Summary: God is willing to speak to us, but we must be ready to listen to Him and walk in absolute obedience to His words.
HEARING THE VOICE OF GOD
Study Text: 1 Samuel 3: 1 - 12
- God can speak to anyone He wants, any time He wants, through whatever means He wants, whether the person is expecting to hear His voice or not.
- There are two major challenge in hearing the voice of God, and each is associated with terrible consequences.
- The first one is mistaken the voice of God for the voice of man, as was the case with Samuel in our text.
- The second one is mistaken the voice of man for the voice of God, as was the case of the young man of God who was deceived by the old prophet.
- There are three characters we can see in our text: God, Samuel and Eli. God called Samuel, but he was unable to recognise His voice. On the long run, Eli was able to guide Samuel and he was able to communicate with God effectively.
- We shall discuss the topic under three subheadings:
1. The Principles about Hearing the Voice of God
2. The Prerequisites to Hearing the Voice of God
3. The Proofs of Hearing the Voice of God
1. The Principles about Hearing the Voice of God:
- The Scripture does reveal several principles that can assist us in being prepared to hear the voice of God:
1. It is possible to be regular in Church without knowing God, at least not knowing him personally and intimately.
- Verse 10 tells us: "Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him. That is, assisting in the priestly duties -- without knowing God!
- The Ethiopian Eunuch was very regular at worship center in Jerusalem, but without knowing God personally until he met Philip. Acts 8: 30-39.
2. It is possible to hear God the voice of God, without recognizing that it is God that is speaking.
- We may not recognize God's voice the first time we hear it, due to inexperience, and at subsequent times due to impatience and other factors.
3. It may be necessary to have godly leaders as a mentor or a counselor that can help us to learn and to recognize and respond to God's voice.
- Eli recognized what was happening and instructed Samuel on what to say if that happened again (1 Samuel 3:9).
4. We must come before God as humble and obedient servants if we want to hear what he is saying.
- First and foremost, our goal must be knowing God himself, not just experiencing the excitement of hearing his voice.
5. Hearing God's voice flows out of a relationship that is connected to our life of fervent and effective prayer before God.
- The altar of prayer is an effective platform of hearing from God. At every prayer time, we should cultivate the habits of waiting patiently and quietly in His presence to hear His Voice.
2. The Prerequisites to Hearing the Voice of God:
- There are several basic prerequisites that are commonly found in people who hear God’s voice on a regular basis. Some of these include:
1. The delight in God and the desire to hear His voice.
- If we want to hear God’s voice, we must be convinced of the importance of seeking it.
- Those who listen to God’s voice understand that this is how God designed the Christian life to be lived. Romans 8: 14.
- Our spiritual and personal growth depends on hearing His voice and responding in absolute obedience to His leadings.
- Only when we hear God’s voice, and follow His leading, can we remain in the center of His will, and experience all that He has for us. Revelation 3: 20.
2. The willingness and the readiness to obey His voice without questions.
- If we want to hear God’s voice, we must be committed to obeying it. How can you expect God to give you more information, if you are not even acting on what He has already revealed in the Word?
- We must be living according to God’s commands to learn His will.
3. Living victoriously above sins and fleshy pleasures.
- Sin in our lives can have a powerful disconnecting effect that causes us not to hear God’s voice.
- We must individually repent of sin in our lives to clear the channels between us and God. Romans 12: 1– 2.
4. Yielding to the Holy Spirit, without grieving Him.
- If we do not follow through on the Holy Spirit’s leadings, He may see no reason to continue speaking.
- The Holy Spirit is our comforter, our helper, our teacher, our leader and our intercessor. The more we allow His ministry in our lives the more and the clearer we hear the Voice of God.