Impediments to Hearing the Call of God
Hearing the call of God means tuning out the other voices that try to speak to us, and tuning into the frequency of the Spirit. Our ability to hear God’s voice affects all areas of our life. It is, therefore, necessary to know what could hinder us from hearing His voice.
And Saul answered and said, Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? wherefore then speakest thou so to me? (I Samuel 9:21).
When Samuel met Saul and gave him a hint about the call of God in his life, it seemed that he forgot who was calling him to be the first king of Israel.
Insecurity and self-deprecation come when we focus on our capabilities or limitations, rather than putting our confidence in God. Humility is different from self-deprecation; humility means we are acknowledging our limitations and recognizing our need of God, while self-deprecation means focusing on our flaws and failing to acknowledge that God can help us.
And he [Saul] tarried seven days, according to the set time that Samuel had appointed: but Samuel came not to Gilgal, and the people were scattered from him. And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering. And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came (I Samuel 13:8–10b).
Gene Wilkes said that there are three types of waiting: quiet waiting, expectant waiting and frustrated waiting. Quiet waiting is “like sitting on a porch at the end of the day, reflecting on the day’s events.” Expectant waiting is “like sitting on a restaurant waiting for a friend who said he would join you for breakfast.” Finally, frustrated waiting is “like waiting in the doctor’s office for two hours knowing you have work to do back at the office.”
Saul’s failure to completely wait for Samuel is an example of frustrated waiting. His impatience didn’t only cause him to miss the plans of God; it also took away the kingdom of Israel from him.
3. Inner conflicts
And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal (I Samuel 15:20–21).
Samuel’s instruction to Saul was to attack and kill all the Amalekites, destroy all their possessions, and slaughter all their animals. Saul’s incomplete obedience, however, revealed the inner conflict in his heart – he wanted to please men rather than God. A wrong motive in our hearts will certainly hinder us from adhering to the plan of God.
Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name (Acts 9:13–14).
God was in the process of unfolding His plans for Saul (Paul) when He called Ananias in a vision. Because Ananias knew that the chief priests gave Saul the authority to arrest the disciples of Jesus Christ, he argued with God! He got a hold of his knowledge and didn’t immediately choose to let go of it when the Omniscient One asked him to meet Saul of Tarsus. It was good for him that he eventually abandoned his argument and yielded to God’s call. Otherwise, God would just leave him and find someone else who wouldn’t argue with Him!
5. Preconceived ideas
And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common (Acts 10:13–15).
As a Jew, Peter grew up with people who taught him how to keep the Mosaic Law. Although we don’t have any recorded accounts of Peter’s life before the event when Jesus called him, I would say that he was a devout man. His personality implies that he was zealous about everything he thought was right. He was hesitant when God challenged his preconceived ideas. If God didn’t open his spiritual eyes, Peter would have missed the call to reach the Gentiles.
Pursue Your Call
It is a fearful calamity to miss our call. God summoned a whale to swallow Jonah when he tried to turn from his calling to Nineveh. Destruction came to the church in Jerusalem when they didn’t fulfill the desire of God for the Gentiles. We will certainly find ourselves in an adverse situation when we neglect and pervert the call of God in our lives.
If we get rid of every impediment to hearing the voice of God, we will undoubtedly hear Him calling us to a particular place in the ministry. Like a dew, His call will softly and gradually come into our personal lives, but like thunder, we will hear it generally for a lifetime. God’s call is insistent; it will bring us into a place of discomfort and dissatisfaction until we fulfill it in our lives. If we are truly called to do something, we will have no other choice but to be what He called us to be.
Raymart was born and raised in Manila, Philippines. As a third-generation apostolic believer, his exposure to the things of God developed a burning desire to be involved in the ministry. Three years ago, his desire moved him to Canada to become an international Bible college student at Northeast Christian College. He is a licensed minister with the Atlantic District of UPCI, the section 2 youth representative of the district, youth pastor of Ripples United Pentecostal Church, and a graduate school student at Urshan Graduate School of Theology pursuing Master of Arts in Christian Ministries (Intercultural Studies).