I’m the type of person who likes to do things my own way. Once I get an idea in my head of how to do something, I quit listening to others on how they think I should do it, and I start making my way. I’ve been known to fall flat on my face, a few times, but I still keep going. I can tell you that it’s not until I’m all out of options in trying to do things my way that I’m ready to listen to anyone, including God. He, like others, is speaking to me often, trying to help me, but it’s me who refuses to listen. I’m too busy trying to figure things out myself, so I’m not ready to listen. It’s a good thing He is patient. He waits until I’m ready to listen, which is usually when I’m at my rope’s end, and then He guides me back. If only I were ready to listen earlier, it would save a lot of heartache, pain and time.
In 1 Samuel, Eli was the priest. His son’s were also priests, but they were acting like heathen. They were disrespectful of God’s offerings and their position. Eli knew it and softly rebuked them, but didn’t remove them from their office. 1 Samuel 2:25 says, “But they were too far gone in disobedience and refused to listen” (MSG). A prophet came and rebuked Eli telling him that God was going to take the priesthood from him because he hadn’t done anything about it. He still didn’t do anything about his sons. Some time passes and then in chapter 3 it starts out talking about Samuel serving the Lord. It then says, “This was at a time when the revelation of God was rarely heard or seen.” I believe the Word of God was rarely heard because they weren’t ready to listen.
You know the story of how God called out to Samuel 3 times, and 3 times he went to Eli. It was Eli’s advice to the boy I want us to take to heart today. Verse 10 says, “Then GOD came and stood before him exactly as before, calling out, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ Samuel answered, ‘Speak. I’m your servant, ready to listen.’” I believe God is trying to speak to us during these difficult times, but too many of us aren’t ready to listen. We’re busy arguing over things that don’t matter in light of eternity, yet God is patiently waiting for us. We have the choice to keep trying to do things our way, or we can stand before God and say, “Speak, Lord. I’m your servant, ready to listen.” We don’t have to wait until we’re at the end of our rope or until we’re out of options to listen. God is ready to speak to us the moment we’re ready to listen.