The third chapter of Samuel is where I found myself this morning. Make no mistake, this was after much struggle, fighting, and frustration on my part. I searched for the verses God wanted me to read, and while there were some specifically for me, it took praise music, stepping away from it all, and then coming back with a clean mind in order to hear from Him. Ironically enough.
You see, this is the chapter when God first speaks to Samuel, but Samuel doesn't know it. Eli instructs him in how to respond to God, and to speak only and all of what God says. Two things I needed to hear this morning, myself.
(1) Listen to God and know His voice.
Sometimes I listen to my own voice, or the voices of others, so much that I lose the voice of God. That still small whisper doesn't always shout for attention. Sometimes I have to stop the noise of the other voices to truly hear from God. He is speaking, make no mistake, but am I listening? Am I too busy complaining, whining, and flinging around in the mud?
This morning I was too busy feeling left out, and even though I am fully aware God will comfort me in those times my mind had gone to the racing it does too often. I was able to turn my thoughts back to Him by praising Him with music and movement, and release the situations which are troubling me by coming to the realization I can only control me. That's a hard enough job.
But once I came back to His Word I was able to hear Him say, "Hey! I'm talking to you. I need you to listen to me and not go to anyone else." Yes, I listen to others way too often. They don't bring me correction, comfort, direction, and peace the way He does. And yet training myself is hard.
(2) When you hear, speak.
Samuel didn't want to tell Eli the message he received from the Lord, and who can blame him? But Eli knew the truth had to be spoken. While he did enough wrong to have this word spoken over him and his house, Eli allowed Samuel to learn in that moment that he had to speak what the Lord showed him.
How often do we stay quiet because we don't want to create conflict? How often do we not speak because we are worried about what others will say?
But at the same time speaking what God tells me is not the same thing as speaking my opinion. I'm actually beginning to wonder if speaking my own opinion is ever worth speaking. I need to weigh all my words heavier, and leave it to God to direct what I should say more often. I don't do that all the time, and my swinging the extremes can often be seen in what I say.
I was so wrapped up in myself this morning I couldn't hear from God. And then when I was able to move the focus, God talked to me about hearing from him. Irony? No, lesson. God knows what I need to hear and learn, and this morning His lesson went straight to my heart. I am just grateful I could receive it.