Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hearing Voices

If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink." (John 7:37b)

Feeling a bit parched? Searching to quench that thirst with an iced tea or Diet Coke? Dive into the Word for real refreshment!I try to be diligent in my Bible reading and am often rewarded by God's speaking to my heart through particular scriptures. I pause and sometimes even write them down. The reflection usually ends there, however. Now, I would like to pursue the verses that God lays on my heart by pondering how He wants me to apply these verses in my life.

Here is what spoke to me this week:
The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions. One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual 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. Samuel answered, "Here I am." And he ran to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." But Eli said, "I did not call; go back and lie down." So he went and lay down.
Again the LORD called, "Samuel!" And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." "My son," Eli said, "I did not call; go back and lie down."
Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD : The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.
The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me."Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, "Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, 'Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.' " So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" Then Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening."
1 Samuel 3:1-10
Have you ever wondered if you were really hearing God's voice? I know that I have. Especially when I have a decision to make, I second-guess myself and try to figure out if the voice I hear is actually coming from God, myself, or the enemy. Oh, how I wish that I had someone like Eli to tell me if I were really hearing God's voice!
I read the above passage this week in my Bible reading. I am always amazed how God sends reinforcement of ideas that He has caused to jump out at me when I spend time in His word.
When I picked up my church's newsletter yesterday from the mailbox, Pastor Phil's weekly message was titled "Listening to the Voice of God." It contained a checklist developed by Pastor Roger Barrier on how he discerns the voice of God and ended with the question: "How can we better tune our ears to to hear the quiet whisperings of the Spirit of God?" Pastor Phil also encouraged us to read John 10:1-5:
"I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice."
I thought it was so interesting that both of these passages deal with recognizing God's voice. Samuel, because he did not know God, had to rely on Eli to tell him that it was not a human voice he was hearing, but the Divine. John's passage states that the Good Shepherd's sheep know His voice and are able to discern between it and a stranger's.
Although I may not have an Eli to help me to determine whether what I'm hearing is truly coming from God, I do have a way to know God's voice. The more time I spend in His word and in prayer, the easier it will be to recognize Him when He speaks to me. I long to say like Samuel, "Speak, for your servant is listening!"
So, what verses have spoken to you this week? Post those verses on your own blog, along with how you see that God wants you to apply them in your life. Then, provide your link below so that we can drink from one another's wells of scripture.

1 comment:

Kathryn said...


You wrote: "The more time I spend in His word and in prayer, the easier it will be to recognize Him when He speaks to me."

Amen, sister!

And, I would just add to that the Lord will never speak a Word contradictory to His written Word. Even when He is correcting or disciplining us, it is out of love. If a voice is saying "YOU are stupid (or worthless, or whatever ...) that is the voice of the enemy! (Although, since the mind is the enemy's greatest battlefield, he usually speaks in first-person, which we will hear as "I am so stupid (or worthless, or whatever)."

We must be reading through the Bible on the same schedule again, because I just finished reading the same Scripture! So glad to have "Thirstin' for the Word" back on Thursdays! :-)