Listening to the right voices can determine or destroy one’s life course.
We were simple country boys who loved to romp through the woods for hours at a time. Times were simpler then than now. No cell phones. No video games. Only our youth and imaginations. Our parents and grandparents didn’t fear someone would kidnap or murder us. My cousin and I were allowed to roam at will as long as we listened for the voice—in our case, our grandmother’s car horn. We may have heard other horns in the distance, but this one we recognized. When we heard, we listened and obeyed.
Young Samuel assisted Eli the aged priest in God’s work, but he’d never heard God’s voice before. Messages from God were rare. But to follow God’s directive, Samuel had to recognize his voice.
Recognizing God’s voice requires training just as young Samuel had to learn to distinguish it from the other voices that commanded his attention. In his time, Samuel may have heard an audible voice. Presently, however, I won’t be so fortunate. God speaks through his Spirit to my spirit, so I must learn to hear him spiritually rather than audibly.
When God speaks, what he says will always agree with his Word. Anything I think I’ve heard that contradicts that comes not from God but from the enemy of my soul. Just as becoming a good listener takes practice, so learning to listen for and to God also requires the same. Hearing God isn’t an automatic process.
Listening to God also demands silence. Silence is difficult in my busy, noisy world. Even doing good things can steal my listening time from God. Jesus left the crowds for a mountaintop meeting with his Father. He often rose early in the morning to speak with his Father. I must be still and know he is God.
Have you learned the art of recognizing God’s voice?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, give us the spiritual wisdom to recognize Your voice so that we might obey Your directives.