Every Christian has experienced this frustration. You are sitting there talking to God day in and day out, but He just isn't talking back. You have important questions you want to discuss with Him but you aren't hearing His response. What gives? Where is God?
It can be difficult to hear God’s voice and know which road to take. You pray to God and ask for help but there are often no prophetic dreams, visions or strong feelings leading you one way or another. It can seem like God isn’t answering you at all. Many of us are setting ourselves up for failure, because how we think we will hear from God isn't always the most efficient way. Here are some of the reasons you aren't hearing from Him, and how you can fix it.
Check your communication line.
How’s your prayer life? Have ministry, work and life responsibilities been getting in the way of your alone time with God? Think about your communication with God as a television or radio receiver. You never try to watch TV or listen to the radio without first turning on the receiver, because you won't hear a thing. Take an honest look at your prayer life and uncover if there has been a breakdown in Heavenly communication.
Next, ask yourself if you expect to even hear from God when the connection is turned on. Some people say, "well, God just doesn’t talk to me. He only talks to the chosen ones." Here is an important truth: even if you don’t feel like God speaks to you, He does. In fact, He’s speaking to you right now. However you aren’t expecting to hear from Him, you haven’t even turned on the receiver.
God speaks with us quietly.
God isn’t going to scream, yell and demand that you pay attention. He is always speaking to you, but He speaks in “a still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12). So to hear Him, you have to tune in and listen carefully. Another way to describe the way we hear God’s voice is through an inward witness.
Most often, we miss His frequency because we’re tuned in to hear some huge revelation; when, in fact, He is giving simple instructions. That’s what He will do when you first begin to hear from Him—and He will continue to do this for the rest of your life here on earth. Obedience in the simple things is very important to God—it reveals the willingness of you heart.
Communication with God is different.
God doesn’t communicate with us the way we communicate with one another. He communicates from His Spirit to your spirit, and then your spirit communicates what you hear to your mind. That is what we call an inward witness. It is very similar to a thought or a prompting. It’s very subtle and requires a closeness with God and regular practice to hear it more quickly and clearly. That’s why the more time you spend with the Lord and the more you practice tuning in to His voice, the more it will become a voice that “thunders in marvelous ways” (Job 37:5).
Ask yourself what may have changed.
What has changed in your life and how you speak with God? The Bible says that all things are permissible, yet all things do not edify and build us up. Check to see if you’ve allowed non-edifying uses of your time into your life. Are you wasting too much time on your career and not opening your heart up to Him like you once did? Examine your behaviors and recent attitudes. The heart can get out of check and rebel against the leading of The Holy Spirit. Find areas that need to be dealt with and humbly brought before The Lord. Once identified, bring those areas into submission.
Keep diligently seeking Him.
We will hear the voice of God or feel conviction in our Spirit from Him when we diligently seek Him out. Jesus said in Deuteronomy 4:29: "But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul." If we make seeking His face the top priority in our lives, we may hear Him in all kinds of ways, in all kinds of places. God seldom breaks into our lives with thoughts and ideas out of the “clear blue.” It’s when we are sitting quietly, reading the Bible, thinking about spiritual things, sharing the Bible with friends, listening to a sermon, meditating, listening in our inner spirit that He will no longer be silent. So don’t stop your day-to-day spiritual practices out of frustration, keep pushing forward and seeking Him in order to strengthen the connection.
He might feel silent for a reason.
A broken and contrite spirit will always get God’s attention. Ask God for help to reveal to you what is going on and how you should respond. His silence could be a way to draw you closer or to highlight a change He desires to bring about. Never panic, His unconditional love is always there for us. Like any good Father, though, sometimes He has to correct us to keep us on the path of life. That can mean He is quiet to help guide you in a different way. Think about what you might be asking of Him that is not glorifying Him, and how you can change to align your life back up with His Will.
First and foremost, don’t panic. If God is silent there is either a reason why, or you aren't listening for Him. He’s more than happy to reach out to you but you have to make sure you are truly opening your heart and listening for it. Sometimes life distractions desensitize us spiritually, but there’s always a way to get back on track.