How To Hear God

Jeff Spiritual Growth

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.” – Jesus Christ

What a strange thing for us to hear the Savior say. He was talking to believers. Jesus was telling His committed followers that there was so much more that He had the ability to reveal to them, but they were not yet at a place in the journey with Him that they could personally receive what He was able to uncover for them. I am curious as to how the disciples might have responded to His statement. Were they offended that He esteemed their readiness as being unsuitable for His revelation? Were those followers presumptuous, perhaps protesting that they were most certainly ready and that He should tell them all? Maybe those who originally heard Him speak these words became sobered in their hearts, feeling the prick in their conscience that the Master was telling them that they were just not as far along as they had believed. I am not sure what they might have felt in that moment, but the bottom line of what they were hearing from their King is crystal clear:

There was more for them than what they had experienced up to that moment.

Ignorance and staleness in the Kingdom are preserved and perpetuated when Christians rest in what they have previously learned from God more than they hunger for all else God wants them to learn. It is extremely common, perhaps even epidemic, that believers often come to a halt in their progress with Jesus because they rest on past information that they have mastered in their own lives. We can find a set of truths that are good, holy, enriching and satisfying… and then never move on from them because we find that what we have learned in the past works for us to preserve a Christian experience that we are comfortable with. We become pragmatists who are too easily and too soon satisfied with our little slices of the Kingdom.

But Jesus has more to say. He has more to show. He has a vault full of treasure which He wants to impart.

But we aren’t ready because we aren’t hungry.

Our capacity for spiritual increase is attached to our hunger. In the physical, natural realm, we do not eat until our instinct to do so is awakened via hunger. Desire triggers action, and, when hunger arises, we will stop what we are doing and make intentional effort to satisfy the impulse to go and eat something. Until hunger is recognized, the meal remains unchewed. There is a parallel in the Kingdom. When we are satisfied with our last feast on truth, our most recent breakthrough in our faith-journey, our former personal experience with the Holy spirit’s presence and power, we do not sense the need for more.  We have ingested in the past something significant from God, so we find ourselves functioning in its nourishment, satisfied with its taste, and therefore not really desiring anything beyond it. In these moments, we are not able to bear whatever else that God has for us. Simply put, we can’t hear Him beyond what we have already heard Him say. There could be scores of things which the Lord has for us, but He is not a force-feeder. He does not typically demand that we partake of what He is serving up. The next thing which He has prepared for us is so valuable, so intentional and so essential that He refuses to casually serve it up to us. He wants us so hungry for it that there is the guarantee that, when our hunger meets His offer, we will gobble up every bit of it and lick the plate.  This is the heart-posture of those who are able to receive the “much more” that He has to say to us. God always holds His next-level impartation of enlightenment until the moment when we stop everything and say to Him, “King Jesus, yesterday’s revelation is not enough for today. More than anything else, I want in on whatever fresh thing you have prepared for us. I rejoice in what You have already done and shown and taught me, but I want to be with you in the present moment. I want to participate in what you are saying now and saying next.”

When our hearts can come to that place, we will be able to bear the many things that He has to say to us. We will begin to hear God afresh. He has never gone permanently silent. Sometimes, He stops speaking so that your hunger to hear Him will awaken. You will be willing to turn off all the other voices speaking into your life. You will press the mute button on all of those sources who seem to never shut up, but who also never have anything worthwhile to listen to. You and I must remain in that place where our spiritual ears are not satisfied with yesterday’s revelation. Psalm 25:14 declares that God will actually share His secrets with us when we reverence Him and prioritize His voice. My conviction is that people do not hear God because, if they are honest enough to admit it, they do not really think He speaks or, worse yet, they do not really prioritize what He is saying. He will typically meet us at the level of our hunger. Where there is no elevation of our hunger, there should be no expectation of His voice.

So then, pray for increased hunger that leads you to the specific time and place where the Master (who is not done speaking) is serving up something fresh.