3 Reasons Why You're Not Hearing God's Voice
I remember when I was growing up. I was so on fire for Christ. I lived, eat, and breathed His Word. My favorite store was the Family Christian Bookstore. I would go in there with my mom ready to scan through any and all devotional books for young girls. I was hungry for God, and I was thirsty to hear and see more of Him.
It seemed like back then it was so easy for me to hear Him. I would hear Him speak as I read my Young Women of Faith Devotional Bible. I would feel His presence in the hallways at school, and I would hear Him whisper to my heart during worship at Chapel. And at night He would always share secrets with me during the stillness of my dreams. Back then it seemed so easy to hear Him, but as I got older and life became busier, it got harder to hear His voice. Subsequently, life got noisier and His voice seemed more distant than ever.
It wasn’t until my sophomore year at college that I fully noticed the disconnect. God and I weren’t nearly as close we used to be. We weren’t exactly strangers; we were more like acquaintances. I knew Him and He knew me, but there was a major piece missing from our relationship. There were some major pieces missing that kept us from taking our acquaintanceship to a full-fledged relationship and those missing pieces were connection and commitment.
And to be clear: it wasn’t God that wasn’t connected or committed; it was me. We were in a one-sided relationship where God was putting in all the effort while I was letting busyness and striving keep me distracted. Life became so cloudy that I couldn’t see Him moving. Life screamed so loud that I couldn’t hear Him speak. And with busyness and striving competing for my attention, God became invisible and silent.
When God becomes silent it can be so easy to blame or doubt Him when we don’t hear Him speak. When silence creeps in and we want answers, we think He’s left. We ask Him, “Where are you?,” when God is saying, “I’m right here. Where are you?”
Oftentimes it’s not that God isn’t speaking. The Bible is clear on all the ways God is yearning to speak with us and answer our prayers.
The Lord is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on Him in truth. - Psalm 155:18
I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers! - Isaiah 65:24
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. - James 1:5
Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be open. - Matthew 7:7-8
The problem isn’t that God isn’t or doesn’t want to speak; the problem is that we’re not putting ourselves in the position to hear or be heard. If you’ve been going through a silent season with God, here are three reasons why you’re probably not hearing His voice.
1)You’re not spending time with Him
How can you expect to hear from somebody you don’t spend time with or talk to? Think about it: you’re not going to share your life and gifts with a complete stranger. If you’re going to share your innermost thoughts, secrets, and plans with someone, you want to know them and spend time with them first. The same thing goes for God. He wants us to know and spend time with Him. It is with this intentional effort that we can develop an open line of trust and communication. Quality time is a fundamental part of relationship building. That is why He wants us to abide in Him so that He can abide in us while speaking and moving on our behalf (John 15:7).
According to the Greek translation, abide means to remain, stay, or wait, not to visit occasionally when you need something, or when your way isn’t working. It means that we are continually spending time with Him and are bathing ourselves in His presence. That means that we are calling to Him, so He can answer (Jeremiah 33:3). But if we’re not spending time with Him through His Word and prayer, how can we expect to hear Him when He speaks?
2) You’re allowing sin and disobedience to separate you from Him.
I want to be really clear here: absolutely NOTHING can separate us from the love of God. We have victory over sin because God removed our sin and guilt when He sacrificed His Son, Jesus Christ for us. Jesus has freed us, but a lot of us are still walking around chained to our sins and disobedience. Because we are not fully accepting our freedom in Christ, we are living in bondage and disobedience which is keeping us from hearing from God. Sin and disobedience are what desensitizes us from hearing His voice (Ephesians 4:17-18). They harden our hearts and put us in a position where we can’t hear from Him.
Because of Christ, you are no longer a slave to sin (John 15:15). Remember that because of God’s sacrifice, you are now apart of His royal priesthood. He has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:4-10). He wants to speak to you, but you must first let go of sin, disobedience, and other distractions that are keeping you from hearing His voice. (Hebrews 12:1-4).
3) You’re overthinking how He speaks
When my relationship with the Lord was reignited, I thought He would start speaking to me in this loud, magnanimous voice. Well, that was quite the contrary. Now, I’m not downplaying what God can do, but most of the time He speaks in a still, small voice (1 Kings 19:10-12). So a lot of the times it’s not that God isn’t speaking, we’re just not listening for Him. Many times that still, small voice is a confident knowing-- almost like a wave of peace. Sometimes it's a confirming word from a pastor, family member, or friend. It can even be a prophetic word. God speaks more than one way. You just have to open up your eyes and ears and be ready to receive.
So now that we’ve talked about why we’re not hearing from God, how can we position ourselves to better hear?
3 Ways to Sensitize Yourself to God’s Voice:
Reading and meditating on His Word -- His Word is His voice.
Praying -- Talk to God and listen to Him; It’s a two-way conversation.
Fasting -- This involves sacrifice. Fasting breaks the cycle of anything that takes your attention/affection away from God.
If you’re having a hard time hearing from God. I want to challenge you to ask yourself, “Am I putting myself in a position to hear from God, or am I keeping myself from hearing from him?” It’s not that God is withholding himself from us, it is us who are withholding ourselves from him. Accept your freedom in Christ by throwing off your sin. Commit yourself to spending intentional time with Him. Tune your ears to listen to all the ways He speaks, and you’ll be able to hear Him speak loudly and clearly again.