In relationships, the better we understand how to communicate, the better our relationship may become. This is true in marriages, dating relationships, friendships, employment relationships, etc. Most relationship problems are rooted in basic communication problems. The same principle is true for many in their opinions of God. Many people have a “God problem.” They feel as if God has abandoned them or become irrelevant to today’s culture. Ultimately, these “God problems” are rooted in a communication problem. More specifically, they lack hearing from the Father. These people have chosen to disregard the available ways of hearing from God. In addition, they have yet to find the hope that comes from knowing that God hears them, too.
But, what about you? In your faith, do you ever feel like you just aren’t hearing from Him? Does it appear that God has gone silent in regards to your ministry? Is this possibly true for your personal life as well?
Our ability to hear from God is similar to the way that we hear anything else. We must turn up what we need to hear and turn down the things that are keeping us from hearing. Think about a recent conversation where it was necessary to really focus because of the distractions around you. In our relationship with God, we need to take similar actions. There are specific ways in which we can hear God - His Word, prayer, circumstances, Godly counsel, etc. However, there are also things in our life that keep us from hearing Him. There is “noise” that we need to tune out and rid ourselves of. This “noise” keeps us from hearing Him clearly or possibly even at all.
“Noise” comes in a lot of different forms. It develops out of things we are responsible for as well as things that we are not. Sometimes we conscientiously allow distractions into our lives and in other instances, it seems to have just happened. In fact, some of the things that keep us so distracted from hearing God are founded on good intentions. Here is an important principle to know: Both negative and positive elements of your life can become distractions in hearing God.
Psalms 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” That’s not always easy, is it? One of the reasons this is so hard is because we are so rarely still. The velocity of life is increasing and it includes a broad range of potential distractions. But the more “noise” we fill our lives with, the more difficult it becomes at times to hear God. The key to avoiding distractions is protecting your time, your heart, and your mind. As a fellow believer, I would encourage you to evaluate how you are doing in these areas.
Protect Your Time
Hobbies, entertainment, relationships, work responsibilities, education, social work, community involvement, programs, and many other activities can clutter your walk with the Lord. As mentioned before, many of these are very good things to have in your life. However, be sure to protect yourself from falling into a lifestyle of misplaced priorities. Although many of the activities in our life can’t and shouldn’t be stopped, they still must be monitored. Evaluate the amount of time and energy that you invest into the different commitments of your life. Do your results accurately reflect your personal priorities? If not, consider what ways you can bring the use of your time into a healthy balance.
Protect Your Heart
Life is heavy. It can be really, really heavy at times. Avoid placing yourself in situations in which you inappropriately commit your emotions. We are emotional people and God created us that way. However, we must protect ourselves from distractions in our life that demand an unhealthy amount of emotional equity. Psalm 86:11 says, “Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” When our hearts are consumed with inappropriate and unnecessary emotional baggage, our ability to hear God is lessened. This is especially hard for those in leadership, isn’t it? Ask God to give you wisdom as you seek to love and care for people while still taking care of your own emotional well-being.
Protect Your Mind
Matthew 22:37 states, “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your MIND.’” Our minds are amazing things and a vital part of how God desires to speak to us. Thus, we must protect our mind from unhealthy or immoral intake. Our ability to protect our mind from false teaching, sexual immorality, negative conversations, etc. will have a direct impact on our ability to hear from Him.
Take a moment today and carefully consider all that impacts your ability to hear God and begin to strategically turn down the “noise” that is drowning out His voice. Know that we are praying for you as seek God and commit your life to serving Him.
This post is a part of a series during our "Kingdom Come" series.
Learn more about Kingdom Come here.