Do you find that no matter how hard you pray seeking direction or answers, you just can’t seem to hear God? Sometimes we make the mistake of tuning God out, in order to tune into the voices around us. This means, we can’t hear God because the voices around us are too loud. If we truly wanted to hear the small, still voice of God, we would remove all distractions for a time. That’s not what we do though. No, we struggle in areas and instead of going to God in prayer and waiting for answers, we grab the first person willing to listen, then begin to air our troubles in an attempt to seek a way to remove our struggles. When the person is unable to bring words of comfort, we move on to the next willing person. This continues until we receive the words we were looking for. (Did you catch that? The words we were “looking” for, not the words we “needed” to hear.) We seem to forget the devil is listening to our words spoken, and taking notes to gain a better strategy of attack; to use against us and most of the time uses our own words against us. This means we tend to think the only one listening is the one we are speaking too but that is just not how it is.
Many who struggle are struggling the areas where the heart is involved. This means where they invested their hearts is where they struggle the most. (We invest our hearts in the marriage, family, children, friends, etc.) These are the areas we least expect mistreatment or hateful comments, but the first areas the devil likes to attack in. When mistreatment or hateful comments occur we unknowingly begin tuning Gods voice out, while increasing the volume of the voices around us. Why? During our state of panic and despair we seek instant answers. Those answers we receive are not always the right ones.
Psalm 1:1 “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” (This scripture encourages us to seek wise counsel. We are to avoid activity with those living in sin who hold evil influence, attitude or deeds. We are also not to take part in conversation where back biting, gossip or critical words are spoken of others, if we expect to be happy. )
1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 21) ” Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. (This means test all things in order to discern what you are dealing with. Throw out the bad, hold the good.) 22) ” Abstain from all appearances of evil.” (This means anything that is contrary to Gods word we are to avoid it. This includes keeping company with those living in sin, those participating in evil deeds such as holding a critical spirit used to gossip or back bite and those who enjoy causing trouble but mask it by leading those around them to believe they are trying to help. ) Keep in mind, evil holds a broad description and it is lead by the wicked one who is out to steal, kill, and destroy as told in John 10:10 .
If the voices around you are what you hear best, then keep in mind those voices impact your decision making. All outside influence must be removed far from us for a time; to be able to hear the small, still voice of God. My friend, to continue listening to outside influence of others, has you bowing to continued upset and greater struggles to come. I say this as, the devil will use any access you allow him to constantly remind you of mistreatment, hateful words spoken, rejection, lack of approval and abandonment. He makes sure you are aware of everything you lack in life such as, love, closeness, value, appreciation, commitment, gentleness and intimacy. The more often he can get you to think on all the negative, the better the stronghold he has on you. This means you will be held down and held back in life by thoughts that took a hold on you. More than likely he used the voices you heard best, to torment your thoughts further. Depending on how long he has had a hold on you could determine the thought process you hold. If you “deserve better”, “expect better”, “want or need more”; then my friend you may be in spiritual trouble.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 3)” For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after flesh: 4) For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to pulling down of strongholds; 5) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 6) And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.”
My encouragement is, don’t entertain thoughts that go against Gods Word. Hold higher standards for those voices you allow yourself to listen too, while making sure you listen to wise counsel. You must tune out others and repent; in order to tune into Gods small, still voice and actually be able to hear the pressing he leaves on your heart.
Robin Worgull Author of The Conflict Within and The Right- Minded Woman