Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Hearing God's Voice

Does God speak today?
If He speaks how do you hear Him?
If you hear something and you think it may be Him, how do you know?
Does someone with more experience and wiser in religion have a "leg up" on you in hearing God's voice?

Today's story also starts in tragedy. A godly husband. A godly wife. But no children. Did it bother the mom, Hannah, at all? Read with me:

8 "Her husband Elkanah said, "Oh, Hannah, why are you crying? Why aren't you eating? And why are you so upset? Am I not of more worth to you than ten sons?"
9 -11 So Hannah ate. Then she pulled herself together, slipped away quietly, and entered the sanctuary. The priest Eli was on duty at the entrance to God's Temple in the customary seat. Crushed in soul, Hannah prayed to God and cried and cried—inconsolably."

If you are a couple wishing for a child, these emotions are all too familiar for you. Why, God? Why us? What have we done? We have all this love. We want so badly to love and nurture and care for a little one. Why Lord?

"Crushed in soul, Hannah prayed to God and cried and cried—inconsolably."

That's how the story starts. Hannah makes a vow - if God will give her a son, she will give him back to God. Literally. Well, He does, and she does.

Hannah's dance of joy in 1 Samuel chapter 2 is worth printing and posting on your mirror. It's THAT good! Hannah brings her little little boy to the temple where he will grow up and spend the rest of his days. This is a much loved and adored little child, with all the simplicity and innocence of a beautiful little boy.

Now today's story:

1 -3"The boy Samuel was serving God under Eli's direction. This was at a time when the revelation of God was rarely heard or seen. One night Eli was sound asleep (his eyesight was very bad—he could hardly see). It was well before dawn; the sanctuary lamp was still burning. Samuel was still in bed in the Temple of God, where the Chest of God rested."
4 -5 Then God called out, "Samuel, Samuel!"
Samuel answered, "Yes? I'm here." Then he ran to Eli saying, "I heard you call. Here I am."

This happens three times. Finally Eli catches on. God is talking to this pure, innocent, eager child. He says, "Go back and lie down. If the voice calls again, say, 'Speak, God. I'm your servant, ready to listen.'"

He does, and God does. God gives the little boy a message directed at his boss. It is not a pretty message. God tells the boy that He is going to bring down Eli the priest and his "could-care-less-about-God" family. Eli gets it out of him and accepts it.

19 -21 "Samuel grew up. God was with him, and Samuel's prophetic record was flawless. Everyone in Israel, from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, recognized that Samuel was the real thing—a true prophet of God. God continued to show up at Shiloh, revealed through his word to Samuel at Shiloh."

How do you hear God's voice?

Listen, for starters.

Have your heart open to God and your ears open to God.

Obey what you know.

God will keep talking to you.

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