Friday, May 30, 2008

Can you hear me now?


1Now the young man Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision…6And the Lord called again, ‘Samuel!’ and Samuel rose 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.’7Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.8…Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the young man.”

1 Samuel 3:1-9


Samuel was the new guy. Eli was the priest. He was the one that had heard voices and seen visions in the past. Yet now here God was speaking directly to Samuel. This was effectually saying that God was now going to work through Samuel instead of through Eli. Yet Eli, in his humble and submissive heart was willing to teach Samuel how to respond to God.

“Speak, Lord, for you servant hears.”

Eli could have been defensive. He could have chosen to respond with a bad attitude and feeling of displacement. But we see here that he had a healthy fear and reverence for the Lord. He recognizes that God was calling Samuel. And he does not want to stand in the way. In fact he want to help Samuel hear and follow that calling.

Samuel had not yet heard the Lord directly and so he could not yet discern between Eli’s voice and the voice that he heard that night. Verse 1 says, “the word of the Lord was rare in those days;” and verse 7 says that “Samuel did not yet know the Lord.” And so because He was unacquainted with the Lord’s ways he did not recognize His call.

Upon waking up it says that he is scared to tell Eli the word of the Lord. This was the first testing of his role as prophet, to impart the Lord’s word to the people. There would be much harsher words to come. And so Eli was quick to teach Samuel that he should never hold anything back of what the Lord had commanded him to proclaim no matter how harsh for as he said “it is the Lord…”


They say that hindsight is 20/20. Thinking back to when God first called me I remember that It wasn’t a crisp, clear voice. I didn’t have a vision or a dream in the middle of the night. Yet it was clear calling on my life. But that calling did not come to fruition until 9 months ago. For 3 long years I tried to rationalize the call. I tried to convince myself that what I was hearing was from a different source. Maybe it was just my own thoughts or other people’s expectations.

But when I really started to grow and draw closer to God through His word I began to know Him. I mean really know Him. Not know everything about Him. But just know Him in relation to me. God as my sovereign, all knowing, Lord, Savior, Father, Friend, Teacher, Creator, Provider. And as I drew closer to Him, His voice became more and more clear.

The thing that gets me is that God never gave up on calling me. No matter how many times I tried to rationalize the calling as wishful thinking or just a ‘what if’ moment He stilled pressed on in my heart. And then when I responded to that call with a submissive heart He was faithful to provide what I needed to fulfill that call. People to come alongside me and encourage me and point me back to the Lord.

As leaders we need to be so close to the Lord; experiencing Him everyday. So that when we see others being called we can easily recognize it as God and point and encourage them towards that direction. We need to train our eyes and ears to see evidences of God’s call in other people’s lives. The best way to do that is to be in a constant conversation with Him and get to know his voice; his ways. And make sure that we clearly know when He calls us.


Help me to have a mind and heart that is focused on you. Help me to know you more so that when you call me and others I can clearly know its you. Help me never to second guess but just to follow at your first call. I love you Lord. Thanks.

In Christ’s name Amen.