His silence is a sign of ignoring our prayer or our cry for help. This is never the case. John Piper famously said that God is always doing 10,000 things in your life and you may be aware of about 3 of them. At every moment of your existence and even before you were even dreamt of by your parents, God was working on your behalf. Each breath you take, and every heartbeat is a sign that God is actively working in your life. When I say God speaks with silence, this is just one way I am referring to. Think of the events of today. God provided you with at least two meals so far, perhaps even three, with more to come, Lord willing. You have a roof over your head right now, access to technology that allows you to read these words from anywhere in the world, and more than likely a job that allowed you to purchase these things. All these things were given to you purely by grace and He did that without saying a word. He just provided because He is good. I certainly know  that I am the sinner of sinners and I do not deserve anything He gave me. Despite that, I still woke up this morning because He chose to wake me up this morning. And you know what? You woke up this morning too. None of us deserved to wake up today. Life today was not promised, and if we are honest with ourselves, He should have killed us yesterday. He would have been just in doing so too. Never forsake or overlook the “lesser things,” but oh how often we make this mistake. Even if today turned out to be the worst day of your life, you still made it through, right? After all, you found yourself on this blog reading what God wanted you to read. You are still alive; therefore He is still working on your behalf!

 

The second meaning, which you may have been able to interpret, is this: be patient while God works. Just as God does not owe you an explanation for the events of your life, He does not owe you a swift response to your prayer (or even a yes for that matter). His display of faithfulness may take time to reach its perfect result. Will you be patient and wait on Him while He is working on your behalf? During my brief life on this earth, I have seen that God often has us wait on many things because He wants us to appreciate what we are asking for in the time we finally receive it, that is, if we receive it at all. Nevertheless, waiting should be expected of Christians. This is a part of our daily walk with Christ. Matthew Henry stated that “those who look for great things from God must be content to wait for them; God’s time is the best time.”

And what are Christians around the world all waiting for? We are waiting for Christ’s glorious return to earth! Come soon, Lord Jesus!  Ponder these verses on waiting on God:

Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.            -Psalm 27:14

I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. -Psalm 40:1-2

I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, And in His word do I hope. My soul waits for the Lord. More than the watchmen for the morning; Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning. -Psalm 130:5-6

God is going to be faithful to you, even if what you are waiting for does not transpire in the way you expected. In fact, more often than not, God’s faithfulness exceeds what you were even asking for in the first place. But even if it does not, if God answers your prayer and breaks your heart in the process, will you still trust Him? There is not a single molecule in this universe that so much as moves without God’s authorization. That is what sovereignty looks like. The same God who authorizes the movement of every single molecule and particle in this vast universe that exceeds human comprehension is working at this very moment on your behalf. If you do not believe me, remember that next time you take a breath. You will have to wait on God even when He is speaking with silence. This was the whole point of my poem. We live in a culture that demands answers loud and quick. As a result of this, we have come to expect God to answer us in this same fashion. When He does not, we lose faith and blame Him for everything. Instead of complaining, ask God to sustain you while you wait. Ask God to grow you while you wait. Ask God for patience and endurance. Just as Christ did in the garden, pray that His will and not yours be done. Pray that God brings things to pass in His perfect timing, not your own.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

-Philippians 4:6-7

God made many of His people wait for many different things. Noah waited. Abraham waited. Isaac waited. Jacob waited. Joseph waited. The Israelites waited. And we have just approached the end of Genesis and I do not even think I covered everyone who had to wait. Waiting on God tests our faith in God. Waiting on God requires supernatural patience and endurance. He who is making you wait will give you the strength and the patience to wait. Trust His heart. This is all working for your good. Even if it hurts right now, God is still with you and He is still carrying you. God is still leading you and God is still being faithful to you…even in the silence.

The Desert

It represents what we do not know and what we do not see

A calling so difficult to follow, even hearing who gave the decree

Out of the comfort zone where we rest in peace

Into the barren wilderness, so that our faith may increase

When we are called into the desert

We are not promised that the steps will not hurt

 

Here, we often grow weary with unquenchable thirst

So that when we find ourselves at our worst

We realize our total dependence upon Christ

The One for whom the Father sacrificed

In order that we may be made right with the Lord

Giving us something to keep our eyes fixed toward

 

Our sight often be so narrow and dim, we care not to even glance

While He knows full well of His intention for this circumstance

He simply calls us to trust Him further than He can be seen

Never out of spite or in an attempt to demean

This call is for our own benefit and maturation

Ultimately helping us reach our final destination

 

In the desert, never cease your lips from praise

For while you did not know if He would meet you there

Every step you took, He was there with you always

And while it did so seem that this task you could not bear

It was He that have you the strength to keep going

Even the wasteland could not stop you from growing

 

Which is precisely why He called you here in the first place

Even though it has been hard, you were given abundant grace

Not only to make it in the desert, but to come out

With faith that will carry you for when you doubt

And when those times come, remember God in the wild

Who took you where your faith could grow, bringing you back reconciled

 

