Recently, I began reading in the book of 1 Samuel in the Old Testament. This next school year I will be taking a course on 1 Samuel in the first semester, and 2 Samuel in the second semester so I thought I would read these two books again beforehand to remind myself what they are about.
In 1 Samuel 3, we read of Samuel hearing God call to him, but he thought it was Eli. In verse 7 of this chapter we read "Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, nor had the word of the LORD been revealed to him." As I continued to read this chapter, Eli had clued in that it was God calling Samuel and thus instruced the boy what to say.
I thought about this and wondered just how do we recognize when God is calling us or speaking to us? Well, a big help in knowing this is to establish a relationship with Him. When we daily seek Him and get into His Word and pray, we are more "intune" with Him then when we go about our daily lives without taking the time to work on the relationship.
For myself, I have found recently (and in the past), that the less time I spend with the Lord, the less I hear Him speaking to me. When I get into His word and not simply read but meditate over what I have read, I find that there are many times that He speaks to me through those particular verses. What is revealed might not be the answer to a prayer, but might be a reminder to me of who He is, of what He has done, etc. Sometimes it can be so easy to forget that God loves us so much, particulary if things aren't going so well for us. God can use His Word to give us a reminder in what we read that shows just how much He loves us.
Prayer is another way that we can hear and identify God speaking to us. It is important in prayer not to just simply ramble on and on and on with our requests, etc. but we need to also be quiet and LISTEN. If we do all of the talking, how can we hear His voice?
It's not always easy to hear God speaking to us, and sometimes we wonder or doubt if it is Him or if it is our thoughts that we hear in our minds. I am not saying that I can pinpoint every time that God speaks to me, or that I recognize His voice each time He calls on me. What I am saying, or rather admitting, is that I need to spend more time with the Lord than I currently am doing.
I know what I need to do...now all I need to do is actually DO it. Just for the record, I do spend some time with God, but not nearly as much as I should be. Please keep me in your prayers regarding this. I long to be a godly woman, an obedient child. I don't know if this is a case of "the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak" or not. Regardless, if I want to hear God speaking to me more than I do now, I need to do the footwork.