Fearless Requires Character
1 Meanwhile, the boy Samuel served the Lord by assisting Eli. Now in those days messages from the Lord were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon.
2 One night Eli, who was almost blind by now, had gone to bed. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was sleeping in the Tabernacle near the Ark of God. 4 Suddenly the Lord called out, “Samuel!”
“Yes?” Samuel replied. “What is it?” 5 He got up and ran to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?”
“I didn’t call you,” Eli replied. “Go back to bed.” So he did.
6 Then the Lord called out again, “Samuel!”
Again Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?”
“I didn’t call you, my son,” Eli said. “Go back to bed.”
7 Samuel did not yet know the Lord because he had never had a message from the Lord before. 8 So the Lord called a third time, and once more Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?”
Then Eli realized it was the Lord who was calling the boy. 9 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.
10 And the Lord came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!”
And Samuel replied, “Speak, your servant is listening.” - 1 Samuel 3:1-10
There is a common saying that God is looking for FAT people. Now before you start looking at how overqualified you are, the acronym stands for Faithful, Available, and Teachable.
I’ve heard my dad teach on the FAT principle many times, and when it comes to people who God chooses to use and the character that He looks for, I believe there is no better standard.
As I read God’s word, I don’t see Him using the smartest and strongest, but rather the ones with a teachable spirit and humble heart. Samuel displayed each of these characteristics even as a young man. Faithful to serve both the Lord and His priest Eli. His availability shown in his willingness to get out of bed multiple times in the middle of the night and run to Eli—I don’t know about you but someone would have to hit me over the head with a shovel to wake me up in the middle of the night. And Samuel shows his teachability by following the direction of Eli and responding with a ready heart when God speaks to him.
If we are going to be fearless in ’19 we need to be FAT. This is how the New Oxford American Dictionary defines those three character traits that God is looking for:
FAITHFUL — To be loyal, contant, and steadfast. Are we steadfast and constant in our pursuit of God, His Word, and His purposes?
AVAILABLE — Able to be used or obtained; to be at someone’s disposal. Are we available to God whenever, wherever, and however He leads and directs?
TEACHABLE — Someone who is open to being taught. Are we open to God’s instructions and to the teaching of His Word?
My challenge to us today is to pray and ask God how FAT we really are. Maybe you’re not as FAT as you think you are or maybe you’re FAT-er than you think. Pose that question to your boss at work, maybe to your spouse or a close friend. Ask them if you’re teachable or if you get upset when someone brings correction. Ask if you’re available or if you feel inconvenienced when asked to serve. And finally are we faithful? Are we loyal and steadfast, doing what we say we are going to do, or saying one thing and doing another.
I don’t know where you fall on the FAT scale, but I do know that for us to be fearless it will require that we are people of character, that we are FAT people. I hope that in 2019 your rating on the FAT scale would be as my 6 year old daughter Jewell likes to say: “On a scale of 1 to 10, its awesome!
Father God, as we look into 2019, eager to be fearless, help us also to be of fearless character. Empower us to strive to be like Samuel: faithful and loyal to your call, available to be used by You, and teachable to your loving correction. It is only when we’re of Your character can we be of Your heart, truly operating as fearless in 2019. In your name we pray, amen.