Read I Samuel 3: 8-10:
God called again, “Samuel!”—the third time! Yet again Samuel got up and went to Eli, “Yes? I heard you call me. Here I am.” That’s when it dawned on Eli that God was calling the boy. So Eli directed Samuel, “Go back and lie down. If the voice calls again, say, ‘Speak, God. I’m your servant, ready to listen.’” Samuel returned to his bed. Then God came and stood before him exactly as before, calling out, “Samuel! Samuel!”
Samuel answered, “Speak. I’m your servant, ready to listen.”
The story of Samuel is pretty impressive. Samuel’s mother, Hannah, begged God for child. She made a pact with God that if he gave her a child, that child would be dedicated to service in the Temple. So she got pregnant, gave birth to Samuel, and when he got older, dropped him off to serve Eli in God’s Temple. One night, while everyone is sleeping, God audibly calls Samuel’s name. Samuel thinks it is Eli calling for him. After a few times of Samuel coming to Eli to ask why he is calling his name, Eli realizes that it is God who is calling Samuel’s name. Samuel needed Eli to help him understand what was going on, and what to do next. This is EXACTLY what we as parents are called to do. We need to be so in tune with God, that when we see God calling our child’s name (not necessarily an audible calling), we can help guide them in what to do. We also, as parents, need to be quiet and listen for God’s voice in our own lives. Prayer is a great way to calm down the noise in our lives, and be available to listen. We also need to surround ourselves with people that are “in tune” with God, and can help us decipher God’s calling on our lives, as well as give us direction with our children. The bottom line is, these children our not ours. God has given them to us, for his purpose. I wonder how often God is wanting me to give direction to my kids, but I’m to busy to recognize God’s voice in my children? I mean, it did take a few times before Eli realized it with Samuel. Lord, help me to be intentional in my focus on you and your word. Help me to properly guide my children to you in everything I say, and do.
* Does it feel difficult to hear God’s voice in our lives? Is it even possible?
* How can we determine God’s voice from other voices in our lives?
* Do you have people in your life who can help you determine when God is trying to communicate with you? Do you seek out their help, or do you most often keep it to yourselves?
* Is there “noise” in your life that is keeping you from being able to be a Eli to someone else? Is there “noise” in your life that is keeping you from hearing God’s personal call to you?
(I highly recommend the devotional book “Solo” if you are looking for one…It is a really good daily devotion)