‘… Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called Samuel. … Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. … The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word. 1 Samuel:3-4, 7, 21 (NIV)
Samuel worked in the house of the Lord, yet the Bible tells us that he ‘… did not yet know the Lord …’ At first this might seem a strange thing to say. Samuel was dedicated to God by his mother Hannah at a very young age and we are told in 1 Samuel 2:11 that Samuel ministered to the Lord under Eli the priest. He was in God’s house working alongside Eli, learning what was involved in being a priest. Yet he did not know the Lord. Applying this to ourselves, going to church or having Christian parents who shared Christ with us is no substitute for knowing God personally. We don’t acquire Christ by osmosis!
What changed? The verses above tells us that ‘… the Lord called Samuel.’ Nothing changed until God called Samuel and he responded to that call. At first Samuel didn’t recognise it as a call, but the older man, Eli, finally realised what was happening.
Are you being called by God to some specific service for him? If so, are you open to that call? Are you listening? Are you allowing God to reveal himself to you through his word – the Bible?