"Now in those days messages from the Lord were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon." 1 Samuel 3:1 (NLT)
In a day and age when many people, myself included, like to talk about what God is doing, leading and speaking, is it really God? I wonder if our day is not all that different than the days of Samuel's youth. When the Lord God speaks directly to Samuel he, Sam, does not understand it to be God. Samuel is convinced that it is Eli, the priest and father figure to Samuel. It is not until Eli realizes what is happening, that he instructs Samuel. Eli recognizes that it is God once again speaking. There was a time when God regularly spoke to Eli, but that had been a while.
Samuel has a deep conversation with God.
Sam: Here I am Lord
The Lord: I am going to destroy your mentor and his sons for their sins
How does Sam respond, he stays in bed as long as he can. And when Eli asks what the Lord said to him, Sam has the task of telling his father, mentor and leader that the Lord is going to take his life. This stirring encounter between Sam and God ought have us all just hoping and begging God to have us be a prophet of God. Let's see God was not recognized for some time, then when God speaks the message is that those closest to you are going to die.
However, in a day and age when God is often not recognized when speaking, and visions are treated as fantasy, it might just be you and I that God is calling to in the night. I am going to resist the temptation to break into the gaudy hymn, Here I Am Lord. Instead I am going to challenge us not to sing a song, but to be the voice that proclaims the message of God. I am going to challenge this generation to be the generation that seeks after God. i am going to challenge all of us to make this a time when God's voice and visions are know often.
Maybe your are the next Samuel.