There can be several reasons for this you are not hearing Him or distinguishing His voice or the signs He is giving you.
The first reason some people do not hear God’s voice is because they may not recognize it. It is not what they expect it to be so they don’t realize that it was God speaking. Elijah was one of the greatest of God’s prophets. He knew God well and heard from Him often. Jezebel was seeking to kill him as she had killed many other prophets of the LORD. 1 Kings 19:9-13 continues the narrative.
There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” 11 And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. 13 And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
I think most of us would expect God to be in the wind, the earthquake, or the fire, yet He was in the whisper and that is where Elijah recognized Him. What is the voice you are thinking you will hear? Is it the deep timbre of James Earl Jones? Is it the reverberating loud voice that shakes the ground like a freight train? Elijah was in communication with God frequently and he heard his voice as a low whisper.
You may hear His quiet voice in your head and then the enemy who longs to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10) lies to you, telling you it was your own voice, wishful thinking, or even him. The enemy can also lie to you about other things and so steal God’s conversation from you. He will tell you God is not answering you, not speaking to you because you don’t deserve it. Believer, none of us deserves to hear His voice, but He is a loving graceful God who chose us anyway. Maybe, God is answering you, but maybe you’re presuming that He would not speak to you in the quiet of your mind, in a whisper so low you might miss it if you’re not quietly listening.
That brings us to the next reason we don’t hear God; we’re not listening. When you pray, it is a conversation, but are you giving God His turn to speak? Are you waiting silently for His answer or are you talking and crying and even begging Him to speak but not simply being still, knowing He is God and listening for His answer? It is not so easy to quiet our minds and simply be still. I can’t tell you how many times I have set out to quietly listen and realized ten minutes later that I am thinking about the next thing or even speaking to God again. How many times did I speak over Him?
God does not only speak in that low whisper some describe as a still small voice, He has spoken audibly (Matthew 17:5). He has spoken in dreams such as to Joseph when he was troubled by Mary’s pregnancy (Matthew 1:20) and visions like when He spoke to Saul on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:4). He has sent signs like the star which told the wise men about Jesus’ birth (Matthew 2:10) or the miracles He performed. Yet even though Jesus performed great miracles and gave people sign after sign, most people wouldn’t recognize Him and believe (John 4:48). He speaks to us through The Bible. The Bible is the Word of God. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us,
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God[ may be complete, equipped for every good work.
In order to hear God through His Scriptures you must read them, meditate on them, and learn them. If you think God is not speaking to you, you may not understand that with the Holy Spirit reading His word brings a new level of depth and understanding and is often so very personal that you know God is speaking directly to you through words written thousands of years ago (1 Corinthians 2:14).
Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). Read this verse again. How many times have you read over that verse and not thought about it. Jesus said, “My sheep” meaning His followers, “hear my voice” but then look at what He said. He said, “I know them,” He knows us! That means that He knows just how to get our attention, to speak to us and have us obey. There is a relationship in play here. We hear His voice, He knows us and we follow. He speaks, we listen and obey.
So Believer, be encouraged God is speaking to you. It takes some practice to discern His voice. It takes discipline to listen. The more you listen, the more you get to know the LORD, the easier it becomes to recognize His voice. Before long, you will find yourself having actual back and forth conversations with Him.