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Q2. Listening to the Spirit


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This part of the story is one of a more than a few sticking points for me, in that I have a hard time believing in God-Who-rejects. I do believe that there are consequences to my actions or inactions with regard to listening for and to God. I just do not believe that God will in any way reject me when I don't. Rejection is not a facet of God that I have ever seen or felt, regardless of what I do or which way I go. Perhaps I see God with rose-colored glasses, but the alternative -- seeing God as rejector, rather than healer, protector, and embracer -- offends my very heart and spirit.

To the point of the questions: This story teaches me the importance of always listening to and for God's voice and guidance. I know that less-than-desirable circumstances arise when I don't. I discover something else about myself, as well: I don't want to listen to and for God merely out of fear for what may happen. I want to listen to and for God because God loves me and I love God, God trusts me and I trust God, and God knows me. And when I listen to and for the guidance of the One who knows me better than I know myself, that in itself is reason enough for me to keep listening to what God says when He speaks to me, One-on-one.

My instinctive way of listening for and to God, for discerning between my thought and God's guidance, is to just shut up and sit still. To close my eyes, and just listen for that still, small Voice. That Voice always comes to me when I put myself in the quiet stillenss that I need in order to hear God's Voice. I always have a good time with God in those moments. I feel God's comfort and peace, God's joy and sorrow, and most of all, God's laughter when God leads me to crack up at myself for literally taking my self too seriously.

I am fortunate and grateful for not having to learn to listen and discern. It comes as naturally for me as breathing. I just have to ask myself, "Is this something that God would say to me or lead me to do, against God, myself, or others surrounding me?" Viewing God through rose-colored glasses means that the way I discern that it's God's voice is knowing that when what I'm about to do or say will evoke lovingkindess, then yes, it is God. And when it's not an evocation of lovingkindness, then I need to erase the tape and listen for and to God a little more closely. I wish it were a science, but God doesn't seem to me as One who works, constrained by any scientific method.

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Q2. (1 Samuel 16:3-12) How does this story teach us the importance of listening carefully to God’s voice? What is our instinctive way of discerning? How is God teaching us to discern? How do we learn to listen to the Spirit?

This story teach us the importance of listening carefully to God’s voice by highlighting the consequence of not listening and following our instinct or by previous experiences. In many cases our instinctive way of discerning is by previous experiences and natural instincts. God is teaching us to discern by waiting and listening for His voice. We learn to listen to the Spirit by spending time in meditation in the Word of God and a constant communion with Him.

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Q2. (1 Samuel 16:3-12) How does this story teach us the importance of listening carefully to God's voice? It shows that we can only see through human eyes which does not reveal the heart.

What is our instinctive way of discerning? Appearance & voice

How is God teaching us to discern? Showing that it is the heart He searches not the skin

How do we learn to listen to the Spirit? Study, pray, and listen

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1. It is vital to hear God's voice, in a matter, as "hearing" is the prerequisite, for everything from God. Even our salvation starts, with "faith comes by hearing by the Word of God." Rom10:17

2. Our natural way of discernment is, by "seeing", through the eye gate, which can become affected by smoke and mirrors. ie the flesh.

3. The Lord is teaching us to discern, by maturity, in His Word, by recieving "strong meat", But strong meat belongs to them that are of a full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Heb.5:14 Like whats of the flesh and what is of the Spirit.

4. We learn to listen to the Spirit, by being filled with the Holy Ghost, having His Word engrafted into our hearts, and waiting on the Lord. Isa.40:31 renews our strength, Lam.3:25 & 26 It is good for a man that he should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.

Waiting is the prerequisite, for hearing the Spirit of God. Jesus promised us we would hear His voice.

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1Sa 16:3 And invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do. And you shall anoint for me him whom I declare to you."

1Sa 16:4 Samuel did what the LORD commanded and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling and said, "Do you come peaceably?"

1Sa 16:5 And he said, "Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. Consecrate yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice." And he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

1Sa 16:6 When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, "Surely the LORD's anointed is before him."

1Sa 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart."

