Cheers For Change
[How to Believe Again] –“So he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down again, and if someone calls again, say, ‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went back to bed.” – 1 Samuel 3:9, NLT
God’s used the story of Samuel one other time in a very POWERFUL way. I remember when I was writing my first book, “Faithbook of Jesus” and how I couldn’t exercise the same kind of faith I was writing about.
I was weakened physically from working full time and writing full time (under a four month deadline of over 105,000 words). Burn out seemed imminent.
What I did not understand, however, was how much my faith would crumble. And I would lose all hope.
I did not know how to hear the voice of God because I had never been tested that way before. I didn’t know that instead of fighting it, I should have given Him cheers for change.
I struggled with verses like “Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening” (Acts 16:25, NLT).
I did not want to pray.
I did not want to sing.
I was afraid so I began to pray and believe again. To hope for change. In my midnight hour, God used my father to recommend a book by Bruce Wilkinson called “Secrets of the Vine.” It was in this tiny book that I learned the power of discipline, pruning, and abiding taken from John 15.
The abiding part is what killed my spirit, but it was in that season of death and dying and winter that I learned how to change. Had to change.
“I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives” (John 12:24 NLT).
I recently said goodbye to seminary. Even though my original purpose for moving down to San Diego changed I still feel like it was the most fruitful season yet. I finished my second book on dating. God brought an amazing man into my life. I signed my next contract. I’m not leaving with a sense of failure and mistrust, but faith and hope (and love).
I decided to move back to Oceanside and stay with my family for the time being.
And the Lord came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!”
And Samuel replied, “Speak, your servant is listening.”
Then the Lord said to Samuel, “I am about to do a shocking thing in Israel… (1 Samuel 3:10-11a, NLT)
For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, NLT).
“And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him” (Hebrews 11:6, NLT).