Samuel answered, "Speak, for Your servant hears." (1 Samuel 3:10 [ESV])
When reading the passage from which this verse comes, the question comes to mind, do we really hear from God? From that question come two offshoot questions. One, do we take time intentionally to seek to hear from God? Two, do we do what God tells us?
The latter question is very important. In the Jewish mindset, hearing requires not just listening, but reaction to what is heard - obedience or disobedience from stubbornness. How often do we listen to God, but then say, "Nah, that can't be God telling me to do that? He knows I can't do those types of things," or "He knows I'm afraid to do that." Another statement we might make is, "Did God really tell me to do that?" Each of these come when we want to refuse to "hear" God, listening and obeying Him. It boils down to one question, “Do I love God more than I love myself?” We might say, "Of course! I am a Christian, you know." Yet even Christians can refuse to do what God tells them to do.
Of course, the first question related to this topic is, "Do I take time intentionally to hear from God?" The answer to this question should be an assumed, "Yes", but in reality, each of us very often say, "No." Sometimes the "No" comes from never having been taught to seek God and His will. Other times it comes because we get "too busy" with our lives to have time for God. Others of us will answer, "I read His Bible every day and pray when I need something." None of these replies is an adequate reason for not "hearing" God. No reason is a "just" reason or excuse for not seeking God and hearing Him if a person truly is a Christian.
Today, search yourself. Are you hearing from God? Or, are you just listening and not obeying? Possibly, you are not making the time or are questioning God's reasoning. Another reason could be you aren't intentionally seeking God when you do you "required" daily reading and prayer. What is your excuse for not seeking God, and hearing and obeying Him? We should learn to say, as Eli taught Samuel, "Speak, Lord, your servant hears."
May we say, as Eli did, “It is the LORD. Let Him do what seems good to Him.” (1 Samuel 3:18 [ESV])
Lord, I know you are great, awesome, all-knowing, and the only God. Still, sometimes I put myself before You. If I am totally honest, often I put myself as first in my life and You as second or third. Lord, forgive me for not truly seeking You. If I had sought You, I would have not only listened, but obeyed what You said. I feared You would ask me to do something too hard for me. I got so caught up in my life, I didn’t give you time. I am stubborn; please forgive me. Help me to desire You more than my next breath. Lord, help me to seek You alone and to love you completely so I not only listen to You, but I obey You. Lord, grow me to be like Jesus “who though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:6-8 [ESV]) Lord, I do love You. Help my love for You to be complete. Amen.