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On every Mission Discovery mission trip, we begin the morning together in God's word. One speaker is chosen to give the word of the day so that everyone else can meditate on the Scripture. Our hope is that volunteers engage in group discussions throughout the day and in their small groups.
Since the way ministry is being done has shifted, our goal is to serve by creating resources that will help others focus on God throughout the day, and influence family and small group discussion.
Join us every weekday as we explore God's word together. We will have speakers from all over the US and the world. Here is today's Kickstart Devotional.
Video: Stan Horrell // Clear the Clutter and hear His voice
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Clear the Clutter and hear His voice
Mission Discovery Mission Trips with Stan Horrell
Stan Horrell is currently in Austin, Texas where he is a Director at Austin Christian Fellowship. Previously, he worked with us at Mission Discovery for fifteen years. He also went on many mission trips with us before that.
Thank you Nathan. Thank you Michael. It's really good to be with you this morning. It's been a while since I've been with Mission Discovery family and friends, so I'm happy to be able to connect with you this morning. My years of Mission Discovery 15 on staff and a number of years before coming on staff at Mission Discovery were really formative years in my life.
Formative in the sense of a heart being developed for the nations. And also the opportunity to minister to literally hundreds of people, thousands of people around the world. It enhanced my heart for what God is doing and the voice that he wants to reach a needy world and so I am very, very thankful. And it's been about three and a half years now since departing Mission Discovery.
And yet the days that I had with Mission Discovery are just as rich and just as meaningful in my life today as they were when I was in the middle of them. Well, today I want to share with you about voices. And while our activity in the United States because of the corona virus has come to, in some cases, a screeching halt but certainly limited to a great degree.
There is one thing that I think has increased. And if you're like me, the increase has come in the number of voices we hear on a daily basis. Those voices come from all kinds of things. For me they come from a lot of texts, they come from a lot of e-mails. They come from a lot of zoom meetings and WhatsApp meetings, video or WhatsApp messages are just flowing day in and day out all day long.
We see it on the TV. If you're looking at the news to try to figure out what's going on with the corona virus, or binging your favorite TV program or series or movies. There are a lot of voices vying for our attention. In First Samuel Chapter Three we we have a story of a young boy, his name was Samuel.
And if you recall Samuel was taken to the temple at a very early age and was committed to lifetime service in the temple. The priest at that time was Eli and Eli was old and not in great health. And he had led the nation of Israel for some time. And in chapter three of First Samuel we have an interesting story.
You probably recall it to a certain degree it's Samuel hearing the voice of God during what we probably assume is the middle of the night. Lamps were burning in the temple and they were lying down. The Lord calls out to Samuel. "Samuel Samuel" and Samuel not knowing whose voice it was that was calling him assumed it must be Eli.
So he goes in and he asked Eli "What do you want?"
And Eli says "I did not call you." It happens a second time, it happens a third time and Eli finally realizes that it isn't he calling out to Samuel but rather it is the Lord. So he gives Samuel instruction to go back and next time that it happens just say "Lord here I am, I hear you" and we know what happens Samuel hears the voice of God again he recognizes the voice of God and then God calls him into service.
Even at a young age, even as a little boy, there are a couple of things in this passage that might elude us a little bit because they're not real significant parts because the significant part is that Samuel begins to listen to the voice of God. But there's one particular item that sometimes is missed. And I know I've missed it a number of times, even as I've taught and I preached on this passage.
There are a number of times I've missed it. And that is that Samuel was laying next to the Ark. The message calls it the chest of God. We know it from the scriptures as that Article in which God symbolized his presence. And it is understood that the presence of God was actually encased in the Ark of the Covenant. All we know is that the Ten Commandments were in there and nothing else visible to the human eye.
And yet it represented the presence of God. And look where the young boy Samuel was lying. He's lying near to the presence of God.
I suppose that, Samuel probably didn't have as many voices speaking to him in ancient times as we do today. With all of our technology and all the things that we do, the busyness and the numerous voices. A cacophony of noise that comes our way, even on a daily basis, even within a matter of a few minutes, we hear many voices. I doubt that Samuel had the same experience and yet he also mistook voices. And in this case the most important voice, the voice of God.
He mistook it for somebody else. Well I think it's important for us to understand that first of all, to recognize God's voice, we need to remain in his presence. His presence is everything. As Samuel laid down by the Ark of the Covenant, where are we laying down? What are we doing to come into the presence of God?
So that when all these voices come our way, we can hear his voice. Because his voice is the most important. And secondly, I think it's important to understand that it's said at that point he did not know who God was. You can look it up. Go read the first 13 14 verses of First Samuel and you'll see.
That Samuel had this experience of now becoming to a place where he could hear the voice of God. I think that's an important thing for us to understand as well. Out of all the voices and God uses many voices sometimes, to direct us but out of all of them, are we hearing the voice of God?
And are we in a position where we can take the other voices and the other noises and clear them out of our lives? So that we can hear the voice of God speaking. I think that is the question for you. That is the question for me today. Are we doing the things that bring us into the presence of God?
And while in the presence of God, are we hearing his voice? Do we know when he speaks to us? I believe today, in this time of unprecedented things that are going on in our world, and the world is in a sense a lockdown, my prayer is that I, that you, that the church, would spend this time because I think it's a great grace from God, spend this time, to hear the voice of God. To be in his presence. So that we too, might be able to clear out the clutter. We would be able to distinguish between what God is telling us and what the world, the broken world that we live in, would want us to drift towards.
My prayer for you today, is that you would hear His voice. That you would know His voice when it comes. And that you would stay close in his presence, so that you may hear. God bless you. Have an amazing day in God's presence. Listening to him.