“…your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10 [NIV]). This is a part of the plan that Jesus taught his followers to pray. This may feel like a prayer that is asking Jesus to return quickly so everyone will see His Kingdom, but Jesus taught us to pray this prayer alone, in a quiet place, just between us and God. When we pray this prayer, we are asking God’s Kingdom to be reflected in our lives just as they are reflected in the lives of those in heaven. To live with God as our King, then, we need to be able to recognize when our King is communicating with us.
The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions. (1 Samuel 3:1 NIV)
Samuel was growing up in a period of time when not many people recognized God as King. Even though they lived in the right place and even used many of the right words to describe God, many of them did not listen to God at all. They did not follow God as King, so God did not communicate with them.
One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the LORD, where the ark of God was. Then the LORD called Samuel. Samuel answered, "Here I am." And he ran to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." But Eli said, "I did not call; go back and lie down." So he went and lay down. (1 Samuel 3:2-5 NIV)
Samuel, though, was different. The LORD would be calling out to Samuel. Even as a young boy, Samuel heard His voice. Even though he heard the voice, though, Samuel did not recognize it as the voice of the LORD. He had never heard from God before.
So, how about you? Do you hear from the LORD? If God spoke to you in a recognizable voice, would you hear it? Would you recognize the voice of Our King?