Listening

Text: 1 Samuel 3:10
Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ And Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening.’ (NRSV)

Samuel had heard God’s voice before but did not know that it was God speaking.  Finally, after being made aware that it was the Lord who was speaking to him, Samuel still had to be intentional about listening; “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

For those of us who understand that there are two realities going on at the same time, we must always be aware of the difficulties that can arise in hearing God’s voice.  As we participate in both the physical realm (the kingdom of this world) and the spiritual realm (the Kingdom of God), it can be difficult to pick out the voice of God among the competing voices from the kingdom of this world.

For Samuel, it was not until Eli made him aware that it was God who was calling him, that he became intentional about listening for the voice of God.  How do we pick out the voice of God among the voices that call to us?  It is as simple as it is difficult.  It is as simple as being intentional about listening and it is as difficult as putting that intentionality into practice.

In Paul’s writings, it is pretty clear that he called his fellow Christians to cultivate a mind that was similar to that of Christ’s.  In Philippians chapter two, Paul out and out states, “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus…”.  In the twelfth chapter of Romans, he writes, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.”.  

To be intentional about hearing God speak, we must first agree that it is possible to hear God speak.  That is to say, we must believe that God is speaking in a way that we can hear.  Secondly, our minds must be in tune with the voice of God.  That is to say, we have spent time getting to know God through reading out Bibles and thinking deeply about what we find in them as a way of renewing our minds in order to discern the voice of God.

Do you believe that God still speaks?  Are you intentionally listening for God’s voice?  Has your mind been renewed to the point that you can discern the voice of God when you hear it?

Pray with me:

Lord God speak to me for your servant is listening.  AMEN.

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