“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.” (1 Samuel 3:9)
As a boy working in the temple, Samuel didn’t recognize God’s voice when He spoke to him. But later as a prophet, his ear was the portal through which God spoke to an entire nation. Learning to recognize God’s voice isn’t a skill that’s acquired overnight because He speaks to us at different times, in different ways, and in different settings.
Recognizing God’s voice:
- Calls for spiritual maturity. Jesus said, “The sheep follow him, for they know his voice” (John 10:4). Note, he said His sheep, not His lambs, know His voice. Baby sheep follow adult sheep until their senses are trained. That means there’s grace for the immature. So, if your spiritual ears aren’t developed yet, God will work with you till they are.
- Means not being limited by your previous experiences. When God spoke to Moses, a mountain shook, whereas He spoke to Elijah in a still, small voice. Don’t limit God, and don’t try to figure Him out. He can speak to you through your Bible, through those qualified to teach His Word, through a song, through a painful situation, and through your thoughts and desires when you’re submitted to Him. The key is to stay close to God and keep your receiver tuned.
- Means being obedient: David said, “I take joy in doing your will” (Psalm 40:8). When it comes to recognizing God’s voice, is your response, “When I get around to it?”, “If I can fit you in?”, or “I’ll think about it?”
Read this: “If they obey and serve Him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures” (Job 36:11).
Lord, I ask that you lead me as I listen for your voice, for I long to joyfully follow in your ways. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.