Samuel was dedicated to the Lord’s service from birth. As he grew up in the tabernacle under the watchful eye of Eli, the High Priest, he experienced the presence of God:
Meanwhile, the boy Samuel served the LORD by assisting Eli. Now in those days messages from the LORD were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon. One night Eli, who was almost blind by now, had gone to bed. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was sleeping in the Tabernacle near the Ark of God.
Suddenly the LORD called out, “Samuel!” “Yes?” Samuel replied. “What is it?” He got up and ran to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?” “I didn’t call you,” Eli replied. “Go back to bed.” So he did. tourism online Then the LORD called out again, “Samuel!” Again Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?” “I didn’t call you, my son,” Eli said. “Go back to bed.”
Samuel did not yet know the LORD because he had never had a message from the LORD before. So the LORD called a third time, and once more Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?” Then Eli realized it was the LORD who was calling the boy. So he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down again, and if someone calls again, say, ‘Speak, LORD, your servant is listening.'” So Samuel went back to bed. And the LORD came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel replied, “Speak, your servant is listening.” (1 Sam. 3:1-10, NLT)
The key to hearing the Lord’s voice is to have a listening heart, a heart that is leaning into what God is saying and ready to obey what He says. To lean into what God is saying is to anticipate and value what He is saying. But we don’t value the word if we are not ready to obey. So many times, we desire a word from the Lord, but we aren’t living an obedient life with what He has already spoken to us.
If we read on further, we see that Samuel did obey the Lord and delivered a difficult message to Eli. This set the stage for Samuel’s life as a prophet. What if he hadn’t been willing to obey?