He was in the second grade. Attending a Christian school young Billy sat mesmerized one day in his chair as the teacher read the story from the pages of the word of God about a young boy by the name of Samuel. Recess, he said was his favorite part of the day, but on this particular occasion he was transfixed on a young man that was hearing the voice of God speak. His teacher noticing his gaze asked if everything was alright as he was not leaving his seat to participate with the others for recess. His question to her that day changed his life and his destiny. He asked his second grade teacher, “Does God still speak to little boys”? Her answer was yes. And she challenged his with a poem. Written by James D Burns, Billy was asked to read it when he got home that evening. He did, and memorized it. The poem stated,
“O give me Samuel’s ear
The open ear, O Lord
Alive and quick to hear
Each whisper of Thy Word
Like him to answer at Thy call
And to obey Thee first of all.”
Did you catch that word “whisper”? That honestly I believe is the key phrase. Divine whispers are what the Holy Spirit gives to a listening ear. Not a shout. Not thunder. Not a blast. Not a rush. Not something quick. Just a whisper. And the whisper can cause you to run and hide. It did the prophet. Elijah was in hiding. His life was being threatened. He ran and ends up in a cave. In isolation, away from the world God speaks to His man. But, in a way that is absolutely surprising to him. Here is how The Message Bible paints the picture. “A hurricane wind ripped through the mountains and shattered the rocks before God, but God wasn't to be found in the wind; after the wind an earthquake, but God wasn't in the earthquake; and after the earthquake fire, but God wasn't in the fire; and after the fire a gentle and quiet whisper. When Elijah heard the quiet voice, he muffled his face with his great cloak,…” (1 Kings 19: 11-14) Do you know why most of us cannot recognize the voice of God when He speaks to us, because we often are looking for the dramatic. We desire the sensational. We can understand the hurricane. We can identify with the earthquake. We have been burned by the fire. If God comes and speaks to us those ways we could handle. But He does not. He whispers. No wonder our life at times is a mess. We have missed the whisper.
Jesus said this, “My sheep hear my voice…” (John 10:27 KJV). There are literally millions of voices you and I have to contend with on a daily basis. As soon as our feet hit the floor they are sending their sound waves our direction. Some will be voices we need to heed. Others will be voices we must discard. Yet in the midst of the sound waves pounding against us, the one we cannot afford to dismiss is the divine whisper.
I have learned and am learning that there are several ways God speaks to my own heart. (1) He speaks to me through the pages of His divine word. It might be a passage, a phrase, a single word that stands out like a neon light. But His word is alive. And when I soak myself into its pages the Holy Spirit speaks a fresh word to my spirit man that I can feed upon. You cannot afford, if you are a believer, to allow God’s word to set on a shelf collecting dust. It is your daily bread. (2) He speaks to me through relationships. I am extremely careful who I allow to speak to my spirit man. Not everyone has the right. Be very careful who you open yourself up to. (Often the relationships who have gained the right to speak into me simply confirm what God has already said to my spirit). (3) God speaks through dreams and visions. Joseph, Daniel, John all had God speak this way.
My list is not exhausted. God can speak obviously any way he so chooses to speak to His creation. But, I do know that He is speaking. Even as I sat at this computer and type my Monday morning blog, there is a sense in my spirit that I am writing to someone in particular. I do not know who you are. I do not know what you are facing at this particular moment in your life. This I do know. You have cried out of late for God to speak to you. To show you what to do. Perhaps even where to go. You are searching for the spectacular. Don’t! Listen for the whisper. Quite yourself today. God wants to give His people a Samuel’s ear. An ear that is so greatly needed in the hour you and I live in right now!!!!!!!