If the Creator’s voice is always reaching out to us — always wooing and beckoning us to a greater life in Him, then why are we so hard of hearing? Here are a few reasons:
1. We often leave little room. Programed to fill spare moments with screen time, we run through life, seldom slowing down enough to gauge the condition of our hearts—to really feel and know our deepest longings and let our old wounds breathe. If we keep our distance from our hearts, how can we be intimate with God’s heart? How can we hear Him? It’s into our hearts that He speaks.
We must listen for more than short spurts or we’ll be pulled back into the cacophony vying for our attention. Even Jesus needed to create space to have conversations with His Heavenly Father. He was bombarded by the crowds and their many requests. That’s why, “after he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.” (Matthew 14:23a) The more time we carve out to listen to our Savior, the more we’ll tune into His heart for us.
2. We can easily neglect God’s word. God’s voice is not hidden. He’s already spoken over 700,000 words onto the pages of scripture. Of course, His voice is not limited to scripture, but if we feel disconnected from what He’s saying, maybe it’s because His word is not central in our life. Hearing from God is as simple as opening the Bible.
“With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.” Psalm 19:13-16
Imagine what we’d hear from God if we picked up our Bibles more or tapped that Bible icon before checking other things on our phones.
3. We sometimes fear His voice. As the all-knowing and Holy One, He might point something out that we’re not ready to hear. That’s true, but we can forget that He is also very good at preparing our hearts to obey, and that He has perfect intentions towards us.
“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32
The voice of the thief would entice us with false promises of life, but Jesus’ voice is leading us into true, abundant life. To experience all He has for us, we need to become sheep that know His voice intimately and that takes practice and intentionality.