Skeptics will tend to agree with the words of 1 Samuel 3:1, “in those days the word of the Lord was rare.” If these conditions exist today, how can someone discern or know if it is actually God’s voice calling out? History provides 5 examples where God’s calling is clearest.
1. In the Temple of the Lord, 1 Samuel 3:1-18.
Although just a boy, Samuel was raised in the temple. Since his mentor was a priest, Samuel learned how to approach God, yet had never heard his voice. On one ordinary night, Eli the priest introduced Samuel to the voice of the Lord.
2. Reading the Word of the Lord, 2 Kings 22:11-13.
Often, God is the first thing people cut from a busy schedule, allowing their Bible to collect dust on a shelf. Time away from this book slowly reveals a shift in one’s actions, behavior and words. After hidden for several years, Josiah finds a copy of the Old Testament hidden in a closet. Astonished by the words he is reading, the king of Judea is moved by God to repent for the sins of his nation.
3. Retreating to a Remote Location, Mark 1:35-39 & 1 Kings 19:9-13.
To flee distractions and interruptions, Jesus regularly began his day in solitude, talking to God the Father. This enabled the son of God to go where the Lord wanted Him daily. Meanwhile, most retreat destinations are located in mountains or valleys, isolated from the hectic pace of life. This atmosphere opens the door to listen for God’s still small voice.
4. Fasting and Worship, Nehemiah 1:4-11 & Acts 13:1-4.
Fasting is the practice of going without food for a set period to seek God’s will in a specific matter. When you add worship to this equation, the Holy Spirit often opens up doors that were previous locked. During a worship service, Paul and Barnabas each sensed a clear calling to become missionaries, sharing the good news of Jesus to a lost and dying world.
5. Keeping in Step with the Holy Spirit, Acts 8:26-31 & Galatians 5:25.
Whether you are in God’s house, fasting, praying, reading the Bible, retreating to recharge your spiritual batteries or in a state of worship, these environments provide unfiltered access to the Holy Spirit. Essentially, this takes faith to the next level, becoming a doer of the word, Matthew 7:24. Believers should test every voice, 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22, before accepting God’s calling, Isaiah 6:8. If you think I’ve left any place out, please let me know under the comment section.
by Jay Mankus