I am wondering how to find God's will during quiet time. There are prayers and questions I ask Him, but never get an answer. I'd be happy for any suggestions.

Hilda

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Hilda, you might want to explain "quiet time." I strongly suspect many Friends on the site will have no idea what you're talking about (I didn't know what it was until I joined a Christian student group with a strong evangelical contingent).

I should have worded myself more effectively. By Quiet Time, I am referring to Silence. I also am implying that in that Silence, I'm seeking to discover how to discern the voice of God Inwardly as He speaks to me.

This would include crucial decisions as to items needing to be resolved rather quickly. One doesn't wish to be impatient, but the other hand, one doesn't wish to go contrary to God's Guidance or Will. (This issues cannot be found directly in the scripture.)  I hope this will help clarify what I originally posted.

Again, how does one know, upon arriving at their decision, whether it be from God or otherwise?

Thank you.

Hilda

I think some of the things we have to keep in mind when seeking a response from God in our time of private retirement:

(1) God may not have an opinion or advice to offer on what is so near and dear to our hearts. His priorities and concerns differ from ours at times. He may simply not have a response he wishes to give.

(2) The lack of response may be the response. He may wish for us to do nothing, to change nothing, to alter nothing.

(3) He may be responding in other ways, either through our lives, our dreams, our reading of the Bible. So many times I have had a thought or concern and found that thought or concern "met" by experiences in my life out in the world, not as I am sitting in private retirement.

(4) He may have given his answer, and we just don't like it or can't accept it.

Also, sometimes we can't know. Sometimes we must just act upon our sense of discernment, and then we must test ourselves. Judge the fruit of our own behavior. Is it the fruit of righteousness or discord? Sometimes I only know how wrong my discernment is when I try to act and then the lack of Power and Truth in those times is so obvious as to make it impossible to continue. He will communicate. He will advise. He will forgive a misstep. He loves when we seek to be obedient, and will aid or hinder us as required to bring us into obedience.

I hope this is somewhat helpful to thee.

Isabel

I have found thy post here so well worded and so comforting. All of these four points here are invaluable, sage, and timely advice. The last paragraph of thy post here is very poetical and philosophical. Ye write in style and in similar manner of Hannah Whitall Smith and Watchman Nee, a unique blending of both, yet all thy own.

It is challenging and uplifting both. So from the depth of my heart I thank thee.

Praying for thee as always. Thy Friend & sister in Christ,

Hilda

I thank thee for this, but I must caution thee not to put me on any sort of pedestal in thy mind or heart. I am not on a pedestal, and once thee sees me for what I am, warts and all, the pedestal will become a burden upon thee and me. I am neither in the gutter nor in the heights. I am an ordinary person who is sometimes obedient enough to the Guidance of Christ to be Useful. Only sometimes, and only as I open myself up to his Strength, abandoning my own.

Isabel

Timothy Bruffy said:

I have found thy post here so well worded and so comforting. All of these four points here are invaluable, sage, and timely advice. The last paragraph of thy post here is very poetical and philosophical. Ye write in style and in similar manner of Hannah Whitall Smith and Watchman Nee, a unique blending of both, yet all thy own.

It is challenging and uplifting both. So from the depth of my heart I thank thee.

Praying for thee as always. Thy Friend & sister in Christ,

Hilda

I find it better not ask questions of God, as I am in no position to have anything explained.

In fact, any time I see or hear someone ask God something, it is usually desperate..."why" , "why".

God has never told anyone "why", still I wish he told me. That's the problem, my wishes.

Think about it, why would God do anything? How could He explain this impossible? He would have to make us God-like, which is our original sin, the first and biggest desire that got us here in the first place. So, I'm glad He's not a Help Desk. The kind of help we want here, was never given, indeed it was warned against by God Himself.

In short, for Him to explain, would be to betray us, our chance at redemption, he cannot have that, can he?

So, to get your prays answered, don't explain your predicament to Him. Worship Him instead!

Argue with people, if you want reasonable answers to questions. Instead, go to God in silence, if you want unreasonable demands of salvation and redemption from all our sin, and meanness.

Then, and only then, may a few trickles of insight turn into a flood. But don't ask for the flood first!

If you still need answers, seek the counsel of wise Christians, rather than the wise. As the wise are proud, without the mitigating effects of Christ's message. These Christians don't advertise, so they may quietly present themselves in the form of simple human kindness. They certainly won't say, " I am wonderfully kind, and almost as wise as Christ". If all else fails, reflect on Jesus, he was a Man, and the anointed Son of God too, handy, I think.