1Sa 16:8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, "Neither has the LORD chosen this one."

1Sa 16:9 Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, "Neither has the LORD chosen this one."

1Sa 16:10 And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, "The LORD has not chosen these."

1Sa 16:11 Then Samuel said to Jesse, "Are all your sons here?" And he said, "There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep." And Samuel said to Jesse, "Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here."

1Sa 16:12 And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the LORD said, "Arise, anoint him, for this is he."

 

How does this story teach us the importance of listening carefully to God's voice. --- It is important that we carefully listen to God's voice and obey him precisely as He has said.

 

What is our instinctive way of discerning? --- We tend to try to fit God's word into our way of thinking, our experiences and culture.

 

How is God teaching us to discern? --- God is teaching us to discern according to his word alone. We need to fit our experiences and culture into the Word, not the Word into our experiences and culture.

 

How do we learn to listen to the Spirit? --- Through careful listening and fervent prayer.

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Guest Rain200
Q2. (1 Samuel 16:3-12) How does this story teach us the importance of listening carefully to God’s voice? What is our instinctive way of discerning? How is God teaching us to discern? How do we learn to listen to the Spirit?

Listening carefully to God's voice reaps more benefits than sorrows. For instance, Samuel in 1 Sam. 16:6 was about to choose Eliab to anoint maybe because he "looked" strong and capable but he was clearly not the right choice and Samuel heard the Lord speak about going on appearances alone. In fact I found it interesting that this same man, Eliab(David's brother) David why is he inquiring about Goliath and accuses David of being wicked and conceited(1Sam. 17:28) Therefore heeding God's voice can reveal something about ourselves and others.

My own distinctive way of discerning the Lord's voice involves prayers and Word confirmations and even then I still doubt at times...

I believe God is revealing Himself more in conversations, new understandings of His word and in dreams. However I continue to learn to listen to the Spirit fully.

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How does this story teach us the importance of listening carefully to God's voice?

Samuel could easily have anointed the wrong son. He could have made his own choice and moved out of God's will.

It is the Abraham story. Abraham had to offer his son. Then just as he showed himself willing to obey, God spoke to him again. Many of us offers our mission for God because we dont listen. We are obedient to a point, but we get so involved with our mission that we dont hear God's voice again, and we miss the next instruction. Then we move completely out of God's will.

What is our instinctive way of discerning? Usually we see what would fit my needs best, our what fits my will best. Our i want to make the choice because i think i will know best.

How is God teaching us to discern?

To wait for his choice. To pray. We see Jesus asked that the cup must pass Him by, but He ended the prayer that it is nit His will, but the Father's will.

We must learn to respond to the Spirit's voice.

How do we learn to listen to the Spirit?

Through experiance and being focused on wanting to do the will of God.

It takes practice. As i ask for God's guidence and i respond, I will experiance God in my life. As I experiance God in my life my relationship with God will grow. Because i experianced Him, my faith will grow. Since my faith grew, next time i will more redily wait on God's answer. So the process repeats, my relationship, faith, obedience and ability to recognice God's voice all keeps on growing.

but when i dont wait for God, i do my own thing, and i dont experiance God, thus nothing can grow. In fact, often we pray, "God, bless the works of my hands," but then we do our own will, so how can God bless us. That is when people say but prayer does nothing and lose their faith, because they cant experiance God

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Q2. (1 Samuel 16:3-12) How does this story teach us the importance of listening carefully to God's voice?

I believe that this part of the Scriptures teaches the importance's of the latter part of Proverbs 3:5 "and lean not unto thine own understanding." We are not to depend solely upon our own learned understanding, learning's and wisdom.

It is very true that God blesses mankind with the ability to learn, by the simple virtue that He blessed mankind with this ability He certainly does not want mankind not to apply what he or she has learned. The problem arise when mankind does not utilize these learning's according to His Will, His Counsel and or according to His Character.

