Little Samuel’s story in the Bible is one my favorites.
He heard a voice calling to him in the night and he thought is was the Prophet Eli since he was living with Eli. So Samuel got out of bed and ran to Eli saying, “Here I am”.
But Eli said, “I did not call, go back and lie down.”
This happened again and then the third time, Eli realized that it was God who was calling the boy. This time Eli told Samuel, when he heard the voice, to say, “Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:9.
When God spoke again, Samuel told him he was listening and God went on to tell Samuel what was soon going to happen.
I’ve got a challenge for you. The next time you think you might be hearing something from God, say those same words, “Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.” And then listen. Listen to what is going through your brain. Think about what you have been reading in God’s Word and how it applies to your life. Think about coincidences that have been happening in your life and how they relate to what you’ve been reading. Remember things that Godly people in your life have said to you recently.
I believe God is regularly trying to break through the cacophony of our culture – especially the electronic bubble where we spend a lot of our time. He is trying to talk to you and me – guiding us, encouraging us, and teaching us.
Have you had the experience where you are reading God’s Word and suddenly a sentence seems to stick out of the page? It almost looks like it’s in bold print? You reread a phrase a couple of times? You start to wonder what this means in your life? Has that phrase always been there? I don’t remember ever reading that or even hearing anyone talk about that before? That is God stopping us. That is God drawing our attention to something specific in his Word so he can speak to us.
That’s what God did today with me. He stopped me as I was reading to remind me how much I like young Samuel’s story. Because I know God, I know he is encouraging me to continue to learn how to hear him more and more clearly as I read his Truth. My knowledge of God is growing and the more I know him, the better I hear him.
How can I be confident that it’s God that’s talking to me and not just my own thinking? What God says to me will always be consistent with what he says in the Bible. He will not contradict himself.
I am also 100% sure it’s God talking when he says something I’ve never thought of before and it’s consistent with what I have read in the Bible. God confirms his guidance to me through my circumstances as well. When it’s God talking to me, things happening around me will line up with what God is saying. Sometimes it will be something my husband, my pastor or a friend says. As I pray about what God is telling me, God will often open up my eyes to how he is moving around me and I’m be able to connect the dots.
When I take time to consider all of these things, God’s directions to me become really clear.
When I work at staying aware of the fact that God is trying to talk to me, it’s not hard to hear him.
I hear you, Abba Father