by Cheri Strange
“I can’t hear you!”
This fearful expression invades my thoughts when I feel I’m missing the target or that I’ve taken a wrong spiritual turn. I think I can hear God and discern His voice in my life. Before stepping out, I read His Word and wait for His lead. But sometimes, even when I do, it seems nothing flourishes. I fail at virtually everything I attempt in His Name.
God’s hand appears to be guiding and directing other people inside my circle and beyond. I seem to be alone in my defeat. If His presence is evident everywhere else, why is it not in my life? I wonder.
When these thoughts cover the landscape of my reality, they impede any notion that I can distinguish God’s voice from my own. Instead, all I see are the times I have stepped out in daunting or risky endeavors only to be rejected. And there I sit, fruitless. Me. A person charged with leading others to become, well . . . more fruitful. Before I know it, I conclude I can’t. I must have heard wrong.
It’s taken more years than I would like to admit to navigate and eventually dismantle this negative thinking; to manage to keep the forward momentum toward becoming my most vibrant and invincible self. But in those years, I have developed a few skills for when I think God’s gone silent.
Remember, you are not alone in feeling out of step with God’s voice. Neither am I. Abraham banked his future on promises that God seemed to be breaking. He asked God how his vast inheritance could become a reality when he had no heir (not to mention he was almost one hundred and his wife was decades post menopause). See Genesis 15:2-3.
Continue the conversation. When it wasn’t working out like Abraham thought it would, he didn’t walk away. Even if we don’t feel we hear today, the lesson from our patriarch is to continue crying out to God anyway. When things look bleak, we can bear our disappointed hearts to the Lord, express our lack of understanding, and communicate our concerns, whether or not we feel heard. God will respond. Expect it.
Look to God’s Word for His response. God’s primary method for speaking into our lives today is through His Word, illuminated by the Holy Spirit. But we can’t recognize it if we are not reading it. So, look for God’s response. Wait for it. This is what Abraham shows us next. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir,” (Genesis 15:4 ESV). God gives Abraham an understanding to glimpse the impossible that He planned to make possible in his life. It is enough for him to believe. (See Genesis 15:6.)
What God did for Abraham, He will do for you and for me, in ways we can understand, at the time we need it. Sometimes it will be through a resource or a person. It might be an opportunity, a timely word spoken, or possibly a closed door. Even a testimony of one who has gone before us can work miracles. Whatever method He chooses, it will be sufficient to move you and me forward and believing yes, we can hear God.
Amid the cacophony of voices bidding us to quit, pronouncing our insufficiency, screaming we aren’t enough—God assures us of something different.
And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Isaiah 30:21 ESV
Adapted from her new release, Can You See Me, Now? Good news for the lonely, left out, and less than from Bold Vision Books.
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Cheri Strange has helped over 700,000 women redefine their worth through her writing, speaking, and highly popular YouVersion Bible reading plans. She is a national speaker, visionary of She Yearns Ministries, and the author of Life Principles for Living Out the Greatest Commandment, from AMG. Cheri holds a Ph.D. from Baylor University and lives in Houston with her husband, Chad, their eight children, and her Maine Coon cat. Find her on the YouVersion app, her website www.sheyearns.com, or Instagram.
Join the conversation: How do you hear from God?