Hey everyone. My name is Jasmine Tate and I’m one of the pastors at Mercy Culture Church. Welcome to God Today. I have a quick word of encouragement for you today. There’s an interesting passage in 1 Samuel that I wanted to bring to your attention.
You guys know Samuel in the book of 1 Samuel, right? …a couple of interesting passages first Samuel 2:21 it says that, “the boy Samuel grew in the presence of the Lord”, right? Samuel was growing in the presence of the Lord.
Then in verse 26 it says, “Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the Lord and also with men.” He grew in the presence of the Lord and then it says that he also grew in stature in favor with the Lord. Just follow me here, we’re going somewhere. Then 1 Samuel chapter three verse one it says, “now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord.” So he grew in the presence fo the Lord, he grew in favor with the Lord, and then he was ministering to the Lord. Then there’s this whole plot twist that happens right in verse seven it says, “now Samuel did not yet know the Lord and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.”
Basically, what this is saying is that it’s possible to grow in the presence of the Lord, to grow in favor with the Lord, and to even be ministering to the Lord, but to not yet know Him. My question when I’m reading the scripture is, “Ok, well, when did Samuel know the Lord? When did that happen?” because we all know Samuel was awesome. He does some incredible things, he was one of the greatest prophets in the Bible. So when did that shift happen?
Well, a few verses after that, there’s this whole interaction that Samuel has with Eli where he keeps going to Eli because he thinks Eli is calling him, but it’s not actually Eli calling him. It’s God calling him. He [Eli] keeps sending him back saying, “No, I didn’t say anything to you to go back in your room and work it out. I don’t know if that was the Lord or something.”
Samuel realizes eventually that it’s, God’s speaking to him. Then it says that in verse 19 (1 Samuel 3:19) it says, “And Samuel grew and the Lord was with Him and let none of his words fall to the ground.” It’s very clear that there was a shift that happened in Samuel’s life from that point.
Well, what was the difference between those first few chapters and the one that I just read? The first few scriptures and the one that I just read, the only thing in between those two things is a dialogue that Samuel had with God. I want to submit to you that, could it be that the difference between just doing ministry with God, just growing in favor with God and just ministering the Lord’s heart, that the the difference between just doing that and actually like being in intimate relationship with God? Can it just be that the difference between those two things is just having dialogue with Him?! Is that crazy?
Could be that God’s inviting you into dialogue with Him every day of your life? And that that’s where actual intimacy will come from the word “know” that’s used in the scripture now, Samuel did not yet “know” the Lord. Did you know that that same word “know” is the same word that’s used when Mary responds to the angel, when they have that whole interaction, where are the angels? Like you’re going to have a baby and his name was going to be Jesus. And Mary’s like, “I haven’t known a man yet.” Like, you know, I haven’t done thing yet. You know? And that whole moment is Mary saying that I haven’t been intimate with anyone yet.
That same word, “know”, that basically means intimacy is the same word that’s used in that scripture. So I believe that He’s saying Samuel had not yet been intimate with God. He’d been in ministry. He’d been ministering to the Lord. He’d been growing in favor. That looks like your ministry, growing your social media following growing, people knowing your name more. But do you know, you can do that and not actually grow an intimacy with God?
I just want to challenge you today. God cares more about intimacy with you than He cares about building your platform and building your ministry and all of those things. So today my challenge to you is growing your intimacy with God, having dialogue with Him. Just talk to Him today. Make a room in your calendar today. Set aside an hour of your day and just have dialogue with the Lord. Tell Him what’s on your heart. Tell Him what’s on your mind. Tell Him what’s burdening you and then ask Him what’s on His mind, ask Him what’s on His heart. Ask Him what’s burdening Him. Allow dialogue to happen between you and the Lord because that is where intimacy comes from.
I want to pray with you guys, Lord, we thank You for the opportunity and the invitation that You’ve given us into intimacy through Your Son, Jesus. Jesus tore the veil so that we can come into the presence, come into Your presence and have conversation with You. So Holy Spirit, would You just lead people into dialogue with Yourself? I pray that You would just highlight things for people to talk about with You. Would you make them excited about having dialogue with You and being in Your presence, Lord, because we don’t want to put a ministry above our intimacy with You because You’re the most important thing. You are our one desire. We love You and 2e thank You in Jesus name we pray, amen.