I Samuel 3:10
“Speak , for your servant hears”.
I love that Samuel took the initiative here.
Just because we listened to God yesterday, doesn’t guarantee we’ll listen today. Or that if we do, we will obey.
Let’s face it. We probably all have selective hearing when it comes to hearing and obeying God. So often we probably obey because we were going to anyway.
And sometimes, we don’t obey because we haven’t realized it’s a command. We have become that insensitive to God’s voice.
How does that happen, do you suppose?
Well, it happens when we neglect to spend time in Bible reading and prayer. I mean how will we hear His voice if we don’t hear it through scripture as well our own ears? God’s voice will always be consistent with His word. So that’s a test we can use when we hear a voice and we question whether it’s ours or God’s. We know what God’s word says. If it doesn’t square with that, it’s not from God.
In addition to knowing His word, we have to be sensitive to His voice.
I’ve been reading the book of John. Yesterday, it was John, chapter ten, which elaborates on this very subject and how sheep recognize their shepherd’s voice.
I find verse five particularly interesting:
“A stranger they (the sheep) they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.”
The sheep not only know their shepherd’s voice, they do NOT know the voice of strangers.
That’s an important distinction.
We should not only recognize the voice of God, we should also recognize when someone is speaking or directing us that has no business doing so.
I think it happens all the time.
When’s the last time you sought spiritual advice from a friend before going to God about it? Remember, I said, “before”. Seeking other people’s advice, Christian or not, is Biblical.
For example, yesterday my husband and I talked to our financial planner about the recent losses in the stock market. One person told us to sit tight, the other thought some adjustments to our portfolio were in order.
But we had first prayed about it and then we listened to God’s voice for our decision. We did this with the recent cancellation of our Florida trip as well. We have cultivated and practiced the discipline of recognizing that small voice. And just like the telemarketer who calls you by your first name but doesn’t have a clue who you are and is only interested in duping you, we’ve also learned to recognize the voices that aren’t His. We have also done our homework and know what God says about how we should use our money.
We haven’t always been here by the way. Spiritual maturity doesn’t happen overnight and it certainly doesn’t happen without effort, a lot of it, on our part.
How about you? When is the last time you were sure God was speaking to you?
I believe what Oswald Chambers says in “My Utmost for His Highest”:
A lilly, or a tree, or a servant of God, may convery God’s message to me. What hinders me from hearing is that I amn taken up with other things.
Open your ears today and God will speak to you. It might be a whisper; it might be a shout. We need to end each day with knowing we have heard Him speak to us.
God bless and have a good day.