“Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, go, lie down and it shall be, if he calls thee, that thou shall say, Speak Lord; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place” (I-Samuel 3:10).
God never speaks to us in startling ways, but in ways that are easy to misunderstand, and we say, “I wonder if that is the Lord speaking to me?” Isaiah said; “the Lord spoke to me with a strong hand,” (Isaiah 8:11) that is, by the pressure of circumstances. Get in the habit of saying, “speak Lord,” and your life will become much more abundant. Listen for God, and when He speaks He will calm and color all your sorrow, pain and deepest loss as only Jehovah can. Every time circumstances press on you, say, “speak Lord” and make time to listen. There is no escape when our Lord speaks He always speak with a clear understanding.
Has the voice of God come to you directly? If it has, you cannot mistake the intimate insistence with which He has spoken to you in the language you know best, not through your ears, but through your circumstances. Our personal afflictions are often a form of chastening—a means of discipline—it is one of many things God uses to get us to listen. He wants to get us to the point of willingly saying; “Speak Lord.”
Remember the last time God did speak to you, have you forgotten what He said? It is not unusual, only human to forget what God said the first time He spoke to you. I would wager that most Christians do not remember the things God spoke to them or if they recognized His voice. We have to practice listening and become more familiar with the “quiet still voice” of God. I have learned over a lifetime that success with God only comes when we develop the habit of saying “speak Lord” and then after having made a commitment to the practice of listening.
Shall I tell my “Eli” what God has spoken to me? That is where the dilemma of obedience comes in. We disobey God by becoming over-protective of our “Eli”—I must shield the best person I know, the one I love, my dearest friend from the words the Lord spoke to me or what He has shown me in my vision. God did not tell Samuel to tell Eli, he had to decide that for himself. Furthermore, God did not tell Samuel not to tell Eli. God’s call to you may hurt your “Eli,” but if you try to prevent the suffering in another life, it will prove an obstruction to the relationship between your spirit and the Spirit of God.
The Apostle Paul said, “Immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood” (Galatians 1:16). What the Spirit of God speaks to you is between you and the Spirit of God, it is a two-party conversation, the most private conversation you will ever experience. Never ask the advice of another about anything God makes you decide before Him. If you do ask advice, you will nearly always side with the third-party. It may be that the discomfort of our circumstances will not be removed, our condition will remain unchanged, but if Jehovah, as Lord and Master of our life through His Son Jesus Christ, is brought into our grief and gloom; “Thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah” (Psalms 32:7).
The beauty of faith in Jehovah’s voice in the middle of our most dire circumstances and under the most peculiar of conditions gives us comfort and the ability to say; “Speak Lord, for thy servant heareth.” All too often Christians hear the voice of God and continue in the confidence of our convictions. “I know this is what I should do”—and suddenly the voice of God speak in a way that overwhelms us by revealing the depths of our unwillingness to listen. “Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness” (Psalms 95:8).
To hear Him and be certain of His divine wisdom, certain His power cannot fail, His everlasting love will never change and to know that even His harshest chastening is for our deepest spiritual gain. “It is the Lord: let Him do what seemeth Him good” (I-Samuel 3:18). When we come to this realization then and only then will we listen for His voice and yield to His Divine will for our life. God loves us and Jesus died for us, the Holy Spirit rest and abides with us and His grace is sufficient for us. Be blessed until the blessed call you blessed and bless someone in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