Monday, April 28, 2014


"Could you please speak up?"

Do you ever say that to God?

I think we've all struggled with this issue.  Desperate to follow the Lord's leading, we frantically try to hear God's Voice.  And when we can't, we can end up feeling quite distressed.  

And at times, this distress can lead to paralyzing doubt and deep spiritual discomfort.

The *silence* of God can represent treacherous times.

I have felt it, you have felt it.

Times when you are desperate to hear God's Voice, because You desperately need His guidance.

As disciples seeking to follow Him, we want to know which way to go, which way to turn.  We want to know how to follow Him rightly.

So, how do we do that when we're not "hearing" the still, small voice – but only hearing the stillness?

I can only relate to my own life.

And here's some things that I have learned – (disclaimer…these are only my opinions).

First of all, I don't think God's will is always a matter of Choice A or Choice B.  Sometimes His will can be either direction.  Let me explain.

When "The Hub" and I were thinking about moving, I was crazed with indecision.  Was it God's will for us to move or not?  I cried desperately to hear from Him.  I started trying to interpret "signs" that I saw along the way.  And I felt panicky and unsettled because nothing seemed clear.

But then I realized something.

Maybe God's will wasn't Choice A (go) or Choice B (stay) – maybe God's will would move with me no matter which direction I chose.

I decided finally to just start going in one direction (moving), and prayed that God would be very clear if it WASN'T His will.  I got some confirmation along the way, yes, but I still think God would have been OK if we hadn't moved.

Sometimes the choice is really clear, and God has a definite direction in mind.  But, I think that other times He allows us to use our own discretion and make a decision.

God's will is not thwarted if we choose the "wrong" way – because sometimes I think there isn't really a wrong way. 

The important thing is following God along the way, putting Him first, no matter which fork in the road we follow.

That being said, God is very clear in His Word about certain things. 


And we don't need to question His will about those things. 

If Choice A or B is against the teachings and revelation of God in the Bible, then it truly is the WRONG way, for it will be sin.

But if it's not that clear-cut, I don't believe that it's God’s will for us to be mired in inaction.

Ask for His guidance, step out in faith, and trust that God will lead you, as you walk along the way.

That's what I'm counting on. 

I'm counting on Him to be very clear when it matters.  And if I remain close to Him, immersed in His Word and spending time in prayer, seeking the counsel of others, and desiring to follow Him in all aspects of my life – He'll talk if it's necessary.

But sometimes I need to start the walking in order to hear the talking.

So, here's another thing I've learned.

I used to do this thing called "Bible Pick 'Ems" basically, I would flip open my Bible to a random spot, and read the two pages I'd turned to.  I would do this when I was worried or afraid or awake in the middle of the night with overwhelming concerns and anxieties.

And goodness, how God answered me!

I would read the most appropriate, timely, comforting words.  It never failed.

Until lately…

In the past few months, I have done this in moments of need, and I've not had the same *luck*.

I have asked God for a message to speak to my anxiety, and I end up in the Old Testament.  Which is OK, except I can't count the number of times I have ended up in Kings or Chronicles.

"Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years.  His mother was Zebidah, the daughter of Pedaiah from Rumah."

Uh yeah, not so edifying.

Of course, sometimes I try to *hedge my bet* and open to where I know I'll be in the New Testament. 

Nope, that hasn't worked either.

So, one night in utter frustration I cried out to God, "Why don't You do this for me anymore?"

And yes, I heard from Him.

He said, "Because you don't need it anymore."

That stopped me.

But I've pondered that answer.  And I've realized something.  That God is right.  I have grown in my faith in this past year, and especially in the last few months.  And I don't "need" this anymore.  Maybe it's a bit of a gimmick that I've outgrown.

For the "random" answers that I sought in a "Bible Pick 'Ems" are in my heart instead.  I know the Lord better now.  And instead of settling for a "tweet" – I can rely instead on a whole conversation with Him.  Or in those times of silence, I can trust in the Truth that I know.

He is there.  He knows.  He understands.  And He's got it all under control.

Now here's one last thing that I've learned.

In my almost four years of blogging (I know – I can hardly believe it either!), I have only spoken to two people with my voice.  And of those two people, I have only met one in person.

