In biblical times, it was common for people to receive visions and/or messages from God. We see all throughout the Old Testament moments of dialogue between God and the prophets. These are moments of divine intervention as God attempts to guide the Israelites down a more faithful path. Time and time again, it seems they either don’t hear God or they simply refuse to obey the words they did hear.
This week, we will be looking at the story of Samuel and how God calls him to be a prophet during a time of rising tension. One night, God called out to Samuel three different times. Each time Samuel initially thought it was the priest, Eli, calling him. Instead of responding to God, Samuel runs to Eli saying, “Here I am.” After three misunderstood callings, Eli helps Samuel understand these words are from the Lord rather than the priest. Soon thereafter, Samuel answers to God and receives a prophetic word about how he will help guide God’s people during this time.
Today, we might think visions or audible voices from God are somewhat rare. Living in the 21st century seems to have blurred our conceptions of how God communicates with humanity. Within our current context, I believe God is often trying to speak to us and we misunderstand the message. Maybe we attribute that voice to be someone else around us, or maybe we think it is an outer force trying to throw us off path.
As we see in Samuel’s call story, even the prophets who helped lead God’s people through dark times misunderstood God. But it took faithfulness in listening for God to speak all around them. Today, I think the same thing is true for us. Maybe God has been speaking to us and we haven’t given that voice too much attention. Maybe others around us have been trying to help us understand a deeper call on our lives and we write it off.
This week, I pray that each of us might take the time to truly focus on the Spirit of God that dwells within and around us. In my experience, it is the Spirit that helps me understand God’s desires for me and my life. Sometimes the Spirit guides me to other people and sometimes the Spirit guides me to a specific form of inspiration.
I pray each of us might find the space to center ourselves with God and seek out the Voice that may be calling out to us. You never know how God might show up and how God might be hoping to use you for divine purposes here on earth!
I look forward to worshipping with you on Sunday as we draw near to God together!