Reverting to saner rationale—or is it rationalization—he contemplates, But how am I supposed to know what God wants me to do if He won’t tell me? “Lord God, can’t you just give me a simple yes or no?” He had long since dispensed with anything other than close-ended questions for his evasive deity. “I know you have the answer. Why don’t you give me your thumbs up or down so I can get on with my life? It’s going to reflect poorly on both of us if I make a mistake.” That felt manipulative, but given what was at stake it also felt justified.
Nothing. Not a word. Not a sign. Not a sound.
“You know, God, even a whisper would be okay. That’s the way you spoke to Elijah.” But it was in a gentle breeze, he recalled from Sunday School, and so promptly moved his quiet time outside to the patio. Now I’m in the right place. It was a location issue. Surely. How could I miss that? Such a simple oversight. Okay, God. I’m ready for the breeze bearing your will.
And time ticks on. Hours pass into days as he tries varied and sundry methods for prying God’s will loose. Prying? Probably not the best word, he ruminates. But it’s getting close to that, he confides to himself. He ponders his level of frustration. He retraces his steps: Every door is closed. Every window of heaven barred. The closest thing I’ve got to peace is an acid stomach. Maybe Chuck could help, he realizes, and grabs his phone.
“Hey, Chuck. How you doing?” He doesn’t belabor the call with small talk. “Listen, I need some counsel. The decision deadline on that project I told you about is close. Really close, but nothing from God on what I’m supposed to do. How am I supposed to discover—or even discern—God’s will on this decision? I’ve tried everything. It’s like God’s gone to Mars for sabbatical. I’ve asked Him for an answer so many different ways that I’m fresh out of methods. I’ve read the Word and see that I am supposed to be persistent. I’ve looked for open doors, but everything is closed up tight. I’ve asked for a revelation, but at this point I’d settle for a hint. I’m really frustrated. Got any ideas?”
“Wow! You’ve really been putting your time in on this,” Chuck notes. There is empathy in his voice. “Given all you’ve done, as bad as I hate to say it, there’s only one thing left to conclude: There must be unconfessed sin in your life. Think about it. Before you can get God to tell you what His will is you’ve got to get rid of the sin in your life. The channel between you and God is clogged. It’s time to clean house buddy.”
“Thanks, Chuck. I appreciate your honesty. I’ll consider what you’ve suggested. See you around, and thanks again. Bye.”
Sin? You’ve got to be kidding me. Jeepers! Like I haven’t asked the Lord about that a gazillion times already. There’s got to be something I’m overlooking.
He changed shoes, leashed the dog, and headed into the neighborhood for his nightly walk. Carrying the dog’s poop bag in his hand, he made the turn for home. Watching the sidewalk, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, I need insight. The ball’s in your court. I don’t know what else to do.” He didn’t even say Amen—and didn’t notice that he had failed to properly conclude his prayer of resignation. It was the second shortest prayer he had ever prayed. The first was uttered three weeks ago: “Lord, I need help!”
Putting the dog’s food down, he finds something to drink, picks up his reading, and settles into his chair, but he’s distracted. He thinks again, All I want is a yes or no, nothing fancy like handwriting on the wall. I guess God has something else in mind. I don’t know though. Just don’t know.
Everything has failed. All the methods and principles are deployed and the will of God remains elusive. What to do? That's next.