Do you feel like God doesn’t talk to you?
“I never hear His voice.”
“He talks to other people, but He doesn’t talk to me.”
“I haven’t heard Him say anything in years.”
“God has stopped talking to me.”
Many people ask, “Why doesn’t God speak to me?” But that isn’t the real question. We know it is not the real question because the Bible clearly says that God speaks. As believers in Jesus, we can hear His voice.
After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice. (John 10:4–5 NLT)
God might be quiet for a season, but He talks to every one of His kids—faithfully, with all His heart. This includes you. You are one of His sheep, and His sheep hear Him. That is a fact of your faith.
If you are having trouble hearing Him, here are a few things that might be going on.
1. Do you recognize the way God is speaking to you?
Sometimes God speaks, and we don’t always recognize His voice. Reading Job 33:13–14 “between the lines,” we realize His voice can seem more natural to us than we expect.
Is it possible you’re expecting God to sound a certain way, but He is speaking to you another way? Is He being more “natural” than you expect?
Many of us assume we have to hear Him the way somebody else hears Him, but that isn’t how it works. God is MUCH more personal than we think.
Here are some of the common ways God speaks:
There is more than one way to hear Him, and we can learn the beautiful way He speaks to us, personally.
2. Do you think His voice is just your imagination?
Many, many people hear the Lord’s voice every day and don’t realize it.
“I’m just making this up.”
“If this were God, it would seem bigger to me.”
“This is just something I’m thinking about. That’s all. It’s not ‘the voice of God.’”
“God speaks audibly. If I don’t hear Him audibly, then I’m not hearing Him.”
It takes time, but we can learn to recognize the differences between the feel of God’s voice and the feel of our own thoughts and emotions.
3. Are you stuck in your head? Are you too busy thinking?
Faith is like the individual bricks we use to build our house with God. Nothing about this house exists outside of faith, including hearing His voice.
Faith is a risk. We can’t “prove” faith in the natural. To really hear God well, we have to rely on His leading and trust Him more than we trust our own understanding. We step outside our humanness to trust His God-ness.
Sue Frisbie, one of the Elijah House Spiritual Directors, explains this process of trust in a very practical way:
My starting line of growing in my gift was when I inwardly declared, “I am going to believe this is God speaking to me, and He will tell me if I’m wrong.” In a manner of speaking, I had to put my stake in the ground and CHOOSE to move forward. “I choose to believe this is You, God. I trust You, and You’ll have to show me if this isn’t You. I trust You to reveal the truth to me.”
To grow in our ability to hear Him, we will need to make a similar decision. “I choose to believe this impression is from You.” Or “I choose to believe this is what You’re saying. If this is not You, I trust that You will show me.”
4. Do you believe a lie that is keeping you from hearing Him?
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. (Matt. 5:8 NASB)
If something in our heart is not pure, this can reduce our ability to “see” God—or, in our context, hear His voice. Lies can seem like “small” things, but certain lies have the power to keep us from hearing Him.
Maybe we believe a lie about who He is:
“God doesn’t notice me.” Or “He doesn’t see me.” If we believe this lie, we will have a hard time understanding that God is paying attention to us.
“God doesn’t care about me.” This lie can keep us from sensing His presence and the special attention He’s paying to us. If we don’t believe He cares about us, we won’t be able to believe the Holy Spirit when He tries to tell us, “The Father loves you. You are precious to Him.”
“God demands perfection from people. His standards are too high.” If we have internally decided that God has rejected us, it translates into a built-in expectancy that He will reject us.
Or maybe we believe a lie about ourselves: “I am too broken to hear His voice.” Or “I am unlovable.” Or “I won’t be able to hear Him until I’m a better person.”
If you’re having trouble hearing the Lord, ask Him if something in your heart is trying to keep the truth out.
What was your childhood like? Was your natural father harsh, demanding, or uninterested in you? This can influence how you see Father God and, consequently, how well your heart and mind can register His voice.
Do you have a vow that makes it harder to hear Him? Maybe at some point in your past, you vowed you would never make mistakes or be wrong. This can influence your willingness to take risks with God.
Do you believe a lie about yourself and whether or not you are worthy to hear His voice? Are you condemning yourself? This can also keep you from hearing Him.
The Lord has good things to say!
You don’t need to ask, “Why doesn’t God speak to me?” He is speaking to you! He loves you. He thinks you are amazing (that really is true), and He has so many lovely things to share with you.
If your heart longs to know more about hearing His voice, check out the following resources: