You may already know the answer to this one. What are the areas that are most difficult to hear God’s voice in?
Here’s my top three:
- Romantic relationships
In fact I know of authors and teachers who say that you shouldn’t even try to hear God’s voice in these areas because it is just too difficult – and with good reason. Perhaps you can see the common thread…
In all these three areas of life, we care very deeply about the answers. So many emotions are associated with these issues. When we come to God with our questions about that relationship or that desire to conceive, we come loaded with personal agendas. Our ability to hear God’s voice is muddied by our desires. After all, who wants to hear; “No, this man or woman is not for you”? Who wants to know; “No, you will not have children,” or “This business decision may fail”?
I’ve seen it happen before. Times when strongly held desires or misplaced opinions get in the way of hearing God clearly. It’s tragic, since not only do we experience the fallout of our decisions, we lose something of our trust in hearing God’s voice in the first place. The combination can be a spiritual crisis that forever impacts our walk with God.
Yet the challenges in hearing God’s voice in these areas does not mean God can’t or won’t speak to us about them. After all, they constitute the most important part of our lives. And if God is by nature a relational God and as such longs for intimacy, then why wouldn’t he speak to us about the things that matter most?
So in listening to God in these areas, we must recognise that it’s easier for us to get it wrong than at other times. That means we need to be more careful about making claims about what God may have said. We need to diligently test what we hear against what we want to hear…
Here are some cautionary tips for hearing God’s voice on those most sensitive questions of our hearts:
- Be prepared to hear what you don’t want to hear. A surrendered heart that is prepared to respond to the voice of the Lord in obedience and faith is without doubt the best pre-requisite for hearing God’s voice clearly in any area.
- Be prepared to submit your hearing God experiences to the wisdom of others. Confront those red flags and checks in your heart.
- If you find God doesn’t speak into those areas you long for guidance in, use common sense, do your research and apply wisdom. Don’t use the faithfulness of God as an excuse to not do your homework. If it’s a business venture, then study the markets and listen to experts. If it’s a barren womb, investigate the medical options. If it’s a romantic relationship, look at pre-marriage counselling courses to check your values are in alignment.
What’s been your experience in hearing God’s voice in these areas? We’d love to hear about them here.