As Christians, we know the importance of having a close relationship with our Heavenly Father. But sometimes we allow factors in our personal and professional lives pull us into a pit and we drift into the darkness. In these moments, it’s easy to lose His voice. If we want to have a healthy relationship with God, learning to discern His voice is vital. You can hear God’s voice in the darkness.
It’s important to tune out the commotion, if only for a few moments each day in order to hear His voice. How many times have you prayed today and if you haven’t prayed at all, ask yourself one simple question: why? Many of us will answer this question with a number of excuses: ‘I’m too busy right now with my family or my work to talk to God right now’, ‘I don’t get immediate gratification when I make requests to God’ or ‘God seems silent when I reach out to Him’ among others. It’s time to cut the excuses. Jeremiah 33:3 tells us “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” Our Lord wants an intimate relationship with us and prayer is the best way to communicate with God. He wants us to actively call on Him so that He can answer our prayers. Never underestimate how real the power of prayer is. It can really help us to grow in our relationship with God. Even in our busy personal and professional schedules, we all have time to give God. When we’re going through dark periods in our lives and don’t know where to turn, practicing prayer daily gives us the chance to share where we are with God. Prayer also gives us the chance to hear what God is saying to us. James 4:8 says “draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” He wants us to be close to Him and prayer is the perfect opportunity to draw near to Him.
If you’re reading this and telling yourself, ‘I’m praying to God every day, but His voice still seems silent’ you may need to change the way you’re listening. If you’re having a difficult time discerning God’s voice, you may not really be listening the way you think you are. Sometimes, when we’re going through trials or rushing through prayer, we find ourselves so far from Him that we can’t hear Him. We tune God out because we don’t like the answer(s) He’s giving us. Other times, we simply tell ourselves that we can’t hear His voice because the enemy has pulled us to a place where we are not only doubting ourselves, but also doubting God. Be aware of the Enemy’s advances. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour”. The enemy is active, and always looking to pull you down in your moments of strength and weakness. It’s important in these moments of darkness that you listen to God’s voice and not get distracted by the enemy’s voice. When we’re in the darkness, hearing God’s voice is key. There is hope to move away from the enemy and out of the darkness with God. John 10:10 tells us “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that you may have life and have it abundantly.” When we don’t hear His voice, we will get lost. When we trust the enemy who is pulling us into the darkness, we will continue to drift away from God.
Sometimes, when we reach out to God, He gives us the answers to questions we didn’t even know we were asking. God always provides according to His purpose for us. Let’s take our reading or listening of the Bible for example. How often have you read the Bible and a particular verse, or set of verses just jumped out at you? You weren’t sure why, but it just felt like those verses were speaking to you. They were. When these moments happen, ask God what He is trying to tell you through these verses. Some people make it a practice of reading through scripture and asking at the end of each reading which verses stood out most to them. If you’re in tune with the reading, but nothing is standing out to you, maybe those particular verses aren’t speaking to you and that’s ok. Don’t think of the Bible as a story book. Think of the Bible as your guide to handling your everyday –that includes when we’re in the darkness too. 1 Chronicles 16:11 tells us “Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.” Even if you don’t know exactly what to say, if you speak from the heart, God will listen. If you value your relationship with God, you should call on Him every day and value what He’s saying to you.