Here are 4 signs God is saying, “All you need to do is remain silent.”
1. When Your Silence Emphasizes the Power of God, God Is Telling You to Be Silent
Jesus spoke very little throughout the scenes leading up to his crucifixion. One of the clearest examples of Jesus staying silent was when he was before Herod. So why did Jesus not speak to Herod? Luke 23:8-9 gives us the context:
When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him. So he questioned him at some length, but [Jesus] made no answer.”
Herod had every opportunity to go see Jesus during his three-year public ministry, but he didn’t. Herod wanted Jesus to listen to his summons. Herod wanted Jesus to come to him. And now that he had Jesus, he was commanding Jesus to do a miracle, “Jump boy, go on, do us trick and I’ll toss you a treat.” The whole scene is about authority.
If Jesus would have spoken to Herod or performed a miracle at Herod’s command, it would have seemed like Jesus was obeying Herod, thus showing Herod had authority over Jesus. Sometimes silence shows our power more than anything else will.
Whatever can elicit a response from you is what has power over you. That’s why a bully teases and tries to rile the others up. If they can get you mad, sad, or even fighting, the bully feels powerful because he is forcing you to do what he wants. Their sadistic joy comes not from their actions but from your response to their actions.
Satan and the world seek to do the same things to Christians. You know who has power over you by who is making you do what they want. When we are tempted to yell, to shout, to gossip, to speak words of anger towards those who are angry at us, sometimes the best way to show that God is the authority in our life is by staying silent.
2. If You Are Devaluing Yourself By Speaking, God Tells You to Be Silent
When you keep talking to people who are not listening, not only is this a sign they do not value your words but it’s also a sign you don’t value your words.
In Matthew 7:6, Jesus said, “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.” In context, Jesus said this after he was talking about how to lovingly correct someone (Matthew 7:5). His point was that you should not keep correcting someone who is not willing to receive your correction because it devalues what you say.
Likewise, when people ignore you, talk over you, or dismiss you, you should be silent around them. I don’t mean you make it awkward and rude, like giving them the silent treatment. I just mean that if you keep talking when no one is listening, you are simply training people to not listen to you.
3. If Someone Just Wants to Argue, God Says to Be Silent
2 Timothy 2:15-17 and 23-26 explains:
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene . . . Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.”
4. If You Need Something God Has Already Promised You, He May Be Telling You to Be Silent
When we have a need, God tells us to ask (Matthew 7:7-11). It’s not wrong to ask for things you know the word of God promises you. This is good. But eventually our asking and talking can be a sign we lack faith. Sometimes there arises needs in our lives that God has already promised to answer; thus, we need to just trust what God has already said.
For example, before God led Israel out of Egypt through Moses, God promised the Israelites that he would deliver them. But when the Egyptian army had them pinned against the Red Sea, they cried out in fear and doubt (Exodus 14:10-12). Exodus 14:13-14 then states:
And Moses said to the people, ‘Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.’”
Likewise, when God has promised us something in his word, we must not fear when the circumstances of life do not match our expectations. God is still working. We only need to keep the faith and be silent as we depend on him.