One Barrier to Hearing God Speak Is Resistance

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If you don’t think God can or will speak to you, then guess what? He won’t. Cultivate an open mind and a receptive heart.

“A farmer went out to plant his seed. As he scattered it across his field, some seed some fell on a footpath, where it was stepped on, and the birds ate it.” (Luke 8:5 NLT)

If you want to hear God speak, you must first cultivate an open mind.

What does that mean? It means you’ve got to be receptive. You’ve got to be willing. You’ve got to be open. You’ve got to be eager. You’ve got to be ready.

The number one barrier to hearing God speak is resistance. So many people are closed to the possibility that God might speak to them. If you don’t think God can or will speak to you, guess what? He won’t.

Jesus talked about this kind of soil — the footpath soil — in Luke 8:5: “A farmer went out to plant his seed. As he scattered it across his field, some seed some fell on a footpath, where it was stepped on, and the birds ate it” (NLT).

As workers walk down the path between each row of a field, it becomes trampled down. The soil becomes compact and gets really hard. If seed happens to land on the footpath, there’s no way it’s going to sprout. It’s not going to take root. It just lays on the surface until a bird comes along and eats it.

Jesus goes on to explain in verse 12 that “the seeds that fell on the footpath represent those who hear the message, only to have the devil come and take it away from their hearts and prevent them from believing and being saved.”

There are two characteristics of a footpath: It’s hardened, and it’s narrow. Do you know any minds like that? I know a lot of people who have a closed mind, a hard heart, and a narrow view of life. They don’t even give God a chance. Their minds are made up; they’re unwilling to listen.

The tragedy of a closed mind and a hard heart is that it’s barren. Nothing can grow there. Nothing can live there. Even if a little seed does happen to fall on a closed mind or a hardened heart, it can’t take root. People who have a closed mind are not really living; they just exist. But a bitter life is a wasted life. It just perpetuates the pain!

So how should you respond instead? The Bible 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” (James 1:21 NLT). The opposite of a closed mind is an open mind. You need to say to God, “I can’t do it on my own. The ways I’ve tried haven’t worked. So I’m going to listen to you and open my heart and mind to your possibilities. God, I believe in you and want to hear from you!”

Talk It Over

What does it mean to cultivate something? How does that apply to having an open mind?

How have you rejected the word God has already planted in your heart?

What are your expectations when you are waiting to hear from God?

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