Wednesday, April 15, 2015

God Among Us

1 Samuel 3:1-10 ~

The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.
One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 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. Then the Lord called Samuel.
Samuel answered, “Here I am. 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.
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.”
Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.
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. 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.”

I love this story for it is a rich a vivid story that really exemplifies God's love for us and His ultimate patience and willingness to call our name over and over so that we might better learn His voice and be able to respond when He calls us to Himself.

God comes into our lives and calls our name, and then waits. Time and time again, He will do this until we finally figure out, "Hey, that's me He's talking to...Oh! Yeah Lord, I'm right here."

But there is something that stuck out when I read this passage in verse 7, "Samuel did not yet know the Lord."

So here is the obvious question: How do we get to know God?

* Spend time with God. Talk to Him - study His word
 Like in any relationship, you must spend time with the one you love in order for the relationship to grow and become strong. Invest your time . Learn their voice, their likes, dislikes, to the degree that their voice is as familiar to you as your own. God is no different and prayer is how we communicate with Him, studying His word is how we get to know God. Therefore, in order to know God we must spend time with Him so that when He calls our name, we recognize immediately and respond.

* Seek out a godly mentor(s)
Next, if we do not yet know God the way we'd like to, seek out a godly mentor. A godly mentor is simply someone who's a little farther along in their walk with God. It doesn't mean they have all the answers but simply, they may be able to pray with you and point you in the right direction as you grow in your walk with God.

* Join a bible study or a prayer group
When my kids were little I joined MOPS and Moms in Touch, both were Christian groups designed to meet the needs of women in certain stages of their parenting levels. Now that my kids are older, I've joined a women's bible study group. I find I still need accountability and the friendship of women of all ages to pray with over my family and help lend a supportive hand in life's challenging situations when I'm too upset to hear God's voice.

* Keep a journal.
I love to write, so this one's a no-brainer for me.  In fact I keep 2 journals always close at hand. One is my "Gratitude Journal" where I write down all the things that I'm so thankful for each morning. Secondly, I keep a normal writing journal where I vent, pray or take notes of what He shares with me during my prayer time. As Christians wanting to grow in our faith sometimes we lose sight of where we've been, where we are and where we want to go. Journals are a great way to spell out prayer requests and then go back and see how God is working in your life and through other Christians and circumstances to communicate with you.

Above all else, keep in mind that God loves you and wants to talk with you and He will keep calling your name until you respond.

On that note, doesn't it just make your mind reel that the God of the Universe in His infinite love for us, stands among us, calls our name and waits until we respond. AMAZING!

So let today be the day that we hear His voice and respond, "Speak, for your servant is listening."

Dear friend please know that I am praying for you today - I am praying that your relationship with God grows stronger and that you will go from being like Samuel who needed help recognizing God's voice to being more like Eli who knew circumstantially God's behavior and responded accordingly.

Until next time,
Blessings and Best Wishes,
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