Have you ever followed a recipe and skipped down to step three or four, only to realize that step two was important? Our walk with the Lord is similar. We can try to rush ahead to complete step two before we’ve completed step one of His will. We must always remember that partial obedience is disobedience, which is why I’ve been learning to trust God enough to complete “step one” of the process before I should reach “step two.”
In 1 Samuel chapter 3, we learn about a biblical example named Samuel. Samuel was a young boy who attended church regularly. He loved and served God, but didn’t actually know Him on an intimate level. Like Samuel, there are many people who attend church regularly and even serve on some kind of committee but may not know God as their personal Lord and Saviour. Samuel was willing to help out and serve at his church, but was he doing what the Lord was asking him to do?
In 1 Samuel 3:4, we see that the Lord calls Samuel out of his sleep and Samuel answers, “Here I am!” Meanwhile, Samuel thought it was Eli who was calling him out of his sleep. Have you ever confused someone calling out to you with someone else’s voice? We may have thought that someone has called for us, only to realize that they never even said a word. That is what was happening with Samuel. He was confusing the voice of God with Eli because he didn’t know God on a personal level.
In verse 8, the Lord calls Samuel for the third time, and yet Samuel continues to go to Eli for instruction. Eli then says to Samuel, “Go lie down, and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears.” In verse 10, the Lord came and stood and called “Samuel! Samuel!” Samuel replies to God by saying, “Speak Lord, for Your servant hears.”
I love seeing how Samuel responds to God in this scripture passage. Although he was pleasantly confused at first to hear the Lord’s voice, he became better at listening and learning Who was actually speaking. It wasn’t Eli, instead, it was God who was trying to converse with Samuel.
I don’t know about you, but I often wonder why the Creator of the universe would want to communicate with us. This question brings me back to the verse in John 3:16, “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
Our wonderful Creator wants to speak to us because He loves us–and in any loving relationship requires good communication. His desire for Samuel was to teach him how to hear and obey His voice to lead Him into victorious living. The same goes for you and for me.
I pray that you and I would have ears to hear God’s voice, and to respond to His calling by saying “Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears.”