Once again, for the third time, the Lord called Samuel. He got up, went to Eli, and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli understood that the Lord was calling the boy. He told Samuel, “Go and lie down. If he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. The Lord came, stood there, and called as before, “Samuel, Samuel!” Samuel responded, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
1 Samuel 3:8-10, CSB
Listening to the Voice of Love
I grew up on a street with tall oak trees and a cul-de-sac, with wagging tails behind some fences and growls behind others. I’d play on this street with my friends until it grew to be twilight, the sky turning an inky purple. Just as the street lights came on and the fireflies began to blink my Mama would lean out the front door and holler, “Hoooolllllleeeeyyyy!”
On many occasions I would be too enraptured by a game of hide and seek or throwing around an old tennis ball or confessing in truth-or-dare to pay a bit of attention to this first round of summoning. So what did my Mama do? Shut the door and let me sleep on the sidewalk? Shove my dinner onto the lawn because I wasn’t listening? Nope, she’d repeat my name until at some point I responded, until I came running home.
The story of young Samuel reminds me of this and I think it’s good news for all of us. Because sometimes we treat being called by God like it’s a one-time thing. We’d better not miss it or we’ll be locked out of His plan for our lives. We’ll miss His will and there will be no second chances. But I’m coming to understand that God doesn’t just call us once — He keeps on calling.
He knows we’re human and we get distracted by life and hurt and to-do lists. He understands that pain or confusion or busyness can make us cover our ears. But He doesn’t give up on us. He beckons us again and again until we listen, until we come.
Let’s say with Samuel, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.” Yes, God, Your children are running to You. We want to hear Your heart in this moment, this day, this thin little slice of eternity that’s 2018.
— Holley Gerth
If you’d like a simple, quick way to listen for God’s voice in your life this year, try the Strong, Brave, Loved 21 Day Challenge.Leave a Comment
Michele Morin says
I spent my young adult years terrified that I would miss the voice of God, choose the “wrong” college, head down the “wrong” vocational path, and somehow miss “God’s perfect will” for my life. I’m going to store this visual aid in my mental back pocket and share it far and wide with others who fear that a moment of inattention has disqualified them from experiencing intimacy with the God who loves them over the moon and back.
I love this! I have been hearing God call my name into a certain area of ministry for several years. However, because I am married, and we are a team, My husband has to hear the call as well.
My prayer is that this will be the year he hears.
So glad, Renae, that you are waiting for your husband. God will speak to him if it is to be. If not, then surrender and support your husband with whatever God has called him to do. That is the best way for us to honor God – honor our husbands. Praying you will know God’s peace and accept whatever happens.
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Your post brought back some good memories. I remember too, around dinner time, the doors would open and you would hear a “symphony of moms” calling out various names to come to dinner. Mrs, Kernan, she could bellow her kids names the loudest, and so we nicknamed her, “Old Yeller” lol. Not nice, I know. I’m so thankful that God keeps calling my name….He keeps nudging me. Even when I run the other way at His calling, He pursues and woos me back to Him. I have learned that if there is something He wants me to do, He’ll keep after me. But, in order to hear His voice, I need to be in His Word and in His presence. The further I drift away, the more likely I will confuse the enemy’s voice for His. Great post!
Kelly R Smith says
What a lovely analogy! He loves us so much that he will call our names until we answer, “Yes, Lord!”
Beth Williams says
Thanks for the walk down memory lane. I’m super excited that God keeps calling us. He never gives up. When we falter off the narrow path He gently woos us back to Himself. We must be still & listen for the quiet voice. To discern His voice we must be in the word & have it hidden in our hearts.
Thank you Holley for your Sunday sharing – ah yes, the memories of being ‘called’ in after a wonderful day of creative play time with all of the neighbourhood children – I am reminded of my favourite song – Reckless Love – “There’s no shadow You won’t light up, Mountain You won’t climb up, Coming after me, There’s no wall You won’t kick down, No lie You won’t tear down, Coming after me” – “Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, Oh, it chases me down, fights ‘til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine, I couldn’t earn it, I don’t deserve it, Still You give yourself away, Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God…” – indeed, in “this thin slice of eternity that’s 2018 … He beckons us again and again until we listen, until we come” – now that is LOVE!
Thank you Debra!
