Why does it feel like I can’t hear God?
I asked myself this question everyday for three months. When I prayed, I heard nothing. When I worshiped, I felt nothing . I constantly wondered how long this desert season would last and if I’d ever feel God’s presence and hear God clearly again.
Before I go on, I want to elaborate on what “hearing” God means. I’m not talking audibly hearing His voice. For me, hearing God means having a thought pop into my head that isn’t my own OR having a strong impression to take a very specific action. Everyone hears God differently, so keep in mind what that looks like for you.
If you’re experiencing this right now, I want to encourage you. I know it’s frustrating and devastating, but it’s not forever. This is something that can and will change as long as you don’t give up. I won’t pretend to know all the complexities of God’s ways or your situation, but I will speak from my own experience.
Here are a few scenarios that have hindered my ability to hear God:
1. Practicing Selective Hearing
Maybe you are hearing from God, you’re just not hearing what you want. Are you trying to put a comma or question mark where God put a period? “No” and “Not yet” are complete sentences. Or you may be asking God to speak to you about a situation that you should already know the answer to. For example, out of your loneliness, you ask God if a certain man or women is the one for you even though you know they aren’t pursuing a relationship with Christ! You can find that answer in the Bible! Sometimes it seems like God is silent because you’re waiting on an answer He already gave – either in His Word or through the Holy Spirit.
2. Partial Obedience (a.k.a disobedience) and Unfaithfulness
You want a new word from God, but were you obedient to the last one? God doesn’t give detailed five year plans. If you haven’t gotten a new word from Him, hold on to the last one He gave you. You won’t be ready for the next step until you take the current one.
Related Post: 3 Key Ways to Hear God’s Voice [Video]
3. Pursuing Sin
The Bible tells us in Romans 8 that nothing can separate us from the love of God, which is true. However, actively pursuing sin separates us from the will of God. In John 10:27 Jesus says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” If you’re willingly pursuing sin then you’re not following Jesus; You’re following your desires and walking in another direction entirely. The further away you are from God’s will, the harder it will be to recognize His voice.
4. God Developing My Faith
There are times when God’s silence isn’t a result of your disobedience. Sometimes He draws us closer by challenging us to go deeper and seek Him more. If God just spoke to you every time you need a quick answer, would it push you go further in your relationship? Would you be inclined to deepen your intimacy with Him? Let His silence cause the roots of your faith to grow deep like a tree roots are searching for water.
How to hear His voice again
How do you get to place when you can hear God’s voice again? The short answer – seek Him. Maybe you wanted a more elaborate answer, but it’s really simple. Here are a few ways to seek God through the silence:
When you’re close to Him (i.e. in His word and seeking His presence) you’ll become more in tune with His voice and learn His ways. Think about your own life. Do you have more of a bond and intimacy with someone who talks to and spend time with frequently or irregularly? Same goes for your relationship with God. The more you spend time with Him, the more you’ll hear Him speak.
2. Allow Your Will To Be Broken
If you haven’t done the last thing He told you to do then it’s time to 1) repent for your disobedience and 2) be obedient. What God instructed you to do may not be pleasant, or easy, or even make sense – but you have to make up your mind that you will follow Him wholeheartedly. When you value God’s will above your own and prove to be faithful with little, God will trust you with more. You won’t be ready for the next step until you’ll do all He’s asked of you in this one.
3. Get Rid of The Distractions & Noise
A distraction is anything that takes your focus off of God. This could be an activity, relationship, habit, etc… Noise is any influence (an Instagram page you follow, friends, a TV show, etc…) that teaches ideas or a theology that is contrary to God’s Word. One example of noise could be certain secular music. When you’re struggling to hear God, the last thing you need to do is listen to music that glorifies the very sins that Christ died for. Fasting is a powerful way to disconnect from the world and become in tune with God.
4. Do Something You’ve Never Done
You may not feel like you’re worship and prayer are fruitless, but that doesn’t mean you should quit. This is the time to seek God in new ways and give Him more of yourself. If you usually spend 30 minutes with Him, find a way to make it an hour. Or, if you’ve never done a fast, this is the perfect opportunity. Like any relationship, there has to be pursuit and effort. If you never change and only do what you’ve always done, you’ll never see your relationship with God and faith grow.
This Won’t Last Forever
I can’t tell you how long this season of silence will last, but I can tell you it won’t be forever if you press in and give God all you’ve got. This may be occurring in the middle of hardship in your life or as you’re coming back to Him after pursuing the world. Either way, know that He loves you and He is for you. You’re not alone in this. If you feel alone, reach out to someone (preferably a mature believer) who can walk alongside you. When all seems lost and you’re tempted to doubt His love take a second and remember the cross and let it stir up your faith. God came down to earth to save you. Nothing is stronger than His love, not even this silence.