I Samuel 3:1-10
1 The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.
2 One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was. 4 Then the Lord called Samuel.
Samuel answered, “Here I am.” 5 And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down.
6 Again the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
“My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.”
7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.
8 A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. 9 So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
God was speaking to Samuel before he even recognized it as the voice of the Lord. His posture before God is a key to understanding this encounter.
First, Samuel drew near to the dwelling place of God. When we desire to hear God's voice, we must leave our distractions and approach God on His terms rather than ours.
Second, Samuel was in a posture of rest. When we desire to hear God's voice we must be liberated from our busyness, hurry, and worry. Set the agenda aside for a time.
Third, Samuel needed the input and direction of someone who had a familiarity with God encounters. We need elders in our lives who have known the paths that God frequents to help us understand when God is leading us down one of them.
God is usually speaking to us before we are aware that He is. We must remain in a posture of listening to hear what He is saying to us.
What steps can I take to place myself in a posture of rest and attentive listening before God?
Lord, help me to be attentive to you today. Draw me into the place where I am near your presence. Let me rest in you. Still my anxious thoughts. Bring others around me to help me recognize the sound of your voice. Remind me that more often than not, when I have difficulty hearing your voice that the problem lies more in my ability to listen than it does in your willingness to speak.