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21 Days of Prayer and Fasting | DAY 16





 

DAY 16


“My sheep hear my voice; I know them and they follow me.” John 10:27



PRESS PAUSE: Before you do anything else, take a moment to reflect on and celebrate all the Lord did in you, for you, and spoke to you yesterday.  


READ: 1 Samuel 3:1-10 (For a deeper dive into this story, read 1 Samuel 1-3)

Imagine sitting down over a cup of coffee and a great friend and diving into a heart to heart about how we can tune into what God is trying to tell us.  It’s like when Jesus talks about being the good shepherd in John 10:27, which says, 


“Jesus said, ‘My sheep hear my voice; I know them and they follow me.’”  


In this passage, Jesus is comparing himself to the shepherd and us to sheep.  Sheep follow the shepherd because of trust.  They know He leads them to safety and provision.  They know that they belong to Him, and He cares for them.  So, if Jesus is our shepherd, then how do we come to know and hear His voice?


First, we must be convinced that God wants to speak to us individually and personally.  He Does!!  He wants to speak to all of us; no exceptions if we are his child.  Unfortunately, we convince ourselves that God only speaks to our pastors, teachers, or those more experienced in their faith. However, in 1 Samuel chapter 7, we are shown clearly the Lord’s desire to speak to all of us - no matter how young!   In this passage we see Samuel as a boy serving in the temple.  He was very young and inexperienced in the things of God.  In verse 7 it says,


“Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord:  The Word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.”


As you look at this passage you see that Samuel didn’t recognize that the voice he was hearing was God’s.  Not until the priest, Eli, told him that it was God speaking to him, did he understand and answer.

Just as God spoke to Samuel even though he was only an inexperienced boy, God wants to speak to each of us; regardless of our age, experience, or education if we belong to Him. 


Now, once we are convinced that God wants to speak to us, then how do we hear?


  1. STOP- Are you too busy “doing”?  Do you have so many tasks to accomplish that you can’t hear because you never stop?  I have a 4-year-old grandson who runs more than he walks.  I think he’s been training for a marathon since he took his first steps.  He runs and runs and I’m behind him calling stop, or be careful, or don’t go there and he just keeps on running.  Occasionally, he will glance over his shoulder and grin as he runs away.  He hears me but he doesn’t stop to listen.  This leads us to #2.

 

  1. LISTEN- Are you willing to not only hear but listen?  There is a difference between hearing and listening.  Have you ever been in a conversation with someone, and you hear their voice but don’t have any idea what they just said because you weren’t listening?

       The boy Samuel in chapter 3 told the Lord, “Speak for your servant is listening.”  THEN, Samuel 

       heard what God was speaking.


  1. DON’T ASSUME- Don’t assume that God only speaks one way.  We often miss God’s voice because it didn’t come the way we expected it or didn’t come in the way He spoke to someone else.  Do you think it will be like thunder, loud and drowning out everything else?  Do you think it will be when someone says the Lord spoke to me about you?  Do you think it will be a whisper of a thought in your heart while you are quiet?  Will it be a phone call that confirms what you have been praying?  Will it be a sermon or lesson that jumps out at you and your spirit says, yes!  Will it be an audible voice like Samuel?

Truthfully, the answer could be in all these ways and more!  He is God and knows not only what   

we need to hear, but how (and when) we need to hear it.

 

  1. CHECK- God always speaks in ways that agree with His Word.  Just like we fact check information before we accept it as truth, we can fact check what we believe God is saying by holding it up to the truth of the Bible.  You can also seek out the wisdom of a pastor or faith filled mentor to confirm.

 

  1. BE PREPARED- Just like an athlete trains for competition, we should prepare our spirits and our minds to receive what God is trying to say to us.  How do we prepare?  We read our bibles, so we know the truth.  We pray and talk to God about what we need and what He wants and then we listen for Him to speak.  We sing and worship to acknowledge that He is God, and we expect Him to communicate with us.  We walk in His Spirit every day with great expectation of what the Lord is going to say to us.

We know that, as a Christian, God desires to speak to us.  He said that as His sheep we hear His voice and follow Him.  We HEAR HIS VOICE!  It wasn’t a maybe we will hear His voice or if we are a pastor we hear His voice, or if we are a teacher, we hear His voice.  His Word said, “My sheep hear my voice.”!  That’s you and that’s me!


Do you want to hear God speaking to you?  I know I do.  I was studying late one night when my family had all gone to bed.  As I was sitting at the table in the dining room I began to talk to the Lord.  I told Him I knew that He loved me, and I wanted to be in His presence more and more.  I wanted to see His glory.  As I sat there quietly, God’s presence tangibly filled the whole room.  It was so indescribably amazing, and I was so overwhelmed by the presence of God being there with me.  I knew that God had heard me and had spoken to me that He loved me in a way that I had never dreamed possible.


Friends, God loves you and wants to talk to you - to show Himself to you.  Yes, to you personally.  So I encourage you to come like Samuel did, as a child, with expectations of hearing from your heavenly Father, and say,” Speak to me Lord, because I am listening!”















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