Join us today for an episode about the reason we often stop hearing the message of our call...
Today's episode is focused on 1 Samuel 3: 1-10 and John 1: 43-51...
In today’s Spiritual Foundation Episode, I talk about 1 Samuel 3: 1-10 and John 1: 43-51. I share how we often stop listening because of the silence or the noise. I also share how we need to not assume but listen to really hear what God is calling us to do.
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Episode 1391: Your Servant is Listening
[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Thanks for joining me on episode 1, 391 of the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.
[00:00:07] Marnie Swedberg: Hi, this is Marnie Swedberg, and I'm here to challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others, develop your influence, and impact the world by using your time, talents, and treasures to live out your God given goals.
[00:00:19] Understanding biblical success principles is a great starting point, and for ongoing inspiration and encouragement, listen to the
[00:00:36] Scott Maderer: The lesson here might be that we aren't supposed to make assumptions. We aren't supposed to look around our community and say, these people don't care. They're not like us. These people are doing the wrong thing. They're evil. There should be excluded. I'm right. They're wrong. They don't want to be here.
[00:00:57] They don't want to connect. It's all on [00:01:00] them. Welcome and thank you for joining us on the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent, and your treasures for your true calling. In the Inspired Stewardship Podcast, you will learn to invest in yourself, invest in others, and develop your influence so that you,
[00:01:33] In today's Spiritual Foundation episode, I talk about 1 Samuel 3, 1 10 and John 1, 43 51. I share how we often stop listening because of the silence or because of the noise. I also share how we need to not assume, but to listen to really hear what God is calling us to do. First Samuel chapter three verses one through 10 says, now the boy [00:02:00] Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli.
[00:02:02] The word of the Lord was rare. In those days, visions were not widespread. At that time, Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dimm so he could not see was lying down in his room. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord where the Ark of God was. Then the Lord called Samuel, and he said, Here I am, and ran to Eli, and said, Here I am, for you called me.
[00:02:29] But Eli said, I did not call, lie down again. So he went and lay down. The Lord called again, Samuel. Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, Here I am, for you called me. But Eli again said, I did not call my son, lie down again. Now Samuel did not know the Lord yet, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.
[00:02:50] The Lord called Samuel again a third time. And he got up and went to Eli and said, here I am, for you called me. Then Eli perceived that the [00:03:00] Lord was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, go lie down, and if he calls you, you shall say, speak Lord, for your servant is listening. So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
[00:03:12] Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, Samuel! Samuel! And Samuel said, Speak, for your servant is listening. John chapter 1 verses 43 through 51 says, The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, Follow me. Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
[00:03:36] Philip found Nathanael and said to him, We have found him about whom Moses and the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth. Nathanael said to him, Can anything good come out of Nazareth? And Philip said to him, Come and see. When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.[00:04:00]
[00:04:00] Nathanael asked him, Where did you get to know me? And Jesus answered, I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you. Nathanael replied, Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel. And Jesus answered, Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.
[00:04:20] And he said to him, Very truly I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.
[00:04:32] This this week, this past Sunday, these were parts of the lectionary reading, and every time I hear the story of Samuel, I think to myself poor Samuel. He's caught up in something way bigger than he was. Here's this event that is shaping not just Samuel's life, not just Eli's, but the life of the whole people of God, and Samuel doesn't [00:05:00] even know it.
[00:05:00] He doesn't even realize what's going on. He's just a kid doing what he was told. He doesn't have the big picture. He doesn't have a sense of the responsibility that's coming. He doesn't seem to know what's going on behind the scenes. He doesn't even necessarily know what's underneath these daily duties that he was performing without question.
[00:05:22] what was above, what was beyond, what was happening beyond the place where he was being raised. All he knew was he had a duty and he did it. And he probably did it in part because there wasn't anyone else to do it. Eli, his mentor, was going blind and therefore couldn't do these duties of his office. And Eli's sons, who should have been filling those duties, who should have been stepping up and taking on some of that job that Eli had made such a mess of their power and their authority and their faith this community was looking at [00:06:00] priesthood in a very low way.
[00:06:04] But Samuel just stayed there, lived there, and did his job. No matter what was strolling around him, he just performed his duties. The passage says, The word of the Lord was rare in those days. A Odd beginning for a story that's taking place in the very temple of the Lord, and yet there it was. So Samuel's days were probably filled like many of us, with thousands of little details, little jobs that we had to do, things that Eli could no longer do, things that had to happen, even though the word of the Lord was rare in those days.
[00:06:49] Makes you wonder what were people listening to? What were people doing when they didn't have access to the voice of God? What was the authority they were calling on? What were the [00:07:00] diversions that they were obsessing over? What voices were they listening to whenever they had fear or loneliness?
