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When God Speaks

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Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears” (1 Samuel 3:10).

I remember hearing a song when I was a child, where God calls out to Samuel and Samuel responds, “Here I am.” At the time, I didn’t know that Samuel’s response in the song was the same as that actually recorded in the Bible (vv. 4-8). I imagined it had been changed somehow to make it child friendly and an easy story to remember. Reading through 1 Samuel 3 as an adult, I am in awe of the whole story of Samuel’s life. And I see that his response was real. He said those words when he heard a voice call out to him in the night.

Born because his mother begged for a child, Samuel was brought to stay with Eli, the priest, when he was young. His mother had promised God she would do this, and she followed through on her promise. She released him from her home and care and handed him over to the One who had given him to her in the first place. Samuel was already living a life vastly different from most children when God called out to him personally and shared a message with him.

I think of how I respond when I hear God’s voice or feel His nudging. Do I automatically tell Him to speak and then take the time to listen as Samuel did, even at a young age? Or do I continue with my life, not really paying attention to what He is sharing and not giving His words the chance to sink in and affect what I believe and the way I am living?

Then Samuel told him everything, and hid nothing from him. And [Eli] said, “It is the Lord. Let Him do what seems good to Him” (v. 18).

Eli’s response after Samuel shared God’s message with him is something to take note of, just as Samuel’s response to God’s voice is important. Eli knew that anything God said, He would do. He had witnessed God working before and understood that God keeps His promises. Eli was open to God doing what He was planning to do. He trusted that what he did would end up working out for the best for him, for Samuel, and for their land. He wasn’t going to fight God or try to get Him to act differently.

When God speaks in our lives, even if we hear Him clearly and try to obey Him, we are tempted to either doubt Him or argue with Him. Sometimes I struggle to believe He will actually do what He says, and other times I want Him to work differently than how He plans to work.

God knows best, though, both in Samuel’s day and in ours. He is ultimately in control. He is going to keep all of His promises, and He has a plan for my life. I can trust Him as Eli did, listen to Him as Samuel did, and know that He is both promise keeper and king. What God says goes — and that is for the best.

Emily Acker has written for The Secret Place, Unlocked, Keys for Kids, Vibrant Life, and LIVE. She lives in Plover, WI.

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