1 Samuel 3- “Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD in the presence of Eli. And the word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision.2 At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his own place. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was.4 Then the LORD called Samuel, and he said, “Here I am!” 5 and ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down.6 And the LORD called again, “Samuel!” and Samuel arose and went to Eli and said,“Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” 7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, and the word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.8 And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the LORD was calling the boy.9 Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down, and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak,LORD, for your servant hears.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.10 And the LORD came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.”… (LATER) 17 And Eli said, “What was it that he told you? Do not hide it from me… 18 So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. And he said, “It is the LORD. Let him do what seems good to him.” 19 And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground.”
Has there ever been a time in your life where you felt like something was compelling you to do, say, or try something? It seemed to originate from nothing, so you threw the idea around for a few, but then tossed it to the side, because it wasn’t making sense? You tried to have some heart-to-heart talks with people you’re close to, to see if they could give you any answers, but they acted oblivious to it all?
That’s how it was for Samuel. He hadn’t quite learned how to recognize God’s voice, and when He called for him, it left him running after someone else’s explanation. When none could be given, he went back to his normal state; but it happened again a couple more times. Thankfully, when he ran down the hall, he found someone with wisdom, able to tell him Who it was calling for him. But, do you ever get confused?
The first part of this passage reminds me so much of the world in which we live today. “And the word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision…” Commentators say that Eli and Samuel’s nation had become so impure and so corrupt that God withdrew the gift/spirit of prophecy. Sadly, it had become an uncommon and unpopular thing to listen to and heed the voice of God. Sounds a little bit familiar, huh?
Don’t let this discourage you, though! Just as He spoke to Samuel back then, He’s still speaking to people today. And it might even be you!
Sometimes we let our age convince us that we’re too young or too old to be called of God. Let this report prove otherwise. Samuel was just a child and Eli was very old, but they were still serving very big purposes. Got is not restricted by time in anyway, and therefore, age is never a factor in His decision to call. Maybe you feel “too new” to the faith, unqualified and unequipped, for God to speak to and use you. Again, this is in no way a hindrance to your ability to be called of the Lord. “God doesn’t call the equipped; He equips the called.” There’s more proof in this Scripture to confirm this truth: “Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, and the word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.” Samuel wasn’t well-versed in the ways of God just yet, but he had a willing heart. God saw that willingness and called out to the boy.
By reading about Samuel, we quickly learn that he was not only willing, but obedient. Obedience is another attribute that “attracts” the call of the Lord. You don’t have to have all the answers, amazing talent, or even incredible resources for God to call you. As a matter of fact, you don’t have to have any of that whatsoever. You just have to be willing to listen for Him and obey.
Eventually, we have to quit “running down the hall,” if you will. We can’t continually rely on someone else to tell us when and/or if God is the One speaking to us. Sure, sometimes, we might need that assistance from someone put in our life for such reasons, but we must develop our spiritual senses to recognize Him when He calls our name.
God uses the very uniqueness He implanted in us when He created us to bring about different, yet necessary, things to pass for the Kingdom of God, so don’t always expect something “simple” or “reasonable.” God has His own creative way of doing things. He will always find a way to achieve His will, but don’t you want to be a part of that? Aren’t you curious to learn what exciting path He will lead you down? Where will He position you? What is it He’s calling you to do?
There’s no reason to fear it or dread it. You’re never alone. “And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall…” He’ll walk with you each step of the way. He’ll give you strength, bravery, and boldness when it’s needed. Just open up your heart to hear Him speak. He’s calling you…
Prayer: Lord, speak to me today. Silence all other voices buzzing around me so that I may clearly hear You. Give me strength to always be willing to obey whatever it is You call me to do. Thank You for Your faithfulness, Your confidence in me, and the proof You give us in Your word that You will speak to and use anyone longing to hear You. Keep me close to You. In Your name, amen.