In September 2014 the UK received its first visit from As Isaac, a group of talented Christian musicians from the USA. I was blessed to spend a day and a half in their company. They played for us in our living room and I heard them play in a church in Swansea. I already listened to their music having been introduced to them by a friend, but immediately after being in their company I listened to nothing but As Isaac in my home, in my car and through headphones when out walking. In time I listened to As Isaac less, remembering that I had other favourites too, but looking at the information displayed in my iTunes library I see that it is now over one month since I last played an As Isaac song (sorry guys!). iTunes also tells me that the As Isaac song I have played most is ‘Speak Lord’ with sixty-nine plays since I added it to my iTunes library a little over two years ago.
The first time God spoke with me I could not stop talking about Him. It was a time of great excitement. I didn’t want to listen to any other music but the music of His voice. As time went on other voices crept in. There are so many voices coming at us from all angles in life, and sometimes they drown out God’s voice. It isn’t that He has stopped speaking, more a case that we find ourselves unable to listen because of all the noise around us.
You may be reading this and thinking I am crazy; God doesn’t speak to people. But He does. He speaks with me when I spend time alone with Him in prayer, He speaks to me through things that I read including the Bible, blog posts by other writers, and even secular books. God speaks to me through television programmes and movies, and God speaks to me through creation; even through snowdrops that caught my eye earlier this week and caused me to stop walking and gaze in wonder. If I want to hear God’s voice amidst the noise that surrounds me I have to stop for a minute, preferably longer. If I want to hear God’s voice I need to use all the senses He has given me to listen. I need to block out the noise from all other voices.
What noise is there in your life that could be drowning out the voice of God, and what are you missing because of that noise?
Meanwhile, the boy Samuel served the Lord by assisting Eli. Now in those days messages from the Lord were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon.
One night Eli, who was almost blind by now, had gone to bed. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was sleeping in the Tabernacle near the Ark of God. Suddenly the Lord called out, “Samuel!”
“Yes?” Samuel replied. “What is it?” He got up and ran to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?”
“I didn’t call you,” Eli replied. “Go back to bed.” So he did.
Then the Lord called out again, “Samuel!”
Again Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?”
“I didn’t call you, my son,” Eli said. “Go back to bed.”
Samuel did not yet know the Lord because he had never had a message from the Lord before. So the Lord called a third time, and once more Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?”
Then Eli realized it was the Lord who was calling the boy. So he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down again, and if someone calls again, say, ‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening. ’” So Samuel went back to bed.
And the Lord came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!”
And Samuel replied, “Speak, your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:1-10 NLT)