Solomon was very wise, I do not believe that there is a verse or a word in Scripture where he was told not to exercise his knowledge, skills, ability or wisdom. The Lord was displeased when Solomon did things according to his own will and not that of the Lord's. Not only did Solomon suffer negative consequences as result over time because he exercised this wisdom against the Lords Will, but others did as well.

Every being that desires to remain in intimate relationship with God needs to consider when they receive guidance they perceive is from the Lord does it align with His Word and His Character.

What is our instinctive way of discerning?

Unfortunately just as the lesson suggest, instinctively our cultural upbringing, education, social perception, sight (appearance {how the person look, how they carry themselves}and also the reading of body language) among other natural things influence our way of discerning. We apply what we know to discern a probably resolve.

Relating to this passage of Scripture, there is a difference when it comes to Spiritual discernment, we are to be sensitive to the Lord's leading and not follow our own intuitions or natural perception.

Had not Samuel listen to the Lord he would have chosen Saul's successor in a similar manner as he did Saul. Saul physically looked the part according to Samuel perception (Samuel didn't rush into the matter, he did put out a fleece so to speak), as did David's older brother Eliab, and he was the firstborn, that gave Samuel validation. But God said no.

How is God teaching us to discern?

Everything that glitters is not always gold, everything that may fit the depiction according to our perception may not be according to His Will. Not that we cannot make a decision, however with every decision we should seek His counsel, does it line up with His Will, His Counsel, His Character. This concept is not just applicable with churchly matters, but in everyday life, everyday decisions. Do the things I seek after and or chose edify others to include my being in a godly manner or do they edify in a worldly manner. Discern the decision and also the potential result, does it glorify God, or is it an attempt to glorify man / myself. If I were to excel as a golf player surpassing Jack William Nicklaus and or Tiger Woods, would I acknowledge God and live a life style that reflect Him, his character. If the answer is no, then the things I discern are not in a godly manner.

God is teaching us here in this passage of Scripture, as we adhere to His guidance continue listening to Him. Just as the lesson suggest, the majority of the time God leads us one step at a time, by doing so we remain instep. The lesson also says that God can give us the whole picture when He provides guidance, and on occasions He has. However those time are perhaps more of the exception(s) than the norm. The good Dr. also said, "Wouldn't it be nice if God would say everything ahead of time, complete with names, times, and places?" It would be nice in our eyes however if so we wouldn't need to discern, we would simply do.

To Samuel Eliab just as Saul did, presented the ideal visual image as a king however God saw beyond the outward appearance. Yes God allowed Saul to be king, He did not make a mistake, He does not make mistakes. No he was not teaching Samuel a lesson here with the selection process, nor was His allowing Saul to be king a lesson for the people. God ordained / commanded Samuel to appoint a man a king according to the people's request. He was not forced or influenced through coercion to do this (God cannot be forced to do anything, He's Almighty). He said that He would give them a king that would be a captain over the people of Israel to save them from the hand of the Philistine (1 Sam. 10:16).

How do we learn to listen to the Spirit?

By being in intimate relationship with Him, communicating (praying / talking) with Him, by studying His Word so that we can align what we hear with His counsel. As He lead, He will feed, as we ingest we should become more familiar with His Character, so that if He speaks through a dream, a vision, nature, Perceptions or a messenger we may discern if it is Him or of another influence.

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This part of the story is one of a more than a few sticking points for me, in that I have a hard time believing in God-Who-rejects. I do believe that there are consequences to my actions or inactions with regard to listening for and to God. I just do not believe that God will in any way reject me when I don't. Rejection is not a facet of God that I have ever seen or felt, regardless of what I do or which way I go. Perhaps I see God with rose-colored glasses, but the alternative -- seeing God as rejector, rather than healer, protector, and embracer -- offends my very heart and spirit.

To the point of the questions: This story teaches me the importance of always listening to and for God's voice and guidance. I know that less-than-desirable circumstances arise when I don't. I discover something else about myself, as well: I don't want to listen to and for God merely out of fear for what may happen. I want to listen to and for God because God loves me and I love God, God trusts me and I trust God, and God knows me. And when I listen to and for the guidance of the One who knows me better than I know myself, that in itself is reason enough for me to keep listening to what God says when He speaks to me, One-on-one.

