One of the scariest times for a Christian is when they cannot hear the voice of God. Jesus lived His life doing whatever He saw the Father doing (John 5:19). As Jesus’ followers we are to have the same closeness of relationship. And yet, we doubt our ability to hear God. We cling to the Bible for our security, but the Bible doesn’t tell us what career to go into, which house to buy, who to marry, etc. Life is full of decisions and full of trials that we need the constant companionship of the Spirit to get us through.
I have been thinking a lot on this lately as I have tried to come to grips with this current stage in my life. I’m desperate for God’s voice, but I keep floundering about what my next step should be. Jesus said that His sheep would hear His voice, and whoever belongs to God would hear His voice (John 10:27 and 8:47). Hearing God’s voice should be as natural to a believer as taking a breath. It’s necessary. A quick read of the first half of Joshua also reveals plenty of examples of our need to hear God’s voice. Why can’t I hear God speak?
Why is it hard for most Christians to hear God’s voice then?
“When the great moment came and the Beasts spoke, [Uncle Andrew] missed the whole point; for a rather interesting reason. When the Lion first began singing, long ago when it was still dark, he had realized that the noise was a song. And he disliked the song very much. It made him think and feel things he did not want to think and feel. Then when the sun rose and he saw that the singer was a lion (“only a lion,” as he said to himself) he tried his hardest to make believe that it wasn’t singing and never had been singing – only roaring as any lion might in a zoo in our world. “Of course it can’t really be singing,” he thought, “I must have imagined it. I’ve been letting my nerves get out of order. Who ever heard of a lion singing?” And the longer and more beautifully the Lion sang, the harder Uncle Andrew tried to make himself believe that he could hear nothing but roaring. Now the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed.“
I believe we try to make hearing God so difficult that we create an environment where we can no longer hear God. God tries to speak to us and we attribute it to our own thoughts because they were not profound enough to have come from God. Also, the things God says often don’t make sense to us, so we look for other explanations.
I believe we try to make hearing God so difficult that we create an environment where we can no longer hear God.
We look for definite signs that we can’t deny and God is looking for intimacy. We come to God to get the next direction, and God wants to tell us how much He loves us. We can’t understand why God wants to waste His time on “small talk” so we minimize those thoughts as coming from us. In the end we have discounted so many of His words to us, that now nothing can get through.
Hearing the voice of God is as easy (and as hard) as coming to Jesus… it takes faith. God so loves faith in us that we cannot follow Him without it. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Anything done without faith is sin (Romans 14:23). When we don’t hear God, it is less of an issue about God voice as it is about our faith. We have to choose to believe that God is speaking to us.
Sometimes the best act of faith following hearing God’s voice is just writing it down so that you will not forget it. What does God want you to write down? Ask Him right now, and write down whatever you feel He tells you. Feel free to use the comment box below to record what you here. I’d love it if you shared. I would like the encouragement.
For more help on how to grow in hearing the voice of God, check out Mark Batterson’s book: Whisper
Kevin Shorter is the founder of this prayer-coach site and have served for several years in ministry and churches teaching on a variety of Biblical topics. Go to the contact page to request him to speak at your conferences and seminars.