I may say that “God is not talking to me right now,” which is acceptable isn’t it? I may feel that He is speaking to other people at the moment, but not to me. Today however, I have to ask; “Is it possible to reach a point in your spiritual walk, where God has not spoken to you for a long time?”
Even if this is the case, surely there are still moments, when inside you say “Oh, how I wish God would speak to me.”
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.
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. Like my kids do, when they know they should go to bed. They 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 know that if they avoid direct conversation with me, they will avoid having to obey.
So not 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 instead, 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.
In my heart though, I don’t want Him speaking directly to me.
I am 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 mountain, the calf…etc.
Their love and respect for Him had died outside of direct relationship and like them, my love grows cold. Over time, I don’t actually give consideration to WHO is actually talking and His authority. I no longer submit to His direction in my life and no longer put myself in a position the hear Him.
Help me to actually listen to you Lord. Actually listen and then obey. Help me to remember WHO is speaking to me. I used to be on the edge of my seat, waiting to hear from You, I used to take immediate obedience quite seriously. What has happened in my heart that I would not put myself in a position to hear from you?
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. 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, 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. So I record the conversation. Then every now and then, I look back at what is being said between us. This helps me pick up the thread of the conversation.
So dear friend, put yourself in a position to hear.
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 turn the ears of my heart towards You and actually listen to what You are saying to me. Then help me to be obedient.