My instinctive way of listening for and to God, for discerning between my thought and God's guidance, is to just shut up and sit still. To close my eyes, and just listen for that still, small Voice. That Voice always comes to me when I put myself in the quiet stillenss that I need in order to hear God's Voice. I always have a good time with God in those moments. I feel God's comfort and peace, God's joy and sorrow, and most of all, God's laughter when God leads me to crack up at myself for literally taking my self too seriously.

I am fortunate and grateful for not having to learn to listen and discern. It comes as naturally for me as breathing. I just have to ask myself, "Is this something that God would say to me or lead me to do, against God, myself, or others surrounding me?" Viewing God through rose-colored glasses means that the way I discern that it's God's voice is knowing that when what I'm about to do or say will evoke lovingkindess, then yes, it is God. And when it's not an evocation of lovingkindness, then I need to erase the tape and listen for and to God a little more closely. I wish it were a science, but God doesn't seem to me as One who works, constrained by any scientific method.

"I have a hard time believing in God-Who-rejects" EYJackson, I feel you, and I'd like to say something perhaps one can say out of ignorance. God love the begins He created mankind, and I love that He is not slack in His promise, it is His desire that none should perish. However if one believes what is written in the Bible, one day there will be judgment. Man was not appointed to die twice yet some will.

Your heart (mind) as I discern from what I have read is one that is after God's heart just as David's was. David made a lot of mistakes, yet he repented, he was not perfect, nor are we. As we adhere to the Holy Spirit's leading we are being perfected. God rejected Saul as king, Saul rejected him as God, after Samuel departed we do not find passage of Scripture where Saul sought the Lord. We do find that he was under the influence of another spirit, he continued in agreement with this influence. He was tormented and bound, yet we do not find in Scripture where he sought the Lord. I'm sure the Lord's heart bled as he saw Saul continue in a downward spiral. In 1 Samuel 10:9-11God had given him another heart, however he did not maintain this walk, he did his own thing. I cannot say that this is the likeness for everyone, what I can say is that everyone that know about and or know of Him and chooses not to be in intimate relationship with Him, they are rejecting Him. If they reject Him if they seek Him it will be for the bread and the fish more so then to know Him. Christ is ever present and always available however He is not with those that are against Him nor are they with Him. I can't say who will ascend or descend, however there was a different outcome for the sheep's and the goats in the parable, as told in the parable of the sewer, the two sons, the husbandman, the marriage supper etc..

As I read what you have written your mind (heart) does not reflect that which is written about Saul.

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How does this story teach us the importance of listening carefully to God's voice?

God only give us instruction one step at a time. If we don't follow a step we don't hear the next step. God says He will give us what we need for today.

How do we learn to listen to the Spirit?

For me it is spending time in quite meditation. I can't hear from Him if I always have noise going or always talking.

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God speaks to us in many different ways. We need to learn how to listen for his voice. Sometimes he speaks directly to us like he did with Samuel. Which to me shows a personal relationship with God and Samuel. He can speak to us through our study of the word and through our pastor's sermons on Sunday morning. We have to learn to listen. One of the hardest thing to do sometimes. What helps me is I pray for God to speak to me and I go to church and read my bible with the sense of listening for the voice of God in my life. Learning to listen to the Holy Spirit is a daily affair. He is the one that protects us from harm and keeps us from walking too far from God so this is a daily chore in my mind to keep my ears and heart open to listen.

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Reply to Travis63

As I read what you have written your mind (heart) does not reflect that which is written about Saul.

Just to clarify: I, in fact, do believe what is written in Hebrew texts about Saul and his relationship with God. I also believe that what is written may or may not be the end of the story. I believe that each person and entire nations view God's relationship with humankind differently. What we are reading now is like hearing a story passed down from our great-great-great (several times over) - grandparents for many generations before the advent of putting plant-derived ink to papyrus. In fact, the original Hebrew language did not even have vowels, and so, there are probably some words that were written and translated without a clear understanding of what they meant. In other words, some words were probably lost in translation. Because of my familiarity with translations of Biblical Hebrew, readings in the Torah and Tanakh, and the rabbinic practice of Midrash, as well as human anthropology and language etymology, I do wonder what I am missing when I read Canon as it was finalized during the Councils at Trent between December of 1545 and December of 1563.

