I think most people believe that hearing God is mysterious. Maybe they don't know what He sounds like. Maybe He has spoken to them and they have not heard.
Revelation 3:20 (NIV) 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
Many people do not see what has been said. They do not understand that God knocks-- a signal to be allowed in-- and He speaks. They must be willing to hear Him before they actually hear Him.
I read several years ago that two-thirds of the people who regularly attend church say that they have not had an encounter with God. This shocks me. Is it because the churches they attend do not have a belief that you can hear from God or are they missing what God is saying? The answer maybe a little of both. Speaking about hearing from God in many churches will put you under suspicion. It is easier to be like everyone else. Even the words, "God spoke to my heart," are often dismissed by many people. Afterall, only the minority hears from God anyway.
God wants to speak to you. He does not want to chew you out. He wants to have fellowship with you. He loves the conversation.
I have heard people define prayer as speaking to God. It is more than that. It is also listening to Him. Sometimes we treat God like a fast food restaurant. We go to the counter (altar) give our orders and expect His prompt, courteous and generous response. No other conversation is necessary.
No parent I know wants his children to treat him that way. Parents want conversation with their children. They don't want to be the constant request line. They love to have their children come but they also want to speak with their children. Why would we expect God to act differently?
I want people to converse with God. Sometimes that takes listening. Sometimes that means you have a willingness to do whatever He asks. Both of these will upset our schedule. We will have to listen rather than talk and defer our own will in order to do His.
Sure, I have heard someone say that God has spoken when the true speaker is the one whom I have heard audibly. Sure, I have been considered fruity when I said God told me.
I once advertised a car for a certain price. It was a reasonable price. Yet, I had asked God what I should charge. One person inquired if I would take $100 less. I told him that I wouldn't take $5 less because I had prayed about it and this was the price God told me to ask. The inquirer couldn't get off the phone fast enough! I suppose he thought I was a nut. Don't nuts hear from God?
Maybe our society has brought us to this. It is not the first time that hearing from God was rare. 1 Samuel 3:1 (NIV) 1 The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions. This does not mean things cannot change.
Do you hear from God? I would be interested in your stories. You can either email them to me or leave a comment.