He even asked God "why", Jesus himself, at some point too. But I don't think he ever got an answer either! But he did ultimately get results (He stopped asking God), thus reconciling us to God in the process, not bad for NOT asking "why". This is the ultimate "why", I suppose. Why? God knows.

On second thought, God answers all our prayers. Still, it's a good question. You've had some good responses here too.

I appreciate all of the input given. Ye have offered much food-for-thought. Relaxing and focusing on God, and if an answer doesn't come, to remain faithful as Friend Nicholas suggested—very nice indeed. Also, to not place even good Friends on an elevated surface above measure, like Friend Isabel speaks of. . . Placing God on the Throne as He alone should be, we all then find ourselves on the same level ground, so to speak. (But, that was merely a compliment, not a pedestal.) This is very helpful to reflect on. Also not to ask "why, why," though it is good to "ask" but it can lead to doubt sometimes. Why in itself is not a bad question, but it can make one lose the Worship and Praise of God out, as Friend John mentioned.

God listens. God answers prayers. Sometimes our answer is not what we had hoped for. Maybe because we think we understand any given circumstance or situation better. That can hinder answers to our prayers. Sometimes we need to just have to ask for strength to deal with unanswered prayers. Could it be, dear Friends, that sometimes God uses unanswered prayers to teach us Patience? Patience in Waiting on God. . . Patience for enduring and seeking God in spite of unanswered prayers.

Thank for all of thy input. If anyone else has something to add, include it as ye feel led to.

Timothy and Hilda

I think we always find God's will during quiet time; it manifests perhaps in many ways - - not necessarily the way we are wanting it to.  Nature is sacred and silence is sacred, so I think we hear best the guidance of God in sacred silence.  Sometimes it is a still small voice we hear in our head; sometimes the words in the pages of a book; sometimes it may come in the counsel of friends.  We may not know exactly how it will come - - or even when it will come - - only that it will come. 

 

If we need to make a quick decision, sometimes our best decision falls flat.  But that too, though disappointing, may be the will of God for us.  Perhaps we needed to learn from that very experience to mold and shape us into who we are to become.     

 

We cannot know and fully understand with our very limited minds the will of God in our lives.  But maybe in trusting that the life you lead of goodness and beauty, kindness and simplicity, and in all your many fine qualities,  you are indeed finding God's will for your life. 

 

 

Thank thee, Friend Chris.

This is very helpful to me. I thank you very much for these thoughts. I think thee covered about everything. I like thy thoughts on silence and learning even from mistakes and disappointments.

Take care. Blessings to thee.

Hilda

Chris Beauchamp said:

I think we always find God's will during quiet time; it manifests perhaps in many ways - - not necessarily the way we are wanting it to.  Nature is sacred and silence is sacred, so I think we hear best the guidance of God in sacred silence.  Sometimes it is a still small voice we hear in our head; sometimes the words in the pages of a book; sometimes it may come in the counsel of friends.  We may not know exactly how it will come - - or even when it will come - - only that it will come. 

 

If we need to make a quick decision, sometimes our best decision falls flat.  But that too, though disappointing, may be the will of God for us.  Perhaps we needed to learn from that very experience to mold and shape us into who we are to become.     

 

We cannot know and fully understand with our very limited minds the will of God in our lives.  But maybe in trusting that the life you lead of goodness and beauty, kindness and simplicity, and in all your many fine qualities,  you are indeed finding God's will for your life. 

 

 

Thank all of thee for thy replies. It has been helpful and meaningful too. I appreciate reading thy thoughtful suggestions. . .

Peace be with thee.

Hilda


Dear Hilda:

I think I missed one important point - - what you mention below. . .how do we know upon our decision if it is from God - - or not?

 

That comes from learning to Trust ourselves.  We know in our heart when guidance we receive is true- - or also false.  But we need to trust and that comes with spending time in silence and listening.  Sometimes we will know gladness. . and other times disappointment which is the shadow side of our gladness.  These are part of the human condition.  In listening to God's answers for us we need to go beyond the human condition and that is the process of growth for our life. 

 

In learning to trust ourselves we are learning to trust in the guidance we are receiving, but this is the journey of a lifetime.  So we use the virtues to help us, patience or whatever virtue is needed at that time.  And when you falter as we all do, dust yourself off and know you will do all the better next time because these things are not easy.   But you are on the path and listening and trusting. 

 
 Timothy Bruffy said:

Again, how does one know, upon arriving at their decision, whether it be from God or otherwise?

Thank you.

Hilda

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