Samuel is my wife’s favorite story and for whom (along with her grandpa) our son is named! Samuel was chosen by God for a purpose long before Hannah conceived. You, and everyone you teach, have that same story! Samuel was specifically chosen to be the national prophet at the conclusion of the Judges period. He would be the bridge between deliverers and monarchs. He did not know this, but God did. As look back on this moment in the life of Samuel, let us trust that God has a plan. He ALWAYS has a plan.
We must be ready to receive God’s Word. I want to take a moment here and share a few thoughts on how we can be ready to receive God’s Word. This is where it all begins. God will try to get your attention through a number of ways. It wasn’t until the third time that Samuel became ready. He had gone to Eli before. Now, Eli helped Him get ready to receive from God.
When my daughter first showed interest in softball it was because her friends were signing up to play. We were not ready. We made the decision to play. We wrote the check and filled out the forms. We waited for the draft to happen. She waited anxiously the evening of the draft to find out which team picked her and who was on the team.
Had we received a random call, we would not have thought anything about it. However, because we had put ourselves into a position of readiness we were ready to receive the call. For each of us to be ready to receive we must ask ourselves if we have “signed up” to play. Have we placed our faith in Jesus? Now, are you waiting anxiously by the phone? Just like our daughter who was guaranteed a spot on team, your faith guarantees you a plan from God to accomplish something extraordinary. Are you ready?
We must be prepared to hear what God has to say. Between the call and the first practice, there was much to do! We needed to buy a helmet, a glove, and a bat. How silly would it have been to go out to practice without a glove? She would not prepared to receive the ball that was hit her way. How silly would it have been to stand at the plate without bat? She would not have been prepared to do anything except get hurt.
There is preparation we must make in our lives concerning God, too. Maybe you have thrown up requests to God but hold on to a pre-determined response that is acceptable to you. A friend of ours just lost their 2-year-old little girl who had a terminal condition. They struggle now because they believed by faith God would let her walk out of the hospital. God did, in fact, heal her. However, it was not in the specific way desired. If you ask God to heal your family member and He chooses to take them are you prepared? If you ask God to protect your child/grandchild as they drive away but are in a bad accident are you going to remain faithful? Are you prepared to hear whatever it is that God sends your way?
The Bible gives us “gear” that we should acquire in order to be prepared for WHATEVER God decides to tell you. You can find this in Ephesians 6. Samuel was given some difficult words to express but he was prepared. Are you?
We must be prepared to deliver God’s message to others. It’s game time. Are you ready? There had been 3 weeks of practices and it was opening day at the softball complex. It was time to put into practice what had been practiced. The anthem was sung and the pitcher had warmed up. With that first pitch everything was now in motion. While we could coach form the dugout, there was no opportunity to stop play and go “fix” a problem. They had to perform to the best of their abilities. We won on that day and the season championship, but we did not win every game.
Once you have understood your purpose is to glorify God and share the gospel it is time to put it in practice. We can go to class after class and hear many sermons and watch a plethora of videos but there is nothing like ACTUALLY doing it. It is time to go and be witnesses infused with the power of the Holy Spirit.
God is speaking. Have you opened the channel? Are you ready to hear whatever He says? Are you ready to go and tell the message?
Go. Fight. Win.