One of the most frequent questions or comments I get is regarding hearing God speak, it is very common. Most often it is: “He never speaks to me” “I give up, I just never hear Him.” “I don’t think He really cares so He doesn’t speak to me.”
God can speak in the most unique and creative ways. He can use nature, birds, wind, flowers, sunrises, sunsets, smoke. He can use His Word – the Bible and He often uses it. He can use other people (although this one can be tricky as there are a number of people who profess to hear Him but do not, so always ask God to confirm what someone says).
God created your 5 senses and He can use any of those senses to get your attention. Did you ever think about that? You can see God, you can hear God, you can feel God’s touch, you can smell God (and that is most delightful!) and you can taste God. I have not quite got the “taste” part down yet and I am asking God to reveal Himself by taste – the nearest I can think of is and perhaps Chocolate!!!!!
Just eating a great piece of chocolate can feel like “heaven”, just saying!
God speaks through visions, dreams, supernatural, healings, miracles, through disasters, through anything.
God revealed Himself to Saul on the road by a blinding flash, so much so that Saul was blind after.
God revealed Himself to Moses in a burning bush.
God revealed Himself to Jonah in the belly of a whale.
God is not limited to simply “talking”, so if someone says they cannot hear God speak (and it is not an audible voice, it is more like telepathy, where you sense/know what God is saying). I always liken it to being in the shower and you are shampooing your hair and someone pops into your head, let’s say it’s “Martha.”
What do you do? You were not thinking about Martha but all of the sudden there she is in your head.
That is how God speaks, it is an impression. What should you do next?
Well, the first thing is to pray for Martha immediately, then wash out the shampoo and after you are finished, dressed and ready, give Martha a call and tell her that you were thinking and praying for her. Chances are Martha will need and want to know because something was going on in her world.
Back to, “I can not hear God.” May I suggest - try another method, you have senses: eyes, nose, fingers and a mouth or perhaps you can invite God into your dreams before you go to bed.
God is always speaking in one way or another, the fact that you cannot hear, see, smell, touch and taste is probably more of a “you” problem. If you are anything like me, you know, “human”, we get in the way of hearing God too many times to count.
Did you know that the Number 1, the biggest offender of not hearing God is “unforgiveness.”
Ohhhhh, that one. Yup.
How can you tell if you have unforgiveness? If thinking about a situation or a person causes you to have that “pit of the stomach” feeling or a gut reaction to the name, or to the memory, chances are you still have unforgiveness. Sometimes you have to forgive more than once for the same offense, and often it is like an onion, a layer at a time so it is ongoing forgiveness.
Remember when you are forgiving to ask yourself if you have forgiven all 3 people: God, Yourself and Others. It is not always the case but sometimes there are 3 people to forgive in one offense.
We often blame God for allowing something to happen, when it was our own fault – do not blame God when it was your own doing. God is not our eternal blessing machine, sorry that might be a surprise but it’s true. Apologize to Him for even thinking that He might have been at fault.
The other blocks for not hearing God are:
Sin – yes if you keep living outside of God’s ways and then expect to hear God, it probably will not happen. God hates sin. He hates it so much that He sent Jesus to take it all to the cross. However, you need to confess your sin and ask for forgiveness. You cannot have it both ways, hearing and having blessings while you live a lifestyle of sin (which means doing it your own way).
An example: The Great Commission: most of us can let this verse roll off our tongue: “Go into all the world and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”
Does everyone around you know that you are a Christian? Your neighbors? Where you work, do they know you are a Christian? How about your favorite coffee shop, do they know? School? Friends? That is “your world”, the place where your footsteps walk, it is the very world that Jesus was talking about. If you are not obeying this command, you are disobeying (doing it your way).
Fear – fear can keep us from God. Fear has a way of distorting the truth and eats away at what God is doing inside of us.
Doubt/Unbelief – James 1:6-7 “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind that person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.”
Pride – basically pride is thinking of myself higher than God. We tend to think of this as ourselves being better than other people, but it goes beyond that. Pride puts us on the pedestal and takes God off.
Distractions – too busy or too attached to our media players, phones, ipad, computers, tv…… too busy, too distracted, how can you even listen to God when He is talking?
Shame – shame can keep you stuck and often feeling alone and abandoned, even to the point of believing no one cares.
Other people – sometimes we run to others and listen to others when we should be running and listening to God.
Not honoring your father and mother – God had to bring it to my attention years ago. It is especially hard if there has been abuse or any kind of relationship that could be called abusive. God listed this one in His 10 Commandments. There are not the 10 suggestions, rather commands. How it is possible to honor someone who has hurt you so terribly? Ask God to show you 1 thing that you can honor them for, just one thing and it might even be for having you and giving you life, focus on that 1 thing. Thank God for it.
Those are some of the reasons, just some because the list is long, that we cannot hear God speak to us. God is longing to speak to you, it is why He created you.
Now it will be up to you to do something about it. It reminds me of times where I have given my boys some herbal remedy to take if they are suffering from something. I will ask them after, so how did that work for you? “I forgot to take it.” “Its still in the cupboard.”
We heard this all the time at the health food store and it was even worse.. “it did not work for me.” “how long did you take it?” “One day.”
Listen just like remedies, medicine and advice, unless you take it and use it, it will do you absolutely no good! To know something but not apply it, it just like the herbal remedies sitting in the cupboard, you have to take it out of the cupboard and use it, give it a good try, not just for one day. God expects us to use the advice, and to obey the commands He has given us, they are not suggestions, they are commands from the One who actually knows what is best for us.
God is speaking all the time, we simply have to get ourselves into a place where we can recognize it.