The desert is not always the worst place to find yourself

God may call you here to show you more of Himself

Where you depend on Him like never before

And even though you may not know what He has in store

Not only will He meet you where He calls you

You can be assured that He will carry you all the way through

A Christ-less Eternity

The fire that cannot be quenched

Your soul eternally entrenched

Weeping and gnashing of teeth

Down into the abyss beneath

Into the fiery lake of burning sulfur

This is the punishment for following a worldly culture

That chose to curse and deny Christ, the Savior

When you stand before Him, you will have no excuse for your behavior

Your choice to pursue worldly lust

Renders a judgement from the King who is just

Sentenced to a Christ-less eternity

Cast down into the pit forcefully

Where the appetite of the worm never ceases

As it rips your flesh into pieces

Even at the same time your flesh is aflame

Everlasting destruction and disdain

Torment day and night, forevermore

Because of the sin you did not repent for

The smoke of torment rising forever and ever

No relief shall come to those there, none whatsoever

There is no escape from the fire

At no point will this divine wrath and justice ever expire

Resulting from a lifestyle of perversity

This is your future; a Christ-less eternity

Even though the path you walk be deep and wide

It be not too late to set aside

The sinful life to which you were born enslaved

From your nature, from conception depraved

So close the burning sulfur smell

Gives you a taste of the realities of hell

And though you hear the gates of hell shake

You feel the ground beneath you quake

Seeing the flame from the fiery lake

The chains that hold you, Christ and only Christ can break

Even on the highway to hell

With the sound of the echoing death knell

Nothing can stop the hand of Christ from reaching to the fallen

To those who feel like they are forgotten

Pulling you out of the path that leads to torment

He can change your heart to repent

A plea to save from destruction

Recognizing your internal corruption

That separated you from He that created

But His blood so powerful, your sentence vacated

Blood that covers the debt to God that you owed

Oh, precious was it that flowed

What is dead can be made whiter than snow

But a transformation you must undergo

Starts with understanding the reality

Of your own mortality

And the future that you are sprinting toward

An eternity separated from the Holy Lord

The Good News simply put is that The Son came to die

It was He they did scourge and crucify

Nailing him to a tree

For all of Jerusalem to see

He who knew no sin became sin for our sake

The curse of sin He did break

He gave His life and took His people’s place

Where we should have been, but by His grace

The wrath of God completely satisfied

And when He took His last breath and died

The last of which He aloud cried

To His father to give up His Spirit

For your soul, in order to secure it

And on the third day, He walked out of the grave

Death could not make Him a slave

He conquered death and Hades and emerged with their key

Setting you free from a Christ-less eternity

Repent of the sin which leads you astray

From eternal life and the only Way

Call upon Christ, the Name above all names

Only through His Name can you be saved from eternal flames

Beautiful Diversity

Around 5 months ago, the Lord Jesus brought me to Dallas, Texas, and changed my life forever. At no point in my life have I ever seen God move the way He has since I moved here. While I am certainly not the man I ought to be, I thank Him every day that I am not who I used to be. Whether or not I was genuinely saved before is irrelevant because I no longer dwell on that. I know now where I am in Christ, who I am in Christ, and what I am in Christ. He was so gracious in blessing me with Heritage Grace Community Church and the wonderful brothers and sisters there. Once again, I have found myself in a church where I can grow and experience true fellowship with the body. It reminds me a lot of my church back in Shreveport. A welcoming group of brothers and sisters led by elders who truly love Christ and seek to serve Him every day. I am grateful to be close to home and I definitely miss my family, brothers and sisters, and church there. The good thing about being just a few hours down the road is that I can go home and spend the weekend anytime. And anyone from home can come here and spend the weekend with me. This is such a tremendous blessing and I am so grateful to the Lord for it.

For many years, I always wanted to serve the Lord in some capacity, and He provided me a way to do that with my job. I have the distinct honor and privilege to serve those who serve Christ. I absolutely adore my job, which involves me serving pastors and their wives, ministers of the Gospel, missionaries, nurses, doctors, and countless other professions with people who are serving the Lord on the front lines in some capacity. I look forward to going into work every morning and serving. I have spoken with brothers and sisters from all over the world, on every continent except Antarctica. The people I have the joy of working with are some of the most incredible people I have ever met. They come from all walks of life, but they all have the desire to serve. One of my favorite things about my workplace is the fact that we pray for each other. We pray before meetings, share prayer requests with each other, and discuss Scripture during breaks. I would have never thought a job like this could possibly be real, but here I am, by God’s grace.

The city life has been a difficult but rewarding adjustment. Back home in Shreveport, you can get anywhere in virtually 20 minutes or less. Here in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area, it can take you one hour to get through the city limits of Dallas. For miles and miles and miles, there is highway after highway after highway with thousands of restaurants to choose from. Professional football, hockey, baseball, basketball, soccer, and even lacrosse are within a few miles from where I live. The possibilities here are truly endless. For a time, I thought it would overwhelm me, but again, the Lord helped me adjust to the city very well and I am enjoying my life here. Whatever God has me here for and however long He has me here for, I am looking forward to seeing Him continue to walk with me every step of the way.

