We are all familiar with little Samuel’s Bible story when he heard a voice calling his name repeatedly. Each time he ran to Eli the priest thinking he was calling him, but he kept sending him back. On the fourth call, Eli realizes it is God’s call and guides little Samuel to respond “Here I am Lord, speak to me”. God speaks to Samuel and conveys His judgment upon Eli’s household for their sins.
Eli is often remembered as a bad father and usually gets blamed for his sons doing evil but I would like to share 2 characteristics of Eli that caught my attention, in regards to changing the life of Samuel.
Eli – a good guide
Eli discerned the calling (voice) of God and guided Samuel to respond to God’s calling (1 Samuel 3:2-9). He taught Samuel to interpret and answer the voice which he heard. We need to adopt this trait as we have a responsibility to guide young people to know Christ and his voice. “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me (John 10:27)”. We need to guide others to know and respond to God’s calling in their lives. When someone approach us with a vision or passion in their hearts, we should be able to direct them in the right channel discerning the will of God. Influence others under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Thus as mentors, we should do our utmost to assist and improve the younger that are rising up.
Eli encouraged Samuel to be fearless about God’s word
Samuel was afraid to speak what God spoke to him about the punishment on Eli’s family. Eli follows up with Samuel and encourages him to unselfishly speak out the prophecy without holding back (1 Samuel 3:15-18). Today we see very few people who are willing to encourage others in the fear of losing their position or ministry. Encouraging others to believe in and honor the visions God gives them is something we must all strive to do as spiritual mentors.
John Bevere quotes
“We don’t honor just to get a reward; we honor because it is the heart of God, and it is our delight”
As mentors, let us honor the call of God in others and encourage them to stand up for the vision God puts in their hearts.