In those days messages from the Lord were rare and visions were quite uncommon.
Can you relate?
Have you ever been found anxiously awaiting for direction from the Lord?
The silence is sometimes all too deafening!
Have you ever said,“ Say something Lord! Anything! The quiet is killing me!”
And then out of no where, suddenly, the Lord called out! Such was the case for young prophet to be, Samuel.
He was so surprised when the Lord spoke that the Lord had to repeat himself not once but four times!
Let’s agree on one thing. The Lord is never late. He is always on time. But that doesn’t mean we still aren’t a bunch of nervous Nellies!
What can we learn from Samuel?
1. There is a big difference in hearing and listening.
Samuel heard the Lord but he wasn’t listening. His mentor, Eli, shared an important principle with Samuel. It is the second lesson.
2. Be still! Lie down. Quit running around. Slow down and put yourself in the position to listen. Psalm 46:10 is great advice. Be still and know!
It is hard to know, when you are always on the go. You have to be still in order to be filled!
3. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. The passage indicates that a word from the Lord was rare.
Was God not speaking or were the people not listening?
Either way, we have to have eyes to see and ears to hear in order for the Lord’s message to come through.
The Lord is known to speak in at least three ways.
1. WORD. Most of what we need to know is already found in the scriptures. The Lord often speaks to us through his word. We need to seek him there. It is there that he can be found.
2. WORSHIP. In the stillness of prayer and praise the Lord often speaks to our hearts by the Spirit. All to often we are so rushed that the Lord can’t get a word in edgewise. Slow down. Whisper a prayer and he is there!
3. WORLD. The scripture assures us that wisdom cries out in the streets. Sometimes we put God in a box and limit his communication by applying a supposed formula for success. If God wants to speak to you, be ready. He may use a billboard, a song, the mountains or a blue jay. Whatever it is, be prepared to discern when the Lord is doing his best to get your attention.
The real bonus is when all of the “W’s” speak in unison. One thing we do know for certain. The Lord will never ask us to do anything that goes against his Word.
Let us take a cue from Samuel when he said, “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.”
It is in that setting and attitude of heart where the Lord is known to speak.
Be still. I think I hear something. Are you listening?
(Inspired by 1 Samuel 3)