Listening Lesson 5: Remove obstacles to hearing God’s voice.
There is another helpful story about a nun struggling to hear God’s voice who came to Mother Teresa for help. Mother Teresa sent her back for more solitude and prayer. The nun returned and complained that she still had heard nothing. Mother Teresa then advised her to “Go do what you already know to do.” In other words, go do the things that God has already made clear for all of us to do such as loving our neighbor, serving others, living ethically, studying God’s word and praying. Our disobedience of God’s basic life instruction can be an obstacle to receiving additional communication from God. One way to think of it is to consider obedience to God as a basic course in faith and hearing from God on particular issues as an upper level elective. Another obstacle is trying to have guidance from God outside of an intimate relationship with God through Jesus. Loving Jesus and letting ourselves be loved by Jesus is the best environment for hearing God’s voice. Our relationship with Jesus, not receiving answers to our questions, must be the main thing. Often when I have brought my struggle with hearing God to people who are more experienced in hearing from God, I have noticed that they will ask me if there is anything in my life which could be blocking communication from God. Is there a blockage? Often our attitudes and behaviors can seriously impair our ability to receive communication from God. Experience has taught me that often the main blockage to hearing is unforgiveness. When I struggle to hear God I run a spiritual heart catheterization and normally discover the artery of communication has been blocked by my unwillingness to forgive others or even to forgive myself. The Greek word for forgiveness is a word picture of a knot being untied. As I practice the gift of forgiveness, God’s guidance seems to flow more freely in my life. How that word flows will be the topic of our next lesson. ~David