When God Drops The Silent Treatment, Or Share Your Story Day

I just haven’t had it lately. I’ve tried to write posts but nothing was coming. So I’ve decided if I have nothing to say then keep my mouth shut! So the point of this post is to hear from you. 

A few years ago my best friend and I were driving around after he just had a really tough day. One of those days when nothing was working out – in fact just the opposite – everything seemed to be disintegrating. As we drove I began to pray for God to show up visibly in his life and love my friend.

This may make me sound like a bad Christian but I can’t say I’ve heard God all that much. Maybe 2 or 3 times I am fairly certain. But this time I very distinctly heard God speak back to me. And this may cause you to doubt that it truly was the voice of God, but he was a bit sarcastic…

“Yeah Charlie, that’s why you are in the car next to him.”

The prayer ended after that, save for my reply of “… oh.”

A rule of thumb could be “if you’re praying for it, then it’s probably because you don’t want to do it.” We often pray for God to do things we are capable of doing. I learned not to pray for people to feel God’s presence or really be moved by him – that’s precisely why we are here. God doesn’t have to have  a church – a body here on the earth – he’s plenty powerful and he certainly knows he’s far more efficient. God does not just rely on welling up love in their spirits – he has us here to be his flesh and blood, to love visibly. So that when someone is loved it is by a face with a name. So it sinks deep.

So that’s one of the few times I’ve heard from God. Do you have one? Please, share. To me, the power of a church is that on the days when God doesn’t feel as real we get to hear someone one’s stunning encounter with him. What is one time you are quite certain you heard from God? How did God speak? What was the context? What did he say? (How deep were you into coffee that day?)

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22 Responses to When God Drops The Silent Treatment, Or Share Your Story Day

  1. David says:

    Wow! Great topic, and one of my favorites. I think I would have given up on God many years ago except that I heard his voice the first time… and the second… and the third. Here’s two quick stories.

    I had been asked to do a talk on study for a men’s retreat. I really loved God and had experienced physical healing by that time. As a pretty bright guy [reference needed] I decided that I could teach. So I wrote a 45 minute talk. In the preview meetings, the leadership didn’t like it. I struggled with them, and with it and I thought I would quit. Finally after months of preparation, rewrites, edits, and hurt feelings, I did my talk for about 60 guys. At the end of it, it seemed as if God himself took over – I went off script – way off and gave a testimony about me and Jesus. I’ll just say it was a joyful success.

    When I was done, He spoke to me and called me to ministry. I had no idea what that meant, but I knew it was God. That was in 1983.

    If you read my blog, there are lots of stories about the Lord speaking to me in many different situations, here is the latest one.

    As you know I have been down due to a heart attack. I went from running 3 or 4 miles a few times a week to nearly dead. 2 weeks ago, I was in a lot of pain, had a newly discovered lump, received my last pay check from work, and one of my closest friends from ministry school lay in ICU 3,000 miles away. I was praying at 4:30 in the morning for her, for my own situation, and a couple of others that need some help for the Most High (including you). Then there was his voice amidst my petitions for health, finances, and life. “David, this is a Job (Bible character) season and I am allowing these things to happen.”

    “Ummm, OK, God, what shall I do to endure this time season?”

    “Just thank me for each thing that goes wrong, and I will redeem it all in the end.”

    I fell back to sleep.

    I am thanking him that I am out of work for another month – for the side-effects to the medication, for the delayed disability checks and all that goes with it – and the fact that someone backed into my car at the gas station.

    I continue to have peace, because I know that it will all be redeemed in the end. God speaks, and He keeps his promises. Romans 8:28

    Keep your chin up partner, He loves you in spite of your circumstances!

    • I knew going in David that you would be gitty about this one!

      well David I can honestly say I have no advice for you in a Job kind of season – I’ll just say I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it as you walk through it. And maybe you can reference the stories you do have when the going gets tough.

  2. I am going to be a heretic here Charlie. As far as I know, I have never heard the voice of God. I am not sure I can even say I have the “impressions” that some claim to have. I can remember one time I was heading home and felt I should go visit a woman named Mary who had cancer. The next day was my normal day to visit. i got word the next morning that she had lapsed into a coma. Maybe that was the voice of God…I don’t know. I’m not even sure I know where to go from here on this comment. 🙂

  3. JamesBrett says:

    i often, while praying, hear words from God. usually it’s a single word — and a whole lot of the time it’s a word i’m supposed to tell someone else.

    it’s been amazing on many of those occasions hearing from that individual why that word was important or to what it applied (about which i never could have known).

