Barnabas Bulletin ~ 0127
CONNECTING WITH THE VOICE OF GOD
In 1 Samuel Chapter 3 we have the account of how the young child (Samuel) first heard and then connected to the voice of God. When the voice of God first came to Samuel he believed it was the voice of Eli the priest. Samuel was in his warm bed when the voice came. That voice was loud enough, and clear enough, to cause him to rise out of his bed, walk through the cold temple corridors to where Eli was asleep. He woke Eli up and asked him what he wanted. Eli did not recognize that God was speaking and revealing Himself to Samuel; rather he thought Samuel was mistaken and sent him back to bed. The voice came again the second time, and again Samuel responded to it, got up and went to wake Eli. Samuel met with the same response from Eli. It happened again the third time, and by the third time Eli discerned that God was trying to speak to the boy. Eli should have recognized that the first time, as his responsibility was to teach Samuel the ways of the Lord. Eli held the spiritual position and title, but he did not have the discernment to recognize what was happening; it seems he had not learned to connect with the voice of God for his own life as there appears to be no record of him hearing directly from God for himself? There is record of a prophet coming to him with words of judgment (1 Samuel 2:27-36), and the word of the Lord came to him through Samuel after Samuel had connected the voice he heard as being that of God.
On Samuel’s third visit Eli perceived that God was trying to speak to him, so he instructed him as to how to respond to the voice if it came again. Back in bed again, the voice came the fourth time and Samuel asked God to speak to him. God did, and in that instant Samuel connected the voice as being the voice of God (and not that of a man, or his own imaginations), and stepped into a whole new realm of spirituality that was to raise him up as a Prophet to the nation of Israel. Because of Samuel’s commitment and dedication to God ~ and his placing a total value on the words of the Lord, the Bible says “He did let none of His Words fall to the ground” (1 Samuel 3:19). Samuel learned to value the voice and words of the Lord more than anything else. He guarded those words above every other thing.
We might ask ourselves why Samuel went three times to Eli when he was rebuffed the first time? Samuel had a servant heart, and a servant heart always responds to the voice of his/her master. It was that servant heart that enabled God to trust Samuel with words of revelation about what He wanted to do in the land. A servant heart is a responsive heart. It does not make excuses and say, “I can’t return to Eli because he will only rebuff me again.” He genuinely believed the voice was that of Eli and so responded accordingly ~ at that point in time he did not know the voice of God to be able to recognize it! He was there to serve and learn from Eli, and so it was to him he went.
Once Samuel knew the voice of God it became his first priority to listen, guard and keep that word at the forefront of his life. He so connected with the voice of God in such an accurate way that it was later said of Samuel: “All that he says surely comes to pass” (1 Samuel 9:6). What a testimony to have! People knew they could rely on the words of Samuel as being from God. How the Christian Church today needs such humble-hearted, servant-hearted men and women who will be connected to the voice of God ~ which is the voice of truth ~ and be able to communicate that truth to this generation. Unfortunately many Christians doubt the voice of God when it comes to them. The reality is that God is speaking to His people today, but are we hearing Him? Are we proving that the voice we hear is the voice of God? Jesus said: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27). Knowing the voice of God in our personal lives is the Number One priority for a Christian. We need to know Him personally enough to know when He is speaking to us. His voice brings us into a wonderful relationship with the Lord of the whole earth; it leads and guides us into all truth; it teaches us the ways and will of God for our lives, and it enables us to be more fruitful in the Kingdom of God than any other way. In The GFM Ministry we have seen God faithfully provide for us month after month; He has enabled us to minister to thousands of people around the world in such a way that their lives are impacted by the Holy Spirit. It is the Lord’s doings, and it is marvelous in our eyes!
The voice of the Lord is vital to us. Have you heard Him speaking to you? Are you connected yet? None of us can afford not to be connected to the voice of God. Hear Him today! ~ Rodney W. Francis.
Please Pray This Prayer:
“Dear God, I come to You in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and I ask You to help me to be connected to Your voice. Help me to be humble enough to listen to You, and to be servant-hearted enough to respond to You and obey what You say to me. I really do want to do Your will, and to be an effective and fruitful minister of Your Supernatural Gospel in my day and generation. I desire to fulfil Your vision for my life! Thank You, Lord. Please speak to me today. In Jesus' name, I pray these things. Amen."