We all go through seasons where things between us and God seem quiet. It may be that God has not spoken to you for a very long time.  I may say that “God is not talking to me… right now, at this point in time,” which is acceptable isn’t it?  Even best friends have moments of silence in their conversations before conversation flows again.  I may even feel that He is speaking to other people at the moment, but not to me.  That is also acceptable.   Even if this is the case, now as I am standing waiting for the Lord, there are still moments, when inside I say “Oh, how I wish God would speak to me.”  There is however one question I have to ask myself to check my heart:

Perhaps it is not so much that He is not talking—as I am not listening. 

The nature of our relationship with God is just that: a relationship. This implies a level of intimacy between us.  Perhaps the silence is more about me, just not putting myself in a position where I can be in relationship with Him.  I am just avoiding conversation.  Like a child no longer paying attention to a parent: a servant not listening for instructions: a friend not understanding the heart of another and a lover no longer intuitively knowing what the other is thinking, communicating with a look, a smile an eyebrow raised.

God IS speaking to me all the time.

Not only has He given me His Word, but if I look at the relationship between the Father and Jesus, in John 11:41-42, there is a level of intimacy there, that I as child of God, can also experience.  “Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.  I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”  

Perhaps it is not so much that He is not talking—as I am not listening. 

A good way to avoid obedience is to make sure you don’t hear the instruction—to avoid direct conversation.  When my kids were younger and they did not want to go to bed, they used to keep a low profile around me, staying out of my way, not causing waves, so that I don’t actually look at them directly and say, “Go to bed.”  They knew that if they avoided notice and direct conversation with me, they would avoid having to obey.

notlisteningnowNot actually putting myself in a position where I converse with God directly, means that I don’t hear Him.  It is not a conscious, willful, disobedience; I am just failing to listen because I don’t actually want to hear Him speak.

If He does speak, then a decision will have to be made: how I will respond to what He says.

So I need to check again: instead of listening to Him, do I listen to His messengers.  Servants who share personal testimony about how God is speaking to them. I listen with appreciation and say sweetly, “Oh that’s wonderful!” because what they are hearing is not relevant to my personal life, because God is not speaking to me directly.   God is speaking to them, so I don’t have to obey.

The question for my heart then: Is it that I don’t want Him to speak to me directly?

Am I like the Israelite’s in the desert in Exodus 20:19  “Let not God speak to us, lest we die.”  They wanted God to speak to Moses and then Moses could speak to them.  It was this lack of direct relationship with God that led to easy disobedience and sin, you know, the whole mountain, golden calf…etc.

Their love and respect for God had died outside of a direct relationship, the love for God grows cold.  Over time, one does not actually give consideration to WHO is actually talking and His authority.  We no longer submit to His direction in our lives and no longer put ourselves in a position to hear Him.

Help me to listen to you Lord.  Actually listen and then obey.  Help me to remember WHO is speaking to me.  What has happened in my heart that I would not put myself in a position to hear from you?  Help me develop an attitude of hearing.

Samuel learnt to cultivate an attitude of hearing from the Lord all the time, “Speak Lord your servant is listening.” 1 Sam 3:10

If I do not cultivate a devotion to hearing God—then I can only hear Him at certain times, at other times I am taken up with other things e.g. Things that I say I must do: my own priorities, needs, objectives.

How does one cultivate an attitude of hearing?

    • Putting yourself in a position to hear Him, this includes refocusing on WHO is actually speaking to you AND actually entering into His presence.
    • Spend time in God’s presence, with more listening and less speaking or praying.  Be silent, so that He has a chance to talk.  God is a gentleman, He does not interrupt!
    • Work on the assumption that He is always speaking to you because He desires a relationship with you. It is easier to believe that He is silent, than to engage in conversation.
    • Open up the Word and read it.  It is God’s “word” to us – are we listening?  If we have the promise, that the Spirit brings the word into remembrance, then question: Are we putting it into our minds in the first place? John 14:26 “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
    • Keeping a journal has been the most powerful strategy for me.  It is a record of my conversation with God.  Just like in friendship, it is possible to forget all the details of a friend’s life from the last conversation you had, so that you need to be reminded.  So too, I believe with time, we forget the content of our last conversation with God.  Time for a review of the journal, to pick up the thread of the conversation.  To look at what God HAS actually said to me lately.

Thank you Father that I am your child and in a relationship with You.  Thank you that even though I neglect this relationship at times, You have promised to never leave me and are always present with me.  Help me to examine my heart, to examine whether I am listening to hear You and Your heart.  Turn the ears of my heart towards You, help me not to harden my heart and actually listen to what You are saying to me. Help me to develop an attitude of hearing.  And then when I do hear Lord, help me to be the one saying: “speak Lord, your servant is listening.”  Help me to be obedient.

  • Can you list on a page the last things God has said to you?
  • Have you been cultivating an attitude of hearing from God, or an attitude of avoidance?
  • Have you been obedient to what you have heard and understood from God?

Also see:

How to Position Yourself to Hear from God

When You are not Hearing from God

A Vital Personal Discipline

Locating Questions