I heard ministers and teachers say God did, but I’d never heard him. At twelve I thought I sensed him telling me to be a Bible teacher, but I wasn’t sure it was him speaking.
Thirteen years of running and rebelling separated me from that initial “call” and when I heard God again. And I wasn’t any more certain the second time around than I was the first. Now I heard “I want you to preach.” But how could I be sure it was God and not a passing whim? Was I confusing God’s conviction that I needed a closer walk with him with a call into the ministry?
Samuel wasn’t adept at recognizing God’s voice either. He lived when messages from God were quite uncommon. Samuel did not yet know the LORD because he had never had a message from the LORD before (I Samuel 3:7 NLT). After three times of mistaking God’s voice for his mentor’s, Samuel finally realized it was God speaking.
God speaks, but how do I distinguish between his voice, the enemy’s, and my selfishness? God’s voice is recognized through prayer and Bible meditation. His whisper isn’t audible, but he uses examples and teachings from his Word to address my present needs and guide me toward his personal plan for me.
God also speaks through others. Quite a few people informed me God was calling me to preach before I ever acknowledged it. He relayed to others what hadn’t sunk in for me. He also speaks through practice. As I experiment with what I feel is God’s plan, I’ll quickly discover whether or not I’ve heard him correctly. Frustration and disappointment-rather than excitement, usually mean I’ve misunderstood.
God isn’t silent. He has plans for us and wants to relay them clearly. Are you listening?
Prayer: Thank You Eternal God for choosing to use us in Your worldwide plan. Open our ears that we might hear clearly Your will for us.
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