1 Samuel 3:1-7
Samuel grew up serving God in the Temple, working daily side by side with Eli's corrupt sons. And while it seems as if he was doing a good job, something was missing. The Bible tells us that Samuel carried out his duties without knowing God. I suspect he knew about God but he did not have a relationship with God. I wonder how many Christians are in the same boat today. How many Christians suffer the emptiness that comes with doing what is "right" without knowing the One who gives life?
This was my walk for a number of years. I served dutifully in the church, being the first one there and the last one to leave. In between I did everything I could to make sure the day's services ran smoothly. During the week I made small repairs, took care of the lawn and when needed I shoveled snow. While spending so much time working for the church, I had very little time to spend with God. Eventually I burned out, after which I became content with just showing up. But whether I worked myself to death or just spent the service holding down a pew, I found service an empty endeavor: a complete waste of time.
Like with Samuel, God found a way to get my attention. In my case all that I worked to build collapsed around me, forcing me to stop and ask God why. He responded by changing my focus from works to relationship, showing me the value of what He was truly offering: Adoption. Now I seek to know God instead of just serving. Now I am His son, not just a servant. I am experiencing abundant life instead of empty works. Like Samuel, I stopped when God reached out to get my attention. This was the best move I have ever made.
What is the focus of your "Christian walk"? Are you substituting work in place of relationship? If you are caught up in what you can do, you are missing out on who He is. Your relationship with God should come first or else you will find yourself on the road to burnout. God is speaking, calling you by name. Please stop and listen. Please make a deliberate effort to build a relationship with God. If you do, He will pour himself into you. His fullness will touch your life and you will wonder why you ever settled for the emptiness of everything else.