“Why isn’t God speaking to me? I have so many decisions to make. So many choices to consider. I’m unsure of God’s will. Where are you, God?”
Do you ever find yourself in these shoes? They’re uncomfortable. Unstable. Sometimes, you wonder if the right shoe is on the right foot. Because something isn’t right.
My feet walk in the shoes of indecision quite often. I seek God’s will but don’t find it. I seek His direction and remain lost. Where should I go to college? What should I major in? Oh, God, will you please speak to me?
Maybe He is…
A couple of weeks ago, I was driving my sister home from school. She had a volleyball game later that evening, so I asked her what time she needed to be back at the school.
Evidently, I had already asked…more than once!
She gave the answer, but I wasn’t listening. I was distracted. Tuned her out. Ignored her response. Why? I was too focused on something else.
Maybe God is speaking to you. But are you listening to Him?
I’m reminded of a Bible verse. It reads, “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry” (James 1:19 NLT).
I have selective hearing—a drifty communicator. Sometimes, when I’m talking to someone, I completely tune them out. That’s a problem, I know. But I fear I’m doing the same with God.
Maybe you, like me, find yourself asking a question: how can I effectively listen to God?
One way we can improve our listening skills is by giving God our complete attention.
Imagine going on a date with someone you love. Let’s say her name is Marigold. The waitress leaves your table to fetch some lemonade. Meanwhile, Marigold tells you important details of her life. But while she’s talking, you’re scrolling through Facebook. You make occasional eye contact with Marigold. You smile and say, “That’s cool.” Then, you find yourself chuckling at who know’s what? You’re not listening. You just act like you’re listening. Before long, Marigold catches on, and you’re sitting at the table by yourself.
I believe we live in a distracting culture. It’s easy to neglect hurting people around us because we aren’t focused on them. We’re focused on our next task. Social media. Our schedules. Our hobbies. You name it.
The same is true in our relationship with God. “Sorry, God. I’m too distracted for you. Please leave me a voicemail full of answers. And I’ll check it later.”
Good luck with that, my friend.
God doesn’t just want to give you an answer. He wants you. The good parts. The ugly parts. God desires to have a thriving relationship with you—one in which communication is present. However, you aren’t going to hear God speak without opening your ears to His voice.
Jesus says, “‘So pay attention to how you hear. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what they think they understand will be taken away from them’” (Luke 8:18 NLT).
So today, I encourage you to set aside your distractions and truly communicate with God.
When you read the Bible, turn off your cellphone. When you pray, go somewhere quiet.
“But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer” (Luke 5:16 NLT). If Jesus set aside the distractions of life to communicate with God, shouldn’t we do the same?
Can I share one last Bible verse with you? It’s one of my favorites; in fact, I put it in last week’s column, too.
“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world” (Psalm 46:10 NLT).
Set aside your distractions and spend quiet time with God. Maybe God is tugging on your heart to fast from something. For example, you might listen better to God without technology.
Quit waiting for God to leave you a voicemail. Sometimes, if you would only separate yourself from the chaos, the phone would ring.
Isaiah Pauley is a senior at Wahama High School. He can be followed at www.isaiahpauley.com, or on Facebook at Isaiah Pauley Ministries.