Speak Lord, for Your Servant Listens
It is difficult to listen to God speak to us. Drawing
near to God is not only speaking to Him, but it is hearing God speak.
It is difficult to be silent before Him. We are a lot like
the disciple Peter who in his anxiety before The Almighty was quick to speak and
slow to be quiet and to sit silently in His presence (Matthew 17:4-5). We are
quick to jump in and start babbling when we need to be quiet and “hear Him.” It
is far more difficult to be silent before God than to speak to God. Most of us
have forgotten how to sit in silence and listen for God.
We need to cultivate the silence of the soul. For most
people it is frightening to be still and silent. Perhaps this is why our
generation is quick to say God does not speak as in days of old.
“My soul waits in silence for God only; From Him is my
salvation” (Ps. 62:1). The Psalmist used a word meaning, “silence, still,
repose, and still waiting.” The word connotes the silence of death. It is good
for us to wait on God in silent repose.
Perhaps in our great emphasis on praising God, we have
almost forgotten how to listen for His small quiet voice. We need to cultivate
the silence of the soul so that He may break in upon us anytime, anywhere He so
chooses. It’s just as important that we recognize His voice when He does speak.
The fire had departed in Eli’s day, "Now the boy Samuel was ministering to
the Lord before Eli. And word from the Lord was rare in those days, visions were
infrequent" (1 Samuel 3:1, NASB 1995). “The Lord called Samuel; and he said,
‘Here I am’” (v. 4). The boy Samuel ran to Eli thinking it was his master
calling. “So the Lord called Samuel again for the third time. And he arose and
went to Eli and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’” Then Eli knew that the
Lord was calling the boy (1 Samuel 3:8, NASB 1995). With insight and wisdom,
“Eli discerned that the LORD was calling the boy” (v. 8). Eli said to Samuel,
“Go lie down, and it shall be if He calls you, that you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord,
for Your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place (1
Samuel 3:9, NASB 1995). "Then the Lord came and stood and called as at other
times, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ And Samuel said, ‘Speak, for Your servant is
listening’” (v. 10).
When God speaks we must obey. And when we do not immediately obey, He waits
in silence until our will is ready. “Closer is He than breathing, nearer than
hands and feet.”
When God speaks it may not be a pleasant message. It was not good news when
Samuel heard a message of judgment on the house of Eli (vs. 11-14).
God may say to you as He did to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do a thing in
Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle" (1 Samuel
The important and crucial thing is that we obey God when He does speak. "Thus
Samuel grew and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fail" (1 Samuel
God still speaks. How do you respond? On the mountainside God told Peter to
shut up and listen to Jesus. That is what we need to do. There is a time to
speak, and there is a time to be still and listen to His quiet voice. We don’t
have anything worthwhile to say until He speaks to us in private.
God primarily speaks through His written Word the Bible. The Holy Spirit who
is the divine author of the Scriptures, takes His word and speaks to our inner
most being concerning “sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8).
He also speaks to us through circumstances, mature Christians, preaching and
teaching of His Word.
How tragic that we have the ability to turn a deaf ear to God. We can drown
out the whisper of God's voice.
Have you sat in quietness of spirit and listened to the pricking of your
conscience by the Word of God? Has He quickened your spirit with the reality of
some sin, or the peace of reconciliation with Him?
He comes in quietness as we meditate on His Word and the groping of the mind
with some new profound truth?
There are times when He chooses to come through the preaching of the Word, or
a quiet devotional passage, an intense spiritual hunger, or a mature Christian
friend who give Godly counsel.
The important thing is to sit in His presence and listen, then to arise and
do His bidding.
When God speaks
to your inner being, quietly listen, agree with His voice, confess any known sin
to Him, claim the cleansing blood of Jesus alone for your sin, and obey Him.
“Him that comes to Me I will in no wise cast out.” Speak Lord, for your servant
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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