The short answer to this question is probably not. With all the technology, teaching on communication, and awareness that we have in this modern day we still do a very poor job of hearing each other. Oh, we hear the sounds, the words and such, but we don’t always hear what the other person is saying. No matter what we do we have to face the fact that we hear through imperfect filters. Some hear what they want to hear, some hear what their wounds tell them to hear, some hear what their self- esteem or lack thereof allows them to hear. Then there are those who just don’t even try to listen either out of stubbornness or selfishness.
Now if this is true with one another, how much more are these things going to affect us when we try and hear God? I don’t know about you, but I really want my best friend, my confidant, my counselor, my ‘go to’ source to hear my thoughts and generally agree with me. After all, who knows me better and can understand where I am coming from? While there is some truth in those statements, it is also true that our approach to God can seriously affect our ability to hear Him.
If I go to God thinking I already know the answers or at least the desired outcome, I am going to have a hard time hearing anything else. If I pray to God and I do all the talking, it is going to be difficult to hear Him. If I approach God and feel like I am not worthy, then I am going to find that I may hear His blessings through one of those filters that I mentioned earlier.
Hearing God means that we work really hard to put our stuff away and allow Him to speak into our lives. That also means being willing to hear both good news and hard news. It means understanding that God really does have a better perspective on our lives than we do. It means that we trust His words when we do hear them.
Here is the good news. The more we listen to God and the more we spend time with Him, the easier it becomes to hear Him clearly. In John 10 Jesus says that “my sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” What a beautiful relationship picture. I hope that in this new year you can listen well and find the wonders He wants to share with you.