How to Hear from God in Chaotic Times

We live in a loud world. And it’s getting louder by the day.

Text messages, notifications, emails and phone calls constantly demand our attention.

Technology is in a frenzy, keeping us occupied with the latest scandal or crisis. Intriguing facts and images keep us scanning and scrolling.

And yes, we’ve learned to shut out some of the loud. We ignore messages, skip the ads on YouTube, put our phones on silent.

But life is still loud!

And God is a quiet God.

He could be loud if He wanted to, but He chooses to speak in a still, small voice.  

(Have you noticed how your children listen better when you lower your voice than when you shout? There’s something there…)

Because the world is so loud and God whispers His messages to us, many people don’t believe God speaks to them. They haven’t experienced it and laugh it off. They haven’t learned to be still, listen, and recognise God’s voice.

The reason we don’t hear God is not because He isn’t speaking. It’s because we aren’t listening.

The noisiness of the world drowns out God’s still small voice and unless we become intentional about hearing from Him, we will miss what He’s saying to us.

Truth is, the world is not going to get any quieter. It’s going to become more chaotic. And we must learn to hear from God in the midst of chaos.

How do we do that?

1. Quiet the voices

Have you ever turned the music down in your car so you can find your way around a new area?

Like turning it down is going to help you see better.

Why do you do that? I do it so I can think. To minimise distractions and mental input so I can focus on what I’m looking for or on what I’m doing.  

The more chaotic things are around us, the more difficult it is to think and focus. The stimuli becomes overwhelming and it’s difficult to think and respond properly.  

Chaotic moments demand attention and intention. When chaos hits we must intentionally limit the input. We must choose what input has access to us.

“You can’t give God your attention when your attention is constantly being targeted and taken captive…and you’re cooperating.” [i]

So we must quiet the unnecessary voices. Here are some ideas on how to do this:

  • Remove people from your friend list on Facebook or Instagram if their posts disturb or upset you.
  • Turn off notifications. You don’t need to know who posted what on social media or who started a live video.
  • Turn your phone off at night-unless it’s a security risk to do so.
  • Don’t check your phone as soon as you wake up in the morning. Allow yourself to wake up and seek God.
  • Unplug from technology altogether for one day a week. (You won’t die.)
  • Check emails once or twice a day at set times.
  • Cut out anything unnecessary – news, sports, music. Only listen to the things that matter. If reading the news upsets you and breaks your connection with God, then stop reading it.

2. Listen to the right voices.

If you don’t focus on the most important voices it won’t matter what voices you’ve limited.

  • Focus on the voices that matter. Listen to wise people, encouraging messages, people who love you, things that inspire you-podcasts, sermons, conversations, reading.
  • Train yourself to hear from God. Among all the right voices God’s voice is the one that truly matters. He commands us to “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10 KJV).

If you’re not used to being still you can train yourself to switch off the treadmill in your mind. Silence and nature will help you do this.

Start training yourself to hear from God when things are not chaotic. Go out into nature and sit. Leave your phone behind. Don’t take a book. Just sit.

  • Read God’s word daily. It will help you become familiar with Him and enable you to recognise His voice more easily.  

The more chaotic things get, the more important it’s going to be that we quiet other voices and learn to listen to the right voices.

We can’t hear from God when all we are giving Him is a flit and flicker of our attention. We must become intentional about hearing from Him.

What’s taking your attention away from hearing from God now? What can you do to change that?


[i] John Eldredge, Get Your Life Back, 43

About The Author

Jennifer Lovemore

Jennifer has diplomas in relationship counselling and CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), is a certified SYMBIS facilitator, and is certified in TPM (Transformation Prayer Minsitry). She lives in South Africa, has three grown children, and is married to her best friend – Richard.

1 COMMENT

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