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Discerning the Voice of God | The Call of Samuel in 1 Samuel 3:1-21

Narrative Lectionary Text: 1 Samuel 3:1-21

This is the video that was played throughout the sermon…

If someone told you that they were hearing voices in their head, what would be your first reaction? Let’s be honest. We would probably start reaching for the phone to get the nice men in white jackets to come over. Or we would think, “there’s probably a medication that can take care of that.”

What if they told you that the voice was God’s voice? Would you be more skeptical, or less?

This week we continue our journey through the narrative lectionary and we find the story of a person who heard the voice of God.
Let’s quickly fill in the gap between last week and this week.

Last week we saw Moses lead the people of Israel out of slavery in Egypt. We saw how God provided for them through daily bread while they were in the desert.

Here’s what has happened between then and this story. Joshua took over leadership and he led the people into Canaan—the promised land—and the twelve tribes of Israel divided up the land and settled in.

They tried to live without a structured government, allowing God’s law to be their guide. That didn’t go so well. The book of Judges says,

“In those days there was no king in Israel; all the people did what was right in their own eyes.” (Judges 17:6, NRSV)

In today’s story we see that God speaks to a person. God wanted this person to deliver a very difficult message to the key leader of Israel, who had become corrupt.

Here’s what’s interesting about this person. He was a boy. This boy, named Samuel, was asked to confront his mentor and tell him that because of the corruption of his leadership and his sons leadership, Israel was going to suffer.
Isn’t that amazing, that God would use a boy to do this?

This weekend we decided that it would be the perfect time to see how God still calls young people. We want to hear from some of our high school students who went on the mission trip. My goal for this is two-fold. First, I want to share the experience and say thank you to all who helped us go on this trip. Second, I want to encourage you to know that God is working in and through the youth. These are the leaders of our next generation. Third, I want to challenge you to think about how you hear God calling in your life.

We took 22 students on the trip. Every one of them have a story to tell,but there is no way we could hear them all. So, I interviewed six students, trying to get a sample of guys and girls and grade levels. I asked them four questions.

The first question was, “How did you hear God calling you to go on the mission trip?”

Did you see how God speaks in different ways. Sometimes it is through the voice of another person, sometimes it is through ones own desires.
The second question I asked was, “How did you see god moving during the trip?”

I think it is fascinating to see how God is present in so many different ways. I’m also encouraged to see how sensitive these students are to God’s movement.

The third question was, “When you got back from the trip, how did you feel?”

It was an amazing trip. Whenever you go on a trip like this your sensitivities are heightened and you typically come back on a spiritual high. I recorded these interviews this past Sunday, so I was able to get a different perspective. It has been two months. The afterglow of the trip is gone. These students have entered back into the everyday life of suburban high school. I asked them how things are going now.

I hope you are encouraged by their words. First of all, they are real. We can’t live on the spiritual high of a mission trip. Second, God speaks and moves, even in the everyday paces of life.

This week, as you move through your everyday life, I encourage you to listen. Where do you see god speaking in the simple things?

I also hope that you are encouraged to know that there are young people who are authentically listening to God and seeking how to be used by God in their everyday lives.

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