25 Mar Three Barriers to Hearing God’s Voice
Today’s post is by Pastor Helen Calder. I first met Helen through David McCracken’s ministry based in Melbourne, Aust. She is a prophetic teacher and preacher, who’s passion is to impart timely encouragement and breakthrough to churches and individuals through bringing the ‘now’ word of God. She has a unique gift of equipping in the area of prophetic ministry and prayer, with a grounded, biblical focus that supports the local church and its leadership. You can find more about her ministry at Enliven Blog.
I sometimes receive comments from those who are having difficulties in hearing God’s voice. Here is a list of possible barriers that could be a hindrance, along with some biblical keys to overcome them:
1. The Barrier of Doubt or Unbelief
The first thing we need to do is settle the fact that God is speaking to us and wants us to hear Him:
‘My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.’ (John 10:27, NLT)
Some people think that they cannot hear God speak unless they have a prophetic gift or special ministry. But this is a misconception. God wants to have a relationship with us! This is why Jesus paid the price of his life on the cross. Communicating with our Father is the basic right of sons and daughters and the joy of our God. It is what we are created for! (Romans 8:14). Never be intimidated by someone else’s gift or the way another person hears from God. God has uniquely wired you to hear from Him.
2. The Barrier of Sin-Consciousness
Sometimes people allow shame, condemnation or a sense of unworthiness to make them feel as though they are separated from God—and therefore, unable to hear His voice (Romans 8:1-2). We need to remember that for Christians, the barrier of sin separating us from God has already been dealt with on the cross. Sin is not the problem – sin-consciousness is.
Instead our inheritance as Christian believers is to live in the knowledge of our righteousness in Christ, rejoicing in the power of God’s grace and forgiveness and knowing the cleansing power of Jesus’ blood. (Hebrews 9:14,10:19-22)
Rather than view sin or temptation as a barrier between God and us, God wants us to take the very issue that is troubling us into that place with Him (Hebrews 4:15-16). Sin loses its power when we bring it into the light (1 John 1:7-9).
If an issue of sin, addiction or temptation is continually troubling you, in addition to prayer, find a safe place to share and be accountable—for example to a Christian mentor or leader. As James says; confess your ‘sins to one another.’ (James 5:16)
3. The Barrier of Fear
Some people are fearful that what they are hearing may not be from God.
It’s true that there are many voices around our lives, and that we need to weigh up what we are hearing to ensure it is from God. Maturing in discernment is a process, so weighing up what we hear is important. Remember:
- What we are hearing from God will be in accordance with His nature – e.g. the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)
- God’s voice will never contradict what the Bible says (2 Timothy 3:16)
- God’s word will build the church and promote unity (1 Corinthians 14:3)
- What you hear from God will withstand the accountability of oversight (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22)
The antidote to fear is relationship (1 John 4:18). Think about when the phone rings and you pick it up. How different are your responses when the caller is a telemarketer versus someone you love? You see it’s not about the fact that someone is speaking—but recognising the person behind the voice. As you grow in relationship with God, you will get to know His voice. You can trust that what He has to share with you is good and from His Spirit. (Luke 11:11-13)
Do you have any insights about hearing God’s voice that you would like to share? Leave a comment here.