1Samuel 3:2-10 (AMP)
Yet it happened at that time, as Eli was lying down in his own place (now his eyesight had begun to grow dim and he could not see well), and the [oil] lamp of God had not yet gone out. Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God. The Lord called Samuel, and he answered, “Here I am.” He ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call you; lie down again.” So, he went and lay down. Then the Lord called yet again, “Samuel!” So, Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But Eli answered, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.”
Now Samuel did not yet know [or personally experience] the Lord, and the word of the Lord was not yet revealed [directly] to him. The Lord called Samuel a third time. And he stood and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you did call me.” Then Eli understood that it was the Lord [who was] calling the boy. So, Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down, and it shall be that if He calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.’” Samuel went and lay down in his place.
Then the Lord came and stood and called as at the previous times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant is listening.”
1. Keep your lamp on.
Even in the dark, even when you’ve been at it for so long, you lose sight of what’s what, keep your lamp on. The Bible talks about God’s Word being a lamp to our feet. I’ve had moments when I’ve been the proverbial aging man when it comes to my vision – feeling like I have no idea what’s coming. I’m sure you’ve probably been there too. Shifting seasons, new beginnings, gazing over at the horizon with no idea what’s coming up ahead. What an encouragement to know that when we have don’t have the answers, He does. He knows up from down and end from beginning. This is who holds you in the palm of Your hands, so lean into the wisdom He provides. When you can do nothing else, dig into the Word. See things like He does. Keep your lamp on.
2. Rest in God’s Presence
Thankfully, Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, means we no longer have to journey to temples, and sanctuaries. Jesus’ name, Emmanuel is a constant reminder that God is with us. John 14 is probably one of my favorite passages in the Bible. It begins with the line, “Do not let your heart be troubled. Confidently believe in God. Believe also in Me.” In this passage, Jesus promises that He would send the Holy Spirit to be with us forever, our helper. How do we recognize Him when He shows up? Rest. Resting in confident assurance that He will show up, just like He said He would.
3. Honor Your Leaders
Samuel got up, again and again, on the belief that Eli was calling him. What would have happened if in indignation, or rebellion, he chose to ignore the call? He probably would never have gotten the revelation that it was actually God calling him, and the whole course of his life would be drastically different from what we know of him now. The Bible is clear on honoring your leaders and praying to the Lord on their behalf, no matter what season of life you’re in.
4. God’s Love Is Unrelenting
If you remember nothing else from this blog, I pray you remember this. God loves you fiercely. His love is unrelenting, and His story is one of a passionate pursuit after the ones He loves. In case you didn’t catch it, that’s YOU. This might be the most challenging moment of your life, you may have gone through an insurmountable loss, received another rejection letter from the 10,000th job you applied to, gotten a heavy diagnosis, lost all hope…you might also be in the most joyous, blessing-filled, ridiculously happiest season of your life. In the hills, the valleys, and everything in between, God’s love is still running after you. His goodness and His mercy will follow you all the days of your life. He is the God who left the 99 to come and find you, and He is surely not going to let you go.
He loves you whether you heard His call the first time, or the fourth, and the same blessing He had for you then, He will still give you now. All hope is NOT lost. Our Hope Is Found! Our hope is built on knowing that Jesus always makes things right! After Samuel’s “Yes”, this boy, who moments earlier had never heard God’s voice, never recognized Him before, from this point on is known as one of the greatest prophets (people who heard God’s voice for their generation), in Biblical History.
That’s my prayer for you as you read this, that the unrelenting love of God would change the course of your life today.