What to Do When You Can’t Hear God

The world around us gets louder by the minute. That’s why it’s more important than ever to withdraw to hear from God.

“But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.” —Luke 5:16

God loves to speak to us. Like Joseph, God can give us a vision for our lives that sets our feet upon a path. But before we get to the path to follow, we need to hear from God. And I truly believe that God still speaks to us.

Many people I talk to, both Christian and non-Christian, believe God still speaks. But most of them will tell me, though they believe God still speaks today, they do not think God speaks to them personally.

You may be one of those who feel that way. I’ve been there; I understand. And my encouragement to you is simply this: Increase the decibel level of heaven.

It’s easy to place blame on God for not speaking. But I find, personally, there isn’t a lack of God’s communication as much as there’s a lack of me being in position to listen to him. Luke 5:16 has been a very precious and impactful passage to me. Jesus knew the value of withdrawing away from the noise of culture and crowds in order to “increase the volume of heaven.”

Step 1: Decrease the Volume of Life.

In an age where our senses are constantly engaged at all hours of the day by multiple screens and people, it seems our world’s volume continues to increase. And instead of strategically looking to “turn up” the voice of God in our lives, we allow ourselves to be victimized by the amplification of the noise in our lives. Have that Jesus-driven audacity to take control of the moment and “withdraw” (even if it’s for a few moments).

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Step 2: Increase the Decibel Level of Heaven.

Learn to hear from God by turning up the “decibel level of heaven.” Engage in an activity that positions your attention in God’s direction. Read the Scriptures. Plan a time of fasting and prayer. Go for a walk in nature (my favorite). Find someone to serve. Have a conversation with a trusted friend. Pick a worship song that speaks to you and digest the lyrics. I believe God is speaking all the time. I just don’t believe we are positioning ourselves to listen.

Do you need a God-dream for your life? Do you need to hear from the Lord? Perhaps the simplest approach that definitely takes effort and purpose to do is to “increase the decibel level of heaven.” Posture your heart and receive from him.

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Dave Barringer (@PDBarringer) is the lead pastor at Kalamazoo First Assembly of God in Portage, Michigan, and the author of Mosaic Marriage. He blogs about pastoring and marriage at PDave.me.