hearing God's voice

Introduction:
Have you ever wondered why some people seem to hear God’s voice while it remains silent in your life? Hearing God’s voice is a spiritual journey many embark upon, yet it can be elusive for some. In her blog titled “Eight Hindrances that Keep Us from Hearing God’s Voice, ” Debbie Kitterman gave eight hindrances to hearing God’s voice.” In this article, we will explore this profound topic, uncover potential eight barriers from my personal experience and those I have coached before, and discover how you can become attuned to God’s voice.

The Early Years:
For the first 15 years of my life as a believer, I did not experience the direct voice of God. Instead, God’s voice was conveyed through His written word, the Bible. The primary channel for hearing God’s voice in my life was reading and meditating on His word. However, as I faced a dry spiritual season and significant changes in my workplace, my hunger for God’s voice led me to explore new avenues. During that period, I encountered the spiritual discipline known as “Inner life through waiting on God” to grow my intimacy with God.

Biblical Foundation:
In the book of John, Jesus refers to Himself as the “Great Shepherd” of His “sheep.” We, as believers, are His sheep, and as John 10:27 affirms, His sheep listen to His voice, He knows them, and they follow Him. This biblical foundation underscores the significance of hearing God’s voice.

The Obstacles: eight barriers to hearing God’s voice

  1. Belief Systems: Your belief in your ability to hear God’s voice plays a critical role. I did not believe hearing God’s voice was possible in my first 15 years of faith and I only believed to hear God’s voice in His written words. If you believe you can hear God’s voice, you are likelier to do so. Conversely, if you do not believe that you can hear the voice of God, then you get what you believe – your disbelief and skepticism can hinder you. Once I received the biblical teaching on various ways of God’s speaking, I started to tune into His voice and hear His voice.
  2. Unbelief: James 1:6-7 says, “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord” (NIV). When you desire to hear God’s voice and yet have unbelief that He will even speak (or that you will be able to hear Him), you will have trouble tuning in to His voice. There is always hope in Christ. As soon as we repent of unbelief and are determined to listen to God by faith, we will clear the way to receive His voice.
  3. Strong Desire: An unwavering desire for something can cloud one’s ability to hear God’s voice, as it did for Balaam in Numbers 22:21-41. Balaam set his mind to cursing Israel but couldn’t hear God. One’s relentless pursuit of one’s desires does give room to hear God’s voice.
  4. Ungodly Expectations: Frequently, we expect God to communicate in specific ways, such as in an audible voice. However, God often whispers gently and nudges our thoughts with His wisdom. Expecting Him to speak in these everyday, personal ways can make you more sensitive to His presence.
  5. Sin: Sin, especially pride and disobedience, can hinder our ability to hear God’s voice. When we are in a state of sin, our hearing might be dull, as in King David did not heed God’s voice in arranging for Bathsheba’s husband Uriah’s murder. Upon the conviction of the Holy Spirit, we repent of sins, receive God’s forgiveness and restore connection to hear God’s voice.
  6. Impatience: Impatience is a common obstacle in hearing God’s voice. Many people give up too quickly, not allowing sufficient time for God to respond. Perseverance in asking the Holy Spirit questions and listening for His voice is key. The important thing is to immediately obey or respond to whatever He says. Apathy in response will also bring a callousness to hearing His voice the next time.
  7. Ungodly Qualifications: Believing that you need to be more “healed” or perfect to hear God’s voice can be a self-imposed barrier. Regardless of your perceived limitations, God can speak to you as you are.
  8. Formulaic Thinking: Relying on past methods of hearing God’s voice as a formula can lead to missing His current messages. God’s communication channels are diverse, and He adapts His approach to speak to each individual uniquely.


The journey to hear God’s voice is deeply personal and spiritually enriching. While obstacles may arise, a steadfast belief, overcoming doubt and skepticism, and shedding ungodly expectations can pave the way for a deeper connection with God. By addressing these hindrances and persevering in your pursuit, you can tune in to the gentle whispers of God and experience a more vibrant spiritual life. Remember that God’s voice is ever-present, waiting for you to listen with an open heart and a willing spirit. Check out our Healing Relationship Coaching.

What are the four steps to hearing God’s voice?

Hearing God’s voice is not as difficult as we think it is. It takes faith, intentionality, practice, and good stewardship.

Learning to hear God’s voice is akin to mastering car driving. I initially stuck to local roads during college, gaining confidence in my skills. When my job in Phoenix required highway travel for efficiency, I took the risk after months of local driving. Despite trembling hands and a wavering car, I navigated the highway successfully. Now, it’s a seamless part of my daily life.

Suppose we were to use driving on the highway as an analogy to open the possibility of hearing God’s voice in many different ways, as in the Bible. Step #1 is to believe that God is speaking today, and delight in our desire to hear His voice.

Step #2 is to explore different ways God speaks by seeking to hear Him in various settings. For example, if I encounter a flight delay or cancellation, I would ask God what you say about this incident. His voice often offers a different perspective. In the past, the anxiety consumed me. After speaking to God about this kind of incident, I learned to flow with it. There must be a good reason for the unexpected. It is better to have peace than simmering with anxiety.

Step #3 is to practice hearing God’s voice. It is like going back in time and becoming a child learning to hear and speak this new language. Get used to asking God: what is this? What are you saying? And then you wait to hear Him. At the beginning of learning, God shows extra grace and makes it easier for you to hear unless your senses in hearing have faulty or tainted filters. My book, The Lens of Love, deals with tainted filters in hearing God’s voice.

One of my friends shared this: in the beginning phase of learning to hear God’s voice, she would ask God if it was a good time to go to the store for grocery shopping. She only goes when she hears a definite ‘yes’ from the Lord. She intentionally lowered herself and became a child in order to learn to recognize God’s voice. She no longer does that as God’s voice comes as soon as her heart turns towards the Lord. For me, God’s voice comes like a lighting thought after years of practice.

Step #4 is to develop a daily lifestyle of hearing God’s voice. It is common to practice hearing God’s voice in church and ministries. However, people tend to restrict that hearing at church or in a religious setting. Hearing God’s voice is for our daily life. My hearing is mostly at my home. Without hearing God’s voice, we would not be living together as a loving family. Through hearing God’s voice in our home life, we are able to resolve conflict.

In summary, there are obstacles to hearing God’s voice. We can overcome these obstacles through humility and Christ. You can start to hear God’s voice in your daily life by following the four steps:

  • Step #1 is to believe that God is speaking today, and delight in our desire to hear His voice.
  • Step #2 is to explore different ways God speaks by seeking to hear Him in various settings.
  • Step #3 is to practice hearing God’s voice. It is like going back in time and becoming a child learning to hear and speak this new language.
  • Step #4 is to develop a daily lifestyle of hearing God’s voice. It is common to practice hearing God’s voice in church and ministries.

Everyone can learn to connect with God more deeply through hearing His voice. So can you!

8 barriers to hearing God's voice
8 barriers to hearing God's voice

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