“And the Lord came and called as before, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’
And Samuel replied, ‘Speak, your servant is listening'” (1 Samuel 3:10).
This account is of Samuel’s first experience hearing directly the Lord’s voice, it seems. He had been raised in the temple by Eli the priest, and was certainly knowledgeable about the outer trappings and rituals of his faith. On this night in young Samuel’s life, those ceremonies of worship gave way to a personal encounter with the Lord to whom the forms and sacraments pointed. Throughout his life, Samuel would hear and know the Lord’s voice over and over. But this was his entrance into the inner circle where the Lord calls His own by name.
In this encounter with Samuel, God reveals who He promises to be in our lives. He calls us by name, and speaks clearly to our hearts. As He was with Samuel, whose name He called three times before Samuel recognized Him, He is patient and persistent. He pursues us until we turn and say, “Speak, Your servant is listening.”
To know intimately the Lord who calls us by name changes everything about how we live. To be so cherished gives our lives new meaning and value. It provides assurance that we are safe and protected, when the Lord says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1).
He knows you, and calls you, by name. He speaks to your heart, into your life. Jesus has pulled you into His inner circle, those to whom He will impart His secrets. Listen. “I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. ‘” (John 15:15). A person who is following a doctrine need not listen. There is nothing new to know. The one who is following Christ must be continually listening. Listen to His living, present voice as He reveals His heart to you and reproduces His heart in you. Live your life alert to His whisper. Believe His promise that He calls you by name.
Speak, Lord, Your servant is listening.
“There is hardly ever a complete silence in our soul. God is whispering to us well-nigh incessantly. Whenever the sounds of the world die out in the soul, or sink low, then we hear these whisperings of God. He is always whispering to us, only we do not always hear, because of the noise, hurry, and distraction which life causes as it rushes on.” (Frederick W. Faber)