That said, I can not draw a conclusion about your belief in the writings based simply on what I perceive your writing to say. That would not be fair, as I could be absolutely correct, sort of correct and incorrect, and/or completely incorrect.

As Saul's writings reveal what his heart and mind believed God to be in his experience, I intended for my writing to reveal what my mind and heart (I) have and have not experienced in my journey with God and how it relates to Saul's journey with God, my interest in discovering what more there could be behind what is written, and my willingness to discern the Spirit of the Word in relation to the words as they are translated.

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Q2. (1 Samuel 16:3-12) How does this story teach us the importance of listening carefully to God's voice? What is our instinctive way of discerning? How is God teaching us to discern? How do we learn to listen to the Spirit?

It is important to listen to God in all our decisions, action etc. But in practice, we rarely do and usuall take our actions/ decisions based on the physical facts available.

God is teaching us in this study to be guided by the spiritual consideration and not only the physical aspects in our decisions. We will do this by the promppting of a small voice of God who directs us in the hour of decision making.

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How does this story teach us the importance of listening carefully to God’s voice?

Most of the time we are deceived because of not listening carefully and to be quick to act even before you understood.

What is our instinctive way of discerning? mine is the same as Samuel judging people from the outward appearance

How is God teaching us to discern?

Learning from Him.

How do we learn to listen to the Spirit?

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Reply to Travis63

As I read what you have written your mind (heart) does not reflect that which is written about Saul.

Just to clarify: I, in fact, do believe what is written in Hebrew texts about Saul and his relationship with God. I also believe that what is written may or may not be the end of the story. I believe that each person and entire nations view God's relationship with humankind differently. What we are reading now is like hearing a story passed down from our great-great-great (several times over) - grandparents for many generations before the advent of putting plant-derived ink to papyrus. In fact, the original Hebrew language did not even have vowels, and so, there are probably some words that were written and translated without a clear understanding of what they meant. In other words, some words were probably lost in translation. Because of my familiarity with translations of Biblical Hebrew, readings in the Torah and Tanakh, and the rabbinic practice of Midrash, as well as human anthropology and language etymology, I do wonder what I am missing when I read Canon as it was finalized during the Councils at Trent between December of 1545 and December of 1563.

That said, I can not draw a conclusion about your belief in the writings based simply on what I perceive your writing to say. That would not be fair, as I could be absolutely correct, sort of correct and incorrect, and/or completely incorrect.

As Saul's writings reveal what his heart and mind believed God to be in his experience, I intended for my writing to reveal what my mind and heart (I) have and have not experienced in my journey with God and how it relates to Saul's journey with God, my interest in discovering what more there could be behind what is written, and my willingness to discern the Spirit of the Word in relation to the words as they are translated.

EYJackson

I too believe that it would be wise to consider the origin, the context and the content when reading the Canon as it was finalized. I am not sure if I offend you are not, that certainly was not my intent, nor was it to insult your intelligence. That which I said concerning you was that I perceived you had a heart similar to David's, a heart after God. That which I said about Saul was not inferred to you.

I agree that there are many, many different views about God, His Character, " I believe that each person and entire nations view God's relationship with humankind differently." It is my desire to always adhere to His Holy Word as it has been passed down. Did those at the council get it right, only God knows. They were to have only taken that from what was breathed by God Himself. Does the spoken and the written Word differ, it shouldn't, however there is perspective.

My sincerest apology for having offended you in all or any manner. Perhaps as the lesson continues I can learn from you, Scripture does say something about "iron sharpening iron", of course I will run it by Scripture.

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How does this story teach us the importance of listening carefully to God’s voice? What is our instinctive way of discerning? How is God teaching us to discern? How do we learn to listen to the Spirit?

