I remember this one time when I got a new Bible. I had gone to a store that I didn't even think it sold Bibles and ended up finding a really inexpensive one. Regardless of the price, I was just so excited to get a brand new Bible. The pages were full of words and wisdom just waiting to be discovered!
You see, just shortly before this purchase, I had listened to a pastor talk about how every year she gets a new Bible. The reason being is that she spends the whole year marking it up, writing down what God reveals to her in the midst of her reading, and just simply soaking in the insight. By the end of the year, her Bible is so marked up. She gets a new Bible each year because if you read what you've already marked, it's easy to be distracted by what you've already read. It's easy to not get any new insight because you're focused on what you learned last time.
In light of this amazing advice (that I still apply today), I grabbed a new Bible with my very limited funds. This was prior to having a job and my family didn't have a lot of money. I took home that brand new Bible and began a new year's journey with it.
A couple week later, I went on a missions trip to Salt Lake City, Utah. During my team's time there, two people had given their heart to God. One evening when I listened to this girl who had just given her life to God talk about how she didn't have a Bible. It was in this moment when I hear God's voice speak to me and tell me to give her my Bible. I knew I didn't have an old one with me and I knew He was asking me to give my brand new one. It was hard to let it go because I knew that this Bible wouldn't be replaced for quite some time. In the end, I hand off my new Bible to this girl.
Related Post: I'd Sacrifice Everything
The following year this girl came to summer camp. The couple of weeks I spent marking up my new Bible had been the exact thing she was so thankful for. She talked about how those markings really helped her. What was even more beautiful was seeing her open that same Bible and being able to see the new colors and markings she had added. I just felt this confirmation within myself that I had done the right thing and that God was using this Bible to change this girl's life. I was so thankful that God had chosen me and my brand new Bible to be used in her life!
How are you with interruptions? How are you when God interrupts your goals, your dreams, your desires to speak or be used in someone else's life?
Read 1 Samuel 3:1-18
Right off the bat, in these verses, we learn that "the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision." In these days, God didn't show up all that often. God was usually silent. We also learn that Samuel did not know the Lord. He didn't know His voice. Growing up in the temple, Samuel would have come to know about God, but he didn't know God. Had he known God, he would have recognized God's voice as the one that was speaking to him.
What I love about Samuel is how he was so eager to listen, serve, and obey. He was eager to listen, serve, and obey Eli and that translates to how he would interact with God. He welcomed interruptions, whether Eli or whoever else. He willingly listens to Eli and learns to listen to God.
Related Post: What's Holding You Back- Procrastination
How willing are we to allow God to interrupt our day? How willing are we to allow Him (and welcome Him) to interrupt our lives? Eli and Samuel were on the cusp of a change. A change was coming and it was a change that would prove to be painful to both of them. Eli would lose his children, lose his blessing, lose his position, and ultimately his life. Samuel would rise up as God's prophet.
You see, God's first words to Samuel weren't warm and fuzzy. They weren't pleasant or exciting. They didn't ignite a passion. Instead, His first words to Samuel were uncomfortable. They were so uncomfortable that Samuel was afraid to tell Eli what God had spoken (vs 15). Yet, Eli encouraged Samuel to speak and Samuel spoke obediently.
I don't even pretend to know what it's like to speak destruction towards someone I love. Eli had had a hand in raising Samuel, this was Samuel's mom's promise to God. It boggles my mind that Samuel found the courage to speak, especially something so heartbreaking to someone he loved. God interrupted Samuel's day to bring an uncomfortable word to Eli. Samuel was obedient. This was just the beginning of Samuel's ministry!
Unexpected Interruptions: What We Learn
When God wants our attention, He'll keep calling us until we answer. Are we willing to listen? I'm so glad that God chooses to pursue us. I'm so glad He wants to communicate with us. I'm glad He has a plan for all of our lives. He's looking for the obedient heart who is willing to serve Him. Is that you?
Related Post: What's Holding You Back- The Wrong Perspective
Are we eager to listen and obey? Are we eager to have God interrupt our day or night? Are we willing to have Him interrupt our plans? Samuel's sleep had been interrupted by God's call. His plans to rest were interrupted. Do we welcome these interruptions? Are our hearts poised to listen to His instruction?
Are we willing to obey even when what He asks is uncomfortable? Samuel spoke destruction towards someone he loved. Are we willing for God to use us and do whatever He asks? He might call us to have an uncomfortable conversation with someone we love. He might call us to have a conversation with a complete stranger. We don't know where obedience will lead us. The whole point is simply being willing to listen and obey!