Speak, for Your Servant Is Listening
1 Samuel 3:4-10
Then the Lord called Samuel. Samuel answered, “Here I am.” And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down. Again the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” “My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
How can you recognize God's voice?
A couple of thoughts:
- We don’t listen for or expect the calling of the Lord; we expect the normal, not the super-normal. What did Samuel do each of the first three times God called to him? He went to Eli. Samuel expected a voice to be calling him to be his mentor, his trainer, his boss, -- not his God.
- We need to make ourselves available to God’s calling. Where was Samuel when God called him? He was in the Lord’s temple, where he had been serving God for years.
- We need to be able to recognize the voice of the Lord. Why did Samuel keep going and waking up Eli when the Lord called? Did God sound so much like Samuel's old master that he thought it was him? I don’t think so. I think that Samuel didn’t know the voice of the Lord, so he went to the voice he knew.
- We sometimes need the wisdom of a more spiritually mature person to recognize God’s calling for us. Since Samuel didn’t know God’s voice, it took Eli to tell his student who it was who was calling him.
- The Lord keeps calling until He gets an answer. This calling may not be like Samuel’s where it’s repeated several times in one night, but it may be a prompting that you feel in your heart over several years.