"The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, 'Samuel! Samuel! Then Samuel said, 'Speak, for your servant is listening.'"
I have always been blessed with the knowledge I can hear God's voice as long as I still my mind and open my spiritual side. Ever since I was a child of eight, walking through the stone-filled fields in the back of an old revolutionary house, I could hear him plainly or subtly, gently nudging me towards the next task. At times I wasn't even wandering, looking, or seeking divine intervention when I would recognize his voice and be set towards a new path in life. One that he felt needed my presence.
Often I was warned of catastrophe. God would alert me of disaster ahead or a plight on the part of a friend. This gentle warning allowed me the foreknowledge to prepare leaving hysteria and denial at bay. I thought everyone had this direct relationship with God as a child. I found it disheartening when I shared stories with friends who looked at me quizzically. But, I was forever grateful that I had such a special kinship with our Lord.
God can speak to us in many ways. He uses the Bible, other believers, special circumstances, and prayer. God wants us to open our hearts, eyes, and ears to his voice. He wants us to wait, look, and listen to what he has to say. We know with good friendship we must talk and listen. We must learn to do the same with God - pray and listen.
Two weeks ago I opened a new venue with God. I left you a year-long daily reading of the Bible. This has opened up a whole new voice of wisdom. Yes, God speaks to us through the Bible. No matter how many times you read it, certain passages will stick out like a sore thumb guiding you through present issues. I've learned to read, wait, and listen after each passage making notes in a journal as God speaks to me.
Samuel's mother dedicated him to godly service as a boy. He worked at the temple of Shiloh under the priestly judge Eli. One night the Lord called out to Samuel three times. Samuel and no recognition of this voice because he did not know him yet. (1 Samuel 3:7) On the fourth time Samuel called out, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening." God told him about his displeasure of the house of Eli. In doing so Samuel became one of the first prophets who stood beside the kings judging the Jews in his area.
Fine-tuning your ability to recognize God's voice will increase your understanding and knowledge of the Scriptures and his expectations of you. In doing so, your desire to know him better will remind you to seek him often. Anyone can hear God's voice. All you have to do is pray and listen.