Once the priests are more worldly than godly, people stop hearing God's voice. It gets replaced with the culture's voice, and we miss the wonderful work God wants to do in our lives. Little Samuel receives a call from God, and he does not recognize it. He runs to Eli, the priest, on three different occasions to see what he needed. Finally, Eli discerned what God was doing and told Samuel to say, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening." On the fourth call, Samuel does as he is told and God tells him His plans for the future. This is the first of many conversations Samuel will have with God. He did not necessarily like the message because it spoke poorly of Eli, but he told the priest the whole story. He heard God's voice and told Eli what God said. He was already acting like a priest, even as a child. How likely are you to hear God's voice in the same manner that Samuel did? If you are not reading God's Word, then I suspect you are not hearing God's voice. As New Testament Christians, the Holy Spirit lives inside of us and helps us to understand and discern the Scriptures. He speaks in a still, small voice that our hearts and minds should be totally in tune with. How should we respond when God speaks to us? We should start with repentance if it is needed and then move to obedience. That is what God expects of His children and what we should always strive for.

Help me, Lord, to hear Your voice as I read Your Word and listen to Your Holy Spirit. Help me to be courageous in my obedience to the words You have spoken to me.