So Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. (1 Samuel 3:19)
A baby girl was born into the Crayton family on this day, a number of years ago—and I am exceedingly glad! Bob and Louise Crayton named her Marilyn, and she would grow up into a beautiful woman who at the age of eighteen would walk down the aisle and become my wife! So today I wish her a happy birthday! Growth is the expected outcome of birth. That is true physically, but it is also true spiritually. Having been born again into the family of God, we are not to remain children in the faith, but to mature in Christ. Samuel gives us an Old Testament illustration of this New Testament truth. His physical development was accompanied with his spiritual growth as well. By examining his life, we discover strategies for our growth.
Spiritual growth demands that we be ACCESSIBLE TO GOD (1 Sam.3:1). A child cannot develop physically without proper nutrition. He or she must be fed. Our soul food is the Word of God. As newborn babes, we are to desire the unadulterated milk of the Word and spiritual growth will occur. You cannot grow without regularly consumption of the truth of Scripture. If you are not before an open Bible with an open heart, you are not in a place of accessibility—where God will meet with you and speak to you. Samuel had spiritual interests. He served in the Tabernacle, ministering to the Lord. Despite it being a climate of famine in those days for hearing the Word, Samuel was a notable exception. He was at the place of worship—accessible to God. Going to the House of God with the people of God to hear the man of God speak the Word of God is to be taught by the Spirit of God. That is indispensable if we want to grow.
Spiritual growth also means that we must be ATTUNE TO GOD (1 Sam.3:2-14). A radio may have a receiver, giving the potential for getting a signal, but it must be tuned to the correct frequency to hear it. Radio signals are flooding the room where you are located right now, but you may not be hearing them. You have to be dialed in; the tuner has to be set on the channel. God is speaking, but are we listening? The cacophony of noise in this world will drown out the still, small voice of God that whispers to our spirit. It is why we need a daily quiet time—to tune in to God. Samuel said, “Speak, for Your servant hears.” (v.10) It is Divine revelation requiring spiritual illumination.
Spiritual growth, furthermore, requires that we be AVAILABLE TO GOD (1 Sam.3:15-21). Samuel was obedient to God’s Word. It wasn’t only a message to be studied on, but a mandate to be submitted to. Obedience became the hallmark of his life. This resulted in growth (v.19a) and empowerment for service (v.19b). Samuel became a conduit through which the power of God flowed into the lives of others. The hand of God upon him was unmistakable. Those who heard him affirmed his ministry (v.20-21).
These are the simple strategies for spiritual growth:
· Be in the house of God where you are encouraged to grow;
· Have a daily quiet time where you read the Word and seek God in prayer;
· Obey what God says.
You will grow!