Story: The Calling of Samuel, 1 Samuel 3
As a young man, the prophet Samuel lived in the temple studying with Eli the priest. One night as Samuel was sleeping he heard someone call his name. Thinking it was his teacher, Samuel went to Eli. Each time, Eli sent the young man back to bed. The third time, Eli realized it was God’s voice Samuel was hearing. He told Samuel to tell God that he was present and listening. When God called to Samuel, He did just as Eli instructed. Samuel grew up hearing God’s voice and served as a priest, prophet, and judge.
Inspire from TRU
After following Jesus for 50 years, I like to think I can recognize God’s voice in my life. However, He has been teaching me to resist the urge to put words in His mouth. I’ve been learning to discern the difference between His voice and my own internal voice.
A couple of years ago, I was praying for God to give me a word to guide me during the coming year. This had been my custom on New Year’s Eve for about three years, and God had always clearly given me a phrase or a verse that helped me navigate the following year. Unfortunately, I thought I would help the process and decided for God what the word would be. As I read 1 John 4 that New Year’s Eve, I told God His word for me was, “There is no fear in love” (v. 18). I smugly closed my Bible, thanked Him, and went off to bed.
That night I slept just fine, but when I woke up on New Year’s Day, a restless heart sent me back to the passage. It turned out that the verse God really wanted for me was 1 John 4:17, and specifically the phrase “in this world we are like Jesus.” That clarification drastically changed how I lived the next year. God was faithful to speak to me and I continue to learn how to listen for His voice in the quiet of my soul.
I’m continually amazed that the Lord speaks to me at all, but I’m so grateful that He does. Knowing and hearing God’s voice brings me joy. Listening to Him gives me peace. Talking with Him lets me know, without a doubt, that I am not ever alone. Knowing that God wants me to hear Him makes me feel incredibly loved. His is the voice that has spoken throughout the ages to children and kings, prophets and fishermen. As I listen, He will guide me and direct my life.