The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ Then Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:10, NIV).
Friend to Friend
“I can’t hear you!” I yelled downstairs to my daughter who was apparently trying to tell me something.
No matter how trivial or how urgent her message was, I could not receive it because I was in the bathroom! In order to hear my daughter’s words, either she had to move towards me or I had to move towards her.
I can’t help but think of how many times in the day God may want to speak to me, but I am just not in the right place to hear. Maybe my heart is filled with worry. Maybe I’m running from one activity to the next, filling my spare moments with texts and emails.
Maybe my posture, my heart attitude, needs to change so I can hear His voice more clearly.
Remember the story of Samuel in the Old Testament? He’s a young boy growing up in the temple under Eli’s priestly leadership. He’s in the right place to hear God’s voice (he was laying down where the ark of God was) but in 1 Samuel 3, we read he lacks experience in hearing God’s voice.
The Lord calls out to young Samuel twice but Samuel doesn’t recognize His voice. He thinks it’s Eli calling. The third time this happens, Eli realizes it’s the Lord and he instructs Samuel to enter into conversation with this voice next time.
Notice that even the elderly priest Eli was a little out of practice in recognizing the voice of God! But God didn’t give up on the conversation after the first failed attempt. He kept calling out. Samuel didn’t automatically know how to talk with God. He had to learn.
The first word the Lord says to Samuel is “See” in verse 11. Isn’t that beautiful? As we learn to hear the voice of God, we see more clearly. We see His priorities. We see His hand moving in our lives. We see His way out of difficult situations.
But what if you’re not a young boy like Samuel living in the temple? Does God still speak to us, ordinary women living in today’s world?
Yes, without a doubt, God speaks through His Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17), through creation (Psalm 65:8), through the Holy Spirit (John 14:26), through spiritual leaders and teachers (1 Thessalonians 2:13), through godly counsel (Psalm 37:30-31) and more.
In the same way I needed to move closer to my daughter Noelle to hear her voice, we can move closer to God by reading His Word or seeking godly counsel.
I’m learning to say in my heart throughout the day, “Speak Lord, I’m listening.” It helps to remind me that conversation with God is a two-way street. Prayer is not just a rehearsing of my needs or even my praises, but it’s also a time of listening. May our hearts be ready – and expectant – to hear from God today.
Dear Lord, speak to me today. I am Your servant and I am listening. I want to search for You with all my heart. I ask You to guide me with Your voice. May I have ears to hear and a heart to understand Your Word.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
What are ways God has spoken to you in the past? Take a few moments to be silent, asking the Lord to speak to you again today.