A group of dolphins got stranded on a beach near Boston. Scientists feel they may have run aground because of a hearing problem. The animals, which use sound waves to judge depths, were found to have worms clogging their sinus cavities and inner ears, making them hard of hearing. The dolphins were unable to gauge the depth of water in which they were swimming. They thought they were in deep water, but found themselves stranded on the beach. That can happen to us as Christians. Sin will instantly disconnect us from receiving God’s message
Distractions can cause us to not listen to God, so can disappointment. Disconnection is something else to be aware of when God’s voice isn’t coming through loud and clear.
Jesus warned His listeners to watch out for “the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things” (Mark 4:18-19). When we allow unconfessed sin in our lives, it blocks our ability to hear God speaking to us. On our own we can easily ‘ground’ ourselves. If you found you have lost your connection to God, make sure there is no unconfessed sin in your life. Is there any sin you are aware of that you haven’t admitted to God and asked for His cleansing? If so, stop and do so now.
Not only do distractions, disappointment, disconnection and disinformation make it so we don’t hear God speaking, so does disinformation.
While Joshua and Caleb advised the Jews to enter the land, the other 10 spies spread disinformation which misled the people. Some of the information spread today about God and the Christian life is false information, disinformation, and can mislead many. This includes believing things like the saying that bad things don’t happen to good people. Others include, “If I had enough faith, my prayers would be answered,” “Christians shouldn’t grieve,” “only those who speak in tongues are really spiritual,” “God wants all His people to be healthy and wealthy, if we aren’t it’s from our lack of faith,” “I’m not good enough so God won’t listen to me,” and “God is sovereign so it doesn’t matter if I pray or not.”
Based on Judges 6:36-40 some say we should ‘put out a fleece’ to discern God’s will, but that is not true. Others say we must have ‘confirmation’ on all God says. While it is true that God often does confirm what He says, He doesn’t always do so. Also, Satan can say something and then act in such a way as if to confirm it.
A final lie that can hinder our listening to God is the one that says God will give his message for me through someone else, someone more ‘spiritual’ than I am. Be very careful when someone says, “God told me to tell you….” The Bible says we are to avoid mediums (Deut. 18:10-11) for Jesus is our only go-between (1 Timothy 2:5). God speaks directly to his people.
Believing these and other bits of misinformation will turn us from listening to God. What lies have you believed in the past? Ask God to show you which ones you may be believing now?
Similar to but distinct from disinformation is deception. We can be deceived by Satan’s voice, or even our own, and mistake them from God’s voice. We will look into this more completely in the last message of this topic. Pride can deceive us into thinking we don’t need to hear from God.
Silently ask God to show you what baggage you are carrying around, what deceptions have kept you from listening to Him.
The final danger we will look at concerning ways our hearing from God can be blocked is disbelief.
Four times the Bible says, “Today, if you will hear his voice….” (Hebrews 3:7, 15; 4:7; Psalm 95:7). It’s up to us if we hear Him. Do you believe He can speak to you, to you yourself and not just to others? If not, confess your unbelief and ask for forgiveness.
Distractions, disappointment, disconnection, disinformation, deception and disbelief all will block our reception of God’s message. Which of these is keeping you from hearing Him? What can you do to remedy this?
(If I can answer questions or offer personal counsel, or if you would like a free copy of my Spiritual Warfare Handbook, email me at Jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org or download it from http://sw.christiantrainingonline.org/. My next book, Spiritual Warfare in the Bible, which is a more advanced treatment of spiritual warfare, is also available there for free.)