The Lord Calls Samuel
3 The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare there were not many visions.
2 One night Eli, whose eyest were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 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.
Samuel answered, “Here I am.” 5 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.
6 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.”
7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.
8 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. 9 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.
10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
11 And the Lord said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle. 12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everythinge I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. 13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God, and he failed to restrain them. 14 Therefore I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’ ” — 1 Samuel 3: 1-14
over the last couple of week’s I have witnessed the power of God in a way like I have never imagined before. i always knew that God is always at work – day and night, but on a practical level, i had never really experienced the practicality of God’s unending works until January 5th, 2015. this was also the same day, that i started my 21 day fast, and it was around 8pm when I received a call that would later result into a couple of other conversations outside of what we term as normal business hours. the lady on the other end, started out by first apologizing for the late time in which they were attempting to reach me. she proceeded to propose to me an opportunity that they felt would be a good fit for me. still in total disbelief at the timing of God, i willingly agreed to hear her out, and by the end of our call, i had agreed to meet with them for further conversations around this proposal.
to cut a long story short, the next weeks after receiving that initial call at 8pm, were made up of further phone conversations, and face to face meetings. i remember a night when we were all holding conversations around 9:30pm very close to 10pm, via email. still, i was very much in awe at the Lord’s timing. I marveled at His ways, which are truly not our ways, but are so so much better than our own ways (Isaiah 58:8). through it all, God continued to open my eyes to the busy nature of His own life. how wondrous His works truly are. and how timeless His ways are. and eventually, i started soaking in His message to me. over and over proving to me that He never ever does close an eye or two to sleep, He is always hard at work.
i remember at one point, the Lord took me back to that first phone call that i received late in the night. i then wondered, how things would have turned out, if i had decided not to answer that call because it was outside of what we term as normal business hours. i can guarantee, that the ending to this beautiful blessing, would not have been the same. it would be in non existence. in the same way, as weeks have gone by, the Lord has continued to minister to me, about my own willingness to answer His calls. to answer His calls even when they come in late in the night, or early in the morning. to answer His calls even when it means that it would then be viewed as a disruption to my daily routines.
the picture of God i have when i think of Him answering our prayers, which if we think about it comes to Him every second of the day and night. is a picture of a Father who is awake, willing and able to receive any call at any hour. is a Father who immediately gets to work at 2am, when He receives a plea for healing, favor, provision etc. a Father who never views us as interruptions, but rather makes time at any hour to listen to our prayers, and in turn begins a response to those millions and millions of prayers. and so it is that the Lord has also placed a challenge in my heart, to dare enough to respond as He does. to be vigilant and always willing to answer His calls. to go where He leads, and act as He asks me to act.
think about those men and women who work in the 911 call center. day and night, they are at work receiving calls for help, and then responding immediately to those calls. what if we lived our own lives in this manner? always practicing the presence of God. hearing from Him, and then responding to His daily calls on our lives. instead of being consumed with our own life, we would be consumed with doing the work of God. what if? i bet you, that would put a big big smile on God’s face, because that would then mean that we would be living a selfless loving life, always conscious never to miss God’s calls.
and so the story ends that at around 11:30am on January 24th, 2015, which if i may add was a Saturday, the Lord once again prompted a final seal on this blessing – a call that would finalize these many discussions we had held during the 21 day fast. my fast came to an end on Sunday January 25th, 2015, the day after i received this last call on Saturday around 11:30am. by this date and time, i was much willing to answer calls on weekdays, or weekends. during normal business hours, and after business hours. and so it was that i answered this call, and the Lord then made His plans known to me, and as a result of me answering this call, a new chapter of my life began.
when i think of this new chapter of my life, and the way it all started, am reminded of the boy Samuel, who at such a young age received calls from God, and for the first three times He heard God’s voice, He awoke and went straight to Eli the priest, as he thought it was him who was calling him. not once did Samuel ignore these calls from God, each time he stood up and went to Eli, and eventually Eli realized that God was speaking to Samuel, and he told Samuel that the next time he hears this voice, he should respond to God, for it was Him who was calling him. what if Samuel had decided that it was too late in the night, to answer any calls. that his sleep was way too important than these calls, and then decide to ignore these calls all together. what if? it turns out that God did great works through Samuel, and it all started with His obedience to God’s call.
will you join me in this dare to live a life that is always willing to answer God’s call?
a life that God is not afraid to work through even in the middle of the night, or early mornings, because He knows of our obedience to His voice. to go where He asks, and do as He asks of us.
what a beautiful way to live and serve God.
until next week, may the Lord lead us all to true surrender to His will over our lives, so that we may always be willing to answer His calls.