One of my favorite things about this city is the diversity. There are millions of people who come from different cultures, nations, languages, creeds, nationalities, you name it. I enjoy grocery shopping because I often run into people from other nations who are speaking a language I am unable to understand, but I certainly enjoy seeing these families here in the United States. Whether they were born here or not, I am encouraged to see so much diversity. Just tonight at Walmart, I probably heard 4-5 languages spoken during my walks up and down the aisles. I also notice during my trips to Walmart that most of the workers are minority as well. I will never forget the first time I came to Walmart after moving here. An Indian man, about 50 years old, was ringing up my items and he and I had a great conversation. He was happy and that happiness gleamed off his face. On my way out, an Arab lady wished me a great evening and I went on my way home.

“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!””

-Revelation 7:9-10

Heritage Grace is also a diverse church. Our body is full of brothers and sisters from many backgrounds and cultures! Being in such a diverse city and a diverse church is a foretaste of what we can expect in heaven! I rejoice in this too! One of the most beautiful aspects of God’s creation is seen through the human beings that were made in His image. There are many shades of skin color, thousands of languages and customs, and millions of various traditions based upon where you are in a particular country. This sort of thing truly brings me an abundance of joy. I have never cared where you came from, only where you are going. We all came from the dirt and our bodies shall return to the dirt, but our souls will either spend eternity with Christ or experience a Christ-less eternity in the torments of hellfire and brimstone.

Unfortunately, the church has many members who hate their brothers and sisters, and even people in general based upon their skin color or even their heritage. I hesitate to even call these individuals Christians. How dare you discriminate or despise someone solely based upon the color of their skin, especially when they are members of the body! What is wrong with you? Heaven is going to be FULL of people from every tribe, tongue, nation, peoples and languages. Ask yourself, how are you going to react to this? You would be in misery! And that is assuming you are there to begin with. Here is what the Lord says:

“We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.”

-1 John 4:19-21

This is not meant to condemn anyone. What I am encouraging is for all of us, myself included, to examine ourselves. I believe the key to overcoming racism, prejudice, bigotry, etc., is not through social justice, but through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The mainstream social justice movement lacks Christ. It is seeking to resolve and remove something resulting from sin without the Savior. Only the blood of Jesus can remove the crimson stain of sin. We can cover the sin up all we want, and we can mask the stench it leaves behind, but the problem is the sin is still there. We will not make the progress we desire if we continue to leave the cross out of the picture. I do not expect the world to usher in Christ and proclaim His Gospel to those who are being impacted by racism or prejudice. Brothers and sisters, this is our duty as followers of Christ. We are to love all people and the best way to do that is to share the Gospel with them.

Embrace the diversity around you because it is a blessing. I see freedom when I see diversity. It truly is a beautiful thing. I enjoy seeing interracial marriages too, or marriages between a man and a woman who come from completely different cultures. These weddings are the best! If you have never been to a wedding with a bride and groom from two different cultures, please do whatever you can to attend one because it will be a very fun night!

Spending eternity with Christ and seeing Him face to face is already a wonderful thought and I genuinely long for that day when I see His face. I also long for that day because racism and this nonsensical hatred of each other because of skin color or nationality is going to be erased and annihilated. We will live in perfect harmony with our brothers and sisters for eternity and we will serve Christ together. I will have the honor of meeting my brothers and sisters who gave their lives for the Gospel in the African safari and in the Amazonian jungle. Regardless of their skin color, they are my brothers and my sisters. Even though I am the only biological child of my parents, I have so many brothers and sisters that their number cannot be counted. I see every single one of them as if we were related by blood because the reality is, we are blood brothers and sisters. We were purchased with the same blood by the same King, and we do not belong to anyone else but Him.

However long the Lord has me here, whether 5 years or 50 years, I am looking forward to what He will do here. I do not know what my future holds, but I certainly do know who holds my future in His hands and I am perfectly content with Him directing my steps and leading me down whatever path He so chooses for me. I do not live in fear of my future any more, there is simply no need. That anxiety did not add an hour to my life and caused more tears than it should have, but it taught me something that I will carry forever and ever: no matter what, trust Christ. He has absolute supremacy over my life and your life and everything in it. This is the reason I can sleep well at night. I know that nothing that comes into my life entered without God’s authorization. And whatever comes to me He will prepare me for and give me the strength to endure. Even if He chose to end my life right now, do not cry for me. He has the right to do that and frankly, He should have killed me yesterday. Every breath I take is a breath I do not deserve. Either way, I sleep well knowing I am in the hands of a sovereign God who saved a wretch like me. Christ has absolute and total supremacy over my life and everything in it and I rejoice knowing that one day I will see Him face to face and I will be with my brothers and sisters enjoying Him forever and ever.

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.”

-Isaiah 26:3-4

“For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and

his faithfulness to all generations.”

-Psalm 100:5

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make

straight your paths.”

-Proverbs 3:5-6