Why is it so hard for some people to feel the promptings of the Holy Spirit? While part of it may be inexperience or personality, part of it may also be the things we do, whether intentional or unintentional, that can block the connection.
But even when we do those things properly, we can still miss His whispers in our soul.
What Hinders Us From Hearing Him?
- The Noise of the World. We have to let go of the things of this world that seem more interesting that the things of God. Entertainment has become an idol. We want to participate in that sporting event, watch that new movie at the theater, scroll through our Twitter feed, see who is going to win that reality TV show. There are so many enticing things to grab our attention, we don’t have the time – or the desire – to pay attention to God.
- The Lure of Relationships. We’ve all encountered situations where we’d rather spend time with human beings than with God. People are all kinds of entertaining and exciting. Why pick up a Bible or listen to worship music alone in our room, when there is a party to attend or a phone call we can make? Introverts have the opposite problem – choosing to be alone so we don’t have to give attention to yet another Person
- The Trap of a Busy Life. In our culture today, the norm is to fill every second with some kind of responsibility or activity. We’re so busy doing that we forget to be still and know that He is God. We don’t understand proper balance because all the things we’re participating in are good to some degree, so it’s hard to say ‘no’. But a full schedule leaves no time to relax. We’re too distracted to notice anything He might want to say.
- The Over-Abundance of Emotion. Have you ever tried to reason with a child who is upset? While feelings are a natural part of life (let’s not forget, God created them!), too often we let them dictate our words and actions. Praying when we are afraid, angry, or hurt is normal and good, but when we’re stirred up, we tend to focus on ourselves. There have been many times where I couldn’t get any sense of encouragement or direction from the Lord until I made myself calm down and focus on His attributes rather than my upsetting situation.
- Living in Sin/ No Repentance. Scripture says that when we choose to continuously sin, we put up a barrier between us and God that prevents Him from hearing our prayers. This barrier prevents us from hearing Him as well because our hearts grow hard.
All these items can be overcome with a bit of discipline, but the flesh, the pull of our old, self-centered nature, often keeps us from making time for the Lord. We have to practice separating ourselves from entertainment, relationships, busyness, and emotions.
Maybe we need to step back and evaluate what is getting the most attention in our lives.
In what area can we exercise more self-control? Do we need to:
- Turn off the TV more often?
- Cut back on outings with friends?
- Cut some commitments from our schedule?
- Stay away from situations that stir negative emotions?
- Confess and repent of a long-standing sin in our lives?
When we’re so caught up in what’s happening around us, it’s no wonder we can’t tell when God is trying to talk to us. Thankfully, all of these things are within our power to change!
Are you going to join our prayer movement on October 9th? We’re looking for 100 groups of women to commit to praying over 5 points! See our page Rise up Alaska for details. There is also a gathering for Moms In Prayer on October 7th at Changepoint church!