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Sunday, October 30, 2016
Hearing God - Our Daily Bread Ministries daily devotional 30 October Sunday
Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10
I felt like I was underwater, sounds muffled and muted by a cold and allergies. For weeks I struggled to hear clearly. My condition made me realize how much I take my hearing for granted.
Young Samuel in the temple must have wondered what he was hearing as he struggled out of sleep at the summons of his name (1 Sam. 3:4). Three times he presented himself before Eli, the high priest. Only the third time did Eli realize it was the Lord speaking to Samuel. The word of the Lord had been rare at that time (v. 1), and the people were not in tune with His voice. But Eli instructed Samuel how to respond (v. 9).
The Lord speaks much more now than in the days of Samuel. The letter to the Hebrews tells us, “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets . . . but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son” (1:1–2). And in Acts 2 we read of the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (vv. 1–4), who guides us in the things Christ taught us (John 16:13). But we need to learn to hear His voice and respond in obedience. Like me with my cold, we may hear as if underwater. We need to test what we think is the Lord’s guidance with the Bible and with other mature Christians. As God’s beloved children, we do hear His voice. He loves to speak life into us.
Open our eyes, Lord, that we might see You. Open our ears, that we may hear You. Open our mouths, that we might speak Your praise.
The Lord speaks to His children, but we need to discern His voice.
God has communicated in various ways throughout history (Heb. 1:1). One way God speaks today is through our conscience (Rom. 2:14–16). Our conscience is like a moral monitor. An important way we discern whether a spiritual communication has God as its source is to ask: Does the message agree with the Bible, God's written Word? If it does not align with God’s previously revealed truth, then we cannot put our stamp of approval on it.