Christianity is not an easy path of life to walk. There trials, challenges, and doubts that we will face on our journey with God that will test our faith in him, and, if passed, will build us up to be fulfilled and committed disciples of Christ. To walk with Christ, we need to accept him and his love into our lives – sounds easy? But what happens when we can’t hear God’s voice? When we seem to be unable to identify and act on the words he feeds to us constantly throughout our daily lives? We need to be able to, especially as we are all physically made to spend time with and grow intimate with him.
God has always wanted to and always will want to have a relationship with us that is based on love and communication – this we can often forget, but it is God who has only ever sought to have a relationship with us from the beginning. Genesis 3:8 says that Adam and Eve heard the sound of God walking in the garden – God wanted to spend time with them, to grow intimate and close in a beautiful communion. The fellowship God desires with us is eternal – even when we sin! God called to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:9 ‘where are you?’ – not only does he speak to us, but he searches for us, even when we shroud ourselves in sin and feel unworthy of his presence. He never stops this! In the Old Testament, God commands the Israelites to make him a sanctuary, that he may ‘dwell in their midst’ (Exodus 25:8), and in the New Testament, the Word that was God became flesh and dwelt among us (1 John 1:1 and 1 John 1:14-15) – ours is a God who will stop at nothing to seek out and save his people! Hebrews 5:13 says that God will never leave nor forsake us! One of the greatest tricks the enemy will ever use against us is making us believe that we are less than what God created us to be – spiritual creations living for a relationship with God!
The Bible tells us that God is always seeking fellowship with us, so why don’t we hear the voice of the God who wants to communicate with us? When we do not hear God’s voice, it is because we put ourselves to be almost ‘tuned in’ to the wrong frequency – there is nothing wrong with the transmitter, only the receiver! Isiah 65:1 reads:
“I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.’
God is already tuned into our frequency! Even if we don’t want him to be, he is constantly available for us to interact with him – imagine God’s excitement when we want him in our lives, and when he sees our commitment to him and our own determination to walk with him! Isaiah 65:24 says that before we call to him, God will answer us, and ‘while they are yet speaking I will hear.’ God is always listening to us! John 10:27 tells us God’s: ‘sheep hear [his] voice’ and that they will follow him – the Bible doesn’t say the Lords sheep can hear his voice or should hear his voice – they DO hear his voice! The Bible makes it clear we are created for two-way communication with God.
‘If we ask anything according to his will he hears us’ (1 John 5:14). My immediate thought after reading this passage was that godly communication was conditional, but what does this really imply for living a life wherein we are actively hearing God’s input into our lives? How can we live according to his will?
When we truly seek him, God promised to place his wants and desires on our hearts, making them ours as well! Proverbs 16:3 in the King James Version reads: “Commit your works unto the Lord, and your thoughts shall be established” – so how do we commit our works to God? How can we know his plans for us? How can we begin to act upon God’s words to us in a real, meaningful way?
In Matthew 6:9-13, Jesus gives us a model upon which we should base all our prayers. He does not tell us to “pray this” but instead to “pray like this” – there is a priority in the Lord’s Prayer. The prayer starts with a relationship – ‘our father.’ When we pray, are we looking towards God as our father, or as a moral dump for all our problems? After his name comes “his kingdom and then his will” – only then comes our ‘daily bread’ – our needs. Unless we get this priority straight, we can never have power in prayer – “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). We must pray ‘thy will’ before ‘our bread’ – God deserves the first place in our hearts. So why can we sometimes think our prayers unanswered? Maybe it’s because we’re not praying like Jesus told us to pray!
How can we fix this?
- Purposely set aside time to study – we need to equip ourselves for the days we face in Christ, and even 15 minutes can give the spirit God’s nourishing refreshment!
- Get comfortable! Be in a place where you can meet the LIVING GOD in peace; where you can dedicate your time, heart, soul, strength and mind!
- Be prepared! Prepare your heart – talk to God about the things you may need to confess, ask him to guide your study of his word, and let nothing prevent you from receiving his word!
- Go back over that which you have studied or heard God communicate to you in prayer! – “his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law, he meditated day and night” (Psalm 1:1-2). Absorb God’s word – it may take time, but Jeremiah said he ate God’s words! We need to chew on God’s word! We can’t just scoff the verses and expect to be fulfilled! If anything, we may feel worse because we won’t have had the time to digest and understand what we’ve been reading!
Training ourselves to hear God’s word is hard! It takes time, effort and unwavering persistence and faith in Him, but it’s so worth it! It only takes a humble heart and a thirst for God’s presence!