I’d like to say that I hear God’s voice clearly and often, but I can’t. I think that often times, I feel like the Israelites of that time.
In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions. (1)
I can’t say I’ve ever had visions. I think I’ve had dreams that were from God, though I’m not sure. And while there are definitely times in my life where I can say with confidence “God spoke to me,” it’s not as often as I’d like. I really do wish that God would speak out loud as he did with Samuel. Of course, then the question is, “Would I listen to him if I could?”
I think the problem back in those days was not that God didn’t want to speak, but people really didn’t want to listen. Or at best, were indifferent. Many times, people didn’t do anything about the things God did tell them. And God won’t waste too much of his breath on people like that.
I wonder if I’m like that. Indifferent. Not doing what God has already revealed to me.
My desire is to be like Samuel, who when God spoke, said, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.” (10) I want to be a man who, when God speaks, shares what he has heard even when it’s difficult for others to hear. I want to be a man in whom God’s word never drops to the ground. From what I gather, that means whenever Samuel spoke God’s word, it always came true. God’s words to Samuel were never empty ones. And I don’t want God’s words to be empty in my life. I want his words to come with power in my life, transforming me and transforming the people around me.
But if that’s ever to happen, I can’t be indifferent. I need to be seeking him as Samuel was. And I need ears to hear his voice, even when he says difficult things. I need to do the things he says even when I don’t feel like doing so. Otherwise, I’ll be like the rest of Israel who rarely, if ever, heard from God at all.
Lord, teach me to listen to you. I confess that many times I’ve hardened my heart towards you. That I’ve shut my ears to the difficult things you’ve said at times. That sometimes I’ve just been indifferent to hearing from you instead of actively seeking you. Lord, please change me. Don’t let your words drop to the ground in my heart. Rather transform me. Change me. And through me, change the world around me. In Jesus name, amen.