Over the time I’ve been writing and posting these daily devotionals, I’ve tried, as often as possible, to address my comments to those with no background in faith or the church. With that in mind this passage really jumped out at me. Outside the church circles I now move in, I’m not sure I know anyone who would be able to say with any degree of certainty if they’d ever had a message from God. I felt the same until quite recently. So how can you tell if God is trying to speak to you or tell you something? As always with this kind of question, there is not one, easy answer, but there are clues in the passage below. The first is that God keeps on calling Samuel’s name. Each time God calls, Samuel hears but he doesn’t recognise it as the voice of God. So God just keeps on calling. The second clue is in Samuel’s response to God’s call. He assumes his master is calling him and goes to Eli repeatedly because he doesn’t know what else to do. Eventually Eli, Samuel’s master, realises what is happening and tells Samuel what he should do when the Lord calls him.
1 Samuel 3:1-10 NLT
Meanwhile, the boy Samuel served the Lord by assisting Eli. Now in those days messages from the Lord were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon. One night Eli, who was almost blind by now, had gone to bed. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was sleeping in the Tabernacle near the Ark of God. Suddenly the Lord called out, “Samuel!” “Yes?” Samuel replied. “What is it?” He got up and ran to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?” “I didn’t call you,” Eli replied. “Go back to bed.” So he did. Then the Lord called out again, “Samuel!” Again Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?” “I didn’t call you, my son,” Eli said. “Go back to bed.” Samuel did not yet know the Lord because he had never had a message from the Lord before. So the Lord called a third time, and once more Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?” Then Eli realised it was the Lord who was calling the boy. So he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down again, and if someone calls again, say, ‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went back to bed. And the Lord came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel replied, “Speak, your servant is listening.”
Is God calling or trying to tell you something? Is there a thought or idea that won’t go away? Do you keep hearing and seeing something significant everywhere you go? Perhaps you are trying to achieve something but the whole world seems to be conspiring against it to thwart you. If something positive or negative seems to be happening a lot or coincidences seem to be mounting up, then perhaps there is a message from God to be heard and seen. If this resonates with you, why not ask someone who you think goes to church and reads the bible what they think about it – maybe, like Eli did, they will recognise Gods voice and help you understand his message.
1 Samuel 2:22-4:22, John 5:24-47, Psalms 106: 1-12, Proverbs 14:30-31