And yet, I feel like I know so many of you in Blog Land, just as I myself am known. 


By our words.

It's amazing how the written words that we post are actually windows into our souls.  Our personalities come through, as we share our aches and pains, our trials and suffering, our triumphs and our joys.   

Our words communicate WHO we are.

And so, when we feel that God is silent, we do have somewhere to turn.

His Word.

In those hallowed pages, we are offered a profound and meaningful window into the mind and heart of God.  His Presence infuses every page – (yes, even those pages in Kings and Chronicles!)

We can *hear* Him when we read Scripture.

In times when we maybe can't tangibly hear His voice, or when He's silent for a season and for a reason, we can always touch His heart through His Word.

And I have always found that when I read His words, He comes *alive* to me again.

I pray for all of us.  

I pray that we won't become too discouraged when the heavens seem "silent".  For our hearts are certainly in the right place.  A desire to hear the Voice of the Lord is certainly the right path to wisdom and guidance.

And God will honor our prayers for increased intimacy with Him.

But…sometimes when we aren't "hearing" from Him, it doesn't mean He isn't there.

And it doesn't mean that we should become paralyzed in a state of inaction.

Faith calls us to move.

Trust God, He will speak to us when we need it. 

And when He's a quiet partner, we're still walking together.  We're still in communion with Him.

Sometimes silence is a sign of deep and abiding and trusting friendship.

And voices need not be heard to feel the Love.

Let your eyes look directly ahead
And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.
Watch the path of your feet
And all your ways will be established.

"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made..." (Romans 1:20, NIV)

"Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son...He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature..." 
(Hebrews 1:1-2, ESV)

"All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives.  It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.  God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work."  (2 Timothy 3:16-17, NLT)

"But the wisdom from above is first of all pure.  It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others.  It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.  And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness." 
(James 3:17-18, NLT)

"'If you love me, obey my commandments.  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.  He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth.'" (John 14:15-16, NLT)

"They demonstrate that God's law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right." (Romans 2:15, NLT)

"If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking." (James 1:5, NLT)

"Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth..." 
(Psalm 86:11, ESV)

"Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight." 
(Exodus 33:13, ESV)

"Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow.  Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me.  All day long I put my hope in you." (Psalm 25:4-5, NLT)

"This is what the LORD says: 'Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.'" (Jeremiah 6:16, NIV)

"And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, 'This is the way, walk in it,' when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left." 
(Isaiah 30:21, ESV)

Your turn:  What's your thoughts on *hearing* from God?  And what do you do when He seems "silent"?

(SIDENOTE:  This is a great article on the subject of hearing from God: CROSSWALK)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. Such an awesome post, love you.

  2. So full of treasure that I don't quite know where to begin. I loved your perspective on the "right" or "wrong" move. You are correct that in choosing, the one important thing is that our move lines up with the word of God.

    I also loved what you said about not needing the "pick 'ems" anymore. That was powerful.

    My favorite part was what you said at the end about the words we share here and the Words He has already shared with us. You nailed it, Sharon. We know His heart through His Words. We can even appreciate His sense of humor.

    We serve a wonderful God, one worth KNOWING,. When He's silent with me, if I'm honest, it's often because I won't shut up for a pair of minutes. I'm like Peter on the Mt. of Transfiguration who needs to be told (to quote Beth Moore)

    This is my beloved Son. Shut thee up.

    I think often, though, that God is patient enough to play the role of counselor with me. I lie on his "couch" and yak and yak and yak. He says nothing. Finally, I have yakked myself into so truths that He knew I knew all along.

    Going to the couch now.
    I really need to hear some truths.

    1. Loved this "Meg Ryan" look alike! This was so good, Debbie!

  3. And another thing: You've Got Mail.

    (In my head, I just sounded like Tom Hanks. In my head, I look like Meg Ryan, too.)

  4. Oh, Sharon, what a powerful post. So much truth to soak in. Thank you. Love the verses listed speaks to my heart today....all the Sharon words and God's Word. I do much the same but have gained new insights today.

