Devotional: The Called Understand His Presence
God called Samuel when Israel was in a dark place. But then, Samuel isn’t mentioned for again until later. His disappearance from the scene from chapters 4-7 reflects a deep and powerful truth. Being called is a matter of understanding and pursuing God’s presence in the secret place. We cannot live out the call of God if His presence is not the absolute center of our lives. In 1 Sam 4:2-11 and 18-22, we learn that God’s presence is primary. This means that His presence directs our movement and our worship, which ultimately displays His glory. His presence is also paternal. God is a loving father who interrupts the ordinary course of our lives to give us merciful and transforming correction in order to center our lives on His presence. Jesus died to give us access directly into God’s presence. Worship of Jesus, guidance by Him, and dependence on Him places Jesus at the center of our lives. And when we make Jesus the center, he raises us up like Samuel to fulfill the call of God.
Questions For Meditation
- Although he was called by God, Samuel is not mentioned at all from chapters 4 – 7. Why do you think that is? Who, ultimately, is the call of God about?
- In 1 Sam 4:2-11, 18-22, Were you ever tempted to think or act like the call of God is all about you? Have you ever used the presence of God as a lucky charm for your own personal gain?
- His presence is primary. The entire life of the children of Israel revolved around the Ark of the Covenant – the very presence of God. It directed their movements, their worship and displayed God’s power. What directs the direction you take in life, what you pursue, and your deepest desires? Is it the presence of God? Is it something else?
- The law was inside the Arc. And the mercy seat was on top of the Ark. What does mercy have to do with God’s holiness? What does mercy have to do with the do’s and don’ts of the law? What does mercy have to do with God’s presence?
- His presence is paternal. Correction begins in the presence of the Father. And thinking you don’t need God’s correction is a wrong understanding of the presence of God. What does correction have to do with the call of God? Have you ever thought you don’t need God’s correction? What areas do you need or have received God’s correction? What purpose does God’s correction ultimately serve?
- When Jesus lived, died on the cross, was raised from the dead, and ascended to heaven, he made it possible for your heart to be His tabernacle – the dwelling place of God. As you reflect on this incredible truth, what are you compelled to do in response? What little steps can you take towards making Jesus the center of your life?