Move the Mountain Monday: April 11, 2016
1 Samuel 3:6-10 – Then the Lord called yet again, “Samuel!” So Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” He answered, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” 7 (Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, nor was the word of the Lord yet revealed to him.) 8 And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. So he arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you did call me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord had called the boy. 9 Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears.”
Just like Samuel in this passage, we often do not recognize when the Lord is speaking to us. Sometimes this is because we have not yet learned to know His voice. Obviously, those that do not know the Lord will not know His voice but this includes those that believe in the Lord as well as those that do not. Knowing something and believing in something are two different things just like knowing someone and having a relationship with someone are two different things.
The passage above says that Samuel did not yet know the Lord. Samuel had spent his time being trained by Eli to perform the duties in the temple. How can it be that He did not know the Lord but was performing functions serving the Lord? The answer is because he had no reason to know the Lord because he was relying solely on the mentoring of Eli. This is the lesson I believe the Lord wants us to understand for today.
Too many times we rely on those who are called to teach us instead of working on our personal relationship with the Lord. If our teachers and mentors in the Lord are filled with the Holy Spirit and have matured into a true relationship with the Lord, they will not allow us nor enable us to be stagnant and stuck on only relying on them. They will help us in developing our own personal relationship with the Lord instead of continually spoon feeding us what they have and what they believe. They will also not hinder us as we grow in the Lord.
Samuel was Eli’s protege yet Eli was slipping away from the things of the Lord. He was still a good mentor. He knew it was the Lord calling to Samuel and he also knew that he himself had become dull in hearing the Lord and seeing the things of the Lord. He could have hindered Samuel in his personal relationship with the Lord out of jealousy. Instead he told Samuel what he needed to do to encourage Samuel’s growth in the Lord.
There are people out there that have issues with control and will keep others from hearing the Lord and from seeing the things of the Lord. Most of these people do not even realize the devastation they are causing to others by denying them this growth. The reason they do not realize it is because they do not know these issues of control exist within them.
Each of us has a responsibility to develop our own personal relationship with the Lord. Mentors and teachers are placed in our lives to help us grow. Eventually we must go to the Lord ourselves and learn how He speaks to us individually. He speaks to each of us in the way He knows we will hear. What He tells someone else may not be for you and what He speaks to you may not be for anyone else. Learning to hear His voice takes practice and discipline. How He speaks to you now may change the more you grow and become obedient to Him.
Practical ways to practice hearing and obeying God’s voice: It starts with reading the Bible. The scriptures are our first way in hearing the Lord.
Romans 10:16-17 – But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
In reading the Word we will know things the Lord will NOT tell us to do. In knowing what He would NOT tell us to do we can then begin to practice our obedience in what He says. The thing about practice is that mistakes will be made. There is no harm in testing what we believe the Lord may be telling us to do. If we have not practiced being obedient to His voice He will start small with us to develop and train us up.
Allow your spiritual ears to be opened by the Holy Spirit. When you think you hear the Lord speaking say, “Lord, speak, for your servant hears!” This is a declaration you are making to the spiritual realm. Declare it, believe it, and obey. Your relationship with the Lord is solely dependent on you. Mentors are there to guide you not control you. Do not be stunted in your growth. May God’s abundant grace be with you in this time of growth. Selah.