Summary: Knowing how God speaks to us can help us in hearing his voice and understanding his desire for our lives.
Over the time that I have been a Pastor I have come to realize that the smartest people I have ever dealt with are children. Now I’m not talking about kids ages 13 yrs to 19 yrs because as all adults know kids go brain dead during those years. The age I’m talking about it from 5 yrs old to about 12 yrs old. Kids at this age are able to tell exactly what their parents want simply by listening to the tone of their voice and who their named is said. As a kid I knew that if at any time my entire name (Joshua Eric Randolph) was ever uttered or yelled that my first reaction should be to run and flee because I knew bad things were in store for me. If only my full first name was called out then I knew that trouble was around the corner but not enough that I should flee to the hills. I also knew that if my parents simply said Josh that it was safe to come to them.
As a child we learned that the way our name was called means a great deal, and now as adults the same is still true when God calls us. Here are a couple different ways that God has used to calls to his people.
In I Samuel 3 God simply and quietly calls to Samuel to help show him that he has a plan for him. God many of times in this day and age will quietly speak to us through the circumstances around us and through prayer. He speaks quietly to help us learn that at times we need to slow down and even rest.
God also guides us with his voice, as a Shepard would do. This is shown in John 10 as Jesus tells his disciples that those in his flock will follow his voice and flee from the voice of a stranger.
Another way God calls is with a commanding voice as he did in John 11 when Jesus commands Lazarus to come forth from the grave. Also in Acts 9 God commands Saul to answer to why he is persecuting his church.
The calling I want to talk about today is the way Jesus compassionately calls our name like the way he called Mary Magdalene in John 20:10-16
John 20:10-16 (NIV)
10Then the disciples went back to their homes, 11but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
13They asked her, "Woman, why are you crying?"
"They have taken my Lord away," she said, "and I don’t know where they have put him." 14At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
15"Woman," he said, "why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?"
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him."
16Jesus said to her, "Mary."
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher).
At the time that this is occurring all the disciples had given up, but there by the tomb was a women whose life had been so greatly changed by this man she called teacher and savior that she had no intentions of going anywhere until she found the body of Jesus.
God is always asking us “what are you seeking” or “who are you seeking.” Many times people talk about looking for a bigger rush, or a bigger high. Others talk about wanting to be so much like famous people. Constantly people are looking for things that will improve their lives but they just never know what to look for. Despite God constantly calling to us with is creation we never seem to know what we are looking for.
Do you realize that God first called us so that we could in turn call out to Him? God first loved us so that we could in turn love him. So many men strive to be the first at what they do but aren’t we blessed to have a God who has already done everything first. His love was first, his calling to us was first, and his sacrifice for us came long before we even sacrificed a minute of our time for him.
A reason why we don’t know what where looking for or where God is leading us is because sometimes its hard to hear God calling us. I’ve come to realize that as Christians its much easier for us to pray in the hard times, but yet its hard for us to pray in the good times. In the hard times we stop and cry out to God in need of a response. Our focus is on Him allowing us to be more open to hearing his calling and leading. We desire to have God guide us during the hard times. During the good times our mindset is completely different. We become so busy with work, sports, family and even church that we forget to slow down and thank the one who has blessed us with all that we have. People will see all the things they have and will believe that God has given them everything he can so they are just content to go on with their lives and forget about the important things.