Does God Choose Not to Hear You?

O Lord, I call upon you; hasten to me! Give ear to my voice when I call to you! Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice! Psalm 141:1-2

God continually calls His people to pray. In our opening scripture, David calls upon God to respond.

I love his candor with the God who loves him. Hasten to me!

I want to have that kind of faith when I approach His throne. Don’t you? David confidently asked God to come near, full of expectation that he would be heard. Then he asked Him to open His ear to his voice.

Why is that significant?

John 9:31 reveals an important truth.

We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him.

David confidently asked God to respond to him because he knew he had God’s ear. Do you, dear one?

If you’re not certain, we just read the qualifications describing one God listens to: anyone who worships God and does His will.

You and I want God to hear our prayers, beloved. More than that, we desperately need Him to—far more than we realize. But John 9:31 brings up an important point we often overlook.

God doesn’t listen to every prayer.

I know. Making a statement like that seems scandalous. It doesn’t sit well with our cozy view of grace. But God’s word remains true—all of it, not just portions of it. And scripture undeniably declares, God does not hear us all.

Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,
and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear. Isaiah 59:1-2

You’ll notice the problem is not that God can’t hear. But there are times when He chooses not to.

So why would God choose not to hear His own children? 2 Timothy 2:11-13 offers some insight.

The saying is trustworthy, for:

If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself.

Beloved, if you and I live our lives denying Jesus, His word declares that He will also deny us.

Perhaps I’ve lost your attention because you feel those words don’t apply to you. But I’m not talking about denying that Jesus is the Son of God. I’m talking about the decisions we make every day that either deny or acknowledge Him.

Let’s be honest. Many of us cheerfully associate ourselves with Jesus’ name. But when He calls us to actually live our faith through obedience, we deny Him.

• When His Spirit prompts us to forgive, we deny Him by embracing bitterness.
• When He invites us to walk in holiness, we deny Him by choosing the ways of the world.
• When He calls us into His presence, we deny Him the time.

Then we wonder why He doesn’t seem to bless our prayers.

If we deny Him, He will also deny us.

Beloved, God will never empower disobedience and idolatry. We cannot expect Him to unleash heaven’s blessing upon us while our choices deny His leadership over us.

And that, dear one, is why David had God’s ear. Listen to God’s description of him.

“I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.”
Acts 13:22

God’s ear tunes to the sounds of the godly. Let’s put it another way.

God listens to those who listen to Him.

God listens to those who listen to Him. Click To Tweet

Do you want God to hear you, dear one? Listen to Him. Choose to live in agreement with His Word. Seek Him in the secret place to discern what He is speaking. And then follow where He leads—in every area of your life.

You and I can’t expect God to listen to us while we refuse to listen to Him. But when we seek to live according to His will, His promises abound.

But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him. Psalm 4:3

Choosing Life

This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16 

Choice. The great gift our Creator bestowed into the heart of mankind so that we might offer love freely became the cause of our distance from Him. You know the story. Adam chose to neglect God’s way and sought his own instead. We all know how that turned out.

I can’t imagine the aching regret that must have consumed him as he experienced each new consequence resulting from his choice: separation from God, nakedness, shame, sorrow, fear, and blame to name a few. Far worse must have been the agony of watching his sin play out in the lives of his sons. He stood powerless as sin’s cords entangled the heart of his firstborn, giving birth to jealousy, rage, and even death.

Adam discovered a hard-learned lesson that we would be wise to heed. Our choices always have consequences.

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” Galatians 6:7-8

Each decision we make results in either life or death, each choice a crossroads marking paths to redemption or destruction. Our Creator beckons us toward life, offering His Son as the truth and the way we can follow to restoration. Yet all the while the serpent draws us into his will with half-truths and deceitful promises, and our sinful nature convinces us to believe him.

That, dear one, is why salvation must come through faith in Jesus.

Who will you trust to be the author of your steps, beloved? Will you trust Jesus, who offers the path to abundant life (John 10:10), or will you continue to follow the path lit by your sinful flesh and bound to the will of the prince of darkness (2 Timothy 2:26)?

It seems an easy question. Of course God’s is the better path! And many claim that they will follow Jesus on the path to life. But when faced with the reality of living out that choice, their resolve fades. The familiar voice of the enemy continues to call and they find themselves making the same destructive choices Adam made.

Consider the whole of Jeremiah 6:16,

This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’”

Where do you stand today, dear one? What choice lies before you that holds the power of life and death? Sometimes, it’s an obvious answer. Other times, it’s not so clear. But whatever your circumstance, God has your answer, and within it lies rest for your soul.

