I have many friends, but the ones I’m closest to are the ones who don’t hold back and shoot me straight. (That’s why I love Elan Gale — who’s laying on the floor in the above photo. There’s nothing he won’t say or do. Plus, he keeps me entertained with his antics.)
In fact, my friends who talk to me honestly and directly are really the only true friends I have. Those who care about me the most won’t BS me or tell me the things they think I want to hear, no, they’re direct and tell me the things I need to hear.
Have you ever been talking with someone and you feel like they just aren’t interested? They don’t respond? The conversation is one-sided?
Some of you — I know — have thought that about God. You are going through something that feels overwhelming and you don’t feel like God is saying anything to you, even though you’ve asked Him to help.
You cry out to Him and are hurt when you’re met with nothing but silence.
He IS speaking to you.
After studying the Bible extensively, there’s one thing I’ve come to learn- God speaks to us everyday, anytime.
I saw a church sign the other day that read, “I sent you a text. Read it. Love, God.”
As cheesy as that sign is, it does point to an essential truth. Ed Welch writes about this:
There is no divine conspiracy of silence.
He speaks through Moses and the prophets. During his own perilous walk through the wilderness, Jesus received many words from the Father.
Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. (Matt. 4:4)
You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve. (Matt. 4:10)
Jesus “heard” well-known, public-domain Scripture, and it sustained him. These were the Father’s words, given to Moses and the prophets. The Father spoke to Jesus through Scripture and this is also how he speaks to us.
Might we protest, “but we were looking for something more direct”? If we do, Abraham himself responds to us. “If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead” (Luke 16:31). In other words, while we accuse God of silence, we are only fooling ourselves. If the Father appeared and spoke with us face to face, his words would have no more weight in our hearts than the ones he has already spoken. If we find his words in Scripture to fall short, we would also find his personal visitation unsatisfactory.
He speaks through Jesus. And Abraham is correct. If we miss God’s speech in Moses and the prophets, we will miss it in Jesus, even though everything he received from the Father—all the words he heard, all the comfort he received in his suffering—the Son has given to us. All of it.[Jesus said] No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. (John 15:15, also Heb.1:1-2)
Silence is how someone treats a slave, and we are not God’s slaves. We are his children. Even more, we are his friends, and friends get the inside story.
Isn’t that great? The “inside story?” That’s what the Bible is. It’s not a list of rules, it’s God’s love letter to us. If you don’t normally read the Bible, get one. If you’re going through a hard time, get one. If you are feeling lonely, get one.
If everything is absolutely wonderful, but you feel something is missing, get one.
Open it up to the book of John, and enjoy the deep secrets of God.