March 19, 2020
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Over the years, with the arrival of each new grandchild, I've watched this device appear in their home - a little transistor radio-like looking thing. Really not much channel selection on this little radio. In fact, there was only one channel. It's tuned to Baby. When Mom put the little angel to sleep, she'd go into another room and turns on what they call a baby monitor. With it, you can hear unusual noise coming from the baby's room, and then you know baby needs you. My observation in our family was that no matter what else was going on in the room, Mommy remained mentally tuned to that one channel; always listening for a sound from baby.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Monitoring Heaven."
There's an old Gospel song called "Turn Your Radio On." One verse says, "Each of us is a radio receiver," the idea being that we should be tuned to one channel - God's channel. If you want a life with solid direction instead of confusion, that's not a bad idea. The problem is, there are so many voices on so many channels broadcasting into your heart that too many times we miss our Creator's voice. Oh, He's speaking, but we're not hearing. So we're on our own. We're on the wrong road.
That's why the example of Samuel in our word for today is so intriguing and so important. It's in 1 Samuel 3:10. Six words that, if they are frequently in your heart and on your lips, can literally change the course of your life. Because you'll know what God wants you to do in each situation, and you'll be living the plan you were made for.
Samuel is a young man. He's living in God's temple, training for spiritual leadership under the chief priest, Eli. Three times a voice calling Samuel's name woke him from his night's sleep. And three times Samuel got up and reported it to Eli. Well, the third time Eli got it; the Lord must have something to say to this boy. So, following Eli's instruction, Samuel goes back, lies down, ready to respond in the way Eli had wisely advised him to. The Bible says, "Then the Lord came and stood there, calling as at other times, 'Samuel! Samuel!' Then Samuel said," - now here are those six powerful words, one of the most significant prayers in the Bible - "'Speak, for your servant is listening.'"
Sadly, a more honest prayer many times would be this. "Listen, Lord, your servant is speaking." We talk to God a lot more than we listen to God. Instead, like a young mother attentively listening to that monitor for the one voice she always responds to, you and I should always be listening for a voice from heaven in our heart. It's hard to pick up what God's saying if you're talking all the time, if you're running so fast and so hard that you run right past God's still, small voice, if you're a controlling person who basically wants God to bless what you do rather than you doing what God will bless. God may have been trying to say something to you on many occasions, and you missed it because you were too busy, you were too distracted, or just too set on your own way. Great way to mess up the beautiful thing God's trying to do.
Nehemiah, the Bible says, "prayed to the God of heaven" before he "answered the king" (Nehemiah 2:4). He "prayed to our God" it says, when he was suddenly facing serious danger (Nehemiah 4:9). David, it says, "inquired of God" before he decided whether or not to become involved in a battle (1 Chronicles 14:10). Jesus, it says, "spent the night praying to God" before He made His staff selections (Luke 6:13).
Always, for those who want what's God's best, there is that stopping to say, "Speak, Lord, Your servant's listening." Every time you open your Bible, every time you go to church, every time you consult with a spiritual brother or sister, say it: "Speak, Lord, your servant is listening."
There probably have been too many times when God was calling your name with a message just for you and you missed it, because you weren't consciously listening for Him. If you want to make regret-free, error-free decisions in your life, make a lifestyle of always listening for the voice of God.