When your phone rings from your favorite person, are excited to answer the call? Are you obedient to the prompt of “answer” on your phone? Or is your phone always on mute or vibrate and you often miss important calls? That’s how it is with God, because you’re here reading this you MUST be eager to answer His call and eager to hear the voice of God! Let’s learn more about how to hear the voice of God and what to do when he calls YOUR name.
How to hear the voice of God
Hearing the voice of God is often complicated by the desire for religion over relationship with our Father. Learning how to decipher God’s voice is as simple as opening up the bible because he speaks to each of us through His word. Other ways to hear the voice of God are spread out through the bible including God calling your name and speaking out loud, God speaking through others, and God even whispering to you in the gentlest way.
Today, I want to dive into that first method of God’s voice calling out YOUR name. It has actually happened to me before. I’ve heard God, often while laying in bed after hitting snooze, call me by my childhood nickname.
Yes, by my nickname used by my closest family members. Funny thing is, the first time it happened I look around to see who was in the room (mind you, I have a husband who’s out the house by 5 am and 2 toddlers who are enclosed in a crib lol) and so of course no one is there. Just God and I.
Him calling my name is often just a gentle reminder that He wants to spend time with me and I’m missing my appointment.
Samuel too had a similar experience.
How was Samuel called by God?
In 1 Samuel 3, the Lord was trying to get the attention of Samuel. Similar to us, sometimes God tries to get our attention in order to speak to us. Unfortunately in Samuel’s case he did not yet know the Lord or his Word so it was difficult to actually decipher who was speaking to him.
He did not yet know the Lord because he had never had a message from the Lord before. It’s hard to answer a call from someone you don’t know, right?
Personally, I don’t answer phone numbers I don’t know and if they don’t leave a voicemail, it’s not important anyways in my book lol. I’m sure I’m not the only one, if you don’t recognize the number do you answer it?
Sometimes we do that with the Lord. The Lord calls and we don’t answer because we don’t yet know him so we don’t answer. We don’t know that voice so why would we answer someone we don’t know?
But thank God for Jesus because the Lord called Samuel not one but a total of four times in the chapter! The Lord will keep coming back! He will keep calling until we answer! When the Lord called out Samuel, the young boy went to the priest whom he lived with in the temple and asked him “Did you call me?
Eli, the priest, said no I did not call you. (for reference this happened in the middle of the night and Eli was very old so it’s only natural that a young boy like Samuel would tend to him and help him if he needed to do so in the night.)
What did Samuel say when God called him?
The Lord called Samuel three times and three times Samuel got up and went to Eli. The third time Eli realize it was the Lord who was calling the boy so he said to him go lie down again and if someone calls again say “Speak Lord your servant is listening”.
So Samuel followed Eli’s instructions and the Lord was able to speak to Samuel! The ability to hear the voice of God is so amazing in this story!
How can I hear directly from God?
Some ways you can get in a position to hear from God is to be available, respond to God, listen for His instructions and finally, be obedient to the instruction He gives.
When Go calls you, be available. Eli said unto Samuel “Go and lie down again”. When you lie down, you are automatically in a place of stillness. Lie down in God’s presence and wait for His call.
“Be still and know that I am God” -Psalm 46:10
Sometimes when in prayer I start asking and asking for what I want and fail to sit and listen. I often need to lay down and listen to what the Lord is trying to speak TO me. So lie down and be available.
Respond and Listen
Samuel answered, “speak Lord, your servant is listening”. When you answer the phone, you don’t just sit in silence. That would be weird and awkward. You don’t sit in silence the entire time. You say “hello!” and listen for whoever is on the other end.
It’s the same with God. Say yes, Lord. I’m here and listening for your instruction. Then you listen for Him to speak back!
Obedience is key! Follow the direction God gives you. Maybe it’s your purpose or Him asking you to give someone some money. Whatever it is, be obedient. The Lord was trying to give a message for Samuel to speak to someone else.
Your obedience could be someone else’s blessing. Your obedience could be a word for someone else in need.