Deuteronomy 4:7 (NLT)
For what great nation has a god as near to them as the LORD our God is near to us whenever we call on him?
Its ring broke into the heavy sedation of sleep to pull me into reality. At first, I thought it might be the alarm pulling me into lucidity. The illuminated screen flashed the name of my son, so I immediately without hesitation answered the call. It had been a difficult night as he adjusted to life as a law enforcement officer encountering a horrific traffic accident with lifeless bodies. He shared how he prayed on the scene and felt the Lord’s Presence. The bristling alert mode that had put my heart on high alert now gave way to the compassion of a mother as I listened to his voice. He is our oldest child. A few years ago, we spent a long year of waiting from one call to the next as he served his country in a foreign war. Thanks to modern technology, I could set up a connection on the internet that would alert me when he was online so we could chat or video call one another while I was at work. Each time the signal would come on no matter what seemed to be pressing for the day, it became high priority to communicate with my child before the connection was lost. This kid is our most daring who chooses to live life his way as he ventures out seeking to be the man he is called to be not who others tell him to be. I respect that although at times it gives way to long silent periods as he treks off on his own. But when he calls, I am quick to answer to see where he is and what he is up to. His chosen profession makes these calls a little hairy especially when I know that he is on duty. However, as his mom, I will always answer when he calls.
Our God is near to us whenever we call Him! It is a defining quality that makes the god we serve different from the lifeless gods of other religions. However, some believers cannot hear the Lord’s Voice and doubt that even speaks to people anymore. This is simply not true. The Spirit of the Living God has been purposely placed in the heart of believers to relay God’s Secrets to His People. Have you called on the Lord lately?
Romans 8:14-16 (NLT)
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.
The Spirit of God identifies you as a Child of God. You received the Holy Spirit when the Lord set you free from your sin. Now you are no longer a slave to your flesh, but freed by His Spirit. Now when you call on God it is as His Precious Child. It is the identifying marker that we belong to Him even when our choices have removed us from His Presence it works to guide us home. I believe that the Holy Spirit moved on my son’s heart when he came upon the car accident last night. He took something terrible to speak to my son’s heart and remind Him of His Prevailing Presence in His Life. God wants to speak to you. He wants to speak to me. He longs for our children, the next generation, to call Him, “Abba, Father.” But we cannot answer a voice that we do not hear. We cannot call someone we do not know.
I Samuel 3:3-10 (NLT)
The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was sleeping in the Tabernacle near the Ark of God. 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. 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.” Samuel did not yet know the LORD because he had never had a message from the LORD before. 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. 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. And the LORD came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel replied, “Speak, your servant is listening.”
God was speaking to Samuel. But Samuel had never heard the Voice of God and therefore did not recognize it so he kept running to his mentor, the prophet, Eli. When Eli realized that the Lord was calling to Samuel, he gave the boy excellent advice. Go back, wait and if someone calls again, say, “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.” Samuel did just that and now he would spend the rest of his life communicating one-on-one with the Lord. This is vital in the life of anyone who intends to live a successful Christian life that leads to Eternity. You cannot follow the voice of someone you do not hear. You cannot hear them facing the wrong direction. If every believer would choose to go back where they last heard His Voice and wait there until He speaks again, a true revival would break out in the Body of Christ and His Church would come to life again.
Isaiah 6:3-8 (NLT)
They were calling out to each other, Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!” Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke. Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.” Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. He touched my lips with it and said, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.” Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?” I said, “Here I am. Send me.”
In his vision, Isaiah was catapulted into the Presence of God. He could see and hear the angels crying out, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord.” It was overwhelming even to this mighty man of God who felt utterly useless, helpless and unworthy at His Throne. In these days before Jesus Chris, man’s hopeless sin condition could never seem to be satisfied. The angel brought a coal from the altar and touched Isaiah’s lips removing his guilt and forgiving his sins. Now the prophet felt empowered to say, “Here I am. Send me.” This should be the confession of every man and woman of God once they accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Salvation brings instant and complete satisfaction of sin and shame can no longer survive in the one who has been set free by the Spirit of the Living God. It is God’s expectation that we turn from this position and move into His Righteousness and Justice thanks to the unfailing love and truth He has given us. (Psalm 89:14-16) In the Presence of God, there is fullness of joy and endless pleasure for those who have been saved and set free. (Psalm 16:11) So what is the problem? Why can’t everyone hear God and answer His Call.
Joel 2:12-14 (NLT)
That is why the LORD says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the LORD your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish. Who knows? Perhaps he will give you a reprieve, sending you a blessing instead of this curse. Perhaps you will be able to offer grain and wine to the LORD your God as before.
