God can communicate to you in numerous ways. Occasionally He may speak audibly; when this does happen, ensure it aligns with Scripture.
God speaks through knowledge, intuition, feelings or even pictures; He may even use people as messengers of His message.
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1. You are not listening.
Constantly looking at your phone and social media can make it harder to hear God speaking to you. Just imagine having a conversation with someone: would they appreciate every other sentence being interrupted with texts or other distractions? In order to have meaningful communication with Him, give Him your full focus.
Assume the possibility that God may be unavailable due to personal sin; the further away you become from Him, the harder it will be for Him to hear you. If this is indeed the case for you, ask for His forgiveness and repentance so you can hear His voice again; consult a pastor or other trusted Christian regarding this issue for advice or counseling.
One reason you may be failing to hear God could be due to your inaction; perhaps you are ignoring signs He’s trying to convey to you. Perhaps wise advice from teachers or godly friends has been disregarded despite being given? This could be an indication that He wants something from you, but you are refusing to listen because it conflicts with what you want to do.
Not only should you seek God’s counsel, but you should also spend some time reading the Bible. Its words represent His words directly; written down over generations by multiple authors to tell one overarching story that provides a solid reference point of what He wants you to know today. Therefore, instead of searching subjective experiences of hearing Him speak directly, read what has been preserved over millennia by churches worldwide and confirmed as such by them.
2. You are not willing.
God desires to communicate with us as intimately and powerfully as a close, loving friend would, so it is crucial to remain open and accepting of whatever He may say if you hope to hear something specific from Him. Otherwise, doubt will cloud everything He says and you won’t be able to understand anything He gives.
The Bible is an incredible window into God’s communication with humanity throughout generations, showing how He speaks through scripture to those whose hearts are consistently still. Conversation can become difficult in an environment with too much noise, making communication with the Lord much harder; conversely, talking over Him makes dialogue even harder!
As Christians, it’s easy for us to misinterpret what seems like a message from the Lord, which is why it’s essential that we spend time reading His word and being open and listening for His voice. Additionally, it should be remembered that He never contradicts what has already been written down, instead only providing messages which bring glory to Him.
3. You are doubting.
Doubt can keep us from hearing God’s voice. Doubt is especially damaging if it makes us doubt our own ability to hear it or we feel epistemically compromised or inadequate; doubting yourself constitutes akrasia (defined as holding onto beliefs that aren’t supported by evidence).
Doubting yourself will only make listening to God harder, as you won’t trust that the voice within may actually be Him speaking through you. With more time spent in fellowship with Him, your intuition will become more reliable.
Many people look for God to reveal himself through signs or an audible voice, but He may reveal Himself differently than expected – for instance through knowing, intuition, feelings or even visualisations in their imagination.
God may speak to us in different ways, but you must remain open and responsive in order to hear what He’s trying to tell you. Otherwise, you could miss it all together!
As is often the case, if God were to communicate directly with you it would always coincide with what He has written in Scripture and would never contradict Himself; moreover, why wait hundreds of years, tons of dead old guys from various locations, or some manuscript tradition to hear what you need from Him? His own Word in the Bible provides far greater reassurance than your subjective experience can.
4. You are not stilling your heart.
Problematic is that most people don’t realize God communicates with us through our spirits and mental processes, making it hard for them to hear his voice when there’s noise or their own thoughts! In fact, many who claim they hear from Him end up misinterpreting or mistaking what they perceive to be His voice as something else entirely: either their mind creating an echo chamber of its own making, or hearing something other than God altogether! This may explain why those claiming they hear from God often become confused because what they’re hearing may simply be their mind’s echo chamber or imagination creating its echo chamber!
Example: Perhaps you are seeking to switch careers because doing so will bring wealth and luxury (rational and logical thinking), yet your heart of God tells you otherwise! He cares more for your soul development than wealth, status or material possessions.
Another sign you aren’t hearing from God could be your refusal to listen to wise advice from teachers and godly friends, or refusing to follow advice that doesn’t fit with what you want – which indicates you may be out of sync with His word.
As Scripture clearly shows us, God always hears and responds to our prayers – it just takes obedience and faith for us to hear him! If you would like to learn more about how He communicates with His people, check out this free resource on How to Hear God’s Voice; it will provide insight into how we can recognize His voice more readily!
5. You are not reading the Bible.
Without regularly reading Scripture, it can be very hard to hear God. After all, He’s the source of all truth in our relationship with Him! When approached with humility, contrition and openness to the Holy Spirit in mind when reading it will allow you to discern between what might be coming from Him and what’s not; moreover you may encounter things He reveals about our sinful ways or repentance needs which may be hard for us to accept as it speaks about sin, humanity and repentance needs within Scripture itself.
Sometimes when God speaks through Scripture or through you directly, His words can sound just like yours or sound very personal. Therefore it is crucial that we become familiar with His word so as to be able to differentiate what comes from God versus ourselves. By studying and memorizing it thoroughly you’ll better be able to tell when something is from Him or just yourself!
Reading Scripture out-of-order can also be beneficial, not because this undermines its significance but simply because most people find it easier to start from an uplifting or comforting passage and work their way through it step-by-step.
If you are having difficulty hearing God, it is likely due to not listening and remaining still enough. One effective way of hearing from Him is reading His word and listening for what He has to say about the situation you are currently in; then waiting patiently for His response–whether through signs or inner communication. Whatever His plan for you might be!