God can always hear you. But there are hindrances to us hearing God. First, I want to start by saying that the best way to hear God is to read His Word. There are a lot of people who want to replace reading and studying the Bible to show themselves approved by getting prophetic words from God. They want to get a new, fresh word. Don’t be mistaken – there is no shortcut to hearing God’s voice. If you want to hear God, read your Bible. If you want to hear God out loud, read your Bible out loud. Instead of getting a “new Word”, get a fresh revelation on an old one!
Here are several reasons why you may not be able to hear God clearly.
Isaiah 59:1-3 (ESV)
Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save,
or his ear dull, that it cannot hear;
but your iniquities have made a separation
between you and your God,
and your sins have hidden his face from you
so that he does not hear.
For your hands are defiled with blood
and your fingers with iniquity;
your lips have spoken lies;
your tongue mutters wickedness
Unconfessed sin is a barrier to hearing God. Jesus is faithful and just to forgive when you confess your sins (1 John 1:9). But you can’t say, “Oh I confessed my sins once,” and then continue to live in sin the rest of your life. A good habit to get into in your prayer time is confession. Take a moment in prayer to quiet your heart and allow the Holy Spirit bring to light any sin in your heart that you might be unaware of. Then, bring it before the Lord and confess it. When Jesus taught the disciples to pray, he said, “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us” (Luke 11:4). Make confession a part of your daily discipline.
Rebellion is another barrier to hearing God. God has placed spiritual authority in our lives. I say this in love: if we are rebellious and disobedient toward the delegated spiritual authority of our pastors and leadership, how can we promise God that we will be obedient to His authority? Rebellion is a major blockage to prayer. If you feel as if your prayers are not being heard, ask yourself, am I in rebellion to God’s delegated authority? Every believer should be under spiritual authority, no matter what ministry position or office they hold. If you’re not currently under authority, you should not be in authority. For those who desire to move in the prophetic gift, you cannot be prophetic without a pastor. Get under authority and submit yourself to leadership, and you’ll be able to hear the voice of God clearly again.
Busyness and Distraction
The God of the universe wants to spend intimate time with us, but busyness and distraction are barriers to hearing Him. The Lord will meet us wherever and whenever we choose to spend time in His presence, but we often neglect to show up due to our overcrowded schedules and busy lives.
Luke 10:38-42 (ESV)
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
The story of Mary and Martha is a perfect example of the way we can be so busy, even while in His presence. Jesus is beckoning us to choose what is better over what is good. His presence is better than our full schedules and busy lives. Sitting at his feet is better than checking everything off our to-do list. This applies to people in ministry too. We can be so busy working for God that we forget to spend time with God. Set aside time every day to be with God. Put your phone away – your phone is robbing you of your destiny – and focus on Him.
Are You Listening?
These three things – unconfessed sin, rebellion, and busyness and distraction – are three things that might be obscuring you from hearing the voice of the Lord. If you find yourself identifying any of these three issues in your own life, confess them to the Lord, repent, and make a change so that you can hear Him speak. He is talking – are you listening?
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