Have you ever done something, made a decision even move out of state thinking that it was of God and later found out that it was not? I know I have! In Romans 7:14-25 we see a door that explain some of the reasons why listening to God is a challenge:
“14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.” NKJV
As we read these verses we can clearly see that some of the challenges in listening to God are:
1. Our own will: Our will many times speak louder than God’s voice. Our souls rather turn on the volume of what we want, than on what God wants.
2. Sin: This is when we insist in embracing a lifestyle of sin. Very difficult to hear God’s Voice when we are consume by sin. During this time our fellowship with God is affected. Our only alternative is to repent, ask God forgiveness and get back to surrendering to His will.
3. The battle between the Flesh against the spiritual man (Romans 7:18) We must add that the flesh also fights against God’s Spirit in us according to Galatians 5:17 and also against our souls according to First Peter 2:11. We must understand that there is a part of us that want absolutely nothing to do with God and that is the true for all of us. We must stop the hypocrisy and understand that. This bloody battle is a great obstacle in this process of learning how to listen to the Lord.
Other challenges against us hearing God’s voice are:
4. We have become lazy: It is sad to say but we have develop an Old Testament approach to God’s voice as we depend on what the Pastor has to say about God. We fail to understand that the death and resurrection of Christ did not only gave humanity an opportunity for salvation, but also for us, as individuals to be able to hear God ourselves.
5. We talk too much: By talking we are never in a position of listen.
6. We are distractedby the busyness of life: One day we will find ourselves before God and our jobs, house work, our business, peer pressure, our children, school work, our problems, etc. will become ridiculous excuses that will slap us in the face. How can we justify to place anything before our time with the Lord?
7. The values in society and in our culture: This is the mentality that tells us that because everybody else is doing it, it must be right. When our focus becomes what society accept and rejects as moral and not God’s Word, do not expect to get the great next revelation from the Lord.
8. Satan himself: Satan knows how to dress himself as an angel of light according to 2 Corinthians 11:14. It is very easy to fool Christians that are carnal and do not study God’s Word. Many Christians feel like they are listening to God, but in fact are listening to Satan.
9. The many voices around us: We are surrounded by many voices that are used by Satan to move us away from God’s will. These are people that are very close to us. They are not Christians, they have no spirituality, but we have given them access and permission to constantly speak into our lives by allowing them to be a part of our fellowship. We must love everybody, but our fellowship belongs to our brothers and sisters in Christ.