Do you feel like God is silent? Do you wonder if He is so busy talking to everyone else, He simply doesn’t have time for you Maybe you worry that you’ve done something in the past to make God turn His back on you. Or do you feel like you get more out of devotionals, podcast, and sermons, but nothing when it comes studying the Word for yourself?
You’re not alone.
There are so many reasons why we may feel like God is distant.
It can be as simple as not understanding the narrative of Scriptures. Maybe it is the result of sin or heart wounds that become an obstacle to experiencing intimacy with God. Maybe it is a time in which God is indeed quiet because He’s accomplishing His work in you during this wilderness season.
Regardless of the reason, there is something you can do . . . not give up.
1. What is the foundation of your faith?
Have you inherited your faith (raised in a Christian home) or entered into a personal relationship with God through believing Jesus died on the cross for the forgiveness of your sin?
This is so important because, through our faith in Jesus, we receive the Holy Spirit to be our counselor and guide. It’s the Holy Spirit that helps us understand God’s Word.
2. What Bible translation are you reading?
The New Living Translation is one of the easiest to comprehend as it takes the Hebrew and Greek and translates it phrase by phrase as opposed to word for word. It is also helpful to read more than one translation of a passage to glean deeper meaning. If the Bible translation you’re using feels hard to understand, take the passage you’re reading and look it up in another translation in Biblegateway.com.
3. How are you going about reading the Word?
Are you hopping around the Scriptures and picking parts that seem relevant to your circumstance or going through a book at a time? Reading Scripture with some sense of order is really important for understanding the purpose of the passage and context for the commands and promises. The Wayfinding Bible is a great option for learning about the story of God from beginning to end. It includes multiple reading plans as well.
4. Are your expectations reasonable?
It’s easy to think that your “quiet time” Bible reading should feel great, but often it is simply a matter of showing up, reading, praying out of obedience and love for God. It’s like our human-to-human relationships. Sometimes they “just are” and other times the connection feels awesome.
5. How are you actively reading the Word?
Are you underlining, highlighting? Writing out Scripture? Asking questions of “who, what, where” or looking for promises or commands? Are you reading a section only once or meditating on it longer? In our More to Be Facebook Tribe Community, we use the R.A.W. Scripture Study Method.
R is for reading the Scriptures in context.
A is for considering how to apply the Scriptures to life.
W is for writing out key verse to memorize.
You can apply this method to any Bible reading plan.
Even if you feel like God is silent in your life, I’d encourage you to keep pressing on by seeking to connect with Him through the Word, inviting the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart and mind. Maybe that still small voice is speaking to you, and you just haven’t recognized that it’s God calling to you.