We often see things from the human perspective. Listening carefully to God's voice will help us to make the right decisions in life. We have the tendency to look at the outside of a person to judge him/her. God is teaching us that it is the inside of a person that counts, his/her heart. Listening to the Sprit comes with maturity.

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When we are given specific instructions by God it is wise to listen carefully and to follow these instructions precisely. We sometimes might not fully understand the reasons behind what God is telling us, but we do know that His wisdom is complete and His judgment is always correct, so it is better to obey first and then discover the reasons later. We instinctively discern by looks, dress, and outward things. However, we must be beware that appearances are not always what they seem to be. Satan often deceives us by having things appear attractive, good, and moral. We all have heard of unsuspecting people following smooth-talking, Bible-quoting leaders into cults that alienate them from their families and practice immorality and deceit. Our impressions alone are not an accurate indicator of who is or isn't a true follower of Christ. God teaches us to discern through His Word and by the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Listening to God is the first step towards obeying Him, and we need to be praying that the Holy Spirit will open our minds and hearts to receive the truth and then act on it. We must choose to allow the Holy Spirit to control our thinking and thereby allowing Him to control our lives. The Holy Spirit reveals to us, as believers, the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16) and we can therefore understand and discern spiritual truths. This means we must have the Word of God stored in our souls. It is this doctrinal information that the Holy Spirit uses to control our lives.

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This morning when I woke up, I started to pray as I lay in bed. I do this often especially when I wake up before the alarm yells at me to stop sleeping. I could not calm my mind or stay focused this morning. When this happens I try to say each sentence of the Lord's prayer with a personal application of that sentence, but today I still could not keep focused. My ears were screaming and my mind was racing. As the father of 5 (including a set of twins) the opportunities for meditation and reflection are limited. When I set aside time to pray after everyone is in bed, I fall asleep before I can get through prayers. I have not had the priviliedge of hearing a voice and have come to rely on doors. I ask for guidance and look for open doors for everything from opportunities to share Christ to life decisions. Some doors open and others close or remain closed. This guidance is very real and divine to me.

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Q2. (1 Samuel 16:3-12)

How does this story teach us the importance of listening carefully to God's voice?

This story teaches us the importance of listening carefully to God's voice by listening to the Holy Spirit.

What is our instinctive way of discerning?

Our instinctive way of discerning is judging by means of our physical sight and our social experience.

How is God teaching us to discern?

God is teaching us to discern spiritually so that we can see what is in the heart.

How do we learn to listen to the Spirit?

We learn to listen to the Spirit by obeying the word of God.

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I too believe that it would be wise to consider the origin, the context and the content when reading the Canon as it was finalized. I am not sure if I offend you are not, that certainly was not my intent, nor was it to insult your intelligence. That which I said concerning you was that I perceived you had a heart similar to David's, a heart after God. That which I said about Saul was not inferred to you.

I agree that there are many, many different views about God, His Character, " I believe that each person and entire nations view God's relationship with humankind differently." It is my desire to always adhere to His Holy Word as it has been passed down. Did those at the council get it right, only God knows. They were to have only taken that from what was breathed by God Himself. Does the spoken and the written Word differ, it shouldn't, however there is perspective.

My sincerest apology for having offended you in all or any manner. Perhaps as the lesson continues I can learn from you, Scripture does say something about "iron sharpening iron", of course I will run it by Scripture.

No, you have not offended me or insulted my intelligence in any way, Travis. I just wanted to clarify what I meant and the backdrops that inform my system of belief. I actually find kindred spirits in Saul and in Peter -- the rebellion of Saul and the I-still-don't-get-it-ness of Peter. Because there are so many books omitted by the popes at Councils, I find that my curiosity overwhelmingly drives me to read and translate the books that were cast aside. I am not sure whether our Canon was the inspired Word of God, the exact Word of God, or the historical writings of a specific human tribe, regarding their perceived relationship with the Divine. I suspect that it is often some combination of the three, and perhaps more than that. I always question my readings, wondering who was there when God and Satan made a bet about the strength of Job's faith, or who observed the conversation between Moses and God? If these events were recorded even just one generation after they happened, I imagine the children's game where you say one thing to one person, and it is often completely different by the time it gets around the circle. Maybe some (not a reference to you) Christians are right when they say that my curiosity is an act of rebellion, my questioning is a sign that my faith isn't as strong as some may say it needs to be. But God created me and my curiosity. I can't help but think of God laughing hysterically as He thinks, "My ME, if she has this many questions before she gets here . . ."

