In 1 Samuel chapter 3, we find a fascinating story of a young boy who ministered before the Lord in the tabernacle in a time when "the word of the Lord was precious" and "there was no open vision" (1 Samuel 3:1). He was going to sleep one night when suddenly he hears his name being called. "Samuel, Samuel" (3:10). Thinking it must be the High Priest Eli, the young child runs to where the old man is sleeping, but it was not him. After the third time, however, Eli realized that this must be the Lord calling the boy. He sent Samuel back with a response, "Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth" (3:9).
It seems like the word of the Lord is scarce today as well. There is no open vision and sometimes we feel that God is distant. But do we recognize the voice of God when He does speak? We compare our lives to that of Abraham, who left his home and nearly sacrificed his son because God told him to do it. How did he know the voice of the Lord? There is a powerful phrase buried in a conversation the Lord had with one of His angels in Genesis chapter 18. Talking about Abraham, the Lord said, "I know him" (Genesis 18:19). Abraham and God had a relationship built on years of communication. And that night in the tabernacle, Samuel began his relationship with God; a relationship that would last the rest of his life. It all began with a willingness to hear God speak. Are you listening for His voice?
Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth.