So he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down again, and if someone calls again, say, ‘Speak, LORD, your servant is listening.’” I Samuel 3:9 NLT
Listening to the right voices determine one’s life course.
My cousin and I were simple country boys who loved romping in the woods. Times were simpler then. No cell phones. No video games. Just our youth and imaginations. Our parents and grandparents didn’t fear for our safety. We were allowed to roam as long as we listened for the voice—a car horn. We may have heard other horns, but our grandmother’s we recognized. When we heard, we listened.
Young Samuel assisted Eli the priest in God’s work, but he’d never heard God’s voice. God’s messages were rare. To follow God’s directive, Samuel had to recognize his voice.
Recognizing God’s voice requires training just as young Samuel had to learn to distinguish it from the other voices that commanded his attention. Samuel may have heard an audible voice. Presently, however, I won’t be so fortunate. God speaks through his Spirit to my spirit, so I must learn to hear him with spiritual ears.
When God speaks, what he says will agree with his Word. Anything I think I’ve heard that contradicts that comes from my soul’s enemy. Just as becoming a good listener takes practice, so learning to listen to God requires the same. Hearing God isn’t an automatic process.
Listening to God also demands silence. Silence is difficult in my noisy world. Even doing good things can steal my listening time from God. Jesus left the crowd for a mountaintop meeting with his Father. He also rose early in the morning to speak with his Father. I must be still and know he is God.
Have you learned the art of recognizing God’s voice?
Father, give us the spiritual wisdom to recognize Your voice so that we might obey Your directives.