“Samuel, Samuel”……”Speak for your servant is listening.” 1Sam. 3:10
Most Christians I know struggle with the idea of how to hear God’s voice. There are many times in life when we feel desperate to hear a word from God. What should I do? Where should I go? Who am I? Who are you? Our desire to hear from God often comes from a pressing need we have for which God’s clear direction would be the most direct remedy. But here, in the story of Samuel, we see another disposition towards hearing God’s voice—where the need that is being responded to is not ours, but God’s.
How often do we feel God tugging at our hearts with an invitation to approach Him? It might not come in the form of a complete sentence but it’s easy to know what God is communicating when we sense the gentle breeze of desire for intimacy with God pass through our hearts. Perhaps, like Samuel, we need to cultivate the simple response of being attentive to God. Here I am Lord. I heard you call. What would You like? Speak, for your servant is listening. Hearing from God, for Samuel, certainly had more to do with what God might need from him than from what he might need from God.
God does call to us, at every moment of our existence. By His very nature He pours forth speech all day long. And we are always the objects of His communication. “Doug, Doug,….Michelle, Michelle…..Janet, Janet……Greg, Greg………”
Can we hear the voice of the One who loves us, beckoning our names? We have opportunity, every time we sense God calling us, to respond with the simple act of showing up—to go as quickly as we can, find a secret place, and be attentive to the Lord. Here I am Lord. This was Samuel’s posture. And 1Sam. 3:19 says, “The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and He let none of His words fall to the ground.” Samuel was a good catcher of God’s spirit.
“Speak Lord, for now your servant is listening.”
Imago Dei Christian Communities
Rob Des Cotes
written for Nov 10, 2004
For reflection and prayer:
1.What words or posture of heart do you associate with being attentive to God?
2.Reflect on the blessedness of being known, loved and called by name by God.
Prayer is both an out pouring of our hearts to God in praise and need, as well as receptivity to God’s voice as illustrated by Samuel’s words above. As the fall approaches, with new regimes of activities, work and service, we no doubt seek God’s voice, direction and blessing. Perhaps there are triggers of anxiety associated with what lies ahead, as well as joy and anticipation of good things to come. In the midst of the many things that we may request of God in prayer, let’s be intentional about also spending time in inner silence with our needs and desires set aside in order to hear what God may be wishing to say to us.
Give thanks that as the Lord was with Samuel, so according to his promise, he will be with you this day and the days ahead.