I believe God is trying to get our attention, and we had better take heed. We always need to be sensitive to what the Lord is saying and doing. However, I believe we are in a season when God is speaking loud and clear yet also using other avenues to communicate to and with us. Let me share a couple of interesting things that happened within a two-day span.
Recently, my granddaughter Olivia and I attended a conference in the mountains and stayed at a friend’s house. Sunday morning, a knock came at the door. Olivia was still sleeping, and I was reading scripture on my phone so as not to awaken her by turning on the lamp. When I heard the knock, I raised my head and, turning toward the door, said, “Yes, come in.” But no one opened the door. Thinking they didn’t hear me, I jumped out of bed and went to the door, but no one was there, and the hall was empty. Later, when I asked my friend if she was at my door earlier, she replied, “No.” So I knew it was the Lord.
Then Monday night – Tuesday morning I heard my mother call my name. Her voice came from over my left shoulder, and she sounded farther away. Her voice sounded like when she was younger when I was a child, and she called me to come in from play for dinner. It was as if she was calling me to follow her. I was so happy to hear her voice again. She’s been with Jesus since 2009. I turned to look for her but didn’t see her. I checked the clock, and it was 3:33. I knew God was speaking to me through Jeremiah 33:3. I like to use the Amplified Classic version because it gives more detail. God wants to reveal things to us that are hidden and also give us understanding. We need to be paying attention.
Call to Me, and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand). Jeremiah 33:3 AMPC
I began praying about the promises and prophetic words God has given me that have not yet come to pass. Then I called upon Him. The scripture says that if I call upon Him He will not only answer but also He will show me. So now I need only to wait to see what He will reveal. It’s the unveiling of the hidden manna, the glory, the power, the might, and the wisdom of the ages.
Tuesday morning I brought towels to the laundry room and strangely enough I heard wind chimes over my left shoulder. Trust me, there were no wind chimes in my laundry room, yet they were chiming loud and clear. I knew this was angel activity. The great cloud of witnesses and angels surrounds us all the time and is working to get our attention to show and tell us things that are on the Father’s heart. We had best be paying attention.
WHO DID GOD CALL BY NAME
Let’s take a look at some people in scripture God called by name, in fact each one He called twice.
Abraham – But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” So he said, “Here I am.” (Genesis 22:11) Abraham passed the test of obedience! God called him to sacrifice his only son Isaac, and at the moment when he would kill his son, God called to him, saying, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” Abraham knew that obedience and fear of God were greater than sacrifice. And God blessed Abraham and made him the father of many nations.
Jacob –Then God spoke to Israel in the visions of the night, and said, “Jacob, Jacob!” And he said, “Here I am.” (Genesis 46:2) Jacob had just learned that his son Joseph was alive and second in command in Egypt. Jacob was old and weary, yet his desire was to see his precious son. God reassured him that he would not only go to Egypt but also see his son. Restoration was in sight. God is still restoring families and vision today. Where there’s been no hope, God is the God of second chances.
So He said, “I am God, the God of your father; do not fear to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there. I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again, and Joseph will put his hand on your eyes.” (Genesis 46:3-4)
Moses – So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” (Exodus 3:4)
While Moses was on the backside of the desert, the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. Moses saw the bush was burning but it was not consumed. Then he turned aside to see why the bush didn’t burn. Then God called him by name and instructed him to remove his sandals because Moses was standing on holy ground. God spoke to Moses from the burning bush and commissioned him to deliver the Israelites from Egyptian bondage and lead them to the Promised Land.
Samuel – Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears.” (1 Samuel 3:10)
Samuel was a young boy who ministered to the Lord before Eli, the high priest. The word of the Lord was rare, and there was little revelation. Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were also priests, but they were wicked, and Eli didn’t correct them. He had grown old, and his eyes were dim. Therefore, he had lost sight of truth, justice, and righteousness and lacked discernment. Three times, Samuel heard his name being called, and each time ran to Eli’s bed, believing he had been summoned. Finally, Eli realized it must be God and instructed Samuel to answer. Sometimes, God will speak to us more than once to get our attention. Often times, we are not discerning His presence because we’re too busy instead of simply resting in Him and allowing Him to call us. We need to become the silent partner who answers the call of duty when we’re called upon. God’s an equal-opportunity employer, and He’s looking for lifetime recruits. We need to have a teachable spirit like Samuel.
