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How come we cannot hear God clearly?

Hearing God clearly sounds so simple, but we live in a noisy world among thorns.

“For the heart of this people has become dull, with their ears they scarcely hear, and they have closed their eyes, otherwise they would see with their eyes, hear with their ears, and understand with their heart and return, and I would heal them.’” Matthew 13:15

“As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.” Matthew 13:22

We live in a world that produces lots of noise; everyday some thing (yes, a thing) tries to capture our attention and guide how we think. Jesus refers to these as thorns that grow up around the young plants growing in the garden God has planted in us. These things, the thorn bushes in this story, take over and do not allow sunlight, rain, and nourishment into the garden. This is what we face every day: bad news, turmoil in our world, economic struggles, and so on. How do we deal with them?

We do not have to let these things bother and distract us. We must get our eyes on God and give Him our attention. Once we do that, once we are focused on Him and not on the thorns trying to rob us of life, we can hear what He is saying to us. If we take our eyes off God, if we close them as Jesus is saying, our ears become closed to God’s voice.

How do we get our eyes on God? Read His word, pray, and hang around with people who are doing the same thing. Knowing what He is saying in His word guides us in hearing His voice and shutting our ears and eyes to what is not His voice, but the voice of some thing (yes, again, a thing) that is not God.

A good example is in forgiving those who offend or hurt us. In our world, especially today, we hear how someone once said something about us that is so offensive, they must be stopped from speaking (cancelled, as we call it). But that does not change anything. Revenge offers no comfort.

On the contrary, Jesus says this: “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” Mark 11:25. Jesus even forgave those who crucified Him, we are commanded to do the same. This passage comes at the end of another on praying for what we want. These prayers will never be answered unless we first forgive as Jesus did, it is that important.

Hearing God is not hard. Read His word, pray to Him, and be with others who do the same (a local church). If we do that, the noisy world and its’ thorns fade away.

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