“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. Isaiah 43:1
How receptive are you to a generic invitation? “Hey, a bunch of us are going hiking. Anyone want to come?” The invitation is not personal and you might decide that it doesn’t matter all that much if you go. After all, it was a group invite.
It feels entirely different when you see a letter addressed to you or hear your name being called from down the street. And isn’t it life-altering when you hear your name being whispered tenderly by someone who loves you?
God is a personal God. He not only died for me, personally, but He called me to Him by speaking my name. Some believers have heard it audibly; others felt it in their spirit. I have heard God speak my name in a dream, but that is all.
In Bible narratives, when God wanted to make sure someone heard Him, He often spoke their name twice. He did this to seven different people.
“Abraham, Abraham!” ~ When Abraham was about to kill Isaac.
“Jacob, Jacob!” ~ When God announced to Jacob that Joseph wasn’t dead.
“Moses, Moses!” ~ When God spoke to Moses at the burning bush.
“Samuel, Samuel!” ~ When, in Samuel’s childhood, God woke him up at night.
“Martha, Martha!” ~ When Jesus told her she was worried about too many things.
“Simon, Simon!” ~ When Jesus told Peter that Peter would deny him.
“Saul, Saul!” ~ When Jesus spoke to him on the road to Damascus.
And once, when His pain was at its highest threshold, Jesus spoke His Father’s name twice. “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”
Does God still call our name? Yes. Through His Spirit. When I seek God for a word, then feel the weight of a scripture, my name is on God’s lips. When I sit in a church service and feel like the message is just for me, when I feel my heart burning and bursting within me, my name is on God’s lips. Jesus said, “My sheep know my voice and they follow me.” The call and the messages from the Counselor who leads us home are always personal.
You personalize your Word, everyday. Thank you. Amen