by Rick Warren — September 20, 2021
From Seeking God for a Breakthrough
“Get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls."
James 1:21 (NLT)
Reception quality with your cell phone varies widely. In a big, sturdy building, your coverage may be spotty. In a wilderness area, you’ll likely have no cell service at all. You have to be in the right position to have a clear, reliable signal.
The same is true with your relationship with God. If you want to hear God’s voice clearly and consistently, you must be positioned correctly.
What does it look like to be in the wrong position to hear God? When you’re in the wrong position, your mind is closed—you want to do what you want, not what God wants. In the wrong position, your heart is hardened—you’re unwilling to listen.
What keeps your heart hard and mind closed to God? Here are three barriers that keep you closed to God’s message:
1. Pride. If you think you don’t need God in your life and you want to handle things yourself, you’re probably not listening for God to speak. Pride keeps you from being open to the possibility that God might want to say something to you.
2. Fear. Many people can’t hear God because they’re afraid to hear God speak. You might think that hearing God’s voice or sensing his leading makes you some kind of religious fanatic. Or maybe you’re afraid of the changes you’d need to make in your life if you listened to God’s leading.
3. Bitterness. When you hold on to hurt, resentment, or a grudge, you’re not able to hear God—because your heart is hardened. A hard heart grows cold and makes you defensive, even to God’s love.
James 1:21 says, “Get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls” (NLT).
It’s time to get rid of the bitterness, fear, and pride that keep you from hearing God’s voice and living out his purpose for your life. Then you’ll be able to hear God with and open heart and mind and “humbly accept” what he’s saying to you.