If you want to hear from God...

If we want to hear from God, we need to learn to discern his voice.

God speaks primarily through his Word, the Scripture, but the words are just ink on a page or helpful information until God speaks to our hearts, aiming for transformation.

One way we learn to discern God's voice is through others. We learn from those who listen well.

That's what happens in 1 Samuel 3. Eli helps Samuel discern God's voice.

In reality, a lot of people try to go it alone in their faith. It takes a certain measure of self awareness and emotional intelligence to recognize that we need others in order to listen well to God. That we can't trust ourselves

Reflection is also required because life is loud. And busy. We have to stop to listen. 

And we don't stop and listen unless we expect God to speak. Expectation matters

But we can also detect a pattern in the Bible--God expects us to act on what we hear and share it with others or he goes quiet. 

Samuel proves faithful and God continues to speak to him throughout his life. For the first time since Moses, he is a prophet over all Israel. 

Larry Osborne calls this pattern "The Dimmer Switch Principle": If we obey the light we have, God gives us more. If we disobey, he gives us less.

No one today is a prophet in the way Samuel served as a prophet over Israel, but God still speaks to us, and he wants us to do what he says and share what he says with others. 

So we share it at home, with our friends, as families, in our schools, and in our workplaces. 

We have been entrusted with his message.