Answering God's Call

Answering God's Call

Welcome to Part 29 of this blog series on The Will of God. If you don't know God's Will for your life or you just want to live more on purpose, this blog series is for you. For Part 28, "Ask Donnell - How Do I Speak In Tongues?" click here. Today, we will focus on Point 5 of 7 listed in "Developing The Art Of Hearing From God"

Whether you feel like it or not, when God wants to talk to you, He'll call on you. Always respond! If you despise those times, don't expect to hear Him on your schedule.

Psalm 27:8(NLT) - My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming.”

Late Saturday night a few months ago I thanked God as I went to sleep. I timed it perfectly and didn't have much cushion in the schedule. I was extremely fatigued but confident that I could catch up on the sleep my body craved. I had to preach the next morning and had just spent a few hours putting the finishing touches on the message. If I awoke with the alarm clock I would have received just enough sleep. I had the perfect plan or so I thought.

At 4:00 AM, several hours ahead of schedule The Lord woke me up. I thought to myself; "Really? Are we going to do this right now? This sleep is just too sweet." I tried to talk in tongues for a few minutes and go back to sleep. If it really was The Lord, I knew He would wake me up again. As expected, in a few minutes my eyes opened again. I watched the clock and sighed. I knew what I needed to do.

I crawled out of bed and sat before The Lord. I was so happy I did that because He had some important things to say. In fact, He changed the entire message I was about to preach. Had I not woken up I would have been completely out of touch with God's heart for His people that day. I learned a valuable lesson about answering God's Call. He doesn't do it often but when He wakes me up for an impromptu meeting I better respond.

How do you know when God is calling you to a time of fellowship with Him? Your heart will hear Him. Since God lives inside of every Christian, He doesn't have to call us from the outside (Romans 8:9-11). He can call us from within. Like Psalmist David said in Psalm 27:8 when your heart hears God calling, your heart must respond; "Lord, I am coming."

1 Samuel 3:1-10(NKJV) - Now the boy Samuel ministered to the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation. 2 And it came to pass at that time, while Eli was lying down in his place, and when his eyes had begun to grow so dim that he could not see, 3 and before the lamp of God went out in the tabernacle of the Lord where the ark of God was, and while Samuel was lying down, 4 that the Lord called Samuel. And he answered, “Here I am!” 5 So he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” And he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” And he went and lay down. 6 Then the Lord called yet again, “Samuel!” So Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” He answered, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” 7 (Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, nor was the word of the Lord yet revealed to him.) 8 And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. So he arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you did call me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord had called the boy. 9 Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears.”

Answering God's Call

There is so much we can learn from this story of Samuel's first personal encounter with The Lord. The Voice of God sounded so familiar that he thought it was his mentor, Eli. This shows that even though God can thunder from the heavens (2 Samuel 22:14, Psalm 18:3) He can also choose to speak with us much more gently. So much so that His Voice can sound so familiar that we mistake Him for a human being. It's been rare but there have been times when God has called me by name with an audible voice. Like Samuel, it sounded like someone familiar calling me but I knew it was God. Has that ever happened to you?

Another lesson we can learn from Samuel's experience is that The Voice of The Lord has to be learned. Samuel had no idea who was calling him because he did not know The Lord as yet. Thankfully, Eli perceived that it was God and was able to guide Samuel's response. Sometimes it takes a little experience to become proficient in hearing God's Voice. The first few times you may miss it but after a while if you pay attention you should become familiar with how He speaks.

Isaiah 50:4(NKJV) - “The Lord God has given Me The tongue of the learned, That I should know how to speak A word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear To hear as the learned.

A master key to hearing God's Voice is consistently answering God's Call. When God initiates a conversation you have it easy. In those moments He's ready to talk so you won't have much trouble hearing what He wants to say. As you can see in Isaiah 50:4 God also values consistency. Morning by morning He awakens the person who wants to receive His wisdom. It's during those times He can download His mind and heart into theirs. If you want to be the person with the words of wisdom to help others when they are weary then be willing to consistently answer God's call. If you're as busy as I am the best approach is to go ahead and put it in your schedule with God's guidance.

Most times, God's call comes directly in your heart. Other times, it comes in an audible voice but it also comes in the form of a message you hear at church or somewhere else. In the message, the preacher issues a call to prayer or worship. How do you know that the call is for you? That's easy. You're not doing it already. Also, as soon as you hear The Word if it burns within your heart The Word is yours (Luke 24:32). Receive it and respond accordingly! That burning sensation is a result of The Holy Spirit convicting your heart and pushing you toward what's right (John 16:8).

Time is limited. You can't create time. You can only exchange it. If you're too busy to spend time with God you are too busy. It's time for you to make an exchange. Exchange the time you spend on something else with the time you need to spend with God. You may have other important responsibilities in your daily life but nothing should take His place. If you spend enough time with God daily He won't have to call you to meet Him at random moments as much. He values your time because He gave it to you and knows exactly how much you have (Deuteronomy 30:20). Consequently, time spent with The Lord is time well spent.

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