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Finding The Voice Of God
“A third time the Lord called, ‘Samuel!’ And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, ‘Here I am; you called me.’ Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, ‘Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’ So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 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 3:8-10 NIV).
I have empathy for the young Eli in 1 Samuel 3. The Lord audibly called out to him three times, but Eli thought the voice was from Samuel rather than God. Why? According to 1 Samuel 3:7, “Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.”
Today, many people also struggle to hear the voice of our Lord. We clearly hear the voice of our flesh, society, and the enemy, but the gentle whisper of our Lord can be hard to discern. God is clearly speaking but unfortunately many of us are not hearing.
Many of our questions to God are seeking a yes or a no response. The answer is not found in a magic eight ball but rather through time spent in prayer and patiently waiting.
A “yes” response can be discerned through the Holy Spirit within us all. A “yes” answer will give us confidence that we are proceeding in accordance with God’s will and the Spirit within us will grant us peace. If you don’t have peace, the answer is likely “no” or “not now” but it is certainly not “yes.”
God also speaks audibly and directly from Himself as he did to Eli and on numerous occasions in Scripture. The Voice may come out of nowhere, but you will absolutely know that it is from God. It is a supernatural experience that is hard to explain. Of course, any voice or word we hear must line up with Scripture so that it does not contradict something God has already spoken.
God speaks to us through Scripture. He does not speak to us by opening the Bible and randomly place your finger on a verse. That is kind of like the magic eight ball approach to things. Rather, He will speak to us as we read His Word diligently and continually. The key is to invite the Holy Spirit to be with you as you read to guide, teach, and interpret. I like to begin my reading by asking, “What message are you teaching me”?
Prayer: Thank you for speaking to us. Help us to hear Your voice and to quiet all other voices that do not submit to Your authority. Forgive us for the many times that we do not listen or simply and sadly ignore Your voice. Continue to speak to us, pursue us, and refine us. Amen.
Meet the Author
Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and a Certified Lay Speaker with the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He is a Board Member for Gulf South Men, an Action Team member for The Kingdom Group, and a Board Member for the Lagniappe Community Walk to Emmaus. Todd is a Past President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and remains active in this and many other local, regional, and international ministries. Todd is the proud father of Emma and Kyle and resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
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