Hearing God’s Voice – Part 2

In the last post I wrote about our need to hear from God. In this post I want to address the issue of what keeps us from hearing God’s voice.

The Scripture teaches us that the normal practice of every believer is to be able to hear from God. When Scripture tells us to be “led by the Spirit” in Ephesians 5 it’s our mandate to watch and wait on God’s leading in all things.

Therefore, it is abundantly clear that the normal Christian life is one that is taught, led and directed by the Holy Spirit. We exist to commune with God and get our direction for life from a heavenly source.

Every believer should be hearing from God, but it is evident by the decisions we make, that our communication with God is somewhat lacking. There are several reasons that many believers are not hearing from God on a regular basis. Here are three of the more obvious reasons.

The busyness of life dominates our attention

When we let our busy life control our lack of fellowship with God, it is an indication that we have lost our sense of urgency to hear from God. It happens to all of us, we get busy making a living, running the kids all over town, even doing the work of the ministry. But if our life is to be truly God-centered then we must be intentional about setting aside a time to hear from God. Jesus thought it was so important that he said in Matthew 6:6, “When you pray, go into a private room, close the door, and pray unseen to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees in secret will reward you.”

Our lifestyle screams “hurry up”

Part of the mentality of our culture is we are always in a hurry. We get upset when we have to wait 5 minutes in the checkout lane, or have to wait 15 seconds for a web page to load. Our whole lifestyle is about speed and convenience.

Unfortunately, many of us approach our quiet time the same way. We rush through the Scripture reading and our devotional material, and then we say our usual 2 minute prayer, and then get on with our daily schedule. We have given little thought to our overall purpose and need to hear from God.

I recently heard a testimony from a woman in Iran who was seeking God. She became so frustrated in her search to find God that she prayed, “God I am going to give you 7 days to reveal yourself to me and then I am going to give up trying to find you. “ We often do the same thing, “OK God, I am giving you 15 minutes this morning, then I’m out the door.”

The Scripture says in many places to value waiting on God, “Yet those who wait on the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles…” (Isaiah 40:31) The Lord is telling us in this passage that when we learn to wait on Him, then our perspective will be like an eagle. An eagle flies higher than any bird and has a grand panoramic perspective.

We haven’t developed our spiritual listening ears

Developing listening skills is one of the most important skills a follower of Jesus can obtain. When we spend quality time waiting and listening before God, then we develop spiritual listening ears. These are ears that eventually learn to hear God in every event of life.

A good listener knows what is happening beyond the words spoken. A husband who has become a good listener knows that a statement by his wife many times has a deeper meaning than just the words she says. In a similar manner, when an event occurs that is hard to understand, because we have developed our spiritual ears, we know God may have a greater purpose in mind.

Bottom Line

You can rest assured that God wants to speak to you. He wants to share His love by increasing your intimacy with Him. But you must take the first step to slow down and listen, because God is seldom in a hurry. As you develop your spiritual listening ears then He will do the rest by speaking to you. He may speak in a passage of Scripture, a devotional, or even through a sermon. He could speak in the middle of difficult circumstances, or He may speak in a still small voice. But however He speaks it’s important that you are ready, willing and prepared to listen.

“Wait for the Lord, be strong and let your heart take courage, yes, wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14)

Trusting the Lord in all Situations

I think that “trusting the Lord in all situations” is the most difficult aspect of the Christian life. Actually, it is the one big thing that keeps us from living a victorious and fulfilled life.

When I was a kid our church had regular testimony meetings. I have to admit that I enjoyed the testimony meetings more than the preaching. It was a sampling of what it’s like to live as a follower of Jesus. I heard how Jesus intervened in all sorts of life experiences, such as providing money just in the nick of time, how He healed a sick body, or a broken relationship, and miraculously intervened in potential tragic accidents.

I miss those testimony meetings. I believe these meetings did more to confirm God’s Word in my heart than any other church activity. I learned more about God’s intervening power in those meetings than any other activity in the church. I heard credible evidence of God’s faithfulness and power from people I loved and respected. These were real life examples of God’s power lived out in daily experience.

If we will learn to trust Him, God will provide us with plenty of relevant and recent examples of His power and His care in our own lives. Of course the real question is, “Will we trust Him”? Most of the time we hinder God’s provision because He is waiting for us to take that step of faith and put all our trust in Him. The Scripture is clear on this point, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and (then) He will direct your path.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB)

Another passage of Scripture that is relevant to the subject of trust is Isaiah 40, “They that wait upon the Lord will gain their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not get tired, and they will walk and not get weary.” (Isaiah 40:31 NASB)

When I think of this passage of Scripture two thoughts come to my mind. One is the phrase, “Are you living with the turkeys or are you soaring with the eagles?” The other is “God’s perspective is always the best perspective.”

Eagles fly higher than any other creature. Have you ever observed how effortless they reach the high altitudes? They don’t frantically flap their massive wings; they flap only when necessary. They simply extend their wings and ride the God-provided currents to unbelievable heights. When they get to the highest points they have a perspective that us earth bound folks don’t have. The higher they go, the greater the perspective. The more you trust your current circumstances to the Lord, the higher He will carry you so that He can increase your perspective.

Or you can choose to live like a turkey and fly only as high as a tree limb. A turkey reaches its maximum elevation only by constantly flapping his wings – all self-effort. And his perspective is a mere medium size tree top.

With most believers, the trust issue will always be a challenge. That’s because when the Lord calls you to go higher and deeper with Him, you will encounter a new level of trust. Each step of growth requires greater faith and trust.

If you are in the most difficult situation of your life, you can be assured that God is about to increase and deepen your perspective. He is calling you to a new God-encounter and all you have to do is trust Him. Really, if you think about it, that’s all God asks of us, that’s to trust Him.

Never get so busy doing the work of the kingdom that you forget who the King is.