Speak Lord!

Read: 1 Samuel 3

How do you talk to God?  When asked this question people would provide us with many different answers.  Most would mention prayer, some might speak of quiet times in nature, and others may talk about visions, dreams, and worship.  There is not only one way, but we must make sure we are finding our way to communicate with our Lord.

In 1 Samuel 3 we read the story of Samuel.  He was ministering as a young boy in the house of Eli who had spent his entire life in service to God.  One night he hears a voice and thinks it is coming from Eli’s room.  After this happens several times during the night Eli finally realizes that it is the Lord’s voice Samuel is hearing.  He instructs Samuel to answer back the next time he hears the voice and say, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.”

Samuel does this and the Lord speaks.  This made me realize how important it is for us to respond to God.  When I get a text message from someone on my phone I almost always respond back in some manner.  If I don’t then it leaves the person on the other end wondering if I received the message or what my reply back to them might be.  Common texting etiquette suggests that you should make the communication a two-way street.

When spending time in prayer, Bible study, and worship before the Lord we need to open ourselves up to what the Lord may be wanting to speak into our lives.  By using the words that Samuel used (Speak Lord!) we can open ourselves up to this valuable source of guidance, wisdom, strength, and direction from God.  Not only does it open ourselves up to God but it also acknowledges to him that we are willing listeners.

Sometimes it can be too easy to fail to recognize God’s voice when he is speaking.  One time Mark Twain was going to speak in a small town and before his speaking engagement that night he stopped in at a local barber shop to get a cut and and trim.  As he sat down to wait his turn the barber failed to recognize who he was.

He went on to tell him that Mark Twain was speaking tonight and and the place was sold out.  As the conversation went on and Twain informed him that he was going to go, the barber said, “Well, since it’s sold out I guess you will have to stand to hear him speak.  “Just my luck,” said Mark Twain. “I always have to stand to hear that fella speak.”

When we speak to the Lord and listen for his voice there is no certain posture, position, or manner in which we must act.  We simply must speak to him and let him know that we are listening.  We never know what the Lord may speak to us when we open ourselves up to his leading, but when the Lord speaks we need to be ready to listen and act.

Make it personal:  In your times of prayer or communicating with God try to use Samuel’s approach and say, “Speak Lord!”  Then take time to be silent and wait on his response.  It may not always be an audible voice but God is not limited by sound waves.  Your heart may sense his direction.  Your fear may sense his peace.  Your mind may receive his direction.  And who knows what else…..

Blessings in your New Year!  Glen Rhodes, Arthur Mennonite Church