Awaken to the Still Small Voice
God is seeking intimate communion with you personally. And all you have to say in reply is, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” Blog contributor Jerome Daley shares more about how we might be more attentive to the soft whispers of our Father in Heaven who awakens us to a fullness of life itself.
By Jerome Daley, Blog Contributor
Do you remember your first prayer, your first Godward reach? I don’t know my first prayer…but I remember my most enduring prayer as a boy that remained deep in my heart as a young man:
"Lord, I want to hear your voice."
That simple yearning must have risen to heaven a thousand times as my soul took shape.
Many years ago, God initiated that conversation with another boy, and you might remember the story.
Young Samuel had come to live with the prophet Eli; he “grew up in the presence of the Lord,” but “the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him” (1 Sam 2,3).
He was perhaps seven years old when God called to him in the night: “Samuel!” The boy got up and ran to Eli asking what he needed, only to have Eli answer sleepily that he had not called: Go back to sleep!
Three times this happened… until it dawned on Eli that God was the one doing the calling, and he coached Samuel on how to respond.
Isn’t Samuel a Picture of All of Us?
If we had ears to hear (as Jesus admonished his listeners), would each of us not hear our names being called in the night? Not audibly perhaps, but nonetheless authentically!
But many of us remain in the condition Samuel was in before he laid down that fateful night: The word of the Lord has not yet been revealed to us.
Like young Samuel, we are sleeping in the house of the Lord: We are genuine Christ-followers. We belong to God. But our spiritual ears aren’t yet attuned to God’s voice. We pray for direction but generally follow our own instincts. We read words God spoke in the past but can’t yet hear God speak to us today.
Perhaps your awakening is as simple as Samuel’s.
Is your name being called? I’ll go out on a limb and say, Yes! God is calling you! God is seeking intimate communion with you personally. And all you have to say in reply is, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”
What Does it Mean to Listen?
Maybe to listen simply means to quieten all the other voices, internally and externally. To get still inside and out…and be attentive.
And—perhaps above all—it means to trust that God’s voice will land in our inner ear, that we will indeed hear, and that we can indeed respond.
I’m no prophet (although I think most of us have the capacity to speak prophetically at times), but I have learned to hear God’s voice. As Elijah discovered, the Voice is more gentle whisper than fire and wind (1 Kings 19:12). Not usually overly-dramatic.
I’ve learned to feel the nudge, to trust the gentle drawing, and to know that I can follow that Voice safely without having to be certain of everything. That God is big enough to carry my life forward in good and redemptive ways, despite my all-too-human limitations.
There is no pressure to “get it exactly right;” instead, there is an invitation to listen, to perceive, to trust, and to follow. It’s quite simple really.