  5. Sharon, this is such a great post. Like Debbie (above) I don't know quite where to begin. First of all, I would like to say that I love the way you related us getting to know each other's hearts by our blogging relationships....I so agree with you and I have only been blogging less than one year. If that is possible for us as mere humans, how much more powerful are our communications with God! When I go through those times of His silence, I know it is my own fault...being too busy with my own agenda, etc. That's when I get silent...not an easy feat for me...I go off alone to some secluded spot to be close to His creation and let Him speak to me through the beauty. I may not hear a specific "word" but I feel His love and that speaks volumes.

  6. This post was excellent!
    Yes, sometimes God seems distant and far away; sometimes we have trouble hearing Him even when we read His word. Truth be told, I often struggle because I don't want to shut out some of the distractions that cause me not to connect with God...This is actually idolatry. If only I can try to remember what it is like to be fully immersed in His presence...that usually motivates me to drop whatever is keeping my heart away from the Father.
    It is never God's fault when I get disconnected...always mine. That is hard to admit to sometimes though.
    Blessings and Love to you, and thanks for the inspiration!

  7. Dear Spiritual Twin, I was just thinking about the 'God's Voice' idea, and began writing a blog post about it myself. It is hard to get tuned into his voice, and then even harder to trust that it's the right thing. Yes, we do have his Word. No question about that, and it is the ultimate help.

    How wonderful that you clearly heard God say that you didn't need random support anymore. Such a big step, don't you think? Your faith is solid, so I think he is saying to trust that. Wonderful!

    I just wrote that I wished all my blog-friends could all go out to dinner together. Wouldn't that be the best? I'd love to meet you in the flesh! Someday...
    You're on the right track my friend. Keep on walking. As you walk, he'll talk, just as you wrote :)

  8. Hi Sharon,

    Thanks for sharing your journey and you're right about how sometimes it isn't between A or B because God gives us freedom to choose where we are not disobeying a very clear command on what is right and wrong....
    Keep seeking Him....and I'm learning also that there is great insight also in the Old Testament but it doesn't lend itself to "tweets" as you put it :) it requires more study and time but it is worth it.
    Blessings to you,
    Visiting you from Laura B's blog.

  9. WOW! Awesome Word Sharon ... this one definitely has got to be the BEST!

    (maybe I write that too often) ... yet I have never read such blatant honesty with such interest in the wisdom that you worked through and out ... and yes, I did hear the LORD speak through these penned ramblings of yours (that somehow seem so orderly as compared to mine) and I loved each "here's something I've learned along the way" but the final one on BLOGGING ... WOW! does that drive the point home... that was indeed a "homerun" for me. Your journey and mine met (once again) in your words ... I was with every one of your messages and followed contently until that one jumped out at me ... and the conversation about your move ... well, that part, right or wrong, spoke volumes too! Not just for you and your move but mine ... {the clarification of "sin" was greatly appreciated} ...
    might I just add this to this part:

    "God's will is not thwarted if we choose the "wrong" way – because sometimes I think there isn't really a wrong way." ... it's just a different way and God will still use it to bring us to that same place, sometimes round about way, but right on track to where His will or way would have brought us, if we understood Him and His way clearly (the first time) ... seeking Him, may not always seem that we hear His direct, clear voice telling us that this is the right way ... but it may be ONE of the ways that God may choose to use and guide us to learn more.

    The Bible Pick'ems part is definitely YOU ... but I can recall flipping through God's Word, hoping to land on the WORD for that moment or circumstance and I ended up in some very discouraging passage that I tried to figure out how does this relate ... is this a warning? or other negative impact of more discouraging word then an encouraging one for direction or answer. {maybe I'm not explaining this too well, so I'll forego my point}

    However, this stood out in many ways ...

    "But sometimes I need to start the walking in order to hear the talking."

    WOW! once again ...blown away how awesome this one ties this all together yet I'm still not sure if I hear the LORD? (sigh) on issues that I'm waiting on ...

    Yet love your Bible verses and that wonderful photo! and "voices need not be heard to feel the love!"

    I pray that although you do not know me nor have heard my voice ... you feel the love and know I love you (without knowing you) virtual knowledge of you has made me love you and your love of God, His Word, others and your mission via your pen, mountain move and family!!! You are a diamond! And quite a photographer of really beautiful photos in your natural surroundings! I know you are on a solid and good track, though I hope it is less lonely and more fulfilling each day!

