Sometimes I walk through seasons of life where I don’t hear God’s voice as clearly as I did in the last season. Naturally, I start to wonder, “Where are you God? Why aren’t you speaking to me?” It can be frustrating when you’re reaching out to God but he doesn’t seem to be reaching back. However, after walking through many of these seasons , I’ve learned that God is never truly silent. In fact, he’s constantly speaking to us. I’ll be going through a few of the many reasons why God may seem silent in your life. Then, I’ll share seven ways to hear God’s voice as you walk through a “silent” season.
Why does God seem silent sometimes?
You’re not listening
Jesus typically ended his sermons with this phrase, “Whoever has ears, let them hear.” (Matt 11:15) We know they obviously had ears so what did he really mean when he said those words? Simply put, Jesus was encouraging his audience to pay attention to what he was saying because it was important. They couldn’t listen to him and watch Netflix, otherwise they would miss what he was saying to them. Sometimes God seems silent because, even though we are pursuing him, there are too many other things in the mix. God needs your undivided attention if you want to hear his voice in your life.
Too many other voices have your attention
Next, God seems silent when too many other voices have your attention. Imagine that you’re in a loud cafeteria trying to study for a big exam. Can you process anything you’re studying? Probably not, right? It’s the same way when you’re trying to hear Jesus and too many other voices have your attention.
So, ponder these questions: Who are you going to for counsel? What advice are you reading or listening to on social media? Who are your closest friends? What music are you listening to? Who are your favorite influencers? Are the people and things in your life pulling you closer to Jesus or are they pushing you further away from him? You cannot effectively distinguish Jesus’ voice from others when every other voice takes up a prominent place in your life. If you want to hear Jesus more clearly, start eliminating some of the voices that are not pointing you to him.
You’re not hungry enough for God
Finally, you may not be hungry enough for God. Matthew 5:6 says, Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. God is always speaking but if you do not have the capacity to receive, you won’t hear him. If you’re filled up with all the other voices, there’s no room for you to process what he wants to say to you. If you want to hear God’s voice, get hungry. Empty your heart of everything else and pursue God with your whole heart. I guarantee you, if you’re hungry for God, you will hear from him.
7 Ways to Hear God’s Voice in the Silence
Now that you know some of the reasons why God may seem silent in your life, here are 7 ways to start hear God’s voice in your life. Since God is always speaking, it’s not hard to hear his voice if you align your heart and mind to what he is saying. So, if you feel like you haven’t heard from God in months or even years, no worries. Here’s how you can start hearing him right away.
1. Reading his Word – The number one way to hear God’s voice is by reading his word. If you aren’t reading his word, you won’t hear his voice. Matthew 4:4 says, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Sermons are great, influencers are wonderful, and advice from friends is good but God’s word is the number one place we should be seeking for counsel. If we want to know God’s heart, we must read his word. I get it, reading the word can be daunting, especially if you’re a beginner. If you want to learn more about getting into the word, read this article here.
2. Through Wise Counsel – God speaks to us through our leaders and through the wise counsel of friends and family. There’s a story in the Bible where King Saul disobeyed one of God’s commandments by offering a sacrifice instead of the priest. Samuel, the prophet at the time, went to Saul and told him what he did wrong. He also communicated God’s punishment to Saul for his wrongful acts. (1 Samuel 13). Wise counsel is important because it helps us to stay on track and get back on the right path when we stray. Saul needed someone like Samuel to correct him when he was doing wrong. Of course, make sure that the people who are offering you advice are trusted and that they draw their words of advice from God’s word.
I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the favor of the Lord.’ So I forced myself, and offered the burnt offering.” And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of the Lord your God, with which he commanded you. For then the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever.1 Samuel 13:12-13
3. Prayer – Prayer is simply a conversation between you and God. God often speaks to us through prayer and quiet time. The issue is, sometimes our prayer tends to be one sided. We tell God everything but we don’t leave room for him to speak back to us. I’m pretty guilty of this, to be honest. But, it’s so important to take a few moments to simply sit in God’s presence and hear what he’s speaking from his heart to ours. Prayer is not just for us to pour out to God, it’s also for us to receive from him.
4. Worship Music – Believe it or not, God can speak to us through music. The lyrics of worship music are often inspired by scripture and sometimes when God wants to communicate to you, he’ll use a song to get your attention. Did you know that the entire book of Psalms is filled with poetry and songs? Don’t be surprised if God uses the words of a song to speak to your heart.
5. Silence – Yes, God speaks through silence. I’ve heard God’s voice the loudest as I sat with him in silence. As I emptied myself of all the noise around me, I felt his presence more than ever before. Sometimes we look for God in the loud and powerful, but perhaps, God wants to pull us away from all of that and speak to us in the silence. It’s easy to miss God in the hype when crowds of people surround you but it’s much more difficult to miss him in the silence when it’s just you and him.
And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. 13 And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”1 Kings 19:11-13
6. Nature – God can also speak to us through nature. Nature tells us about who he is and helps us to see his greatness. Also, nature is filled with so many beautiful metaphors and if you’re really listening, God can communicate to you through them. I hear God’s voice the most when I’m walking and taking in the beauty of creation. If I’m not distracted by scrolling on my phone or thinking about all the things I have to get done for the day, I tend to learn a lot even through short walks home from work or sitting in the park. Take a moment to really pay attention to the beauty of nature and open your heart to receive whatever God may be speaking to you.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him,and the son of man that you care for him?Psalm 8:3-4
7. Dreams – Dreams are so overlooked in today’s society. Maybe it’s because we don’t fully understand them or perhaps it could be because we don’t realize that God still speaks through them today. In Joel 2:28-29, God specifically tells us that in the last days, he would speak to his people through dreams.
When you go to sleep tonight, ask God to speak to you through dreams. Ask him to open your heart to understand what they mean. Write down your dreams once you wake up, pray about them, and search the scriptures to find out what they could mean.
Honestly, there’s a lot about dreams I don’t know either but I recently read a book called Decoding Your Dreams by Jennifer LeClaire that shares biblical advice for understanding and interpreting your dreams. I highly recommend reading it if you want to learn more about dreams.
And it shall come to pass afterward,that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit.Joel 2:28-29
I hope you found this article helpful. Begin to look out for some of these things in your personal life. Remember, God is not limited in how he speaks. He can speak to you through many different means, these are only a few of them. Have ears to hear and a heart to receive and you’ll always hear God’s voice as he speaks into your life.