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Poor Samuel! After being God's spokesman for who knows how long, he might have thought he could recognize God's preference. But not even he could know the mind of God. It's difficult for us to not have any expectations when we are asking God to do something or when He has asked us to do something. Yet, God rarely does things exactly the way we anticipate. He leads us step by step, not in great leaps and bounds (although He could if that were His intent).

It is probably the most important thing we can do to accurately follow God by listening to His voice. Our heads are filled with clamoring ideas and thoughts, our eyes bombarded with visual messages, our ears assaulted with competing voices. That's why it's so important to find a quiet place and to still our hearts and minds, focusing on God alone, and waiting with anticipation to what He will say.

I know that for me particularly, I tend to judge by the external shape of things instead of automatically seeking God's voice in a matter. Therefore, I desperately need quiet time with God to sit and wait on Him to speak to me.

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Q2. (1 Samuel 16:3-12) How does this story teach us the importance of listening carefully to God's voice?

We have ears to hear and eyes to see but if our heart is not willing listen; we will not be able to hear and understand the voice of God. Samuel had a heart for God, seen in his obedience to His commands; God's Son tells us, "Those who know me hear my voice and will follow".

What is our instinctive way of discerning?

In the flesh we are more apt to look for the outward abilities, that is why it is most important we listen to the Holy Spirit's leading.

How is God teaching us to discern?

Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom (Proverbs 1:7). Fear of the Lord is the beginning of understanding (Proverbs 9:10). Fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom (Proverbs 15:33).

How do we learn to listen to the Spirit?

It takes practice to listen to the Spirit, Samuel as a child ministered unto the LORD and the word was precious, when the LORD called "Samuel" and Samuel said "here I am" but he knew not it was the voice of the LORD calling him, and even Eli thought nothing of it until the Lord called him a third time.

When Samuel heard the voice of God and knew it was God, he was obedient as a servant of the Most High God would be.

We too need to minister unto the LORD because the Word is precious to us, we need to be in fellowship with God, we need to hunger and thirst after righteousness, and then we can listen for that small voice, we will be ready to listen to the Spirit, and allow Him to guide us and to direct our steps, as Proverbs 3: 5-6 tells us to put our trust in the Lord with ALL of our heart, and we will not lean on our own understanding, He will direct our path as we acknowledge Him in our lives.

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Q2. How does this story teach us the importance of listening carefully to Gods voice?

Listening to Gods voice is the most important part of our relationship with God. Its giving him the respect he deserves as our Father and leader. Aknowkledging the words spoken in to our lives is what allows us to be obedient to his commands and at the same time receive the blessings available for us.

Yet so many of the times we are to busy with our day to day schedules that we don't sit still long enough to pay attention to what God has to say.

I love how in the lesson it states that "He takes us one step at a time-probably so we don't run on ahead of him and improvise on our own!" Which is exactly what we do...we always run ahead of him and sometimes don't even look back to see where we left off.

Like little children we wonder off and then when we hit a wall we ask ourselves why God hasn't said anything? The thing is he was talking to us the entire time yet we wouldn't stop to listen.

God's intention is to always get our attention even before we run in to the wall of conflicts. If we slow down a bit and stop assuming otherwise then perhaps we can actually listen to yet that small still voice that wispers to us and tells us that he is still in control.

Making an appointment to visit with God on a daily will teach us to hear his voice. Yes we are his children and know exactly when he is speaking but to stop and actually listen thats where we have to make it a point to learn. Listen and learn.

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