I need to know what God wants me to do! Why can’t I hear Him?Many times, when we are praying and asking the Lord for direction for a specific decision, we are our own worst enemy! When we come to God with preconceived ideas, or opinions about what we will or will not do, we are not prepared for His answer. It would be like going to the store with a trunk full of boxes. We then wonder why we can’t fit our purchases into the car after we purchase them. When we refuse to empty our hearts of our own thoughts and desires, we will go home without what we need. We then wonder why God isn’t answering our prayers!
Our approach is the keyIf this is often the case for you, a slight change in how you approach the Lord will set you free! In Psalms 25:12, David shares the principle of Divine submission. Who is the man who fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way he should choose. The word “fear” here, means to deeply revere to the point of letting go of everything else that would detract from submission. This same word was used to describe Abraham’s attitude when God commanded Him to sacrifice his son on the mountain in Genesis 22:12. God promises us that if we are completely submitted to Him, He will show us which way to choose. It’s a promise, and it WILL come to pass. He [God] said, “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”
What keeps us from hearing?David encourages us in Psalm 25:12, to respect the Lord and His opinion so highly that we will release all else. So, what are the things that keep us from being truly submitted to God’s will?
- Our own opinion – many times we come to God asking for wisdom, but what we really want is for Him to agree with what we already think we should do. That’s not really submission and it’s not going to get us the answers we desperately need.
- Our comfort – many times we have some “no fly zones” in our hearts. We will do what God wants us to do in some areas, but some are strictly off limits to change because it would require us to go through some painful growth. That’s not really complete submission either.
- The opinions of others (even those we respect) – sometimes, we will listen to other people in our lives, our friends, our pastors, our spiritual leaders, instead of going to God first. If what they tell us is what we want to hear, we then agree with them and assume it must be God’s will. Psalm 146:3 tells us that even princes will fail us, and that our ultimate trust must be in the Lord alone.
- Circumstances – some things God may want us to do aren’t convenient. Obedience may cause us to have to do something that requires more work from us and we don’t want to change.
- Our own reasoning – often, we have an idea of what God is like that isn’t based on His revelation through His Word. If we think we know what He is going to tell us, we might not recognize what He tells us that doesn’t agree with our ideas of how He behaves.
- Cost – Complete obedience will cost us everything we hold closer to our hearts than Jesus. He wants to be first in our lives, and rightfully so. He paid every part of Himself for you and He deserves nothing less from you in return.
What are you going to do now?If we truly want to hear God, we have to be willing to give up those things that keep us from deeply revering Him above all else. Meditating on His goodness and love for us will make it easy. When He asks for something from us, it is ONLY to bless us. If He didn’t spare His only Son for us, how could He even consider withholding any other blessing from us? He gave us His everything, freely and abundantly. He will only continue doing that for the rest of our lives here on earth and then for eternity in Glory! Knowing His character and meditating on His goodness will help us to easily rest in His good and gracious will for us. It will help us to trust that “He is good and His mercy endures forever!” If you find this exercise too challenging, ask Him for help. He knows where you are and what lies you are believing that are keeping you from His best for your life. I guarantee you that if you let go of all else, you WILL hear His will for you. Take a moment now and go through these areas in your heart with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Release what is holding you back from the complete abandon of trusting Him with your whole heart. It is worth it! Prayer of Submission: Lord, there are things in my heart that are keeping me from fully trusting You and Your goodness towards me. Please help me to let those things go and to want to change my approach to You in prayer. Please help me to submit to You and remember that You only have good things planned for me. I can trust in Your goodness and Your great love for me. I can rest in knowing that whatever You ask of me, You will be with me to do it in me and through me. I submit my will to Yours. Your will be done in my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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