8And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the child. 9Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth. -I Samuel 3:8-10 (KJV)
My wife Andrea and I have had a disagreement in recent years about whether or not to have caller ID on our phone. I would like to have it in order to screen out telemarketers and sales calls. Andrea, on the other hand, declares that having caller ID is wrong. Her reason is it enables you to see who is calling and if it’s someone you don’t want to talk to you simply don’t answer the phone. My response is, “Yes, you’re correct! That’s caller ID!” You may be pleased to know we still do not have this feature on our phone. When the phone rings we go ahead and answer, and it’s always kind of exciting; “I wonder who this could be?!” Caller ID truly does take the adventure out of answering the phone.
Samuel of the Old Testament first experienced the call of God in is life when he was a child, and when the Lord first spoke to him he was unaware God was speaking. Samuel mistakenly thought his mentor, Eli the priest, was calling him. The entire scene is sort of comical.
Samuel: “Hey, Eli; here I am. You called me.”
Eli: “No I didn’t (yawning from being awakened from sleep). Go back to bed.”
(A few minutes later)
Samuel: “Here I am Eli; you called me.”
Eli: “Go back to bed son, I didn’t call you.”
It took three episodes of this little drama before old Eli finally caught on. God was calling Samuel. Eli instructed the lad to go back and lie down, and if he heard the voice again to tell the Lord to speak because he was listening. God then revealed His will to the young boy. This revelation was the beginning of a lifetime of hearing and responding to the voice of the Almighty. I confess I have never heard the voice of God speaking in audible form as did Samuel, yet the powerful convictions I have experienced in my heart have been at times so clear as to be like the very voice of the Lord. Some wag might ask me if I am hearing voices in my head. My answer would be, “No, just one.” As I seek the Lord He has a wonderful way of communicating His will.
The Lord will speak to our hearts – through His Word, when we seek Him in prayer, and through the mouths of His servants. It’s easy to grow discouraged when we think the Lord isn’t speaking to us. Even sincere believers will confess they are not hearing the voice of the Lord in their hearts. My advice is to by faith keep seeking God and keep listening. The Lord is faithful and He will speak to our hearts with calm and reassuring words.
Perhaps you are trying too hard. During your prayer time seek to stop, clear your mind, and just listen for God’s voice. “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.” Seek the Lord in faith. You will not be disappointed.