Hearing God’s Voice Today

Daily Spirit & Word: 531: Hearing God’s Voice Today.

Good morning my friends, it’s going to be an exciting Lord’s Day, because the first Sunday of the month is Feast Day in West Norwood. People will come from miles around to visit our part of London. They’ll come to sample: food, music, art, crafts and creativity. They come to be with friends in a friendly atmosphere, they’ll gather in the gardens and sit down to eat and watch their children playing. They come because they’ve got a hunger within; but there’s a problem, they don’t really know what it is they’re hungering for. Some of them think they do, and would probably argue about what I am going to say, but non-the-less I’m going to put my neck on the chopping-block and say; “They’re hungry for God, but they don’t know it”. They’re trying to satisfy the deepest hunger anyone and everyone could ever have or ever will have, with the created things, rather than with the Creator.

We’re living in a time today, very much like it was in the days of Samuel. We’re going to see today that Samuel had some problems and so have we, but he found the answers and so can we: But Samuel needed someone to tell him what to do to get his answer to the problems, and so does everyone in the world today.

Samuel Hear’s God’s Call:

1 Samuel 3:1-11 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 temple 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  The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli realised 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.”
11  And the LORD said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle.

A Little Background About Samuel:

Samuel was God’s gift to his mother. For years she couldn’t have children, but went to the House of the Lord to pray about it. The House of the Lord in those days was the Tabernacle: The Tent of Meeting. Priests would serve the Lord there. So Hannah went and prayed and the Lord answered her prayers. She called him SAMUEL BECAUSE “The Lord Hears” or “God has heard”, that’s what Samuel’s name means.

Once Samuel was weaned, i.e. She was able to give him ordinary food and not breast milk: She took him to the Temple of the Lord and dedicated him to the LORD. She left him at the Temple to serve the LORD all the days of his life.

Imagine that: The most precious gift anyone could ever be given and she gives it back to the Lord. The gift was a child and Hannah was so overjoyed, that she gave her son away at a very young age to serve the Lord forever.

In those Days: The Priests who ministered before the Lord: Offering Sacrifices, were very wicked indeed, but Samuel grew up and served the Lord faithfully. He became popular with all the people of Israel who came to the Temple to offer their annual sacrifices to the Lord.

Samuel was being instructed by a man called Eli: (It was Eli’s sons, the priests, who were the most wicked).

Problem 1: God’s Voice Is Rare: (But the Lamp Still Burned).

(He’s not giving many visions). {Because of Wickedness: Sin cuts us off from God}

The reason God’s Voice was RARE: Was because everyone was doing what they wanted to do, instead of what God wanted. Judges 21:25 (AMP) “In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.”

  • They did what they thought best. 
  • They didn’t seek God.
  • They didn’t care about what God wanted or had said.

Even the ones who’re meant to be ‘Good’ were ‘Bad and Corrupt’: The Priests working in the Temple (The Meeting Place with God).

1 Samuel 2:22 (NIV) “Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything his sons were doing to all Israel and how they slept with the women who served at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.” (See notes about God’s Judgement at the end).

However: There is HOPE because “The Lamp Still Burned”: It hadn’t gone out yet. (1 Samuel 3:3 and Leviticus 24:2).

And we too live in similar circumstances: People are wicked, they do what they think is right in their own eyes, the priests and ministers are wicked, they like Eli, don’t try and correct the wickedness of our day, they go along with the world’s ways instead of God’s ways. However, there is HOPE: Because the Lamp is still burning today.

Jesus is the Light of the World: But the WORLD (Just like Samuel didn’t recognise the voice of the Lord at first), cannot see Jesus for who He is…

John 1:9-10 “The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. 10  He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him.”

My friends, Jesus can give us the Light we need in our lives today. But will we let Jesus the Light of the World into our lives?

Problem 2: Didn’t Recognise God’s Voice:

{Because of Ignorance: We don’t recognise God’s Voice}

Though Samuel was serving in the Temple (verse 3) and Ministering before the LORD (verse 1) The problem was, he didn’t recognise the voice of the LORD when He called out to him. (verse 5). Three times the Lord called out “Samuel, Samuel” each time the boy ran to Eli and said, “What do you want master”. He just didn’t know it was God speaking to Him.

People today don’t Know God: They can’t Hear God. God is still speaking, He’s still calling out to people, He’s still drawing people and putting a deep hunger in their hearts, but they don’t recognise His call today. They also mis-interpret the deep hunger and try to fill it with the things of this world. It will never satisfy, because it was only meant to be satisfied with God Himself.

Thankfully Eli came to the rescue:

He realised it was the LORD calling Samuel. (Verse 8).

1 Samuel 3:8 (NIV) “The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli realised that the LORD was calling the boy.

My friends, there is a way for people to HEAR God’s Call: We’re the Priests like Eli. We know God is calling people, we just need to do what Eli did and say, “It’s the LORD calling you”… To those who’re trying to satisfy God’s call with the things of the world. They’re confused and mis-interpret the hunger. They’re not hearing or perceiving or understanding that God put that deep hunger for significance and meaning for life within them. It’s God that put eternity into everyone’s heart.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 11  He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

It can only be satisfied when they come to Jesus who gave them the gift of the knowledge of Eternity in their hearts. (I.E. People know that this life is NOT all there is, because God has planted ETERNITY into everyone’s heart).

Christians to the Rescue:

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV) “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9  not by works, so that no-one can boast.” God gives the gift of faith or FAITH is a Gift.

How do we get the Gift of Faith: Faith comes by Hearing God’s Word:

It comes by Hearing His Word: (The Call). Romans 10:17  “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”

When people get the faith as a gift, they’ll hear the call of the Gospel. But the World needs someone, like Eli, to tell them, “It’s the LORD who’s calling you my child”.

Christian are called and equipped by the Lord to take His message to a world that’s in the Darkness needing the Light.

Problem 3: Not Knowing What To Say:

{People need to know HOW to respond to God’s call}

God’s speaking, but people don’t know HOW to answer Him.

Samuel heard God’s voice, didn’t know it was God and Eli told him what to say.

1 Samuel 3:9-11 (NIV)

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.”
11  And the LORD said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle.

Samuel only had seven words to remember; “Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening”

Did you notice that He missed out the most important one: LORD!

Because Samuel answered, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

My friends, People in the World today: Have these same three basic problems:

1) Because of Wickedness: They’re cut off from God.

2) Because of Ignorance: They don’t recognise that God’s put a hunger in their hearts.

3) They Don’t Know How to respond to God: The need to be shown HOW to respond.

What a wonderful word from the LORD today. Even though Samuel missed out the most important word: “LORD“, the LORD still came and spoke to Him.

My friends, it’s NOT the word’s that are important: It’s the response of your hearts. 

If you recognised that God is calling out to you today: Just open up your life to Him. He’s still calling and standing with His outstretched arms:

Matthew 11:27-30 27  “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No-one knows the Son except the Father, and no-one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 
28  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
29  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Jesus is saying to you today: “Come to Me” “Come”.

People often respond; “Yes, but HOW? How can I come to Jesus?”

Here’s HOW:

  • Believe: that Jesus died upon the Cross for your sins. (The Barrier Has been Broken).
  • Repent: Turn from your sins and believe that He’s paid the price: Death for sin. (Respond to His call).
  • Receive: Trust in Jesus Christ as your Saviour from sin’s curse, and receive Him as your LORD. (Take Him as your Saviour).
  • Serve: His yoke is easy and His burden is light: He’s got things for you to do and a way for you to be.

Can you HEAR the voice of the LORD today?

  • He’s calling His Children to take His Message to the World.
  • He’s calling the World to Himself.
  • He’s waiting for a response from both; His Children, those who’ve trusted Jesus and received Him as Lord, to be reaching out to a world that’s in darkness, that needs the light in their lives, to be faithful like old Eli and point them to the Lord.
  • He’s waiting for the world to hear His voice: Those who’ve yet to; believe in Jesus death, repent of their sins and receive Him as Lord. 

My prayer is; “No matter who you are today, you’ll respond to God’s Call, and quickly.”

Amen!

Don.

Notes: The Prophesy Against Eli’s House:

Reveals the wickedness of his sons.

1 Samuel 2:27-36 27  Now a man of God came to Eli and said to him, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Did I not clearly reveal myself to your father’s house when they were in Egypt under Pharaoh?
28  I chose your father out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod in my presence. I also gave your father’s house all the offerings made with fire by the Israelites.
29  Why do you scorn my sacrifice and offering that I prescribed for my dwelling? Why do you honour your sons more than me by fattening yourselves on the choice parts of every offering made by my people Israel?’
30  “Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that your house and your father’s house would minister before me for ever.’ But now the LORD declares: ‘Far be it from me! Those who honour me I will honour, but those who despise me will be disdained.
31  The time is coming when I will cut short your strength and the strength of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your family line
32  and you will see distress in my dwelling. Although good will be done to Israel, in your family line there will never be an old man.
33  Every one of you that I do not cut off from my altar will be spared only to blind your eyes with tears and to grieve your heart, and all your descendants will die in the prime of life.
34  ” ‘And what happens to your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, will be a sign to you—they will both die on the same day.
35  I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. I will firmly establish his house, and he will minister before my anointed one always.
36  Then everyone left in your family line will come and bow down before him for a piece of silver and a crust of bread and plead, “Appoint me to some priestly office so that I can have food to eat.” ‘ “

Yes you can my friends, it’s easy to hear God’s Voice Today.

Hearing God’s Voice Today