Martha – But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:40-42)
Martha and Mary were sisters. Mary had a ministry of worship, so she sat at the feet of the Master. While Martha had a ministry of helps, which was very important. She was supplying the needs of the people while Mary was being fed the word of God. This was a choice each sister made. First, let us notice that Jesus did not call her but, in fact, answered her. Scripture tells us that Martha was distracted and basically instructed the Lord, telling Him what He should do. She chose to serve others instead of spending time in the presence of the Lord. Martha’s work would soon be forgotten, while Mary’s knowledge and understanding were eternal. The same holds true today because there are so many things in the natural that distract us from spending time in the presence of the Lord. We need time in His presence daily, apart from life’s distractions, so we can glean the revelation necessary to live in Him and not apart from Him. Like Mary and Martha, it’s our choice. Let us choose wisely!
Simon Peter – Following the Lord’s Supper, the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” (Luke 22:31-32)
The Lord knew Peter would deny Him and turn away for a short time. Yet it was His intercessory prayer of John 17 that kept the disciples from turning away. Christ knew that Peter was called to open the gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 11), and that’s why Satan wanted to sift him. If he could change Peter’s mind, his calling and destiny would not be fulfilled. In the same way, the enemy sifts (or tempts) Christians today to discourage, distract, disappoint, and depress them. If he succeeds, they will not fulfill their destiny in Christ, and a void remains. Think of how many destinies have been aborted. Or lost through drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution, child trafficking, suicide, homosexuality, and adultery. The enemy uses many avenues to sift people. Jesus’ prayer to keep them from the evil one remains. However, it is each individual’s choice to follow Christ.
I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. (John 17:1)
Saul –As he journeyed, he came near Damascus, and suddenly, a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” (Acts 9:3-5)
Saul, later named Paul, was a Pharisee who persecuted the early followers of Jesus. When the risen Christ appeared to him in a great bright light on the road to Damascus, he was struck blind. After three days, Ananias of Damascus restored his sight, and Paul began to preach the gospel of Jesus, saying, “He is the Son of God.” The Apostle Paul wrote half of the New Testament. Many people today are still asking the question, “Who are You, Lord?” Many people have bought into the lies of the enemy and chosen other gods. They need a road to Damascus experience like Saul. It wasn’t until he met the risen Christ and was blinded that he received his sight. Too many people have been persecuting Christ and His followers. They need a face-to-face encounter with the living God before they will believe. Sorry to say, but that is not faith.
REASON FOR THE CALLING
God called each one of the aforementioned Bible characters by name for a specific reason. Abraham, Jacob and Moses each answered, “Here I am!” acknowledging they heard God’s voice and waiting for His instruction. Abraham was called the father of faith and father of many nations. When God called him by name, it was a testing of his faith, trust, and obedience. Through it, he received a promise of provision. Jacob’s call meant the restoration of his family, forgiveness, provision, and future blessings for the 12 tribes of Israel. Moses also answered, “Here I am!” in fear and trembling while witnessing the burning bush. His answering to the call released his commissioning as the deliverer of the Israelite children from bondage and his position as a prophet to God.
Samuel answered, “Speak, your servant hears!” Samuel responded as a servant, yet in that moment, he was positioned as the prophet who would set things in order. God trusted him, and not one prophetic word fell to the ground. (1 Samuel 3:19)
Moving to the New Testament, I noticed something different in the way they answered to their name being called. Actually, Jesus didn’t call Martha; He corrected her. Was she jealous, judgmental, or critical of Mary? Not sure. But it seemed as if she was challenging the Lord instead of embracing Him. And He needed to set her straight. She was welcome to sit at His feet also. In the same way, the Lord addressed Simon Peter. Peter needed strengthened for the journey ahead. Once Christ was arrested, Peter denied Him and then hid in the shadows until after the resurrection. Peter would encounter many challenges along his journey and needed faith, not doubt, to endure.
Saul answered, “Who are you Lord?” Did Saul have an identity crisis? He was a Pharisee who persecuted followers of Jesus and now has an encounter with the resurrected Christ. He was blinded by his own hatred for Christ. Could he continue to kick against the goads? Saul had to spend 3 days in total darkness, searching for his soul and repenting before he would receive his sight, both natural and spiritual. He was asking because he truly did not know the King of kings and Lord of lords. But once he was born again, he became a champion of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I believe God is speaking to us in many different ways today, and He’s calling His beloved by name. What will our response be to Him? And what will He answer? My response was, “Yes, come in!” He’s coming for commissioning, positioning, promotion, and restoration of families and restoring all things to Himself. He’s also coming to correct us and strengthen us for the journey ahead. He wants to build our faith, trust, and obedience in Him so we finish our course despite distractions.