When God Is ‘Silent’

Daily Devotion|Day 242

“You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness. Why do You look on those who deal treacherously, and hold Your tongue when the wicked devours a man more righteous than he?” (Habakkuk 1:13, NKJV).

 Have you ever had a complaint against God? Have you been in a situation where you found it difficult to reconcile the goodness of God with what was happening? Perhaps at some point you’ve felt frustrated at God’s apparent silence when you needed answers. Whatever the feeling was, you are not the first person to feel that way. And you probably won’t be the last. In the Bible you will find a few men of God who were frustrated, too. Everyone had his reasons. But a common thread is, “If God is who He is, then why doesn’t He do something about this or that situation? Today, it’s Habakkuk’s turn.

Habakkuk witnessed widespread wickedness in his day. He begins his complaint by affirming the holiness and justice of God. First, he recalls that God’s eyes are pure. Being pure, these eyes cannot look on wickedness. Of this, Habakkuk is sure. What baffles him, however, is God’s apparent indifference (or silence) in the face of increasing violence. Listen to his complaint: “Why do you look on those who deal treacherously, and hold Your tongue when the wicked devours a man more righteous than he?” These are the words of a man desperate to see justice. Habakkuk wants God to do something about the situation, now. But the Lord seems silent; He looks on as the wicked roam freely.

God is not mad if you take your complaint to Him in prayer. He is your Father. Whatever troubles you, He wants to hear it from you. He will answer you and enlighten you about what is happening. Our problem is, oftentimes we want God to do things our wayaccording to our timetable. We see wicked people, and we want ‘instant’ justice and divine retribution. We hardly pray for their repentance. Yet, no one feels the pain of injustice more than the Lord.

When we are going through a situation similar to Habakkuk’s, we need to remember two things. First, there is a time for everything. There is an appointed time for all who commit injustice. That time may not meet our expectations, but no matter how long it takes, justice and goodness will prevail. Second, God does not want people to die in their sins (Ezekiel 33:11). He gives people time to amend their ways and be saved (2 Peter 3:8-9). The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in love (Psalm 103:8). He is extremely patient, more patient than we are. And that can be frustrating for us.

God knows about your pain and your frustration. Be calm and know that He is in control. Finally, find it in your heart to pray for the repentance of wicked people. Desire their salvation, not their destruction.

God bless you, and have a great day! Amen. 

For further study: Psalm 73 

Power Over Temptation

Daily Devotional: Day 63

 “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13; NKJV).

God has given you power over every temptation. Being faithful and good, he doesn’t tempt anyone (See James 1:13).  It’s unwise to go looking for temptation, because that’s contrary to the will of God. However, we’ll deal with temptation at some point even if we didn’t ask for it. Every temptation gives us the opportunity to choose God’s will over our own will; to defeat sin and prove our faithfulness. Each time we overcome temptation, we grow stronger. Today’s Scripture tells us that temptation shouldn’t feel strange; it’s common to all people. Then it adds that God is faithful and  will not allow us to be tempted beyond our ability. These are comforting words, for every normal Christian hates to be tempted. 

This truth is so important, because when we face temptation, it can feel like there’s no way out or we’re going to be crushed. But the Word of God calms our fears by assuring us that no temptation is beyond our ability. Additionally, the Bible says that with every temptation, God provides a means of escape. This means that you don’t have to fall for temptation. God has given you victory for every temptation you will ever face. No matter what comes your way, ask God to show you the means to escape; for it is not the will of God that you be defeated by temptation. As the Bible says in Romans 12:21, do not be overcome by evil; rather, conquer evil with good. Stay close to the Father’s heart. And he will show you the path of life.

Prayer:

Father, you are faithful and your love endures forever. Thank you for giving me victory over every temptation. Deliver me from every attack of the Enemy. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

For further study: Luke 4:1-13

God’s Word Is Your Protection

Daily Devotional: Day 54

“And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4-5, KJV).

When God created Adam and Eve, he gave them the truth of his Word. He told them the truth about life and death. He showed them what leads to life and what leads to death, and warned them about the consequences of eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In today’s Bible passage, Satan persuades Eve that whatever God told them was a lie. Eve believed him and ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. You know the rest of the story. Adam and Eve traded God’s Word for the word of Satan. And when they did that, they opened the door for Satan to enslave and dominate them. What happened then, happens today.

Why did God give Adam and Eve the truth? Because truth protects us from the lies of the Devil, and helps us to walk in freedom. As a child of God, be aware that Satan is your enemy and wants you to trade God’s Word for his lies (See 1 Peter 5:8-9). If he can persuade you to buy his lies, he can turn you into his slave and dominate you. God never created you to be a slave to Satan. However, if you put aside his Word, you’ll become vulnerable. When Satan sells you a lie, his plan is to ruin you. He did it to Adam and Eve, and he hasn’t changed. He knows that the Word of God is your protection. He can’t deceive you if you hold on to the truth of God, so he’ll sell you counterfeit knowledge. Don’t buy it. The Good News is, the Bible shows us many examples of how the Enemy operates. Learn from what happened to Adam and Eve, and hold fast to biblical truth.

