1 Samuel 3:6 God called again, “Samuel, Samuel!” Samuel got up and went to Eli, “I heard you call. Here I am.” Again Eli said, “Son, I didn’t call you. Go back to bed.” This all happened before Samuel knew God for himself. It was before the revelation of God had been given to him personally.
There are times when I cannot go back to sleep. I will wake up at 3am wide awake with my mind racing. Some of those times are because I’m anxious and other times God is talking. When God is talking I wake up and listen.
Some people go back to sleep because they don’t know the difference. It’s possible to be in the presence of God and not even know it. It’s not until we have a personal experience with God that we recognize who he is.
Young Samuel had been in the Temple of God since he was a boy. His mother promised God that if he blessed her with a baby after years of being barren she would give her baby back to him. After Samuel was weaned, she took him to the temple and gave him to the Priest Eli.
One night, while Samuel was sleeping in the Temple near the Ark of the Covenent, God called his name. He’s in the temple near the Ark where God’s presence dwells and God calls his name. He thinks that the old prophet Eli is calling him.
Eli tells him to go back to bed. This happens three times. It’s on the third time that Eli realizes that it is God calling the boy. Eli tells Samuel to say to God, “Speak Lord your servant is listening!”
1. The next time someone’s teaching, why don’t you get taught? When we are in the presence of God, we have to make sure we have a listening spirit. Jimi Hendrix said, “Knowledge speaks but wisdom listens.” We think we know something, when what is required is for us to listen.
2. You can’t sleep at night. Something just ain’t right. Maybe God is trying to tell you something. God knows how to get our attention. When we can’t sleep, there maybe a message God is trying to get to you. Keep a pad by your bed and when you have a dream or a revelation write it down. Don’t go back to bed.
3. Be obedient to what God gives you. Answer the call on your life. God told Samuel in essence that he would be the new prophet because Eli and his sons had not heeded God’s warning of their contempt. Samuel had to deliver the prophecy to his mentor that God was going to replace him. Talking about awkward! But Eli told Samuel, “may God deal with you severely if you don’t tell me everything!” So it is with us, if we don’t do what God reveals to us there are severe repercussions. This is not the time to go back to bed.
God called Samuel three times. Three times in the bible is a sense of urgency and finality. You don’t want to make God call you or warn you more than three times. It’s time for you to answer God and not go back to sleep.
Speak to me. Your servant is listening. Give me the ability to hear you when I can’t sleep. Help me to distinguish your voice amongst the clutter in my head. Don’t let me be sleeping in your house and miss your call. I want to do everything you have for me to do. Thank you for being patient enough to call me and warn me three times. You have my undivided attention. Speak Lord for your servant is listening!
In Jesus Name!