[00:07:08] What were they aching for? Having a moment of having a directionless life is draining. It messes with your sense of self worth. If you've ever lost a job or had a breakup in a relationship or anything like that you've had those moments where you feel like your life has been upended and you are without direction.
[00:07:33] And I don't know about you, but those are the moments where I recognize that feeling of the word of the Lord is rare. It feels like you have to generate your own direction. You're left to your own devices. This also sometimes happens when we have those moments where we feel like really it is all about us.
[00:07:54] It's about what we want and what we want to achieve. But those are also the moments when we're [00:08:00] called to listen harder, listen deeper. To try to see that it's not all there is. That moment in time is not all there is. That even though now the word of the Lord is rare, Even though those that are supposed to speak for the Lord appear to be going blind, the lamp of God has not yet gone out, that we may give up on God, but God has not given up on us, that in that night, that dark night of the soul, the voice is still calling, and you may feel doubt and fear and emptiness, but the voice is still calling when our ears are weary of the silence.
[00:08:50] That voice is still calling or even worse in today's world. Sometimes it's not silence instead. The voice is being drowned out by [00:09:00] all of the loud voices and distractions calling out for our attention. It becomes loud in our souls. We begin to fear that all of this stuff, the culture, the community.
[00:09:12] It's all going to the end of the world. The youth of today, all of the other messages that we say that bring about fear and division and argument and anger. It becomes about us and them and fear rules. We see our own failures, our own inadequacies. We have questions. We have these loud voices. overpower the voice of the Lord that's there quietly leading and comforting and challenging and guiding towards the message of love.
[00:09:49] We don't hear it anymore sometimes because we've stopped listening. We don't hear it anymore sometimes because we let those other voices sound just as loud and drowned it out. [00:10:00] No wonder Samuel thought he was hearing Eli. No wonder we think sometimes that coincidence of somebody saying something, or a spouse, or a friend, or a book, or a song, or that impulse that we have, that nagging itch that says, this is what we're supposed to be doing, that can't be the voice of God, that just must be last night's.
[00:10:24] pizza. When Eli finally figures out what is going on, he shifts and begins to teach. He tells Samuel, Hey, wait a minute. This might be one of those moments. This might be an important moment. Samuel, go back and say, Lord, speak, Lord. That's the beginning. Reach out to God. And then having identified the source, you put yourself in the position of being servant, one who follows, one who obeys, one who does.
[00:10:58] In other words, the message [00:11:00] is, I know who you are and I know who I am and I want to hear you. I want to be led, I want to be taught, I want to be claimed. Samuel even gets it wrong. It says, he says, speak, your servant is listening. He leaves off the Lord part, but it's okay. The John passage has some similar similarities.
[00:11:24] Nathaniel is not listening. He's friends with Philip and the other guys. He knows some of the disciples that have been called, but he's a bit of a cynic. He's a bit of a a guy who really has to see it to believe it. He can recognize that this feels like a scam. It's just too good to be true.
[00:11:46] Maybe he's been burned for four. Whatever it is, he says nothing good could come from Nazareth. But then he actually goes. He's invited and he [00:12:00] goes to go see. He wasn't sure, or maybe he was, but he felt like this was something wrong, but he still went. Maybe because a friend asked him? Maybe because even behind that cynicism and that feeling that this is too good to be true, there was still an ear willing to listen.
[00:12:23] Whatever it is, he goes behind Philip grumbling all the way, I'm sure, but also secretly hoping that it is true. And then Jesus says, Here is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit. Nathaniel says, How do you know me? He says, I saw you under the fig tree. Not really an answer to how did you know me, but there's some sort of.
[00:12:51] connection that happens here, some sort of confession of faiths. For some reason, Nathaniel heard this, and [00:13:00] this was something that he was listening for, and that's why he followed. The lesson here might be that we aren't supposed to make assumptions. We aren't supposed to look around our community and say, These people don't care.
[00:13:18] They're not like us. These people are doing the wrong thing. They're evil. They should be excluded. I'm right. They're wrong. They don't want to be here. They don't want to connect. It's all on them. Instead, maybe we should hear the message that our job is to keep listening, keep speaking, keep inviting, keep telling the story, because someone out there is listening.
[00:13:48] Thanks for listening.
[00:13:54] Thanks so much for listening to the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. As a subscriber [00:14:00] and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this episode, do me a favor, go over to facebook. com slash inspired stewardship and like our Facebook page and market that you'd like to get notifications from us so that we can connect with you on Facebook and make sure that we're serving you to the best of our abilities with time and tips there.
[00:14:37] Until next time, invest your time. Your talent and your treasures develop your influence and impact the world.
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Now the LORD came and stood there, calling as before, "Samuel! Samuel!" And Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening." – 1 Samuel 3: 10