What If He Called You Three Times?
Would you be able to hear God if He called your name 3 times?
I recently read 1 Samuel 3 (NKJV):
Now the boy Samuel ministered to the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation. And it came to pass at that time, while Eli was lying down in his place, and when his eyes had begun to grow so dim that he could not see, and before the lamp of God went out in the tabernacle of the Lord where the ark of God was, and while Samuel was lying down, that the Lord called Samuel. And he answered, “Here I am!” So he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” And he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” And he went and lay down. 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.” (Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, nor was the word of the Lord yet revealed to him.) 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. 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.
Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears.” Then the Lord said to Samuel: “Behold, I will do something in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them. And therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.” So Samuel lay down until morning, and opened the doors of the house of the Lord. And Samuel was afraid to tell Eli the vision. Then Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son!” He answered, “Here I am.”
And he said, “What is the word that the Lord spoke to you? Please do not hide it from me. God do so to you, and more also, if you hide anything from me of all the things that He said to you.” Then Samuel told him everything, and hid nothing from him. And he said, “It is the Lord. Let Him do what seems good to Him.” So Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel had been established as a prophet of the Lord. Then the Lord appeared again in Shiloh. For the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord.
Discernment and Knowing God’s Voice
Let me ask you something, if you were in a large noisy crowd and your mother called your name, wouldn’t you immediately say "hey, that’s my mom calling me!" or move towards the direction of her voice?
How are you able to do this?
Because you spend time with her. You know her voice, her mannerisms, her tone, her laugh and the things she may frequently say or does. Even if you were completely blindfolded you would still be able to tell that your mother is speaking versus another woman. Why? Because you have built relationship with her. You know your mother.
Shouldn't it be the same and even deeper with God, your Creator?
He has known you since before you were formed in your mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5). When you spend time with your Abba Father, you will learn to hear His voice and to differentiate Him from the voice of others and the enemy. You will be able to discern His voice, clearly. Some obstacles Samuel may have faced with knowing that it was God who was speaking to him and not Eli were probably inexperience and expectation.
Eli, his mentor was his wise counsel and was great help to his discernment. Without Eli, Samuel would have never answered God. Your calling my not always be straight forward. Samuel sought wise counsel from Eli and answered the fourth time (see v10) Who are you taking wise counsel from? Who is helping you shape your relationship and help to guide you to listen to the voice of God.
Samuel learned the voice of God. At first, he did not recognize the voice of God because he was not exposed by virtue of the word / “quiet time”
1. Are you hearing the voice of God?
2. Is God speaking to you and you are not listening?
3. What is drowning out the voice of God?
4. Are you spending time in His presence?
5. Are you setting time aside a portion of your day to hear God? Personal time — just you and Him.
God pursues us over and over again. He never stops calling your name. He called Samuel and will do the same with You.
Are you answering the call?
Are you willing to be still and listen?
Sometimes it's easy to forget to listen. Let's tune in to His voice. Be obedient the first time.