    Love and (((hugs)))

  10. Awesome, awesome post and totally agree!! I do feel the same about road A or B, and so many times I feel we make it so much harder. If we are spending time with the Lord He will walk with us and He will use either path..that is if it isn't against scripture.
    Thanks for this post as I am here wondering where my next step should be...maybe just put down my feet and walk.

  11. Isn't it amazing how fast the time flies and we realize how long we've been blogging?

    I like how you described this Sharon. Sometimes God allows us/gives us the choice to move in a direction we feel might be the best, especially like you said if it does not contradict his word/character in any way and he'll guide us if he does not have us on the course he wants us. I too have wondered with our move if this is where he truly wanted us, but we kept going with the plans and seemed like we didn't get side tracked or feel a way to go a different way, but now that we've been here 3 years, I still question why, LOL :)

    So true how God talks to us in his word, often that's how I hear from him the most.

    I like how he said you didn't need the Bible pick-ems any more and you realized how your faith has grown; that is an awesome thing to realize.

    Now if we could just find ourselves truly just safe in his arms when that anxiety seems to come.....


  12. I appreciate hearing your take and wisdom, Sharon. Being in His will doesn't mean we're going to get an answer like looking at the big "E" on the eye chart. I like that you always are seeking. That's the pure sign of wisdom, at least the way I see things these days! Wonderful heart and lesson, Sharon. Thanks, and I do enjoy your prose, sister!

  13. We had a minister friend who told us he was perplexed about a situation in his life. It seemed he had two glorious opportunities and asked God which one should he take. God spoke and said, "Which ever one you like the best." A or B were both good, and there are some things in life especially when we are walking in the Spirit, that are automatically in God's will. We do not need to seek which one, just walk straight ahead. I love your post and thank you for sharing with us here at "Tell Me a Story."

  14. What a meaningful writing. S many times God has given me (and mine) 2 choices, both great- either path good. Wisdom here.

  15. Hi Sharon, I think you have put into words what I have tried to find words for. I agree. It is often more about walking forward in faith and trusting that He will open or close doors as he guides us in His will. I also would do this thing, I haven't heard, so I cant move!!!! No, its not that, its move and trust.... How can you steer a car that is not moving right?! Great post and I too am so grateful for all my bloggy friends. They have not only meant the world to me, I have grown amazingly in this time. God has used you and others to build faith and hope and joy in my life and i hope I pass that on.
    God bless

  16. Hi Sharon, so much of what you said here is right on for me too. About blogging and people and having met only one also, it doesn't matter. I feel like I know them....and care about them. said it right on. And your thoughts on God having one way or many - I struggle with decisions so that hits home too. Have a great week. Your insights are sooo good.

  17. I used to be so afraid of making the wrong choice. It wasn't until I really started learning about grace that I realized life wasn't always black and white. To have choice was initially scary (and still is at times), but now, I see how it is another way God gives us freedom in our lives.

  18. I so agree with you, Sharon, that sometimes God is allowing us to choose. There are options that He is okay with either way and out of His love, He allows us to make the decision. Sometimes the choices aren't between good and bad, or even between good and better, they are both good and God can be glorified either way. So I agree that to move forward is better than standing still and that His will follows along as we move.

  19. Yes, I was recently crying and begging for Him to talk to me. I like your thoughts on God moving with you regardless of the choice. Really liked this post and I needed it too!

  20. Sharon, I couldn't agree more and it kind of describes the place I find myself in lately. I use to worry so much about making the wrong decision and I have come to same conclusion as you. Some places doesn't necessarily present a wrong decision. Just a choice with different options.

  21. Wow, this touched me in so many different ways, I'm not sure which one to single out! I too wrestled with a big move decision but I didn't look at it as you did - wish I had! I love the idea that God doesn't expect A or B because He is in both. Blessings!

  22. I can definitely relate. my husband and I have been praying about 2 things in particular and wondering hat we should do. It's been month and I haven't felt a clear learning on which way to go. I do wonder sometimes if His will is up to us, if there are just somethings that He says" it's up to you as long as you honor me in it." Thanks for sharing!

