Listening with Purpose
1 Samuel 3:1-10
Let’s think about approaching the Bible purposefully, expectantly, and prayerfully.
Christians study the Scriptures not just individually but also corporately to learn more about God. Underlying this simple concept is a big challenge. To gain biblical knowledge with purpose means deciding in our heart to obey what we hear (Ps. 119:33). And to do so expectantly means believing that the Lord is going to speak to us (25:4). Sermons, Bible study lessons, and quiet times on our own should be a part of our life. God uses these to build us up, strengthen us, or offer us comfort—so listening to Him is worthwhile. And obedience is the only proper response to this kind of personal attention.
Approaching the reading of Scripture prayerfully prepares our hearts to listen and ushers in an attitude of purpose and expectancy. Today’s passage tells the story of young Samuel’s first encounter with God. The priest Eli gives the boy valuable advice—that when the Lord calls, he should say, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening” (v. 9). Pray those simple words with conviction before you open your Bible, and you will hear God more clearly.
If you want to experience God working in your life, come to Scripture with a prayerful, expectant, purpose-filled attitude. Mourners are comforted. The weary gain strength. Those convicted of their sin repent and know peace. Recognize what a gift God’s Word is.