He Prefers to Speak Softly


“Then the Lord came and stood nearby, calling as he had previously done, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ Samuel replied, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening!’” (1 Sam. 3:10, NET).

Imagine this story out of 1 Samuel taking place in your own home. It did, in mine. The events were nearly identical. Just insert my daughter Ester’s name in place of Samuel’s, and you pretty much have the interaction that happened between the two of us:

Ester (coming into my study): “Yes, Mom?”

Me: “I didn’t call you, honey.”

Ester: “Oh. But I heard you!”

Me: “I promise. I didn’t.”

Repeat the above several times. Then:

Ester (coming in again): “Yes, Mom?”

Me (suddenly understanding): “Sweetie, you know what, I think it’s Jesus calling you. Next time say, ‘Yes Jesus? I’m listening.’”

So she did. And they had a great conversation. She was only ten years old!

She’s seventeen now. Ever since that time, she has often heard God speaking to her in an audible voice.

Must be nice.

I have, over the years, been a bit envious at times of people that get to hear Him like that. I, personally, have not once heard Him speak audibly. He never even speaks loudly inside my spirit. It’s always soft and subtle.

However, I went through a season where He trained me to think differently about this subject. His dialogue with me on it went something like this:

Him: “Daughter, when do you raise your voice with your children?”

Me: “When they’re not listening. To get their attention.”

Him: “Do you prefer to speak to them that way?”

Me: “No.”

Him: “Neither do I. And you know what? I don’t need to raise My voice with you. You are already listening. You are hungry for Me. When I speak to you in the softest of tones, I deeply cherish the way you lean in to listen. It utterly delights My soul that you are so tuned into Me. Your longing to hear Me steals My heart away. Never give place to thoughts of wishing it were different. You have chosen the best way.”

Around that same time, He gave me this verse: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye” (Ps. 32:8, NKJV).

With this word, He is promising to guide us with His eye. What does that mean? Well, do you have someone in your life that you are so close to, that with just a look from their eye, you know what they are communicating? That’s what He means. He is promising a relationship that close with us… if we want it enough to pursue it passionately.

How He longs for it to be so! Every day of our lives, Daddy God will keep calling out our name. Over and over and over again. That moment I was telling you about with Ester, I wasn’t quick to recognize what was happening. I think Ester heard Him calling her close to ten times before she responded. Isn’t He wonderful, that He keeps on calling? Sadly, this verse aptly describes what He experiences sometimes:

“All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people…” (Isa. 65:2, NIV).

Oh, that we wouldn’t keep Him waiting when He calls our name! That we would run right into His outstretched arms!

That same beautiful verse He gave me about guiding me with His eye is likewise followed by this one: “Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, else they will not come near you.” (Ps. 32:9, NKJV).

What a contrast! Being led intimately by eye contact with Him… or having as little relational understanding and sensitivity as a donkey. I know which one of those two extremes I long for.

Yes, Daddy will keep on calling us. So let’s be quick to respond. Let’s develop so much intimacy with Him, that He can guide us with one glance of His beautiful eyes. Let’s listen in so closely, that He can just whisper, and we will hear it and obey.

One more thought. If Holy Spirit does not speak to you in dramatic ways, be comforted. It very well might be because you’re already hungrily listening. If this is the case, rest assured, you have absolutely stolen His heart.


What is your favorite way to hear from God?

21 thoughts on “He Prefers to Speak Softly

  1. Reminds me of a commercial I saw many years ago on tv, no less. I don’t remember the product, but it first showed a couple girls yelling to get attention. Then it cut to a pretty girl, very quiet, whispering. And the tag line was something like, “To get attention, whisper.” Profound coming from advertisers; don’t see this much any more, do we?

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  2. I’ve always wished I could have the “Road to Damascus” experience or the “burning bush” experience, but alas, I think God speaks to me about the same way as to you. I think God also speaks to me through nature. A magnificent sunset is like God saying, “Look! I’m here!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smiling with quiet joy. Yes! A sunset like that, with the heavens proclaiming HIs glory, almost feels like He’s speaking louder than a whisper! But how amazing it will be one day when we do hear HIs actual audible voice, even if it’s in Heaven!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. His Ways are surely not our ways and often not understood by some who only work by Human Understanding. The Butterfly Journey in my life was the gentle Voice of the Lord an His Answer to a prayer. How can I do something as well as pray for folks?

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  4. This is such a beautiful perspective shift on how He speaks to me- always soft and gentle, when sometimes I wish it would be loud and in my face! Lol. But to think of it as His preferred way of speaking just like I prefer with my daughter is so comforting.

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  5. My favourite way to hear from God is through music and writing stories. Something from within my soul, that isn’t me but something deeper than that, connects the dots that if I tried to piece together with my own human understanding would take forever – or not happen at all! When I sing loudly and confidently (which I did for the first time in a long while today, in the shower no less!) I feel God’s presence and His quiet voice telling encouraging me.

    More music, and more writing and I will draw nearer and nearer to Jesus.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I relate to that a lot — when I sing out loud, there really is something special released and connects me to the Lord in a powerful way. And singing in the shower is definitely one of the best times! Maybe it’s because we are “letting down” and not straining; at a more restful place in our soul, which I believe aids so much in hearing Him.

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