I have trouble listening during prayer.  Sometimes I get busy.  Other times I get distracted.  But most of the time I am just too concerned with talking.  And even when I do listen, I often feel like I have trouble hearing God. 

Sometimes I get confused on whether I am hearing Him or just hearing myself.  And there are other times when I have a hard time hearing anything.  Recently, God told me very directly what my problem was.

Several weeks ago, I came upon some scripture that convicted me about a particular ministry venture.  It is a pretty big deal and I had trouble thinking about how my family could pull it off.  I have been praying very hard over that issue ever since.  I have gone back on forth several times on what I thought God was telling me to do. 

The other day, as I was praying for clarity on the issue, God spoke to be very clearly.  He said, “I have already told you what to do.  You read it in my Word.  Now stop asking me and do it.”  Talk about an epic stomach punch.

I was actually walking down the sidewalk when this happened, and I literally had to slow down and collect myself.  It was one of the most powerful revelations that I have ever experienced.

Even moreso than what He said about that particular issue, I learned a great deal about hearing from God.  Many times, we try to hear from Him on our own terms.  We convince ourselves that He is limited in His communication with us.

However, God speaks to us in so many ways.  He speaks to us through His Word, through fellow Christians, through our circumstances, through the Holy Spirit, through sermons, through worship, and through us learning more about His character and understanding what He wants.  He is literally everywhere, trying to get us to listen, but we tend to only listen to one channel.

So the next time you are seeking an answer from God, try to take a step back from the situation.  What might you have missed?  What important messages has He sent your way that you may have ignored? 

He is constantly speaking to us.  We all just need to become better listeners.

“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.  And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.  When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.  (1 Kings 19:11-13 NLT)

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