When does God speak?  Unfortunately, for me, it is often around 3:00 a.m.  That is why I’m sitting here typing a blog when I should be sleeping!  But I’m in great company, according to one of my favorite passages, 1 Samuel 3.  Samuel was trying to sleep, but he kept hearing what he thought was the prophet Eli’s voice.  He went to Eli three times saying, “Here I am.  You called me.”  Each time Eli told Samuel, “I did not call.  Go back and lie down.”  The third time Samuel went to Eli, the prophet realized that God was calling out to Samuel.  Eli’s advice to Samuel has become the “theme song” to my life, the reason I go to work each day and the reason I’m sitting here at 3:00 a.m.  God’s call to Samuel, is God’s call to me, and you.

The passage: “Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.  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.  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. The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!  Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening: (1 Samuel 3:7-10). When does God speak?  When there is a servant who will listen.  The Lord speaks.  He spoke to Samuel and he will speak to you.  But God speaks to those who will serve his purpose and will.  Humanly we look for spiritual leaders.  Spiritual leaders, according to the Bible, are servants.  Spiritual leaders are people who know their greatest need is to listen to God.  When will God speak to you?  When you are ready to serve and ready to listen.

Samuel heard God speak, and it seemed audible – to him.  He thought Eli was calling.  Does God speak audibly?  Sometimes…but his voice may be audible only to you.  Saul of Tarsus heard Jesus speak to him on the road to Damascus.  There were others with Paul at the time, but he was the only one blinded by the light and the only one who understood what God was saying. (Acts 9:1-7) So…does God speak often?  Yes, but usually through his word.  Don’t worry if you haven’t had an experience like Samuel or Paul had.  They didn’t have God’s word, in various versions, they were able to access at any time.  You do.  You have heard the Bible spoken of as “God’s word.”  It is.  You need to stop reading your Bible – and you need to start listening to it.  When does God speak?  Every time you open his word, ready to serve and ready to listen.

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{/source}I grew up in the era when most TV shows had a theme song.  Jim and I can sing the theme song to Gilligan’s Island without missing a word. (A carefully hidden talent!) Why can we remember a silly thing like that?  There is something about how our brains work that makes words, put to music, easier to remember.  That is why I like great Christian music.  I remember easily the passages or truths that have been put to music.  I will end the year by sharing with you my “theme song.”  I don’t listen to this song, I pray it.  I don’t always succeed at serving God – but I have promised God to keep trying.  My goal for the new year is the same goal I’ve had for many years now.  I want to help people know that God speaks.  I want to teach people God’s word.  In order to do that, I will need to be a servant who listens. 

What is your theme song?  Mine is “Word of God Speak” by Mercy Me.  As you listen to the song, pray the words.  Then read 1 Samuel 3, listening, as God speaks His word to you.  Happy New Year.

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