Recently I was reading in the book of I Samuel about the birth, life, ministry, and influence of Samuel. One of the important things I noticed about his life was a scripture from I Samuel 3:19 that says, "The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up..." Now this particular scripture might not be an earth-rattling and bone-shattering revelation, but it spoke something to me that I believe all Christians should be aware of. The lesson I took from this particular scripture was this: if we are to "grow up," the Lord MUST be with us! What I mean by this is in our spiritual walk, we will never "grow up" unless we cultivate a living relationship with our Savior Jesus and walk with Him and in Him at ALL times. It is imperative that we not only develop a prayer life, fellowship with other believers, a diligent study of the scriptures, and a host of other important growth disciplines, but also it is equally important that we take time to sit at His feet and learn from Him.
Samuel, in his ministry as a young man, was frequently found in the tabernacle. Eli, who was the high priest over the entire nation, could be found most of the time, sitting by the side of the road on a chair! What a contrast we see between a "new believer," who was young and energetic about the ministry, and an "old believer," who was experienced, satisfied, complacent, and indifferent to the spiritual condition of himself, the priesthood, and the nation. The difference between the two is stark, as one desires the place of God's presence while the other loses his spiritual "vision," grows "old" and "fat," and loses any type of spiritual discernment in leading the country!
May we follow the example of Samuel who lived in and loved the presence of God in his life. May we be set apart, like Samuel, to do ministry before the Lord with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength!