ODJ: is it him?

October 12, 2015 

READ: 1 Samuel 3:1-15 

The LORD came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel replied, “Speak, your servant is listening” (v.10).

When I began training my hunting dog, I kept him very close to me, issued only one command and made sure to enforce the command, should he not understand or obey. Each time we had success, I would give him a little more freedom and then repeat the command, making sure he received a lot of affirmation and praise for his compliance. These days I can let him loose in the woodlands and be assured that all I have to do is call his name and then give a hand signal and he will do as I tell him without delay—most of the time at least! He hears my voice, he is listening all the time for it and he wants to obey because he trusts me.

Samuel was close to God. He lived in the temple. He was gently urged to listen in the quietness of the night, when there were no distractions (1 Samuel 3:9). He was encouraged by someone who recognised the signs that God was reaching out to him, even when Samuel himself did not understand. The command to listen was repeated with patience, and there was no rebuke for not understanding who was talking to him (v.10). God was preparing a man to be His mouthpiece. Later, as Samuel grew up, he could hear God’s voice easily and everyone knew he was a prophet of God. God prepared His man well for the task that lay ahead (v.11).

—Russell Fralick

365-day-plan: Acts 4:23-37

Read John 10:1-17 and consider what it means to hear God’s voice. 
Do you want to hear God’s voice for a particular purpose or just in general? How can you grow closer to God and more easily recognise His voice above the world’s din?