Read 1 Samuel 3:1-10 NIV
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.” – 1 Samuel 3:6 NIV
The Holy Spirit uses creative means to get his point across sometimes. Sometimes, I will read a good word in a weekly newsletter I receive and it will rest in my mind lightly, something inspiring or thought provoking, sure, but nothing with enough oomph to take root. But then, later in the day, the same subject will come up in casual conversation, with someone who does not receive that newsletter. Later in the week, the subject will come up again, this time in a book I’m reading or a show I’m watching.
Okay, Lord, you’ve got my attention.
In the days of Samuel, the Bible says that the word of the Lord was rare. In fact, the first three times that Samuel hears the Lord’s voice, he thinks it’s Eli, his guardian and mentor. Sometimes I think that’s all it is too, when a friend brings a word of truth, or I stumble across these little nuggets of wisdom out there in the world. I might count that message as just one of those neat coincidences and fail to recognize what’s being handed to me.
Because we are the body of Christ, vessels of the Holy Spirit, we can be the conduits God uses to encourage, discipline, and empower others. We have the power to bring healing, freedom, and life to others, to make the word of the Lord alive and vibrant, not rare and easily mistaken.
The word of the Lord is not quiet or silent. In fact, when we enter each new day, we should enter it expectantly. What do you have to say to me today, Lord? What beauty do you have to reveal to me? What truth will you show me? What opportunity for kindness? What example of your grace?
If I am in tune with who God is, then the whisper of the Spirit will be easier for me to discern the next time I hear its call.
When God calls my name, I don’t want to mistake his voice for someone else.
Points of Reflection
- Do you feel like you are a good listener or a bad listener?
- Who are the people in your life or the sources of wisdom that seem to be carriers of God’s word for you?
For the Kids
- Do you think it’s weird that Samuel didn’t realize it was God calling him three times in a row?
- How do you think God talks to people today?
One way to listen for the Lord is by meditating. Select a passage of Scripture that is short enough to read three or four times over. Read the passage to yourself, silently, and then read it out loud. You might even transcribe it onto a sheet of paper. Go through the verses several times and pay attention to what God reveals to you as you read it. Each time you read the passage, notice which words or phrases stand out. What is it about those words and phrases that connect with your Spirit? This practice of slowing down and studying the Word is one way we can hear from the Lord.
This process of meditation and Scripture reading is called “Lectio Divina.” It is an ancient practice that church fathers and mothers have been using for centuries to invite the Spirit into the reading of the Bible. There are many resources on the web about this spiritual practice you can find relatively easily. If you’d prefer a book, one you might consider is Discovering Lectio Divina: Bringing Scripture Into Ordinary Life by James C. Wilhoit and Evan B. Howard.