“Suddenly the Lord called out, “Samuel”.” Yes?” Samuel replied. “What is it?” He got up and ran to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?” “I didn’t call you”, Eli replied. “Go back to bed.””
1 Samuel 3:4-10
When God speaks do you listen? Can you recognise His voice?
We can rest assured that not everyone gets it the first time. Samuel eventually became one of the Old Testaments most prolific priests, honoured by men and by God. It was his anointing and commission that gave King David his priestly role. Yet if we rewind time to when he was just a boy, we see that it was not always like that.
Hannah, his mother, finally gave birth to a son after many years of tears and agony. She promised God that when she finally had a child she would dedicate him to God and for God’s service. This is where we pick up the story in 1 Samuel 3. Samuel was now living in the temple with Eli the priest. One night, the Lord spoke out to Samuel. Yet Samuel thought Eli was calling him. Again the Lord called Samuel, yet “Samuel did not yet know the Lord because he had never had a message from the Lord before.”
It is so difficult to discern something you do not know or have not heard before. Samuel couldn’t recognise the voice of God because he had never heard it before. Do you sometimes feel like that? Yet just as much as God wanted to talk to Samuel, so He wants to talk to us. Our response should be the same as Samuels. “Speak, Your servant is listening!!” Part of listening to God, is practicing discerning His voice. Our response when we think we can hear God’s voice should be “I am listening”. God wants to talk to us. Our challenge is whether we take the time to listen and discern what He has to say.