He was just a lad and he was tired. As he lay in bed ready to fall asleep, he heard it for the first time. It sounded like his master, Eli calling him. “Samuel!” the voice called. Samuel got out of bed and ran to where Eli was. “Yes master, you called?” Eli said “I didn’t call you, go back to bed.” After this happened twice again, Eli, the High Priest realized God was wanting to reveal himself to the boy Samuel.
Eli told Samuel how to respond if he ever heard “the voice” calling his name again. Eli said “When you hear it say “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.” Indeed, that instruction was right on the money. When Samuel heard his name called later that night, he realized God was speaking to him personally. He didn’t need to ask anyone else to interpret what God was saying to him. In fact, Samuel began regularly hearing from God after this as God would reveal to him what was on God’s heart and what he wanted Samuel to speak to others.
Spiritual sensitivity isn’t something we are born with. Jesus said “That which is flesh is flesh”. We need to become spiritually aware of God’s voice and learn to discern how to receive it personally. A Good proverb to live by is “To know God’s choice, you must hear God’s voice.”
If you want to hear God speak to you more. Approach your prayer time and Bible reading time with the same approach as the boy Samuel. Ask God to speak to you personally. Perhaps even more important, make it clear to God you are listening as “a servant” and not as a spectator or even merely as a student. A servant has only one reason to listen to his master – and that is to obey.
Paul wrote if we want to discern God’s unknown will for our lives, we must present ourselves completely to God as living sacrifices first (Rom 12:1-2). Consecration precedes revelation.
So then, my brothers and sisters, because of God’s great mercy to us I appeal to you: offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer. Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God—what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect. Rom 12:1-2