Hearing God’s Voice begins when you are saved. However, we must understand what true salvation is in order to clear the airways and make a connection with Him. True repentance is calling on the Name of the Lord while turning your heart over to God and turning to face His Direction. Here is a hint: there is no darkness in the Presence of God. There is no sin there. No gray area or middle-of-the-road. As believers, we must strive to be holy and completely separate our life from the sin and darkness of this world. To run to the Altar, call on the Lord, and then run right back into the old life you have been living does not open blind eyes or deaf ears. Saul met the Lord on the road to Damascus and was blinded by the Light of His Love. He was then led to Ananias to be ministered to and cared for. Saul became Paul and his eyes were immediately opened. Then he was invited to sit and stay there while he adjusted to the Call of God on his life and figured out how to manage life as a Pharisee and life as a Christian. Ah no, that is not what happened. “For you are to be his witness, telling everyone what you have seen and heard. What are you waiting for? Get up and be baptized. Have your sins washed away by calling on the name of the Lord.” (Acts 22) The Lord did not allow Paul to wallow in the sins of his past or mourn it, but rather told this new convert to get up and get going. Repentance is an immediate change of direction. Had Saul chosen to turn back and seek the counsel of Jewish leaders I wonder if he would have been healed of his blindness or if would have remained as a constant reminder of his hardened heart and blinded soul? Thankfully Saul chose to follow the Voice of God and answer the call!
Matthew 7:21-23 (NLT)
“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’”
The application of God’s Grace to the human heart, mind and soul comes with a purpose. It is not without validity in your life. Everything God does is with His Purpose in mind. Only those who actually do the Will of the Father will enter Heaven. To call on the Name of the Lord without turning your heart over to Him, and changing the direction of your life is useless banter. Grace cannot be obtained long distance, but one must live in close proximity with God to have it in every aspect of life. It is the only thing that allows us to remain in His Righteousness and not die in justice. Grace is not so we can live anyway that we choose and still live forever. Jesus warned people of this very thing. The Call of God for your life is a lifestyle change. He longs to hear your voice and follows you everywhere hoping you will hear Him and answer the call. (Lamentations 3:55-57) It is a limited time offer. “Seek the LORD while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near.” (Isaiah 55:6)
Luke 6:46-49 (NLT)
“So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say? I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.”
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. This is the foundational truth by which we answer the Call of God for our life. Faith is a requirement to hear the voice of someone who you cannot see. Knowledge of His Written Word allows us to see the invisible God in the harsh reality of this life. Faith becomes confident hope as we continually seek the Lord and He reveals Himself to us. Why oh why do we keep calling on the Name of the Lord then doing exactly the same thing but expecting different results? This might just be the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. I am about to tell you the greatest thing that you can do to hear the Lord speak into your life. Are you ready? Get pen and a piece of paper. You do not want to miss this. It is going to change your life. When you want to hear the voice of the Lord, you must wait for Him. This is a huge letdown for some who are afraid to exit the rat race long enough to hear the Lord speak and do whatever it is that He says. We are either too afraid we will miss something or that everything will unravel and fall apart without our constant control. “Let the watchman be fully alert.” (Isaiah 21:7-10) “I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guard post. There I will wait to see what the LORD says and how he will answer my complaint.” (Habakkuk 2:1) We do not listen for His Answer or wait to see Him come because we do not have faith in God our Father. Your faith is useless if God is not going to come to your aid. It is unfounded if Jesus cannot save you from your sins and set you free. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. He has given you His Spirit to explain all the great mysteries of His Kingdom and point the way to His People but we ignore the Lord. We call but do not wait for an answer. Then blame the Lord for never talking back or showing up when it was us who left the watch tower unattended due to a lack of faith and trust in our Father.
Matthew 14:28-29 (NLT)
Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.
In the midst of hopelessness, my son called on the one who he knew was the only hope for those people dying in the car. He called, “Jesus.” We do not have to wait until we are face down in the pit to call on the Lord, try out faith, and listen for His Response. It can be a daily foray of exercising the Freedom we have been given to have Heaven come to earth. Peter did just that when he requested, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you walking on the water.” Jesus said, “Yes, come!” When you want to work on your faith and “water with the Lord”, I believe that He will answer your call and meet us there every time. It is exactly the type of relationship that he is after. He wants to communicate His Love to you one-on-one. He wants to demonstrate His Power in your life because it brings Him glory! What are you waiting for – isn’t it time you answered the call?
Acts 2:38-39 (NLT)
Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you, and to your children, and even to the Gentiles —all who have been called by the Lord our God.”
If you have repented of your sins AND turned to God following the Lord’s steps beginning with baptism as a symbol of the new life that you have claimed, then you my friend have been called by God. He didn’t leave you all alone. He gave you His Spirit to cultivate your faith and confident hope in His Love and Ability to care for you as you work out your salvation. Now what? If you have never heard the voice of God, then wait for it. Listen for it. Remove every obstacle of sin and shame that has distanced you from His Presence and move in closer by faith. You will hear His Voice if you turn to God, but seldom can anyone hear the person speaking to his back. God loves you. He is your Father. He cannot ignore your call. So why are you ignoring His? Live in the Promise you have been given as a Child of God today and answer His Call!
Ephesians 4:1-6 (NLT)
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all.