Accessing God’s grace and voice may include slowing down and giving Him our full attention without distractions.
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. 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.
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 3:8-10
The year was 2005, and we had just moved to Southern California. The house prices in San Diego were shocking to us. Many people had said that we needed to bite the bullet and just buy a house. We found a house that we were both excited to purchase. In my mind, it was a done deal. My wise wife suggested, “Let’s keep praying about this.” We had no idea that the housing market was about to crash. I kept thinking about the size of the house, the location, and the great views. Because I had gone to the prospective house so many times, I had become attached to the house and it didn’t feel good to step away from purchasing it.
Sometimes God’s grace includes protecting us from enticing decisions that are destructive. Our inner turmoil would soon be resolved. There was no audible voice, but a deep sense that we didn’t have a green light from God. I admit that I don’t always listen closely enough to God. We eventually withdrew our potential offer though because it didn’t feel like God wanted us to close the deal. I look back now after many years of renting and know that God helped us to avoid a purchase we couldn’t afford to make.
The promptings of the Holy Spirit are an example of how God personally leads us as His children. Accessing God’s grace and voice may include slowing down and giving Him our full attention without distractions.
God spoke to Samuel, but Samuel did not know how to listen to God yet. Eli began to teach Samuel how to listen to God. It is one of the most important skills in our spiritual lives. If we don’t listen to God, then we can make the wrong decisions and run ahead of God’s timing. Saul is someone who failed to inquire of God (1 Chronicles 13:3), and his life took a downward spiral. In a time of battle, however, David was careful to check in with God and ask not only what decision to make but also how to carry out the plan. (1 Chronicles 14:8-17).
The Bible has three ‘God is’ statements: “God is love (1 John 4:16), God is light (1 John 1:5), and God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:28-29).” These positive attributes of our Creator are worth taking time to reflect on today. In what ways do these three attributes point us to His grace? How do these descriptions of God encourage us to listen closely to Him?
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Excerpt republished with permission from Rooted in Grace by Jesse Bradley c. 2012