God may speak to me but I might not understand the message. I must understand more about Him before I understand what He might say. The wonderful news is that if I seek to understand him he has promised to enlighten me.
Proverbs 2:3-5 (NKJV)
Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding, If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, And find the knowledge of God.
OK, so now that I know that God will cause me to understand as I value and seek Him, what else hinders me from hearing God? Am I ready to hear a word from Him? What will I do with it when I hear it? Do I want to hear from God just to benefit personally? What would be God's purpose in speaking to me? One clue is in how Jesus taught us to pray:
Luke 11:2 (NKJV)
So He said to them, "When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven."
Before the prayer gets to any of my own needs or desires, it focuses on God's desire. If I am willing to do his will, then God has a reason to speak to me. But if I am only interested in my own comfort or gain, what purpose would God have in speaking to me? Maybe we know this intuitively. Maybe we don't hear from God because we don't expect to hear from Him. Willard writes:
But for a willing walk in conscious, loving cooperation with God, we must come to grips with the issue What are we living for? ... It may well be that I have never come to the place where I can truly say, "I am living for one thing and one thing only--to be like Christ, to do his work and live among his people and serve them and him in this world. My life is to bless others in the name of God." If we have not come to that place, then the question "How do we hear the word of God?" is replaced with "What would we do if we heard the word of God?"
Father in heaven, help me to recommit my life to you. Help me win the battle in my thought life of devoting everything to you every moment of the day.