A couple of years ago I was longing to hear God's voice. I was driving in our van with my kids, listening to the radio, and asking God, "Will you speak to me?"

I honestly can't remember now if I was asking about something particular (ie- if we were trying to make a decision about something, and I was looking for a particular answer from Him), or if it was simply that I wanted that kind of intimacy with Him.

Throughout the Bible, I see that kind of relationship with God and His people. Beginning with Adam and Eve, and then many others. One of my favorite Bible stories is the story of Samuel as a young boy. He lies down, and the Lord calls him. He thinks it is Eli, so he runs to Eli to find out what he wants. Eli tells him it wasn't he who had called. So Samuel went back to bed. Again, he hears a voice, calling, "Samuel!" Samuel again goes to Eli. Eli again tells him to go back to bed; he didn't call. Samuel hears the voice again, and this time as he goes to Eli, Eli has figured it out. He tells Samuel it is the Lord calling him. He instructs Samuel: "Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, 'Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.' The Bible tells us that Samuel went and lay down, and "the Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, 'Samuel! Samuel!' And Samuel said, 'Speak, for your servant is listening.'

And the Lord spoke to Samuel. Just like that. He called Samuel by name, and He had things He wanted to say to Samuel.

I wanted that, too. I yearned for that kind of relationship with the Lord. I knew that God had not stopped speaking to His people, so why wasn't He speaking to me?

So that day as I was driving in my van, I prayed, "Lord, will you speak to me? I want to hear your voice."

And instantly I had the thought: Maybe if you'd turn off the radio, Stacy, you could actually hear Him. I promptly turned off the radio. And I wondered: was that Him, telling me to turn it off? I wasn't sure. Now as I look back on that day, I think it was Him, speaking to me. Telling me to listen. Regardless, it was a wake-up call for me. I realized then, how foolish I was, asking God to speak and yet drowning His voice out with all the noise.

I think God is faithfully speaking, and we are not listening. We are not Samuels, quiet and ready: "What is it? Did you call? Speak, for your servant is listening." And another thing: I think that the Enemy knows this. He effectively adds more noise, because the more noise there is, the less we can hear God speak. Think TVs, radios, CD players, the phone, IPods, etc. Where is the quiet?

After that day, I began turning off the radio when I drove. Not long after that, I stopped watching TV. I purposed to be quieter, to spend more time listening, in case He wanted to say something. And do you know what? He did. He had things to say to me. He was faithful to speak as I listened.

Jim Cymbala, (pastor of The Brooklyn Tabernacle for over 25 years), writes:

The divine message that Isaiah spoke thousands of years ago applies at all times to all people: "Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live." (Isaiah 55:2-3)... God is a speaking, communicating God, but someone has to be listening on the other end.

Jesus wrote letters to seven different churches in the book of Revelation. The spiritual condition of each assembly was different, and therefore Christ's words were never the same as he addressed their unique situations. But it is noteworthy that he used the same phrase to close all seven letters: "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches" (Revelation 2-3)

The Holy Spirit still speaks vital messages to God's people today, but we must have tender, attentive hearts to hear what he is saying.

When was the last time you and I could say that we heard from God? ...God is still pleading in countless ways, "Hear me, that your soul may live" (Isaiah 55:3) Don't all of us need to slow down and get quiet before him?

I did. I still do. I had a wonderful season of quiet. But the noise is creeping back into my life.

I am weary, and I turn on the television. I flip on the radio in the mornings as I clean the kitchen. I get into the van and on goes the radio. And once again, I know He's saying, "Turn it off, Stacy." So again I purpose to be more attentive. To be intentional. I want to be like Samuel, quiet and ready: "Speak, for your servant is listening."

(excerpt taken from The Life God Blesses, copyright 2001)

1 comment:

  1. Jan. 31, 2007 - I am so guilty.
    Posted by Michelle
    You know me and my contemp Christian music!?! I would have a hard time hearing anything God was saying to me in my car, unless, of course, He was saying through Mac Powell!!! =)

    thanks for the reminder!

    Feb. 1, 2007 - Untitled Comment
    Posted by Rebeca
    Good reminder Stacy. It's much harder to be still, isn't it? But so much more rewarding.
    Bless you as you listen,

    Feb. 1, 2007 - Well said,
    Posted by Dana
    I agree.

    But why does it happen that the earlier I get up to "be quiet." The earlier my children get up??? For example, this morning: 5:55 AM, bible, coffee, me, warm fire, big chair ..... husband at kitchen table (we even try to keep quiet so we can think & listen)

    In walks 3 year old and 8 year old.

    Why? Oh Why?

    Speaking of, thanks for listening.

    Feb. 5, 2007 - Still Listening...
    Posted by Anonymous
    I typed a comment to this post last week, and just before typing in the code, the electricity went out (for just a second) and the computer went black. No storm. So I thought, well...maybe I'm not supposed to comment (smile). Now's a better time though. I wrote last week how I had recently felt the Lord leading me to turn off the radio as well, and listen. And then I listened to this tonight (the Feb 3AM session- George Otis Jr.):
    It's from a conference we went to this past weekend. It's powerful, and spoke to me about listening and waiting. I wanted to share it with you.
    Blessings to you and your family, Christy

    Feb. 7, 2007 - Untitled Comment
    Posted by CandidReflections
    Listening.... I have been convicted by the same issues lately. I love to read your heartfelt comments and challenges to us in our walk with the Lord. God bless you as you continue to listen to Him! Diane


Thank you for commenting! I love hearing from you, and I will do
my best to reply back to you in the comment section.