It's a goal of just about every young person I know to grow up quickly and to be treated like an adult. The good news is that I know a place you can go if you are young where you are always treated like an adult—and that place is the presence of God. When you go to God and have faith, no matter how young or old you are, God hears your prayers and speaks to you about serious matters. If you are young, He doesn't treat like a child.
The last two weeks, we have studied the life of a boy named Samuel. We saw that his mother dedicated him to the Lord before he was born and then when he was a young child, she took him to live with a man named Eli who was a man of God. Samuel stayed there to help Eli but then one night, God called out to Samuel, but he didn't know who it was. So he went to Eli and woke him up, asking him what he wanted. Eli sent the boy back to bed but his happened a few more times until Eli finally realized the Lord was the one speaking to Samuel.
Eli then told the boy to say, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening" if and when Samuel heard the voice again. And sure enough, he did: "And the Lord came and called as before, 'Samuel! Samuel!' And Samuel replied, 'Speak, your servant is listening'" (1 Samuel 3:10). So why did God call Samuel by name? What was so important that God kept on calling out to him until Samuel answered and was ready to listen?
God wanted to speak to Samuel about serious adult matters, for it seems that Eli and his family were being disobedient to the Lord:
The Lord said to him, “Some day I am going to do something to the people of Israel that is so terrible that everyone who hears about it will be stunned. On that day I will carry out all my threats against Eli's family, from beginning to end. I have already told him that I am going to punish his family forever because his sons have spoken evil things against me. Eli knew they were doing this, but he did not stop them. So I solemnly declare to the family of Eli that no sacrifice or offering will ever be able to remove the consequences of this terrible sin” (1 Samuel 3:11-14).
Even though Samuel was a child, God told him things just like he was an adult. The next day, Eli asked Samuel what God had told him and even though he was frightened, Samuel told him the truth about what the Lord had said. We then read,
As Samuel grew up, the Lord was with him and made come true everything that Samuel said. So all the people of Israel, from one end of the country to the other, knew that Samuel was indeed a prophet of the Lord. The Lord continued to reveal himself at Shiloh, where he had appeared to Samuel and had spoken to him. And when Samuel spoke, all Israel listened (1 Samuel 3:19-21).
TREATED LIKE AN ADULT
Samuel served as God's prophet or spokesman throughout his life, and that role started when he was a child. Though he was young, God didn't speak to him about childish things. He treated him like an adult and Samuel was obedient and willing to do and say what God showed him.
Just like Samuel, God may be speaking to you at a young age about His will and purpose for your life. You will grow into it as you mature, but that doesn't mean God won't use you now even if you're young. Don't be too quick to dismiss what you're hearing or thinking about your life, your future, or the things you see that may not seem right in God's eyes. If you take God seriously and put your trust in Him, He will take you seriously, respond to your faith, and use you no matter how old or young you are.