A J-BAR PRAYER
Father, we come before you now on bended knee, hoping to honor you with our integrity. Please make our judgement as sound as steel and be our hands upon the wheel. Give us strength and vigilance on our routes and help us to serve others, as You did, Lord, without any doubts. Remind us to be gentle, humble and kind, and help us when we stumble in body and mind. Please shelter our families whilst we are away and bring us safely back to them at the end of this day.
Recognizing the Voice of God
1 Samuel 3:1-10 – “The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions. One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called Samuel.
Samuel answered, “Here I am.” And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down.
Again, the lord called, “Samuel!” and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
“My son,” Eli said. “I did not call; go back and lie down.”
Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.
A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
Samuel was a great prophet, a tremendous man of God. His mother, Hannah, was barren, and grieved. She prayed and asked for a son and promised to give him back to God, and that is what happened.
One of the main reasons why Samuel was so greatly used of God is that he learned at a very early age to recognize the voice of God.
Every day, we are bombarded with voices. TV, radio, social media, our peers at work or school, and our families at home.
These voices are working to shape our lives, our beliefs, our convictions, our standards. The reasons we do what we do. We must learn to discern these voices around us apart from the voice of God.
The three main sources that work to shape us spiritually are God, Satan, and ourselves.
God – When God speaks, it is to help, to encourage, to grow, to correct. He speaks with authority, specifically (no grey areas), gracious and merciful, long-suffering, kind, gentle, honest, pure, and loving.
Satan – Satan is an accuser, a liar. He brings guilt and condemnation – destructive, bullying, belittling. His main goal is to take our focus off of God.
Self – our minds and souls are filled with worry, fear, and hopelessness at times. We tend to view everything logically, not by faith.
Like Samuel, we must learn to discern the voice of God. The voice of God is never contrary to the Word of God: The Bible. People are led, but not always by the Lord. The world, flesh, and devil dictate. Not everything labeled “God” is from God! It is important to discern the difference.
Discerning God’s voice in our lives may require faith, and may not make sense. His ways and thoughts are not ours. Isaiah 55:9 – As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
God’s will is to always lead you towards what is right. Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”