1 Samuel 3:1-10
V. 7) "Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him,"(NIV).
This morning has been pretty interesting as I woke up seeking to hear from God where He would have me to go with my next devotional. Little did I know that He would send me to a scripture by pure chance that would deal with hearing the voice of God, (seriously, I went to the Bible app in my phone, closed my eyes and started scrolling up and down on the touch screen to land at this exact chapter). The crazy thing, however, is that as soon as I started reading, I knew that God wanted me to share a word from this story but it didn't quite jump off the pages for me as it often times does. So what did I have to do? Listen. And that's where this entry will begin.
There are a couple things that God shares with us through the story of Samuel here in chapter 3 that I feel are important for us to understand in order to ensure that we follow the will of God and they are as follows:
1. Hear no God, Know no God. This goes out to all the "Samuels" out there and if you aren't quite sure who you are, just listen to this description. Samuel was practically born and raised in the house of God. His mother gave him back to God as soon as she weened him, he had a mentor in Eli who was a man of God and he served the house of the Lord consistently for years. Does that sound like you at all? Raised in the church, dedicated to God as a child, grew up singing in the choir or serving as an usher? Not quite finished though, because although he was raised in the church and surrounded by all of the right people in order to be a great man of God, Samuel still could not recognize God's voice. Maybe this still sounds like you.
Verse 7 tells us very clearly that "Samuel did not yet know the Lord" and as a result, did not understand when the Lord was speaking to Him. Often times, we say we're waiting on a word from the Lord but don't hear it because we don't know what we're listening for. In the Gospel of John, Jesus addresses this issue with a parable about the "Good Sheppard." He tells us that the Good Sheppard "walks ahead of [the sheep], and they follow because him because they know his voice" (John 10:4, NLT). Jesus then goes on to explain that He is the Good Sheppard that we are to be following and we should know that we're following Him because we should recognize His voice. Do you have a hard time hearing God speak to you? Are you like Samuel and when you hear Him speak you are not sure who is talking or where it's coming from? If so, you may not know God as you think you do but thank God, there's hope because...
2. The Spirit Reveals the Father. The second half of verse 7 tells us, "The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to [Samuel]." That implies that it was not completely Samuel's fault that he did not know the voice of God. In order for something to be revealed, that means it had to have first been hidden or kept secret as God's word often times was during that time. Verse 1 tells us that when it says "In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions," (NIV). However, we live in a new day where the Spirit of God can reside in each and every one of us and that same Spirit is responsible for revealing the will of God to us. 1 Corinthians 2 speaks on this subject and is something you should read for further understanding but for the sake of carpal tunnel, (which I guess would make more sense if I were actually writing instead of typing) I can only summarize by saying that it's once we receive the Holy Spirit that the thoughts of God can be revealed to us. Without His Spirit, we are destined to not understand as only with a spiritual mind can we understand spiritual teachings.
So if you are in a place where you feel that you aren't quite sure what God wants of you or what He is saying to you as I was when I started this blog an hour ago, stop and take time to ask God to reveal his word to you through the Spirit. If you don't have the Spirit within you, then this is a good opportunity to refer to Romans 10:9-10 and accept Christ into your life by first confessing with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believing in your heart that God raised Him from the dead. Either way, know this: God is always talking to you and is ready to reveal His will to you. He's just waiting for you to do as Samuel did and reply "Speak, for your servant is listening," (v. 10).
Have a blessed day.