Have you ever tried to hear from God and couldn’t?
Have you ever wished that God would write on your bedroom wall what you should do next (like in Daniel 5 for King Belshazzar)? I remember when I had just finished my nursing training in Tasmania and was trying to figure out what I should do next. I had an incredible opportunity with nursing, but I sensed God wanted me to shift interstate to pursue ministry training. I tossed and turned during the night, pondering God’s will for me. Even after 36 years, I can remember that overwhelming desire to have God write it on the wall or make it plain. I remember I even asked Him to write it on my bedroom wall so I would know what to do next.
I was young and had no real idea how to seek Godly wisdom. I had no way of recognising how God was speaking to me. I had minimal knowledge of the various ways God speaks to us.
This week’s podcast on our ‘Hearing God’ podcast covers that very issue – what to do when I can’t seem to hear from God for myself. (Next week’s podcast addresses what to do when our mind goes blank when we are trying to hear from God for others!)
The link for this week’s ‘Hearing God’ podcast is: https://www.buzzsprout.com/2196128/13276030 (You can listen to it on any podcast listening app.)
First Principle: Ask a Different Question
I will never forget the first time I decided to ask God a different question. I was driving home from an Anzac Day Service where I had watched my son march with his Air Force Cadet Squadron. Tears had flowed down my face. (When I am unexpectedly emotional, I have learnt to ask God what that is about.) I was processing this with God and asking why I had responded that way. “God – what was underneath that?” Nothing. I heard, felt, and saw nothing from God. I remember thinking, “well Jane, why don’t you ask God a different question then?” I changed the question to “God, was my response appropriate?” Bam!! The answer flowed.
Other suggestions when you are struggling to hear God for yourself:
- Change things up – walk on the beach, different worship music, fast,
- Read a different version of the Bible.
- Devour God’s Word the Bible Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”
- Turn your heart and affections to God. Praise shifts the atmosphere. Psalm 100:4 “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.”
Some questions to ask yourself when you are feeling stuck and can’t seem to hear God for yourself:
- Am I enjoying my relationship with God?
- Am I treating God like Santa Claus? Am I wanting to hear a specific answer, thus not hearing God because I’m not getting what I want?
Second Principle: Check obedience.
If there is an area of my life in which God has asked something of me and I haven’t obeyed, I find it is much harder to hear God about another issue.
Ten years ago, I asked God to show me my future in nursing. I had a very specific dream that night, and the interpretation clearly outlined the step I needed to take. Fast forward five years, and I hadn’t obeyed. The outcome of the dream came true.
The Bible is full of amazing and often frustrating stories. Moses in Exodus 3 & 4 is one such example. Moses was going about his business, saw an unusual sight so went over to check it out (there was a bush on fire, but it didn’t burn up). God caught his attention with this unusual sight and showed up with a miraculous sign, then an audible voice telling him to go and address Pharoah. Moses refused five times with excuses that fed into his low self-worth. If you refuse, God can easily use someone else or limit your effectiveness.
- If there is somewhere you haven’t yet obeyed God.
- For sin, fear, ignorance.
- Any unbelief in hearing God or needing more assurance or a sign.
- For any preconceived idea of what God would sound like or say.
- To see if you are realising your identity as a son/daughter of God or not realising the magnitude and greatness of God.
If you are struggling on an ongoing basis, it would be worth considering prayer ministry / inner healing. After my first time of having a SOZO, I left the building, and all my senses were electrified. Birds were singing. The sun was shining with a gentle breeze ruffling the leaves. God seemed extra close. I felt I could ask God anything and hear Him clearly. The prayer ministry session had ‘cleared’ my connection with God of any junk and it felt like an express highway of communication between God and me.
Prayer Ministry is valuable in clearing blockages and times when we may sense a wall between us and God or even when we may feel ‘frozen’ in relation to God and unable to hear Him.
Questions to ponder to begin the process may include:
- God, is there a wall between you and me?
- What does that wall look like?
- Is there something you want to give me to help demolish that wall?
- Is there an action I need to take?
- If my emotions are frozen, when did that first occur?
Third Principle – God may appear silent, or the answer may look different.
My husband Gary recently gave a prophetic word to a young lady about three doors open before her. This young adult was gobsmacked as she had three research opportunities but wanted God to show her which option was from God. God was showing her that He would be pleased with whichever she chose, as He was giving her the choice, and all three pleased Him.
The book of Jeremiah in the Bible has much wisdom and many promises.
Jeremiah 29:12-13 “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
The promise from Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable (or hidden) things you do not know.”
If you are unsure, here are some things to consider:
- Am I devouring God’s Word? Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”
- Have I tried fasting?
- What has God already given or shown me?
- What has He promised me?
- Speak life over my situation. Isaiah 55:11 “So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
Alternatively, have you ever asked God:
- What are you NOT saying?
- God, what is your perspective of where I am right now?
I would love to hear the strategies you employ when you are having trouble hearing God for yourself. Feel free to comment below.
Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:
Every blog post, I list five prophetic activations/exercises under children/family, group, beginner, intermediate and advanced. The purpose of these exercises is to practice to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and see and sense God and His way of communicating with us. This enables us to grow in our relationship with God and also to impart to others what God tells us for them. Feel free to use as many of these activations each week as you can. The more you practice, the sharper you become at hearing God’s voice. Enjoy! Remember that whenever you give another person a prophetic word or picture etc, please make sure that it is encouraging, edifying (strengthening) and comforting (1 Corinthians 14:3) and that it comes from a place of love.
1. Children / Families Activation: Gather Lego or building apparatus and enjoy creating what God is saying about you.
2. Group Activation: Get into pairs. Ask God to reveal to you which area of your life He wants to speak into. Then ask God which area of your partner’s life He wants to speak into. Ask God to show, tell, or give you something for that area of your partner’s life. Then share it with them. When your partner shares with you, see if it matches up with the area you sensed God wanted to highlight for you.
3. Beginner Activation: Spend time with God, asking Him to reveal to you something in the Bible that speaks to you today.
4. Intermediate Activation: Spend time with God, asking Him to highlight His desire for your next season, any preparation required and anything you may need to let go of.
5. Advanced Activation: Spend time with God hearing His heart for your nation and a current issue that is devisive. Ask God what He would love your response to be.