February 1, 2021

Familiar With God

Written by Boyd Bailey

“The voice of the Lord is best translated through a filter of love. Otherwise, worldly voices drown out the divine and make us tone-deaf to trust in God’s unfailing love.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 1, 2021

Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.  1 Samuel 3:7

As a young man, my friend David and I spent many lazy summer days on his ski boat puttering about on the Tennessee River about ten miles from my home in north Alabama. One of our great adventures was David teaching me to water ski. I was unfamiliar with gliding on the water with two skies, much less slaloming on one. In the water, corkscrewed with knees to my chest ready to rise with the roar of the Evinrude engine, I quickly toppled over. David was patient, and eventually, after multiple tries—I launched out of the water and glided across the surface with a beaming smile. Water skiing became familiar fun after hours of experience with mixed results. 

I am learning that growth in my faith and my understanding of God requires a similar process of repeatedly attempting to know and hear His voice of love in my heart and soul. When Samuel was a young man he had a passion for God—but still lacked understanding because the Lord had not revealed His word to him. The naive, but genuine God-fearer was unable to discern between the voice of the priest Eli and the voice of the Lord. Thankfully, Eli coached his protege to be still before God and acknowledge His loving presence. In this sacred moment, Samuel became familiar with the heart of the Lord—here the Spirit of God revealed the word of God. 

“Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?” They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon” (John 1:38-39).

The voice of the Lord is best translated through a filter of love. Otherwise, worldly voices drown out the divine and make us tone-deaf to trust in the unfailing love of our heavenly Father. Human voices lose their influence when the intimate invitation of Jesus pierces our hearts with peace and joy. Just as Christ invited His disciples to see where He stayed—and to stay with Him, we can abide in His love. Stay with Him in the heat of relational conflict—and we hear Him say forgive. Stay with Him during raw physical pain—and we hear Him say you are not alone, I will strengthen you—stay with Me. The Father’s familiar love is available to all discerning hearts. 

It’s when I give up and go back to my old way of grinding out my faith in graceless living that I miss the fresh words of the Lord revealed in His Word. When I am frustrated with the world I must remind myself to turn down the angry, apathetic voices debating in my head, and turn up the loving lyrics of the Lord, “I am your refuge, do not trust in rulers or humans for your security, peace and joy. Stay with Me, and grow familiar with my voice of love to give you all you need”. The greater I grow to know my Lord and Savior’s love—the greater my love capacity. 

I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again” (John 10:16-17).


Heavenly Father, help me grow more and more familiar with your voice of love, in Jesus’ name, amen.


In what area of my life is the Lord calling me to listen and obey His word?

Related Reading

Psalm 119:149; Proverbs 8:4; Isaiah 28:23; Matthew 3:17

Start the new year with Boyd’s newest 365 day devotional book: Seeking God’s Heart

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4 minute video: We The Kingdom: 


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