Be an Eli

Last Wednesday night we had a devotional at church that really touched my heart and I felt I would expand on it here. 

Most are familiar with the story in 1 Samuel 3 where Samuel was a young boy and God had called out to him for the first time. Samuel did not know it was the Lord and went instead to Eli, thinking the older priest had beckoned him. Eli rebuked the boy to go back and lay down, he had not called him. This repeated 2 more times. The third time Eli understood that God had been calling out to him and he told the boy Samuel, “Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth.” (1 Sam. 3:9b) Samuel then went back and laid down. When the Lord called him the fourth time, he knew it was the Lord and answered, receiving his first communication with God.

When I listened again to this age old story, I immediately likened it to my own conversion experience. Some come to the Lord gradually, with gentle whispers. Others need a little prodding, someone to take them by the hand and lead them to the alter. 

I was 16 and had gone to a revival with my sister and her betrothed. Each night of the week long revival the Holy Spirit was working on my heart, but I was stubborn. I didn’t know the voice of the Lord, and I just pushed the uncomfortable feelings of conviction down. For several nights I managed to make it out of the service unscathed, and unsaved. On one of the last nights, during the alter call, I felt the pulling of the Spirit so strongly I believe I would have fallen down dead if I didn’t answer the call! (figuratively, of course) But even with God playing a fierce game of tug of war with my heart, I still managed to resist. But God knew I wasn’t going to make this step on my own. God gave me an Eli. My Eli’s name was Lindsay and she was the pastor’s daughter. She held my hand and gently asked if I wanted to go up front. All I could do was nod yes through the tears of conviction and be led by her. I can’t even tell you what the evangelist said to me, at that moment all my communication was with God. He worked a cleansing on me in those next few minutes. One that I will never forget, and one that almost didn’t happen. 

It took an Eli to lead me to the Lord. To tell me that it was God who was speaking and to prompt me to respond. 

Do you know someone who needs a little encouragement? Do you see God speaking in someone’s life but they just don’t recognize the voice of the Lord? Be an Eli.

I’m linking up with Raising Mighty Arrows for Proverbs 31 Thursdays.


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