Summary: We need to make sure our radio is tuned to God. Samuel tuned into God while Eli tuned God out.
Tune in to God! Don’t Tune Out!
Thesis: We need to make sure our radio is tuned to God. Samuel tuned into God while Eli tuned God out.
Opening Visual Illustration: Tuning In – Video Clip – Visual Edge, Group.
There is one interview with a pro football player that stands out in my mind as we think of tuning into God. This player tells a sports reporter why he choose to go to a certain city to play ball. He was honest enough to say that God spoke to him and he responded back. In other words I talk to God.
The interviewee was Reggie White, who at that time had just completed the
terms of his contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, where he had made the
All-star team almost every year since he became a professional. After his
contract with Philadelphia had been fulfilled, White, who is also an ordained
minister – hence his nickname, "The Minister of Defense" – had been free to
sign with any team he wished. And he had several offers that would have
made him a very rich man. But when decision time came, White shocked
most football observers and many of his friends by signing with the team
which was located in the smallest city of all the National Football League
franchises – the Green Bay Packers. The reporter who was conducting the
interview asked White how he had reached his decision to play for the
Packers. I will not soon forget what White said next. "I spent a lot of time praying
about this," White said. "And one day as I prayed, I heard God say, ‘Reggie,
go to Green Bay.’ So that’s what I did."
White saw something in the way the interviewer looked at
him at that point because White said this: "You know, when you tell
people you’ve been talking to God, they don’t have a problem with that.
That’s praying. If you believe in that sort of thing, it’s okay. But when you
say that God talked to YOU, then they think you’re crazy or something! Isn’t
prayer supposed to be a conversation with God? And in a conversation, don’t
BOTH parties talk?" (Illustration from Scott Hippler, Sermoncentral)
Throughout the Bible you will find men and women who share their story of how God spoke to them. The key to hearing the voice of the Lord had to do with the willingness of that individual to tune into God’s voice on the radio of life. There are also instances in the Bible when the individual tuned God out. These individuals did not want to listen to what God was telling them so they changed the station. It’s important in our life that we tune into God and not tune God out.
Prop. – Radio on podium to make point. Play with the station. Tuning it in and tuning it out!
Let’s take a look at a person in the Bible who learned to tune into God and recognize his voice. This individual was only about 12 years old when he learned this important lesson – tune God in - listen – respond to him – obey his voice – and grow into his spokes person – then be blessed and live!
We can say that there once were two men of God one became God’s honorable spokesman because he tuned into God where as the other one tuned God out and paid the price of his actions and died in dishonor. The two: Eli the fallen priest and Samuel the Prophet of God. Man of dishonor and man of honor. One man a failure the other man successful. One finished poorly the other finished strong.
“Eli’s sons were wicked men; they had no regard for the Lord.”
29Why do you scorn my sacrifice and offering that I prescribed for my dwelling? Why do you honor your sons more than me by fattening yourselves on the choice parts of every offering made by my people Israel?’ 30“Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that your house and your father’s house would minister before me forever.’ But now the LORD declares: ‘Far be it from me! Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained.
1The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions. 2One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 3The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was. 4Then the LORD called Samuel. Samuel answered, “Here I am.” 5And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down. 6Again the LORD called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” “My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” 7Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him. 8The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy. 9So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”