Thursday, January 22, 2015

How can I hear God's Voice?

Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord in the presence of Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision.
At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his own place. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. 
Then the Lord called Samuel, and he said, "Here I am!" and ran to Eli and said, "Here I am, for you called me." But he said, "I did not call; lie down again." So he went and lay down.
And the Lord called again, "Samuel!" and Samuel arose and went to Eli and said, " Here I am, for you called me." But he said, "I did not call, my son; lie down again." Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.
And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, "Here I am, for you called me." Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, "Go, lie down, and if he calls you, you shall say, 'Speak, Lord, for your servant hears.'" So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" And, Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant hears." (1 Samuel 3: 1-10, NIV)

After writing a detailed paper for a graduate course I'm taking, I find my mind to be blank. It is as if all imagination has been erased from my brain making it difficult to concentrate on writing a devotion. Oswald Chambers wrote: "If your imagination is starved, do not look back to your own experience; it is God Whom you need. Go right out of yourself, away from the face of your idols, away from everything that has been starving your imagination." Chamber's words lead me to several questions: If I am to get out of myself, what should I get into to arouse my brain?, and; What are the idols that are starving my imagination?

If I want to hear God's voice, I need to connect with God. God doesn't hide. In Jeremiah 29:13, God says, " You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jesus says, "Seek and you will find" (Matthew 7:7).

So, how then do I seek God's presence? If He is talking to me, I want to hear what He is saying and not miss His voice as Samuel almost did. What sort of idols (Chambers) could be keeping me from hearing God?

If I am in Christ, I will devote time to Him by reading His Word, praying, and reflecting on God's message to me. When I am overly consumed with other concerns, they become like idols and keep me from hearing God. I focus on all that I have to get done each day, on my children's welfare, or I worry about the future. When I am taken up with other things, I become deaf to God.

If God is talking to me, then I want to seek and find Him so that I hear His voice. God speaks to us through the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16). Although it would be nice if God spoke to us by an audible
voice, some of us don't hear God's voice in the manner Samuel did. God sent His Son Jesus to us as a man so that you and I could identify with Christ who is the "Word" of God. Jesus came to tell us what God is speaking. If I want to hear God, I need to read His Word, contemplate what God is telling me through the Scripture, and ask God what He wants me to to learn from what I'm reading.
          For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the               division of soul and spirit, of joints and of marrows, and discerning the thoughts and                          intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12, ESV)
I want to hear God's voice today, so that I can discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Dear Lord, Some days, I feel that my brain needs a jump-start. I ask You to speak to me in Your Word so that I can hear Your message and discern Your will for me. In Jesus' Name. Amen

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