Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Hearing God as a Child

  Samuel was a young boy, probably around 12 years old. He lived with the high priest, Eli, helping him in the Tabernacle. At night Eli slept outside the Holy of Holies, and Samuel slept somewhere outside of the tent where Eli was. One night, Samuel heard someone call his name. He thought it was Eli so he ran to Eli and said “Here I am. You called?” Eli told Samuel he did not call him and he should go back to sleep. This happened two more times. Finally, Eli told Samuel it was the Lord calling him, and the next time he should answer, “Speak Lord. I am listening.”

Samuel said that the next time the Lord called to him. The Lord told Samuel he was finished using Eli’s sons as priests because of their wickedness. From that point on, Samuel was the voice of God to the people and to Eli. Samuel grew up to become a great prophet for the Lord. He was the one who anointed Israel’s first two kings. He brought messages from the Lord to the Israelites.

I love the picture of Samuel running to Eli every time his name was called. Samuel served Eli. Eli was his boss, mentor and a father figure to him. The Bible says Samuel had not yet learned to hear from the Lord. So, he naturally thought Eli was calling him. But after he learns it is God, and has an encounter with God, he doesn’t need to go to Eli again regarding hearing God. He hears God clearly himself and takes those messages to the people.

If we are struggling to hear God, or if we are young in our walk with the Lord, it is helpful to have an Eli, a wise, more mature believer who has followed the Lord longer than we have. A mature Christian can help us discern God’s voice.

Priscilla Shirer in her book, Discerning the Voice of God, says that is one of the ways to know if it is really God’s voice. She says there are five ways to know if we are hearing God. She calls them the five Ms.

The Five Ms of Correctly Hearing God

1. Look for the message of the Spirit. Don’t just casually ask God for guidance. Listen for the Holy Spirit and if you are sensing the persistence and firmness of God.

2.  Live in the mode of prayer. Continually submit what you hear back to God in prayer. Spend more time praying about the issue, than worrying about it.

3.  Search out the model of Scripture. Make sure what you are hearing does not contradict the Bible or the character of God.

4.  Submit to the ministry of Eli. Ask a wiser, more mature believer who can discern God’s leading in their own life, for counsel.

5.  Expect the mercy of confirmation. God is not hiding His will from you. Ask Him to confirm what you heard through the Bible, circumstances, or other believers.

How about you? Do you have an Eli, (or maybe Ellie for women), in your life who you can talk to about spiritual things? Have they helped you discern God’s voice?

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***This is Day 20 of the series 31 Days of Hearing God. I am joining others in the October writing challenge at write31days.com. To read more in this series click here for all the topics. 



10 comments:

  1. Good reminder to listen carefully and not be so busy asking. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. I especially like the point about making sure what we think we're hearing doesn't contradict what God has already said in His Word.

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    1. I agree. I think that is the most important point in learning to know Gods' voice.

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  3. We all need good mentors in our lives! Older, wiser women to bring us along, or maybe "Eli-ettes"! Thanks for sharing the 5 "M's"!

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    1. Yes we do. Although I don't like the word 'older' anymore.Lol! I much prefer 'wiser.' :)

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  4. The other thing to remember is that although Samuel went to Eli, Eli wasn't perfect. We can still be mentors while working on our relationship with God. This story of Samuel listening is one of my favorites, thanks for bringing some new thoughts to the story for me.

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    1. That is an excellent point Carol. And, our mentors are never going to be perfect. They will have flaws and let us down too.

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  5. Wise counsel is a theme in quite a few posts today. xo

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    1. Oh good! I can't wait to read the others!

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