Prayer:

Thank you, Father, for showing me your truth. Thank you for giving us the Bible. Empower me to hold fast to your Word and to reject every lie of the Devil. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

For further study: Matthew 4:1-11

 

Worship the Lord Alone

Daily Devotional: Day 43

“And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine” (Luke 4:6-7, KJV)

Satan’s goal hasn’t changed; he wants to be worshiped. He’s determined to usurp the throne of God and get people to worship him, in place of the one true God. And he can get people to worship him directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously. Today’s scripture recalls Jesus’ victory over the Devil’s temptations during his forty-day fast. In this instance, the Devil showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world in a moment. Then, observe what happens next. He promises to give Jesus all the power and glory of the world, on one condition: If Jesus would worship him. The Greek word for worship used here is proskuneo. It means, among other things, to fall prostrate, to bow or kneel in reverence. Jesus, of course, rejected Satan’s suggestion.

However, the Enemy’s statement reveals much about his intentions. He controls the glory and power of the world. The words “glory” and “power” used in this context refer, not to the physical universe or creation, but the systems of the world: the materialistic and consumerist culture, the exaltation of self, the insatiable craving for attention and fame, greed, corrupt financial systems, the unholy glamor of the entertainment industry, ungodly systems of education, systems of injustice and oppression, anti-Christ ideologies, false religions, and evil political powers who together dominate and influence world affairs. Through the glory and power of these systems, Satan rules the world in unrighteousness.

The Devil gets many people to compromise their conscience as well as their moral and religious values for the sake of worldly power and the approval of people. Jesus knew this trap and avoided it. Even today, some “Christians” have fallen for the charm of worldly power and glory. But the truth is, when you choose worldly power and glamor over the truth of God’s Word, you become a worshiper of power and glory. And the moment you worship power and glory, you inevitably become a worshiper of the Devil. This is what Satan wanted Jesus to do.

Recall, moreover, what happened in the Garden of Eden. Satan enticed Eve with a supposed power to make her and Adam like God. Given the choice between power and God, Eve chose power. Adam, too, when presented with the choice between Eve and God’s truth, chose his wife, i.e. he chose to obey his wife rather than obey the commandment of God his Maker. To overcome this and other temptations of the flesh, we must follow Jesus’ counsel, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

Pray:

Dear Father, you’re all I want. In Christ, you have given me your own glorious life and power. In the Name of Jesus, I worship you alone and I refuse to bow to anything that is not you. Amen.

For further study: Daniel 3:1-30

Conquer Evil with Good

Daily Devotional: Day 22

“Do not be overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21, KJV).

No one is immune to trials and temptation. You know that Jesus himself wasn’t spared the pain of dealing with evil. This means we, too, will have our fair share of confronting evil. After all, as Jesus said, a servant is not above his Master (Read John 15:20). Today’s Bible verse says we must not be overcome by evil, but we should overcome evil with good. Ponder over this for a moment. Notice that the Bible doesn’t say you should fight evil. Rather, it says, overcome it. If you overcome evil, then you don’t need to fight it. In this world, dealing with evil is inevitable. You’re going to deal with evil people who wrong you or seek your destruction. Some of these people are agents of Satan, whether they know it or not. The question is: How would you overcome the presence of evil in your life? The Word of God tells you how: You will overcome evil with good. There’s no other way.

God believes in you, because you’re his “workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works” (Read Ephesians 2:10). This means power for good resides in you. In the new creation, God has equipped your spirit with everything you need for victory over evil. You’ve become like God. Consequently, if God can overcome evil, so can you. Don’t be astonished. I’m simply describing who God’s says you are: You’re His/Her Royal Highness, child of the Most High God. You’re not evil; you’re good, just like your Father. Anticipate that evil people shall rise against you. When they do, never respond to evil with evil. You can’t overcome evil with evil; you’ll only make a bad situation worse – which is what the Devil wants. Your victory lies in responding to evil with good. Fighting evil is good. But overcoming evil is better. Choose the latter.

Confess:

I’m a royal, child of the Most High God. I’m just like my Father. His good spirit fills my heart. Therefore, I’m not evil. I’m God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works. I’m, therefore, an overcomer of evil through Christ Jesus who gives me the victory. Amen.

For further study: Genesis 4:1-7; Romans 12:9-21

Pastor Stephen “Steve” Alfred Bilson-Ogoe
Charis Temple (non-denominational church)
Manassas, Virginia, USA

Office Phone: (888)-541-5594