And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.1 Samuel 3:10 KJV
We could almost pat ourselves on the back at this point because not only have we started but we have also continued!
We heard and obeyed the LORD when He instructed us to begin! Then we demonstrated our love and faithfulness to Him by continuing to seek after Him in His Word!
What more is required of us at this point? What else is needed on our part?
Well, It is here that it becomes critical for us to guard against complacency; to safeguard ourselves from the poison of self-righteousness; and to conduct DAILY seeing and hearing tests on ourselves!
Webster’s dictionary defines complacency as, self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies. Just reading that definition does enough to warn us!
Here we are believing in Jesus and following after Him. We are doing good by not engaging in sinful behaviors; we are doing service to our LORD, maybe through evangelism and volunteering our time at church; and we are certainly involved in daily Bible and devotion readings, studying, etc.
We are, by all accounts, model Christians! It is very easy for us to become self-satisfied and self-righteous as this point in our walk! And this is EXACTLY when we stop looking for deficiencies in ourselves and our habits; this is when those lurking dangers become a reality for us!
Pride rears his head as we begin to believe that we are in control of our daily walk with the Lord! That we have need of nothing else!
Our routine is polished and exemplary! Yes, there are some of us who awaken before dawn and go to our prayer chambers first thing, just as Jesus instructed us. There are those of us who’s spiritual discipline is to be admired and emulated! There are those people who daily study and read and listen to sermons and read scholarly books related to Christian matters (It seems they are always busy for God and that we could never reach them in terms of spiritual growth and maturity)!
However, in all of these admirable examples danger lurks and deficiencies manifest- all of them can lead us to pride; can lead us to look to other men or women rather than to Christ; and can result in us becoming so routine and habit oriented that we loose our ability to see and hear God clearly when He calls!
Yes, little by little our vision becomes clouded by our own ideas of how things should look and proceed and grow! And, our hearing becomes dull to the point that the still small voice of the LORD is covered up by the noises of the world and the voices in our head!
We focus so much on guarding ourselves from external threats like the world, the devil, and the temptations of the flesh that we forget to guard ourselves from ourselves! How quickly we establish our traditions! How quickly we set God up in the little box we made just for Him- a box we become surer and surer He will not come out of the longer we are Christians!
He tries to show us repeatedly throughout the Holy Bible that He is way bigger than any box we could ever try to place Him in but our pride, our insistence that He only does things this way or that way, keeps our hearts and minds from truly believing while it keeps our eyes from seeing and our ears from hearing!
And so, He calls us like He did in the beginning with Samuel but also like Samuel we mistake His voice for someone else’s and we go back to bed (1 Samuel 3)! The difference between us and Samuel is though that Samuel did not yet no the Lord- and we do! Once Samuel knew who was calling He heard and responded, “Speak; for thy servant heareth.”
Do you still recognize His voice?
Can you hear Him calling you?