Random Quote "Say you were standing with one foot in the oven and one foot in an ice bucket. According to the percentage people, you would be perfectly comfortable."
-Bobby Bragan
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Random Scripture "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!"
Matthew 7:7-11
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Hindrances to Hearing God

How does God speak to you?  What keeps us from hearing God?  I'm sure there could be a million different things that could get in the way of us hearing God, but all of these things center around the same problem: thorns.  Thorns prevent us from hearing God.  In Mark chapter 4, we are told that three things choke the word: cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in.

“Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow.  And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it.  Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth.  But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away.  And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop.  But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred." (Mark 4:3-8, NKJV)

And He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word.  And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts.  These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness;  and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.  Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.  But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” (Mark 4:13-20, NKJV)

Cares of this world are things that are often necessary for life in the societies we live in.  These things include school and work.  These are not bad things.  However, they can become a large hindrance if we get so wrapped up in them that we forget about the most important thing of all; a relationship with Christ.  Often times the cares of this world can invade our lives so much that these things become a drug to us.  We can become addicted to busyness.  We end up having a life jam-packed full of things to do, yet somehow it doesn't seem like much of a life.

The deceitfulness of riches is related much to our trust in God.  If we let riches deceive us, we ultimately lack trust in God and believe that our big screen TV, trip to Hawaii, or brand new car will somehow satisfy us greater than any non-material possession that God could give us.  We couldn't be more wrong.  Growing up in a materialistic culture, this is exceptionally hard to grasp.  We would much rather have mediocre instant gratification than the greatest prize of all that we cannot yet see.

The desires for other things can be defined as anything that distracts us from a purposeful relationship with Christ.  Often times these things can be sinful, but they are certainly not limited to sin.  An addiction to television, sports, business or any other thing lacking an eternal purpose can be just as distracting from God as an addiction to drugs can be.  We simply cannot keep living day to day focusing on the future, believing that some day we'll change.  The time is never later, the time is always now.  Each day we let pass where we don't create some kind of eternal purpose is a day lost in this world.

By far, the biggest reason we have difficulty hearing God is that we're not listening, or we have selective hearing.  It's absolutely crucial that we build a daily relationship with Christ.  Everything else in our lives flows out of the health of that relationship.  We have a choice to make.  Live life without Christ, or live life for and with Him.  If we choose the latter, we must be fully committed and fight the good fight.

But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen. (1 Timothy 11-16, NIV)