  23. Hi Sharon, I am thinking of all the times I asked God "what is you will about what I should do, but in actuality I wanted God to tell me that my will would work out for the best. Great post and God bless.

  24. Thank you Sharon, I needed to hear this message today as I am waiting for God's answer and for his voice in my own prayer life and feeling like all Im getting is silence. Maybe, this is a time for me to move with faith. Thank you again for relating and for the great insight. God is good!

  25. Dear friend,
    I have savored every word you wrote here... and I do agree with you that there are times that God's will is OK with Choice A or B. In the matter of moving out to where you are now, I had been thinking, would you consider going back where you came from? Just a thought. Abraham did that, after several roundabouts, he ends up where he started... and sometimes I also think that it is possible to go back and pick up where we left off.

    Then about hearing God's voice through the written word. I absolutely agree. So true. TO that truth I have held on to all these years, and through His written word I have heard His voice, and have come to know Him, as if I knew Him face to face.

    And that is also how I feel with you, Sharon. It would have been great if while I was in the US I had planned on calling you too, as I did some of my blog friends... and got to speak with them, ear to ear, at least, if not face to face. But, anyway, through reading your written word I have heard your "voice" and seen your "face." Yes, I do feel like I know you too.

    And... happy birthday dear friend. 60 for me was last year, and it was a great year really. I did feel like Life starts at 60... and it still feels wonderful up to now that I just recently turned 61!

    BTW, thanks for dropping by my recent blog post. I woke up about an hour ago and felt that the ending I wrote was too abrupt, and not too honest with where I am at this point. Too vague... too general. And so I added another highlight at the end, entitled At The Oaks of Mamre, and with that, also changed my song for the month. I am pretty sure that it will minister to you if you have the time to drop by again, and just read that new portion at the end. And listen to the song. It's amazing. It has ministered so much to me in April, it was only this morning that I thought of posting it together with my April end of month post. Blessings on the rest of your day dear friend. It's not sunrise here yet, but it soon will be. Much love.

  26. Sharon, you leave me with some very thought-provoking words. I'm thinking I shall park myself here for a bit. I really appreciated this ~> "But sometimes I need to start the walking in order to hear the talking." Good stuff. I'm always so blessed by what you share. There is always much I can relate to. And I'd so love to be one of those writing friends you are able to meet one day but no matter what I am grateful we have connected in this beautiful blogging world and that we share the same word for the year. Praying your weekend is joy-filled. Much love.

  27. I love to hear from Father God. Little things He brings me to during the day cause me to shout out "You did this; You really are present with me." But there are times I am required to walk in mature faith and his direction is not so clear. He never leaves us defenseless or alone, but our part is to press in and listen and read and know His Word! I find comfort also in knowing that my brothers/sisters in the Lord are also walking that journey of faith and relying on His Word and prayer. What a glimpse of Heaven on earth.

    I'm asking God to shine down on you today, dear Sharon, and allow you to feel His personal touch in His own wonderful way that is just for you.

  28. So much wisdom here. I have come to all these conclusions myself. Thanks for your encouragement!

  29. I popped in here from Barbie's and I'm so glad I did! I really agree with what you've said and found myself nodding my head yes as I read!

  30. Wise words, Sharon. It's awful when God is silent. That feeling of being separated from Him, I think it's just an inkling of what hell will be like. I shudder to think of it. His word is vital during His times of silence. Hearing Him, sensing His presence is a gift, but when He is silent our faith grows deep roots in His word. Those roots sustain us along the path, during those times when the lamplight doesn't reach very far ahead. Thank you for sharing from your heart!

  31. Wow, what a great dose of truth! Sharon I always enjoy your post and the meaty truths you share with us. Stopping by from Sunday Stillness. Have a great new week. Cathy

  32. Sharon - this is just one reason why I feel so close to you in Blogland - a kindred spirit. YOUR WORDS! Yes - I agree on all points here and at times thought you'd been a fly on my wall in different seasons of my own walk and on-going conversation with the Lord. Seeking direction. Desiring more than anything else to get it right according to His will. Such great insight here - thanks so much for sharing this at All Things Bright and Beautiful!!

  33. Great post Sharon. You must study a lot for your post are always packed full of one truth after another that anyone can find at least one thing that encouraged them.


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)