Even the faithful can be deaf to God. Unfortunately I know this too well.
As a priest I’m supposed to represent Christ to the public. Yet I still fall short of my calling.
I hear God’s word. But somehow my hearing becomes selective.
Thank goodness for Christ’s grace!
Two Ways We Are Deaf to God
1 Samuel 3:1-10 illustrates this point using the examples of Eli and Samuel.
First we have Eli.
Eli was a high priest. He was also one of God’s last judges. As a judge, God appointed him as a leader that would:
- convict God’s people of their sin
- deliver God’s people from their oppression, and
- administer God’s justice in accordance to the Law
Yet Eli fell deaf to God in a major way.
His sons–who were also priests–blasphemed against God. Yet Eli allowed their bad behavior to slide. Eli pick-and-chose how he served God’s justice (1 Samuel 2:12-36).
And then we have Samuel.
Samuel worked at the temple in the Lord’s service. Yet when he hears God’s voice, he is oblivious. He thought it was Eli’s voice he heard.
Eli and Samuel represent two ways we fall deaf to God’s voice. Like Eli, we pick-and-choose what we want to hear from God.
Like Samuel, we hear God speak to us, but don’t recognize his voice. We rationalize it as coming from anyone but God.
Teaching Ourselves to Hear God
Do you desire to hear God’s voice? And when you hear it, how can you know it’s truly God? Let me provide you with three things you can do right now:
- Be still. When Eli realized who spoke to Samuel, he advised the boy to “go and lie down”. Even Jesus himself went off on his own to be alone with God. Try finding a time and place where you can be alone and undisturbed. Late at night are my best times for this
- Shh…relax. Close your eyes. Block out the world around you. And sit in silence, either in prayer or meditation
- Be quiet and listen. Open your heart to God and ask God to speak to you. Be specific in what you need. And then zip your lip and quiet your mind. Let God do the talking
Scripture reminds us that God sits in the eye of the hurricane. Within the chaos of our lives, he sits in our silence.
Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge (Psalm 46:10-11).