3 The lamp of God had not yet
gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of
the Lord, where the ark of God was.4 Then
the Lord called Samuel.
"Speak for your servant is listening" seems to be the
go-to verse when reading this passage. We all seem to skip over the
circumstances that led Samuel to that moment and focus on the call
itself. And while that is a great Kodak moment of the Bible, that little
snippet doesn't show us the whole story. As Christians, we all seem
to long for this Kodak moment. We wait for it eagerly, hoping God
will come down and speak to us directly, speak through someone, or
just SHOW us that whatever it is we're doing is "his
will". But the truth is, it's very rare that anybody has that
kind of amazing epiphany. God's call is a growing and evolving
call. It cannot be reduced to one, singular definitive moment in
time. It's a challenge, and Samuel accepted it from the beginning
of his life, when Hannah brought him to the temple.
Samuel's life was in complete surrender to
God. He spent every day in the temple with Eli. He was constantly
growing in the Lord. When God finally called Samuel "the lamp
of God had not yet gone out" and he was "lying down where
the ark was.". God's call can only be received by those who
have a relationship that doesn't "go out" and is
encapsulated by him in every moment.
"Opening our ears to his call"
requires us to have a genuine relationship with God. When we start
to seek Him with the discipline Samuel did, our lives will begin to
reflect His Kingdom. In the book “Hearing God” by Dallas
Willard it says, "We have no indication that even Jesus was
constantly awash with revelations as to what he should do. His
union with the Father was so great that he was at all times
obedient. This obedience was something that rested in his mature
understanding of his life before God, not on always being told “Now
do this” with regard to every detail of his life or work.
Just like Jesus, Samuel was not waiting
for a call to do God's work, he simply obeyed . When we dedicate
our lives, it should be with the knowledge that this requires our
obedience and ongoing faithfulness. Our singular response to God is
not equivalent to his enduring response and plans for us. God's
will cannot be revealed if we are not seeking after him. So we need
to take some time to seek Him today and reflect on God’s
evolving and enduring call in our life.
Father God, thank you
for sharing your perfect communion with us out of your love, even
though we are so undeserving of it. Help us to have the discipline
and a true desire to maintain a real relationship with you. Let
your Holy Spirit dwell in us with the hope that we may one day have
a mature understanding of your will, and that others may be able to see
your Kingdom revealed in us. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
“Those in whom the Spirit comes
to live are God's new Temple. They are, individually and corporately,
places where heaven and earth meet.” ―N.T. Wright
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