Summary: This message uses a good story to illustrate our need to be listening for God’s voice. It can also be used as a New Years sermon.
"ARE YOU LISTENING?"
Open your Bibles to 1 Samuel Chapter 3.
Back when telegraph was the fastest method of communication
a young man applied for a job as a Morse Code operator.
He went to the address listed in the newspaper ad
and entered a large, busy office.
It was filled with noise, clutter
and the sound of Morse Code clicking in the background.
He was told to fill out a form
and wait with the 7 other applicants
until they were called into the inner office.
The young man filled out the form and sat down.
The office was so noisy
it was hard to carry on a conversation
so most of the applicants sat silently.
Some read magazines.
Some stood gazing out the window.
Others dozed off to sleep
paying no attention to what was going on around them.
The young man, however, sat poised
and ready to enter the office
the very moment he was called.
The setting of that office reminds me a lot of Samuel’s day.
Like that office,
things were pretty chaotic for the people of Israel.
The Philistines were giving them a hard time.
The sons of Eli, who were priests,
were taking advantage of the people.
They were gluttonous,
And like those other 7 job applicants,
Eli seemed to be unconcerned about their conduct.
It also reminds me of our own culture.
We live in a world that is dominated by busyness,
racket, and clamor,
And many people are unconcerned about spiritual issues.
Like the telegraph company,
God is looking for workers.
He has sought them in every generation.
And He seeks them today.
There are some truths I want to consider with you
which can help us be good workers for God.
How many want to work for the Lord?
Raise your hands!
If you want to work for the Lord,
here’s how to get the job.
#1 DON’T LET THE DISTRACTIONS OF LIFE STOP YOU:
1 And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision.
 And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see;
 And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep;
 That the Lord called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.
Samuel, even as a young boy, was ministering to the Lord.
He wasn’t doing the things most boys of his age were doing,
playing and romping and being just boys.
Not that boyish things are necessarily bad things.
They were just not the primary things for Samuel.
It is easy to be distracted.
We live in a world that is filled with noise and busyness.
We have many distractions:
There is the push to materialism, selfishness and greedy gain.
Calendars are crammed with activities.
If people aren’t rushing to some sports event,
they are dashing to some club or social activity.
There are multitudes of demands on our time,
energies, resources, and finances.
We are surrounded by distractions.
The devil has always used distractions
to keep folk from working for the Lord:
He distracted Eve’s attention from all the fruit
which they could freely eat
He led her to the single fruit forbidden them.
He kept Israel from claiming the Promised Land
by distracting them from God’s promise.
He led them to fear the enemy they had to face.
He tried to distract Jesus from His mission
by urging Him to:
satisfy His need for food by turning stones to bread.
prove He was God
by pushing God into rescuing Him with angels
as He lept from the top of the temple.
gain rulership over the kingdoms of the world
by the simple, but evil, worshipping him.
And he still tries to distract us.
He wants us to:
focus on the temporary things of life
instead of things that are eternal.
worry about material things
and neglect things that are spiritual.
Instead of serving in the Church
He wants us to spend
all our time, energy and money
on things for ourselves.
But God is looking for workers
who set their minds on things above,
who remember the claim of God on their lives,
and who are not distracted by all the stuff
of modern secular culture.
The telegraph company needed just one employee.
But 8 men had applied.
Which one would get the job?
After waiting a few minutes,
the young man stood up,
walked acros the waiting room,
and walked right into the office.
The other applicants perked up.
They wondered what was going on.