Summary: This Kyle Idleman message begins in silence. Sometimes we talk too much. To hear God, we need to be where He speaks, confirm His voice, avoid distractions, & respond with obedience. (34 PP slides/posters are available on request)

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Sermon Notes

Be Still and Know

1 Samuel 3:1-18

(Sermon notes courtesy of Kyle Idleman, Southeast Christian Church, Louisville, KY)

NOTE: This is most effective if the speaker begins the message in silence, holding up 34 different posters for the congregation to read, making the point that many are uncomfortable with silence. These posters are available as PowerPoint slides; please contact me for a copy.


We often see prayer as a monologue where we talk, and God listens. But we have it wrong! Prayer is a conversation. Not only do we need to talk to God, we need to learn how to listen to Him. Psalm 46:10 tells us to “Be still and know that I am God.”

Many find that genuinely listening to God is one of the most difficult things to do. It is one of the greatest mysteries of our faith. We find ourselves often times saying, “I would listen to God if he would speak out loud to me,” or “I would do a better job listening, if God would do a better job speaking.”

Perhaps the suggestion needs to be made that it is not that God is not speaking, but rather that we are not listening.


Does God speak to us? How can we listen to what He is saying? How can we know it is God who is talking? 1 Samuel 3 opens up great insight into the art of being still.

1. Be Where God Speaks, verses 1-6

We need to put ourselves in a place and position where we can hear God most clearly.

Samuel placed himself in the best place to hear from God he was in the Temple where God dwelt (1 Samuel 3:3).

Note verse 1: God rarely made Himself known in those days.

Does God really speak to people? Eli and his sons had wandered from God. They robbed God by putting themselves first, through their immoral and impure lives and their arrogance. Read I Sam. 3:1

God still struggles to speak to people like you and me. But, we just aren’t listening. We are either like Eli or Samuel. Not knowing how or not caring, so we miss it!

When you turn on the radio or TV, you tune into a specific station or channel. If you flip to another channel, does the program on the first channel stop? --- Just because we are listening to “another channel,” does it mean God has stopped talking? --- Does God really talk to people? --- You bet! But we must be listening to the right frequency.

2. Confirm that it’s God’s Voice, verses 7-9

God spoke to Samuel, but Samuel did not realize it was God speaking to him until Eli confirmed that God was the one calling Samuel (1 Samuel 3:8-9).

We can confirm God’s leading through His Word (Psalm 119:105).

We can confirm God’s leading through His people.

A number of years ago, Bill Cosby did a routine about how God spoke to Noah about building the ark. When Noah wanted to know who was talking to him in such a strange voice, the answer boomed from heaven, “IT’S THE LORD, NOAH!” Noah’s response? "Right! Who is this really?" How do we know when God is talking?

There are 3 tests we can use to determine if God is speaking to our hearts.

First. What does the voice we hear tell us about Christ Jesus? --- Does what the voice says direct us to the cross of Christ and resurrection, to forgiveness or to God’s promises.

Second. God will never ask us to do something he has forbidden in the scriptures. To know it is God speaking, you must know what the Bible says, so you must read and study the scriptures.

Third. Compare what you are hearing with the way Jesus lived and the things Jesus did.

--- WWJD ---- Is this something Christ Jesus would do? If so, then, it must be God speaking.

3. Avoid Constant Distraction, verses 10-15

God does not speak to Samuel in the busyness of the day, but rather in the quietness of night when Samuel was still from life’s distractions. Listening is so important in life and crucial to make relationships work.

Let me give you a little brainteaser. If you have heard this before, please don’t ruin it for everyone else and just keep your thoughts to yourself. I’ll read the question and then you some time to think.

You are driving a bus. You go east 12 miles, and turn south and go 2 miles and take on 9 passengers, and then you turn west and go 3 miles and let off 4 passengers. How old is the bus driver? (Answer: How old are you?)

There are four reasons why we are missing God’s message today and not listening.

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Talk about it...

Art Hoff

commented on Jan 7, 2010

Tom, thanks for the timely message. Also, thanks for sending the PowerPoint slides as requested. Pastor Art Hoff Woodside Baptist Church Ocala, FL

Thomas Cash

commented on Jan 12, 2010

Art, you''re welcome! I pray that what I''ve shared will help believers listen more and talk less.

Noel Mason

commented on Jan 31, 2012

Blessed. Could I get a copy of the Power Point?

Thomas Cash

commented on Feb 1, 2012

Noel, I hope you found the posters/powerpoint helpful. Blessings!

Jeremy Smith

commented on Oct 3, 2012

Thomas, would it be possible to get your powerpoint emailed to me @ ? Thank you very much. Appreciate your message.

Levi Matthews

commented on Dec 1, 2012

Thanks Tom. Would love the powerPoint slides to this one. Levi Matthews:

Leighton Mason

commented on Jan 4, 2014

A sermon that speaks to me. Thank you. Could you please send me the Power Point slides? or

David Meneely

commented on May 16, 2014

Tom, Would appreciate the PowerPoint slides. Thank you for the message.

Patrick Sherman

commented on Oct 23, 2014

Thomas, If possible could you please send me the power point slides. I really try to drive home the fact that the time of year that we are headed into is way to "busy" and we need to slow down and listen. Please send them to Thanks and preach the WORD

Prophetess M Ferguson

commented on Feb 8, 2015

That's the best thing about the Word of God...It's good all season every season even in 2015!!!!! Can I get the PowerPoint slide, we are a new church and this will be a timely message. Prophetess M Ferguson, at

New Beginnings Christian

commented on Apr 29, 2015

Tom great message! Could you please send me the powerpoint?

Michael Newson

commented on Aug 27, 2015

Hey Tom. Wonderful Word. May I get the powerpoint slides?

Michael Newson

commented on Aug 27, 2015

Forgot to give you my email...

Michael Newson

commented on Aug 27, 2015

Forgot to give you my email...

Cristy Wise

commented on Oct 15, 2015

Well done! Would I be able to get the power point slides? I would appreciate it. Thank you! Pastor Cristy, Bates Fork Baptist Church

Michael Deutsch

commented on May 11, 2016

Hi Thomas - thanks for posting this message. Can I also receive the power point slides? My email address is Thanks and blessings, Michael

Jessec Bible

commented on Dec 23, 2016

Great sermon. I would love to have the PP slides sent to me at if you have time. Have a Merry Christmas.

Cliff Forbes

commented on Feb 23, 2017

Could I get the slides? Thank you.

Jerry Wyman

commented on Mar 7, 2017

Great Message. I too would like to get the slides if they are still available. Thank you.

Billy Skaggs

commented on Mar 21, 2017

If I could get the slides if they are still available it would be awesome.

Sandra Harrison

commented on Mar 23, 2017

Incredible message,,,Thank you for sharing. I would appreciate getting the slides, if they are still available. Thank you for your ministry.

David Beals

commented on Jun 3, 2017

Great message--can I get a copy of the power point? Thanks!

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