Monday, October 22, 2012

Identity Embrace: Here I Am, Part I

How would you respond if God called out your name three times?
  
Courtesy of theremleproject.com

I, for one, would be in utter awe, spurred to action and worship by the tangible, audible voice of God.  Yet, so often God does call us by name...only we do not hear Him.

How could we miss it?

1 Samuel 3 has much to say on the matter.  I have been reading through this book lately, and today it seemed that God had a particular word to speak regarding hearing His voice and receiving His calling.  I got really excited and convicted.  Today's and Wednesday's posts will center around the story of Samuel's calling by God--and how it applies to our lives.   

Today is Part I.  I encourage you to follow the text with me here.

Some context is placed in the first two verses of chapter 3.  We understand that: 
  • Samuel is serving the Lord under Eli's leadership.
  • Hearing from the Lord was rare in that time.  

Just as it seems rare in ours, huh?  There is so much noise in today's world, so many distractions, and so many "ideas" about who God might be that true, Word revelations of Him do start to seem rare.  We have that in common with Samuel.

In reading the story of Samuel's calling by God, we can take away three points about the Biblical nature of God's calling:

ONE: God is patient and waits for us to respond to His pursuit.  We read in verse 7 that "Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The Word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him."  Isn't it interesting that Samuel was "serving before the Lord under Eli", yet he did not know God?  Think about this...we'll touch on this paradox in Part II.  God calls Samuel three distinct times...but he does not give up, grow impatient and say, "Well, the guy's ears are obviously closed, so I'm out of here!".  God waits until Samuel responds to His pursuit.  How is God waiting for you to respond to Him?

TWO: God uses wise people.  Now, to premise this statement, we must acknowledge that Eli had made some mistakes of his own.  The short version (read here) is that he refused to confront the sins of his greedy, blasphemous sons and, therefore, disrespected God.  God promised judgement upon Eli's family line.  That said, God still uses Eli here.  Eli opens Samuel's eyes to the reality of God's call, and he instructs him wisely to listen and receive.  Who offers you wise counsel regarding how the Lord may be speaking into your life?  

THREE: To truly hear, we must listen.  We all can tell when the person "listening" to us is actually just hearing our words...and letting them fly out the other ear!  Eli instructs Samuel to listen to God's call, and that's exactly what Samuel does.  He says, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening."  Is there something God is trying to speak into your life that you have been ignoring?  What would it look like to actually stop and listen to God?

Part II will center on how Samuel responded to God's call, and how we, too, can outpour the calling of God that we receive.  God has so much to say to us!  We need only to respond with an open heart and mind and listen to His words.  

What part of the story of Samuel stands out to you most?  How is God trying to pursue you right now?  

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