1 Samuel 3:1-10 (NIV)

The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions.2 One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was. 4 Then the LORD called Samuel. Samuel answered, “Here I am.” 5 And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down. 6 Again the LORD called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” “My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” 7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him. 8 The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy. 9 So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

1 Samuel 3:10 (NRSV)

The Lord came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel!  Samuel!  And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

DEVOTION – June L. Kanaski (Arizona)

A male cardinal lives in my lives in my neighborhood.  I hear him far more than I ever see him.  Every day I look forward to hearing his distinct call.  Surprisingly, I can usually recognize the cardinal’s call despite the morning air’s being filled with the songs of other birds.  Yet at times I can barely hear the cardinal, or I miss it altogether because I am involved in another task.

Similarly to listening for the cardinal’s song among the others’, I must make the effort to hear God’s voice.  The Old Testament passage above shows us how Samuel learned to recognize God’s voice and to listen for it.  Our fast-paced world makes it easy to become caught up in our commitments.  Perhaps all we hear are the calls of our jobs, our families, and our finances.  Where is God’s voice among all these?

When I take the time to slow down and still myself, to listen to God in prayer and through scripture, I learn to recognize the voice of God, who has been with me all along.  I just need to listen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: God can lead us if we will listen.

Link2Life: To hear cardinal calls, go to devotional.upperroom.org/blog

PRAYER:  Dear heavenly Father, help us to recognize your voice and to listen for it as we move through our busy days. Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: Those Too Busy To Listen To God

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