In those days the Lord hardly ever spoke to people, and he didn’t appear to them in dreams very often.
Samuel is serving in the house of the Lord. One night, as Samuel is sleeping on a mat near the Ark of the Covenant, the Lord calls his name. Samuel thinks it is Eli calling him, so he goes to ask Eli what he wants. This happens three times. Finally Eli works out that it is the Lord, so he tells Samuel that next time this happens he should say, “I am listening Lord, what do you want me to do?”
So the Lord calls Samuel again, and he asks Him What so you want me to do?” The Lord says that He is going to punish Eli and his family for disrespecting the sacrifices.
As Samuel grows up his reputation as a prophet increases across Israel.
In the days before Samuel, the Lord rarely spoke to His people. This should have been a cause for some discomfort for the people of Israel, but we tend to accept things too readily.
The Lord is always speaking to us. His heart is to have relationship with us. If we are not able to hear from Him, the problem is on our side.
For some people the problem is simply lack of practice at listening. For others it might be fear or shame that makes them think that God does not have anything to say.
To start the process we might have to go back to basics. Like Samuel, we should ask, “Lord what do you want me to do?” It helps to write down what you think God is saying to you.
“Be still and know that I am God!”
Be still- and let God speak to you.
Be still- and listen to the Holy Spirit
Lord, what do you want me to do? Help me to learn to hear your voice, the still small voice of your Holy Spirit. Amen.