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Recently I was in a church service in Huntsville, Ala., as the worship leader led the congregation in the song, “Speak to Me.” I had heard it before, but couldn’t remember at the time who had written it. All I knew then was that it was a timely intersection of a renewed confession: that this servant of the Lord (me) needed to hear His voice anew. I would later be reminded that it was our own Tommy Walker from Christian Assembly in Eagle Rock, Calif., who composed the song.

Sometimes we need help hearing God’s voice as He speaks. Samuel heard the voice of the Lord at an early age but did not discern it until Eli the priest instructed him to respond by saying “Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.” We need more Elis … those willing and able to help others discern the voice of the Lord! More than another book, more than another seminar, and more than another podcast, I need to hear His voice. Life is way too complicated and the stakes are much too high to be content only hearing the voices of other people.

Some years ago, I overheard a stranger say to his wife, “Those Carolina fans are the most obnoxious fans I’ve ever known!” It was during March Madness and we were in a restaurant where a college basketball game was televised on a nearby monitor. The man obviously had no idea that someone whose kids graduated from Carolina was within hearing range. Later, I flagged down the server for the man’s table and anonymously paid his bill, attaching this note: “Not all Carolina fans are obnoxious!” Then I added a smiley face.

My life will be influenced by the wise counsel of friends, and I need it. I have received and continue to receive instruction, direction and sometimes even correction, which I find painful but valuable. Even perfect strangers will make input into my life and help shape its course. But nothing can compare to the life-giving, soul-cleansing, future-shaping voice of the Lord! Jesus said those who follow Him could discern His voice above all others. “Speak Lord, for Your servant is listening!”

“Be still and know that I am God.” -Psalm 46:10 (NKJV)

By: Glenn Burris Jr., general supervisor

served as the president of The Foursquare Church from 2009-2020.