Jeremiah 6:16 offers the key to discovering God’s will at your crossroads. It lists four commands: stand, look, ask, walk.

  • Stand – The verb stand evokes two thoughts. First, standing involves stillness; it is a stationary action. Consider Psalm 46:10“Be still, and know that I am God.” Before we move in any direction, we must be still, pausing to acknowledge the One who IS God.

Yet standing is also an action. One who stands isn’t idle or complacent, but ready to move when the time is right. Are you ready to take your stand?

  • Look – The second action offered in this verse is look. Hebrews 12:2 commands, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith . . .” As we pause at our crossroads we must look to the Son. He waits to lead us on the path to life.
  • Ask – Thirdly, we must ask for direction. God will never withhold Himself from a seeking heart. He desires to reveal His will, and He sent His Son to make a way for each of us to live out His purpose. 

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives . . .” Matthew 7:7-8

  • Walk – Lastly, once we have heard from on high, we must choose to walk down the path He has revealed. James 1:22 reminds us, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” Our ability to hear means nothing if we aren’t willing to also obey.

If you will take these four steps in obedience to God’s Word, He offers a glorious result: “you will find rest for your soul.” Four acts of obedience leading to one act of discovery, a discovery that is well worth the cost.

Your daily choices will profoundly impact not only our own life, but also the lives of your children and others who follow you. Like Adam, you will watch them reap from the seeds you sow. Let’s be deliberate about sowing seeds of life!

Before you take another step, stand still, look to Jesus, ask His direction, and then follow where He leads. His, after all, is the path to glory.



Nourish Your Soul

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” Psalm 23:5

I must begin today in worship of my Lord and King! He is the Beginning, the End, the First and the Last. He is Faithful and True. He is Redeemer, Savior, and Friend. He is so much more than we could ever grasp or imagine. He is love, and He desires to pour into me and into you. Will you allow Him to?

I have just returned from teaching at the first ever “Women of Purpose” conference in St. Pete Beach, FL. I found myself so blessed by the worship and the messages from each of the other speakers; I was truly ushered into the presence of the King! I come away with a sense of excitement and expectation as I commit to allow God to lead me to fulfill His purpose for me, and I want to share that joy and hope with all who will receive it. I want you to know the all-surpassing joy that can only come from doing what you were created to do.

I praise God for each one of you who answered God’s invitation to join us last weekend. I see your beautiful faces filled with emotion—expressing smiles and tears, sadness and hope, darkness and understanding. We basked in the Son this weekend, didn’t we? We abandoned the dark chains of deception and stepped boldly into the warm radiance of Christ’s light. I’m so proud of you! It is my great joy and privilege to have walked beside you for a few steps of your journey with Jesus. Now, dear one, you must keep walking.

I once read an article in which Beth Moore described taking her first trip to Africa to help feed the hungry. The group she traveled with warned her in advance that the people were so starved they would likely begin to eat the grain itself rather than plant it for a long term harvest. Their immediate need was so desperate, they would consume their fill without considering the need to sow the seed so it could continue to sustain them; they would eventually find themselves right back in their same desperate need.

Scripture compares the Word of God to seed scattered by our Heavenly Father (Luke 8:11). He sends it forth seeking to fill us with it, to nourish and sustain us so we don’t return to the place of desperation. But we often approach the seed He scatters like those starving souls in Africa. We flock to our churches, Bible studies, and conferences so starved and desperate for nourishment from God’s Word that we immediately begin to devour it. We take it in, taste the beauty of its refreshment, and come away full! But we often forget the most important part. The seeds of Truth God has given us aren’t meant to merely be devoured. They need to be sown.

Scripture teaches an important truth in James 1:22,

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says.”

If we don’t commit to actively trust God through our obedience, we will soon return to the same emptiness that sapped us of our joy and strength in the first place. Dear one, we come away from an encounter with God feeling empowered, refreshed, and full! But if that’s where it ends and we just return to life as if nothing had changed, nothing will. We must choose to live differently, to daily partake of His Word so He can fill us with strength and sustaining life. And as He meets us in the stillness, revealing Himself and illuminating our path, we must follow where He leads.

God’s grace is released into our lives when we trust Him through our obedience. As you faithfully sow into your life that which He has spoken, the floodgates of heaven will open, unleashing the blessings ordained for you at the creation of the world. You will begin to taste and experience heaven while still abiding on this earth. And you will wonder how you could’ve survived so long without feasting on the bread of life.

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” Matthew 4:4

Feast on His Word, dear one. Allow Him to nourish your soul, strengthen your spirit, and empower you to become all you were meant to be. And as you follow, you will discover what it means to truly live.