how to walk with God like Samuel (hint: the answer begins with a “J”)

Scout - gratuitous dog image!
Scout – gratuitous dog image!

Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

As Samuel grew up, the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. 1 Samuel 3:9, 19

Samuel Walked with God:

Wednesday evenings, I’m reading through the book of First Samuel with my small-group Bible-study. So far it’s a great story, detailing the epic transition between the times of the Judges and the appointment of Saul as Israel’s first king.

This week we talked about chapters 8 and 9. The young man Saul rides out on what reads like a classic “quest” story, and he eventually meets the prophet Samuel. Samuel, it turns out, knows that the young man is coming; and, when Saul shows up, he is ready to to share God’s word with the future king.

Now – and this is what I love, love, love about small-group Bible-study – this is where preparation, prayer, research, experience, conversation, what God is up to in the lives of each individual present, and the prompting of God’s gracious Spirit all work together to steer us in a particular direction.

I’ve said before that my studies are less about tidy answers and more about good questions. Well I’ve got to admit that most of the time even the good questions don’t really belong to me. “What is it about Samuel?” I said, more of a statement than a query. “How has he achieved such remarkable clarity in his relationship with God?”

We Can Walk with God too:

We spent the next thirty minutes talking about “Walking with God;” about living as people who are focused and clear when it comes to understanding God’s leading in our day-to-day lives; about being the kind of men others will come to for insight – because it is so obvious that we live, every day, as if the hand of the Creator is on our shoulders, guiding us on the path of the disciple.

“The best way to know that we are walking in God’s way,” I said, “is to make sure that we spend more time with Jesus. Paul – talking about our direct access to God because of Christ – writes the following in 2 Corinthians 3: “So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.

We can have the same kind of walk with God that Samuel knew! When we invite Jesus into every moment of our living, then “walking the walk” is a natural response.

Put this way: the answer to our all-too-human tendency to sweat the details, nit-pick the law, live in fear, throw judgment darts at others, and worry about every small decision is to spend more time with Jesus. The “the Lord – who is the Spirit – makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.”

It’s all about Jesus:

In 1887, Eliza Hewitt wrote a simple song that captures this idea beautifully:

  1. More about Jesus would I know,
    More of His grace to others show;
    More of His saving fullness see,
    More of His love who died for me.

    • Refrain:
      More, more about Jesus,
      More, more about Jesus;
      More of His saving fullness see,
      More of His love who died for me.
  2. More about Jesus let me learn,
    More of His holy will discern;
    Spirit of God, my teacher be,
    Showing the things of Christ to me.
  3. More about Jesus, in His Word,
    Holding communion with my Lord;
    Hearing His voice in every line,
    Making each faithful saying mine.
  4. More about Jesus on His throne,
    Riches in glory all His own;
    More of His kingdom’s sure increase;
    More of His coming, Prince of Peace.

More, more about Jesus – more of his love, who died for me – DEREK




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