Written In My Heart: God Called Out My Name (#3)
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.” Isaiah 43:1
Jesus paid the price I could never pay for my sin, for my rebellion toward God. He redeemed me with His own pure blood. He called me by my name. He tells me I belong to Him. This is not only true for me. It is true for all who have been born again in Jesus Christ. This verse quickly became one of my most favorite verses in God’s Word.
I love to reflect upon this experience. After leaving the church I had been a member of for some 26 years, I spent about 7 years not attending church. I will never ever forget the awesome thing God did. He reached down to me and audibly called out my name. It was in mid-March of 2001 at about 2 a.m. in the morning when I was awakened by an audible male voice calling out my name, Dorothy. I was home alone. I sat up and looked around. I did not see anyone. I did not feel afraid. My immediate thought was did Jesus just call out my name. I thought about this for a while, then settled back in and went back to sleep. I came away from this experience believing it was Jesus who awakened me. Further confirmation of this was soon to come. I was being awakened by God. I was being drawn to Jesus.
Jesus tells us this in John 6:44 – “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
The Bible also tells us in Matthew 22:14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”
This verse says “many are called”. No one can definitively know if God calls everyone to Himself. I want to add this perspective. It is God’s desire that everyone be saved. I learned that because of our sinful nature (our desire to sin) no one can come to God on their own. They need to be drawn to Jesus through the work of the Holy Spirit. Many people put up many barriers between themselves and God. Many people make themselves the god of their life and serve self. Many people allow the noise of the world to drown out God calling them to Him. Many people have to come to a place of brokenness before they can hear God calling to them. I did reach a point of brokenness and it was when I reached this point that I could hear and respond in the right way to the Holy Spirit drawing me to Jesus.
“Few are chosen.” I have reflected on this and as we read in the Bible the names of many people chosen specifically by God to do certain things. We see Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Mary and Paul among them. In the 20th century, I can point to Billy Graham as being chosen. However, this statement could also mean that many are called but few respond to God calling them to Himself and, thus, are not among the chosen who will inherit eternal life.
I love this promise found in John 10: 27-30 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.”
God audibly called out my name a total of three times. I will share the other two times in my writing next week.
Dorothy von Lehe