“Speak Lord, Your servant is listening” by Joni Ames

“Speak Lord, Your servant is listening”
by Joni Ames
While traveling and teaching others about prophetic ministry, the main question people usually ask is, “How can I hear God’s voice?” So many times people tell me that they cannot hear God and don’t understand how others will say they can.
First of all, we need to position ourselves to hear from God and then…simply listen!
Let’s take a look at the story of Samuel and Eli as an example. Samuel would hear his name called in the middle of the night, and thought it was Eli, but it wasn’t. It was God. Eli was a good mentor, and told Samuel to go lay down (i.e., be still and don’t talk) and that the next time that happened, he should simply speak out, “Speak Lord, Your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:9)
So many times when God is speaking, we think we have to be talking or praying (even in tongues). People sometimes do that when I try to give them a prophetic word, and that’s very distracting. I’ll have to tell them, “Just listen” – so that even I can still hear God! Sometimes others will keep their eyes closed, even when I’m done praying and have begun to prophesy, and I’ll have to say, “Open your eyes.”
The bottom line truth is, if someone is talking to you and you are ALSO talking – right over top of them – you won’t hear what they are saying! – Whether it’s God or a human being! – And if you also close your eyes, you aren’t giving full attention to what’s being said.
Now let me bring balance to this in saying, if you are alone and waiting on the Lord while listening, it’s often valid to close your eyes so that you can catch any visions the Lord may give to you. But when He is using a person to convey a word, it’s a good idea to keep your eyes open and fixed on the person God is using to speak to you, and your mouth closed! – As well as wise to record the word, so that you will be able to further hear and meditate on it later on. (I love the “voice notes” application now on most phones – it’s good to use for those “unexpected” moments when a word gets spoken over us and we don’t have a recorder with us.”)
To listen means, “to pay attention, to hear something with thoughtful attention, give consideration; to be alert to catch an expected sound or instruction.”
We are warned through the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-8, Mark 4:1-9, and Luke 8:4-8.) to be those that are good ground:
“And a great crowd coming together, and those in each city coming to him, he spoke by a parable: A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. And others fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit a hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, he who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Luke 8:4-8)
We need to cry out to God to heal any callousing of our hearts, and to remove any dullness of hearing or sight, and help us to understand when and what He is speaking so that it will not be said of us:
“Seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: “Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive; For this people’s heart has become calloused. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed. Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.” (Matt. 13:13)
Let us not walk in the vanity of our minds and end up being “alienated from the life of God” because of ignorance or hardness and blindness in our hearts!:

“This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart. Who being past feeling have given themselves over to lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.” (Eph. 7:17-19)
God can speak, and yet because of the condition of our heart or because we don’t believe that He speaks, we won’t hear Him! If we constantly second guess that we are hearing Him, then get trapped in the paralysis of analysis, we will talk ourselves right out of what God is trying to convey to us!
That’s also often whey God will use dreams to speak to us. Dreams can bypass our mind, will, and emotions, so that we will hear the full counsel of God, whether we want to or not! Then, of course, it’s still up to us as to whether we obey!
So today, if you want to hear from the Lord, spend time LISTENING to Him! Make an appointment with Him, and keep it. Shut off the cell phone, TV, and computer. Get a pad of paper and a good pen that works ready and keep both close by your side. Then, POSITION YOURSELF TO HEAR FROM GOD! Find a quiet spot, be still, and don’t talk. Then say to the Lord as Eli instructed Samuel, “Speak Lord, Your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:9)
Don’t second guess your ability to hear God. Write down any impressions or visions He gives to you during this time, and put the date and time on it.
If you will repeat this exercise, along with spending time in the Word, you will begin to see that the Lord DOES speak to you.
Lord, help us to learn how to listen to and hear from you, and to be fruitful ground so that what you say will take root and be productive to accomplish what You have purposed.
In Jesus name, amen.
– Joni Ames
Permission is granted (and you are also encouraged) to reprint these articles in hard copy form, as well as sending them to your own email lists and posting them on your own web sites. We ask only that you keep Joni’s web site, email contact info, and author contact information intact.

God’s Plans for you are GOOD! (Jer. 29:11)
Joni Ames
P.O. Box 99
Elkview, WV 25071
E-Mail: JoniAmes@aol.com
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