Why doesn’t God speak to me?
I get quite a few emails from people too reserved to comment on the site. There is a certain fear in putting yourself out there, even if you do it anonymously In response to my post “What more can He say?” a friend wrote: “I always felt/feel unworthy because I don’t hear what God says to me. I think/wonder if I am still not forgiven? or if I have not forgiven myself? Is my commitment to God not strong enough?”
There is a lot that could be said in response to this dear child of God. For now I simply want to say to them, you are forgiven and free, now live in that forgiveness and freedom. Not because I say it but because your Father says it. Listen to Him: It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1) Jesus gives us freedom so we can live fully alive in Him. Don’t go back to the burden of trying to find freedom on your own or questioning whether your freedom is real. Just receive it and enjoy it. Don’t make it so hard. He loves you and loves it when you live free.
If we want to hear the Voice of the Father we have to know that He loves us, accepts us, is literally thrilled with us and like any Father thrilled with His child, He wants to communicate with us. I love to talk to my kids. On the phone, through email, or in person. There is almost nothing that I would rather do than talk to them. Why? Because I am thrilled with them, crazy about them and want them to know that anytime, anywhere their Papa is waiting to talk to them.
That is the best illustration I have. If you believe that your Father can’t wait to talk to you than you will hear Him. If you believe He is angry with you, tired of your whine, not forgiving, than you just are not going to be tuned to His voice.
Receive His love-hear His voice.
To hear the voice of the Father we need to know from where the Voice will come. Listen to John Eldredge: When we set out to hear God’s voice, we do not listen as though it will come from somewhere above us or in the room around us. It comes from within, in the heart, the dwelling place of God. (Waking the Dead, p.105)
The enemy is a ventriloquist and he will speak things into your heart that you might assume are from the Father but he does not dwell in your heart. He wants to, but He cannot displace the Father, he can only try to throw his voice into the mix to confuse you. Any word that brings discouragement, disillusionment, fear, anger, frustration, confusion, condemnation, accusation-is not the Father. He does not talk that way.
So when you hear things in your heart (that place deep inside where you are most real, that place that the Spirit has made new) that suggest stepping out into untested territory, you step out because He promises to go with you. When you hear the Voice tell you to drop what you are doing and hug your spouse or kids, do it, He wants your love to deepen and grow. When the Voice says pray for the healing of someone you know needs it, it is the Voice calling you to faith and trust. When you hear the Voice of conviction it will never come as anger or manipulation, but as a loving Father protecting your heart.
If we want to hear the Voice of the Father we need to stay close to others who hear His Voice. Many times during the last 18 months I have heard the Voice because I was with people who trusted Him and knew the Voice.
Why does the Bible call us into community? Why are we encouraged to get together with other followers of the Cross? To fulfill some legalistic, hoop jumping foolishness? Of course not. We are called into community to hear the Voice. It is the safest and most likely place to hear it.
That is if it is really a community and not just a church.