And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.” 1 Samuel 3:10
When Samuel first heard the voice of the Lord, he didn’t know it. It was unfamiliar. Strange. New. We all start here – questioning what we heard, wondering if it was the voice of our Father God or the voice of another. But…it was never here – in the uncertainty - that we were meant to stay.
John 10 verse 27 says, “My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me.” In the original text, the word “hear” is the Greek word “akouo.” It means to “consider, understand, perceive, comprehend, give ear to, and learn.” It was that final definition – “learn” – that captured me during my study of this portion of scripture.
“My sheep (LEARN) my voice…”
When Jordan was inside my womb, I would often sing over him. I sang lullabies, worship songs, old show tunes, and even some Frank Sinatra. As I would sing, I would watch him respond – stirring and shifting within me. At his birth, they placed his tiny, wailing body in my arms and I did what we had done for months – I sang to him. The moment he heard my voice, he silenced. His face turned into my chest and his eyes did their best to open. He had found the voice He knew – the voice He had learned was his mother’s from months spent nestled into her singing womb. Time together had made it familiar and safe. In all of the noises of machinery beeping, doctor’s discussing, nurses caring, and family congratulating – he heard me.
My little sheep had learned my voice.
“Learning” our Father’s voice will require time spent together. He calls us “My sheep” in John 10:27. Not “the sheep” or “their sheep” but “My sheep.” This name speaks of relationship – of belonging – of connection. Out of relationship comes familiarity. Out of familiarity comes trust. Getting to know someone and building a relationship with them takes time. The more time spent together, the more knowledge is attained of that person and the deeper the connection.
As a young Christian, I journaled (and still do) everything I heard from the Lord and then would often take it to a seasoned believer to ensure that I heard the voice of the Lord correctly. We see this modeled in 1 Samuel 3. Samuel’s final response to the voice of the Lord was very different than his first. “Speak, Lord…for your servant hears.” The difference? Eli. Eli – a seasoned man of God – taught Him how to respond and even made him aware of the fact that he was indeed hearing the voice of the Lord. I encourage you – if you are still learning the voice of the Lord – find a solid woman of God who can help you discern His voice.
John 10:27 not only says that we “hear” His voice – it also says we “follow” it. This is the Greek word “akoloutheo.” This means to “side with a party” and choose to “join as a disciple.” It paints the picture of following one who “precedes” you and goes before you, walking in the same direction on the same road.
“My sheep LEARN my voice, the GIVE EAR TO what I say…and then they choose to FOLLOW Me in the direction that I’m going.”
Women of God, what are we doing with what the Lord speaks to us? Are we responding? Are we even listening?
Or are we distracted? Too caught up in the trappings of this world? Has the noise of our lives swallowed up the voice of the Lord?
And when He speaks…
Do we go in the direction that He is leading us? Or do we try to lead Him? Or explain it away? Do we ignore His call? Or do we join Him in the direction that He is going?
Let the cry of our hearts, be that of Samuel: “Speak, Lord. For your servant hears (listens, yields, and obeys) you!”