I was asked why it seems there are seasons when a person can't get an answer from God. Even when they have previously had wonderful contact, revelation, insights and blessings, there are times when nothing is coming from God. It appears to be unrelated to faithfulness or activity. Why, then, does God remain silent from time to time?
There are multiple reasons why this happens. It IS unrelated to God's love for the person.
The first and most common reason I have discovered is that you are already in possession of the answer. It was given to you by God and you have it, but you don't recognize it. It would be better to stop asking for an answer and instead ask to be able to see what you have already been given.
The second reason is that you need to struggle and make your own decision first, then to petition to know if the decision is right. It is not always appropriate to defer all decisions to the Lord. You must develop the capacity to make sound decisions on your own. The Lord will, of course, ratify the correct decision and warn you about the wrong one. But you need to develop the ability to decide first. (D&C 9: 7-9.)
Another reason, and perhaps the least common, is that the Lord knows that in your struggle you will eventually reach the correct decision. He must let you proceed on your own because the process of important. Even Abraham endured this process. (Abr. 2: 21.) After he made the decision and traveled to the border, just prior to his entry into Egypt the Lord returned to him and prepared him for what he would encounter there.
There are also occasions wherein the Lord has determined to give you the answer, but you are not prepared for what is coming. Therefore, you are put through experience to develop. During this time, you are moving toward the answer that you are being prepared to receive. Once the preparation is over, the answer follows. It is possible that so much transpires between the request and the answer that you forget it was your petition to the Lord that set things in motion. Nevertheless the Lord was working to give you an answer all along.
There are occasions where the answer lies before you, and your path will intersect with the answer in the normal course. The apparent silence from the Lord is really the answer - Stay true and you will find it as you move along. These moments are what develop necessary patience. We are tempted to show ingratitude when these happen, thinking that it was our own ability which secured for us the answer, instead of the mercy of the Lord. That is a mistake.
The final reason is that you are mistaken about your worthiness or standing before God and you need to alter what you are doing. In this instance it is likely that you get an answer, but the answer is that you are in need of repentance or change. The change needs to precede an answer. Never ignore a warning that you are out of the way; it may be the kindest response of all. Get your life in order first, then the answer you seek will follow. Ingratitude to the Lord is often the first reason for needed repentance.
These are the reasons I have found for those seasons in which an answer is not forthcoming from the Lord.
I've never heard a better answer to that question. All of those reasons ring true, and my own life contains ample evidence. Thanks whoever asked it.ReplyDelete
The most common for me is that first reason. Being in possession of the answer but needing to recognize it, or remember. One aspect of this for me is needing time to implement the answer. If the answer was very new and implied a lot, or was counter-intuitive, sometimes it takes a while to integrate it. I'm almost certain there are more answers in my possession than I've been able to implement or recognize.
The answers I can tell lead to higher ground but that sometimes requires lots of changes that don't happen in a day. On a positive note, I've noticed it's gotten easier. And it's always fun! Getting answers is fun.
Thanks again questioner and Denver for the very practical answer.