In this passage the boy, Samuel, is living in the house of The Lord being raised by Eli, the priest. One night when Samuel was sleeping, he hears his name being called. He goes to Eli and says, "Here I am." But Eli had not called him and told him to go back to bed. This happens two more times. (Now if I were Samuel, I would have been freaking out just a little by that point.)
Finally on after the third time, Eli realizes that God is calling Samuel and instructs him to say, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening."
So why didn't Samuel know who was calling him? The Scripture says that Samuel did not yet know God. Therefore, he had no experience in recognizing God's voice.
Eli gave Samuel a great gift that night. He did not say to Samuel, "It must be God. I'll talk to Him and let you know what He has to say." Instead, Eli told Samuel to respond and listen.
That night Samuel learned to listen for himself. He discovered what God's voice sounds like and that God would speak to him directly. And through that, Samuel experienced God.
Too often we try to be the voice of God for others forgetting that the same Holy Spirt who guides us can guide and counsel all people. In fact, He is even drawing to Himself those who don't yet know Him.
Father, thank You for Your own voice in my life. Use me to point others to You - to hear Your voice - and be forever changed. So be it.
1. Who does God need you to direct toward Him?
2. How often do you try to be the voice of God for others? What harm can that cause?
3. How can you better listen for the voice of God?