Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Listening to God Story
In the Old Testament book known as I Samuel there is a great "listening to God" story. The main character in the story is just a mere boy. And though there is a real priest in the next room, it is the young apprentice who actually hears the voice of God and is finally given instructions about what to do when he hears again what he has confused with the voice of man. Three times Samuel hears the voice of God calling his name. Three times he wakes up the old priest, Eli, thinking that he is calling out to him. After being awakened the third time, Eli is able to perceive what is happening. "Go, lie down; and if He calls you, you shall say, 'Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.' " (I Samuel 3:9)
Many of us have likely missed out on something God was trying to say to us because such a thing happening was too much a possibility outside of our reality. What was experienced was explained away as something other than God speaking. Samuel figured what he was hearing had to be the voice of Eli. Who else would be speaking to him in the middle of the night? Who is to say God has not spoken and we never entertained the thought that it was God speaking? In those moments we could have certainly benefited from an Eli in our life to turn our attention to what was happening.
For some of us it seems strange to speak words to God which anticipate a response that we will actually experience somewhere deep in our inner being. There are simply too many conversations between God and one of His servants recorded in the Word to dismiss this spiritual reality. God does not choose to be silent. He speaks. We are the ones who live believing those who talk about hearing a word from God are not in touch with reality when, in fact, they may have a firmer hold on it than we do.