People outside the church are rebellious, apathetic, and self-absorbed; while people inside the church are rebellious, apathetic, and self-absorbed.
This isn’t the way it should be, but it’s nothing new. The climate of the church back in Samuel’s day was cloudy with a chance of judgement- 100% chance. The climate hasn’t warmed much. The outlook can be downright depressing, and yet…God is calling. He called Samuel, but though Samuel served in the church, “Samuel did not yet know the LORD, and the word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.” (1 Samuel 3:7) Yet God kept calling, and eventually Samuel got the message. Samuel could’ve found plenty of reasons not to serve the Lord; his mentors were doing a pretty lousy job of it. My focus can not be on what the rest of the world -or the church- is doing; the question is, “What am I doing?” He’s calling, He will keep calling. May our response be as Samuel’s when he finally picked up, “Speak, Lord, your servant hears”.
“That is why the Holy Spirit says, “Today when you hear his voice,
8 don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled, when they tested me in the wilderness.
9 There your ancestors tested and tried my patience, even though they saw my miracles for forty years.
10 So I was angry with them, and I said, ‘Their hearts always turn away from me. They refuse to do what I tell them.’
11 So in my anger I took an oath: ‘They will never enter my place of rest.'”[fn]
12 Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters.[fn] Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God.”