“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.” – I Samuel 9-10 NKJV
We conclude our study of I Samuel 3 today with verses 9-10. At last Eli realizes that God has been speaking to Samuel and instructs him how to respond if the Lord calls out to him again. It is important to notice that Samuel heeded the instruction of Eli. He didn’t scoff. He was obedient to Eli, and moving forward he was obedient to the voice of God.
This was a defining moment in Samuel’s life. It is the moment God reveals his destiny as a prophet. Samuel would later be the prophet who anoints David to be King of Israel, and the same prophet who confronted David with the sin of adultery.
When God gives us a ‘Word’ it isn’t always going to be pleasant or easy to deliver. Can you imagine how difficult it must have been for Samuel to reveal what God spoke to him that first evening? (See verses 11-14) He loved Eli and served him faithfully.
The true test of the validity of prophecy in the Old Testament was whether or not the prophecy came to pass. It’s also important to note, one of the main purposes of the Old Testament prophets was to warn of impending judgment if the people did not repent. Today we live under the grace of Christ, and He sent the Holy Spirit to reside within us. The Holy Spirit will instruct us and correct us when necessary. He gently convicts us when we sin, leading us to repent. This doesn’t mean we will always escape the consequences of our sin, but we will be forgiven.
Does it seem strange that the Holy Spirit could speak to you as distinctly as the Spirit spoke to Samuel that night? It is possible if we are willing to listen and obey. Pastor Blake Bennett said, “God’s voice is powerful and personal. The more time you spend with God, the more you learn that you can trust God. When you sit in a chair you trust that it will hold you. You trust it because of experience. Your faith in God grows with experience as well.”
Why is prayer and fasting such a powerful combination?
You are a three-part being. Body, soul (emotions/will) and spirit. Which one of the three is in charge? Are you controlled by your physical appetites, your emotions, or are you led by the Spirit. Prayer combined with fasting disciplines the body and soul to submit to the spirit. We are supposed to be Spirit led. Our spirit becomes stronger when we exercise authority over the body and soul.
As we mentioned in the introduction post on 1/8/17, there are various types of fast. You should never abstain from all food and liquids for an extended period of time. But fasting over short periods can be very beneficial. When your body starts rebelling and you feel hungry, allow it to be a trigger to pray. Remind your body that you want God more than the food or distractions you have decided to put aside to seek Him.
Prayer: Lord, I thank You that because the Holy Spirit lives within my I can hear You speak to me directly, powerfully and personally. Help me to train my body and emotions to be led by Your Spirit rather than my physical appetites or emotions. Help me to be faithful to obey the things You speak to me. I long to serve and please You more than anything this world has to offer. Here I am, Lord … Speak, Your servant is listening.