I thank you for your Sunday Scripture for it is the perfect way to begin my Sunday morning and ready me for the week. ACTION is my word for 2018. Procrastinator is my name and so often I delay or even ignore God’s calling. I want it all to be perfect in time, place and action. Consequently I just push an “action” aside. I learned a lesson this week. A friend from church died from a long illness and I was so sad from her passing. My sadness went beyond her loss though because I did not minister to her when I should have. I know God calls us and I also know he does not expect me to be perfect. He loves me where I am. This lesson os Samuel encourages me. I know because is loves me and I Him He will continue to call me to ACTION. My lesson today is to listen and act. Thank you for listening to me. Have a blessed week.
DaLee Kicker says
Thank you for your words to begin this Sunday morning. It is reassuring that I haven’t missed God’s plan for my life and another chance to say, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.” Have a blessed Sunday!
l love how you tied the two together. It reminds me of when I’d call my kids,if they couldn’t hear me it meant they went too far away. Maybe it’s similar with God, if we can’t hear Him it’s because we’ve drifted too far, but like you said, “He doesn’t give up calling us.””Thank-you for this enlightening reminder.
Blessings to all this Sunday,
Mary Geisen says
The perfect reminder for this Sunday. God never gives up on us so we shouldn’t give up on him. Sabbath Blessings!
Kim B Smith says
He does! And it is over and over again, written in His book.
Lazondral Nelson says
Holley, thank you for allowing God to share His truths through you. Your love and commitment to God overflows into the lives of others in ways you may never know. Your ministry has made a difference in mine! Your message was confirmation. Thank you Lord for being so AWESOME!!!!!
Blessed by your words-thank you for reminding-encouraging me from God’s word that He keeps calling me. Janet
Thank you so much Holley for your message! It spoke right into my heart as I have been struggling to know God’s plan for my life after my place of work has closed for good last month, and my “confusion” about what to do next is ever before me. When you remind us that God does not give up on us, and keeps “calling”, this so comforts me. You and the incourage team have encouraged so many, and I am so thankful for you all. God bless you this day, and always 🙂
Rebecca Jones says
I think that may be why we miss God, He’s not hollering. My mother tells of a neighbor who called his kids, using a few expletives, when anyone gets to loud, we start calling them Fred. I’ll be listening for the still small voice.
I agree Rebecca. We must be listening. God is faithful, but He will not MAKE us do anything. We must respond. When God has to use a loud voice (or a brick), it reminds us to listen more carefully.
It was perfect timing that I read this. God has been telling me to trust Him, and I haven’t obey so today I felt as though it’s too late. It’s been months of distrust and some worry and I’ve been doubting. Doubting my belief in God and my salvation. So I keep questioning whether or not Jesus just wants me to trust that He saved me or just trust Him or what. I’ve been confused. Thank you for this post. Any advice would be great!
Marymargaret, surrender is the hardest thing to learn. We all want to ‘do’ and ‘know’ but we MUST surrender and let go of our own plans and accept that our lives are often very different to what we plan. Come to our loving Father as a child and not as an adult with worry or distrust. He IS God. Let Him have the worry – choose to trust and choose not to worry. Easy to say and harder to do, but take one small step at a time and practice trust and letting go and believing His Word. Read His Word lots and let it bring you peace and joy. All you have to do is choose what is right and good for the the next 5 minutes, then the next 5 minutes, then the next 5 minutes. Small steps. Some of us take years to learn what others got so quickly. Don’t be discouraged but keep on keeping on clinging to God.
Wow! That really encouraged me. ❤️ Thank you! I do need to just surrender, thank you for these loving words! When you said come to him as a child and not an adult, , I am actually not an adult yet, I am still in Highschool, but I read these devotionals because a lot of them really still apply to me, just without the marriage and kids, lol I’m 15 years old. What you wrote really helped, and sprung some joy in my heart. I appreciate your encouragement and for taking the time to reply. This is random, but do you have any prayer requests? Just felt like I should ask
Sarah, your words for MaryMargaret helped me too…and I’m 8o years old. Thank you so much!!
Cassady Schulte says
Love this so much! As I sense the Lord leading me into a new season, I’m praying for an Eli – someone who will hear my story, realize that it is God who is calling me, and help guide me in how best to move forward in response to that call.
Wait on the Lord ; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord !
Psalms 27:14 NKJV
MaryMargaret, that’s an excellent verse!! I also will wait on the Lord and be of good courage. Thank you!!!!!