Answer Lesson 042

Key Verse

Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth.
— 1 Samuel 3:9

Will You Answer?

1 Samuel 3:1-10; Isaiah 6:1-8

God’s call to serve Him may come in a variety of ways.

What happens when your phone rings? Do you just sit there and wait for it to stop ringing?

We answer the phone because we are curious about who is calling, and what the person wants. How do you feel when you answer, but are too late? They’ve hung up! Do you wonder what they wanted and think, Who called me?

Did you know that Someone is calling you? Not on the phone, but with a “still, small voice.” That call is from God, and it is one call you surely don’t want to miss.

God uses many different ways to call people. His call may come to a person as he sits in a church service, in a phrase from a song, or part of a testimony. The words just seem to come alive, and all of a sudden the one listening realizes that this message is for him! It is God using the song or testimony to speak to his heart.

God wants everyone to be saved, and He deals with us in whatever way He can to get us to listen. He sends conviction, that uneasy feeling inside that lets us know we aren’t doing what pleases Him. When God sends conviction it is His way of calling us to Him.

Sometimes God speaks in a voice that people can hear. The Bible tells us about a boy who heard God call him by name. The boy’s mother, a woman named Hannah, had prayed and asked God if He would give her a son. She promised God that if He would answer her prayer she would give the child back to Him when he was old enough to leave her. God heard her prayer and gave her a son. She named him Samuel.

When Samuel got older, Hannah didn’t forget her promise. She kept it by taking Samuel to the Temple and letting him live there so he could help the priest, Eli. The Bible tells us that Samuel grew and loved God. Whenever Eli asked Samuel to help, he was willing to work. When Eli called him he came running.

One night after Samuel and Eli had gone to sleep, Samuel heard someone calling his name. He ran to Eli and said, “Here I am.” Eli told him, “I didn’t call you. Go back to bed.” Samuel went back to bed, but after a while he again thought he heard Eli calling him. He got up and ran to him and said, “Here I am, you did call me.” Once more Eli told him, “I didn’t call you. Go back to bed.” Samuel went back to bed, but by now, he was wondering what was happening. He knew that twice he had heard someone calling his name. If it wasn’t Eli, who was it?

As he was lying in bed again, he heard his name called a third time. He jumped out of bed and ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; I heard you calling my name.” This time Eli knew that someone really was calling Samuel, and he knew it was God. He told Samuel to go lie down, and if he heard his name called again, he should answer, “Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth.”

Samuel went to his bed again. The call came just as it had before. Samuel answered as Eli had told him to, and the Lord gave him a message.

Have you answered God’s call for your life? Have you been saved from your sins? Have you been sanctified? Do you have the baptism of the Holy Ghost? If you have received these experiences from the Lord you have made a start toward answering His call. Many people live their whole life hearing God’s call, but are not willing to answer. They put if off and say, “I’ll do it some day, but not now.” The best time to answer God’s call is when you are young.

After we are saved, God calls us to a closer walk with Him. When we have Him in our hearts, we will be listening to Him when He speaks. God doesn’t always speak to us out loud as He did to Samuel, but He can speak to our hearts when we read our Bible and when we pray.

If we are living for God and in close communication with him, He will call us to serve Him. When Samuel answered the Lord on that night so long ago, God gave him a job to do. God has something for each one of us to do for Him too.

God calls people to do different things. He leads some to consecrate to be preachers, or missionaries, or Sunday school teachers. But those aren’t the only jobs He needs workers for. He may call you to be an altar worker, or one who visits the sick and shut-ins. The yard around the church needs tending. A bulletin board in the Sunday school may need to be decorated. Do you sing? Play an instrument? There are many jobs to be done for the Lord.

Answer God’s call, first to salvation and the deeper experiences of sanctification and the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and then to a close walk and service to Him. If you do, you will enjoy the blessings He has in store for you throughout your life, and eternal life with Him hereafter.