“Then Samuel spoke…”– 1 Samuel 7:3
We find Samuel grown, and in God’s perfect will. No longer could he be labeled as a man who “did not yet know the Lord.” It was clear now after his first prophecy that the Lord’s Word was given to Samuel directly. God’s voice was heard as the lamp grew dim in the tabernacle, and all were at rest. And, it was heard during times of lament and confusion in the nation. In all situations, Samuel’s constant reply was, “Speak, for your servant hears!” We are forever grateful then for such an excellent example in Samuel. The sentiments of others never swayed him, and at no time was he influenced by the likes of Hophni and Phinehas.
“Now this the confidence that we have in Him,” writes the Evangelist, “that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14). This truth is one that Hannah learned first-hand. Her prayer changed from blessing herself and concern over what others thought of her to merely pursuing what God wanted. “If He will give me a son,” she prayed, “I have promised to give him back to God all the days of his life.” This prayer was one that the Lord heard and answered. It was according to His will. Samuel was born, and Hannah kept her promise. Hannah put into practice what John would instruct all Christians to do many years later. Pray according to the Lord’s will, and we will have the petitions we have sought. The Ancient of Days remains the same yesterday, today, and forever!
Eli and his sons were gone, and we find Samuel positioned as judge over Israel. A man ruled by God and, therefore, able to lead others. Gazing more in-depth into the pages of the story, we find an astonishing truth. Never once are we told that Samuel positioned himself. It was the plan of the Lord placed on a woman’s heart. When that heart became aligned with God’s through prayer, Samuel was born. He was already in place.
God has a plan for all of us, and it will not be left uncovered if we seek His heart. To hear and obey, we must be willing to count all of our pursuits and gains as loss for the sake of Christ Jesus, our Lord. The eyes of the Lord still “run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him” (2 Chronicles 2:19). Will you come into alignment with His plan?
“God is looking for people whose hearts are in tune with His desires. Thus, the greatest prayer is ‘Lord, bring me into harmony with Your will.’ You can’t improve on that. But it has to be more than just lip service. It must come from the heart. And that’s not easy.”– Chuck Smith