So I asked HIM, and He said: ‘Get off at the fifth bus stop’. We got to the fifth bus stop, but I hesitated, I looked around but it did not look like a place I had been to before, bear in mind, this was at 10pm, so it was dark. While I hesitated, the traffic light worked in my favor and it changed to red. I walked up to the driver and asked: “Is the opposite stop, Milvan Drive?”
He replied: ‘Yes!’
Then I got off. As I walked to the venue, He said: ‘So you really had to ask the driver first, before believing? And you had to look around to be sure that it looked like the place too?
Then it dawned on me, what had just happened and I asked for forgiveness.
That experience made me understand how there could be a million reasons why we may not be able to hear God speak; and from my lil’ experience with God, I believe I can be able to share a few reasons why we may not hear God when He speaks and what we can do better as we grow in Christ.
Let me just put this out here: I was that girl who marveled at people who said God said…… In my mind, I just felt they had dropped from Heaven or had transformed into angelic creatures, ascended to Heaven, had a conversation with God, then entered their bodies, when done with God. I have a dramatic mind like that, story of my life.
My point is, I felt anyone who could hear from God was too real or too fake. I remember always hungering for anyone at the pulpit ministering and hearing from God, to hear something personal concerning myself. Talk about the things we wish for, in our ignorance.
Few years with the Lord, I have come to understand something that is very key to remaining effective and fruitful in our Christian race: You have to grow/mature.
By this time you ought to be teachers yourselves, yet here I find you need someone to sit down with you and go over the basics on God again, starting from square one- baby’s milk, when you should have been on solid long ago! Milk is for beginners, inexperienced in God’s ways; solid food is for the mature, who have some practice in telling right from wrong. Hebrews 5 v 12-14 MSG
The above scripture reiterates on the need for growth daily. As Christians, we cannot afford to be complacent and take the back seat, feeding on milk till the end. We cannot depend on pastors having to tell us what God says, when we have been granted the same access to our maker. [There’s nothing wrong with having a pastor tell you what God says. My context is deliberately not seeking to hear from God, being okay to hear from God through others]
So why can’t I hear God speak?
Unprepared: a person is not ready to listen to God when there is no personal relationship with God. He/she is satisfied with knowing God through the experience of another, but with no personal revelation. When we read the story of Samuel in 1 Samuel 3, we see that the first three times that God called out to Samuel, he walked to Eli, thinking Eli called him. He was used to ‘feeding from Eli’s table’. Personally, I can testify that we get comfortable when people we have people who have a certain experience or expertise that we more likely depend on the wealth of their expertise than going out of our way to get what we may need. If there’s anything, I take away from this scenario with Samuel, is that: God is always ready to speak, but are we ready to listen?
Trust issues: the thing with trust is that, it does not come naturally with man. We find it hard to trust the beings that stand before us, so how do we get to trust that, the voice that just spoke is from God? However, we are never to compare the things of the physical with the things of the spiritual, they are totally different realms. Trusting that we have the Spirit of God in us, is an imperative factor to hearing from God. One way, the enemy attacks us is by dropping seeds of doubt in our heart that we question our position in Christ, and therefore, can’t believe that the ‘go left prompt’ sounds better when labeled ‘my mind or my thoughts’ instead of the Holy Spirit. A perfect example is my story above. Remember:
God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are….. Romans 8 v 16a MSG
So much clutter: the Christian life is no child’s play, we do not get to keep one part away from Christ. If this is done, there is an inevitable penetration of that ‘UnChrist like’ part into the Christ like part of our lives. If you ask me, that is a very dangerous occurrence, because Rev. 3 v 15-16 makes us understand that Luke warmness, He won’t tolerate. What we put feed on, can make or mar our ability to hear God speak. We have minds that are powerful and able to replay and reflect on past activities. If we spend 24hours watching movies, there’s a huge tendency of replaying and reflecting on scenes from the movies. If we spend more time reading and meditating on the word of God and praying, there we find the Spirit of God at ease.
A mind that feeds continuously on the word of God, easily hears God speak. Remember, the word of God is active and living. A continuous engagement in sin deprives God from speaking. God is holy, that’s His nature and He can only be true to His nature. It is also possible that your mind may not be cluttered with sin, but may be cluttered with familiarity. The story of Elijah in 1 Kings 19 v 12-18 gives an illustration of the need to be open-minded, but sensitive to God’s voice/manner of speaking. That God spoke through a dream three days ago, that does not mean He has to speak through a dream five days after. In decluttering familiarity, patience is key.
Ear cleaning needed: I am addicted to cleaning my ears everyday, it’s very much a part of my daily routine. The only time I don’t clean my ear, is when I did not take note of how many cotton buds I have left and it finishes; then I make sure I but as soon as possible. But before, I get to buy the cotton buds, I am overly conscious, thinking that for the few hours before I clean my ear next, the one day I omitted, has piled up dirt in my ears, which is never the case.
What’s my point? The only way we can clean our ears, ready to listen to God speak is by spending time digging into His word. We are to wake up everyday, excited to hear God speak through His word. We need to feel incomplete when we haven’t fellowshipped with God via reading His word Also, we need to realize that the devil speaks too, and the only way we can decipher as to if God is speaking or the enemy is, is by cleaning our ears i.e studying the word of God. God’s word, He has magnified above His name. So God cannot tell us to do anything that is contrary to His word, but we cannot know His word if we choose to study it, once a week or once a month. We need to remember that the Word of God is living and powerful. The message version puts it this way:
God means what He says. What He says goes. His powerful word is as sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s word. We can’t get away from it- no matter what. Hebrews 4 v 12-13.
The word of God prepares us to hear from God in many ways, having the word of God stored up in our hearts opens us to a continuous flow of Him speaking.Busy Bee: we live in a world that gives thumbs up to being busy whatever it may be, as long as you are busy, it is okay. I have come to realize that productivity trumps ‘business’ any day. One major reason why we may not hear God speak could be that we have filled our times for Him with activities [and please that you are attending every and all Christian gatherings with no personal time with God, falls into the category of ‘busy and not productive’]. Christian activities can never be substitute for personal relationship with God, there has to be a balance. Being busy is never an excuse for not spending time with God. We can indisputably agree that, we make time for people and things that are important to us. Remember this powerful words:
The Master said, ‘Martha, dear Martha, you are fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it- it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her’ Luke 10 v 41-42 MSG
Are you spending more time seeking what will be taken from you or what won’t be taken from you?
Let’s pause here……
This post is to be continued, there will further parts to come. This post is not just meant for a new believer, it is meant for everyone. Typing this out, I am challenged to change some things that I have become accustomed to that could be impeding how God wants to relate with me. No Christian has arrived, we are daily seeking to be changed as we humble ourselves before Christ.
I pray that as you have read this post, that the Holy Spirit will whisper those words of change that are needed to alleviate the obstacles that are preventing us from hearing God speak. Amen.
So, why do you think we can’t hear God when He speaks? I do not know it all, I want to learn from you.
PT QUOTE OF THE DAY
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. Rev. 3 v 20 NKJV
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