  4. Jason says:

    I hate to say this because someone’s going to Jesus Juke me for it but usually when I hear God he’s yelling at me about something I did wrong.

  5. Our youngest son died 7 years ago at the age of 24. One day soon after his funeral his dad and I were standing at his grave. I asked him if thought that when asked God to tell Mike that I love him, that’s a prayer that gets answered. He replied that he thought that was automatic. The next day I was journaling my prayers, I asked God to tell Mike that I love him. I looked up from my writing, and the vcr was flashing “auto”. (As in “automatic.”) As soon as I got the significance, I looked back down at my journal to record the experience.
    When I looked up again, the vcr was flashing 8:24. Sometimes when we need extraordinary comfort, He takes extraordinary steps to give it.

  6. Larry Hehn says:

    Just a few weeks ago I heard a great sermon along the same lines.

    Don’t be surprised if you are praying, “God, I’d like for you to do something about…”, and the reply is, “Funny you should mention that…”

    Awesome post, Charlie!

  7. Larry Hughes says:

    Don’t know how to say any thing about this. I guess I do hear from God or his angels. Many times it is an action or an event. Just have to be alert to realize what just happened.

    One time I was in deep prayer and meditation in an enclosed room with no air movement. AS I said “Amen” I felt a rush of air, turned around and no evidence of any thing moving or causing any air movement but the presence of something divine filled the room.

    At a nature preserve years ago, I did have another presence experience as I was photographing a flight of geese. But in this experience I heard a voice saying “this is my creation as you are too”.

    Once in a possible cancer health crisis, I prayed for healing. I didn’t hear any voices but had this feeling of peace and an assumption that I was healed. During the surgery, that was exactly the findings. No cancer. The doctors were astonished they found none even though there was evidence of the opposite in the scans.

    I can list other recent instances incuding prayer, healing, bringing others to Christ, sensing when others are in a crisis, and being told who others are before they speak.

    Just yesterday, I had a nurse come to my office who seemed troubled even though she did not act that way. Right away I knew she had been attacked and robbed at her work place after she got off duty. I asked her what happened at work and the tears and crying began with a heart wrenching story. She asked for me to pray for her to get over this ordeal.

    Some times I guess I do hear from God or His angels.

    • yeah there’s a bunch of solid stories there. It’s easy to forget – for whatever reason. In fact I left out of this post a very real and powerful encounter with Jesus because I can’t even remember if I was awake or dreaming – this stuff fades!

  8. I have a story about when God told me and my friend to visit a fortune teller.

    Here’s the link. http://www.nicodemusatnite.com/2010/06/stella-fortuneteller.html

  9. I have never heard God’s voice per se, but there have been a handful of times I was absolutely certain God wanted me to make a particular decision. One was less than a year after our wedding. We were planning to return to Texas for me to finish college. It was month before I was supposed to start. I was enrolled, we had an apartment ready, everything. We were on a retreat for our church youth leaders, and the pastor and I talked late into the night, and around 4 in the morning I woke up my wife and we talked on the bed. It was absolutely clear we were to stay in Ohio and help get the youth ministry off the ground.

    Of course, I never finished my degree, so I sometimes wonder if it was some bad pizza talking and not God, but I still believe it was the latter.

    I love your point about praying for things we just don’t want to have to do. I think we do this when praying for wisdom sometimes – we pray that God will reveal His wisdom to us when we really just don’t want to have to make a hard decision.

    • I’ve long said that we often pray when we are taking a test, asking God to give us the answers – which is really a prayer to cheat because we didn’t study. We want him to rescue us for not doing the work – and we often want God to do the hard work, as you say.

      And I hope you don’t think I’m trivializing your story – but isn’t bad pizza an oxymoron?

  10. Sometimes I hear God’s voice through my wife. She seems to be a special gift to me from him to help me see things more clearly.

    I love your story and will try to remember it for myself.

  11. Su says:

    I can’t say that I’ve ever heard the voice of God. But I’m with you– I definitely hear him in other Christians. And sometimes I wonder if other people hear him in me (although I gotta say, that’s a scary thought).

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