Think about that for a moment. Among the most important words in any language is a person’s name. And God knows YOURS. The devil may whisper in your ear from time to time – or maybe all the time – God has forgotten you. But he is doing what is his nature. He is lying to you.
Of the billions of people on earth today, God not only knows how many hairs you have on your head, but He knows your NAME – because you are important to Him. Vitally important to Him. Here is what the Lord Jesus tells us in John 10.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. . . .
Do you ever hear Him speak your name, especially while in prayer? If you haven’t heard it then you are not listening quietly enough. If you belong to God through faith in His Son, God talks to you by His Holy Spirit all the time.
As I just wrote these words, I suddenly remembered Elijah in the cave, hiding from Jezebel. You can find the story in 1 Kings 18-19. What does that have to do with hearing God’s voice? A lot. This is what happened to that great prophet – which has direct relevance to why we so often do not hear God speak to us, even when He speaks our name:
19:11 So [God] said [to Elijah], “Go forth and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
What are you doing, Elijah?
In the quietness of the gentle blowing, Elijah heard God call his name!
It is very difficult – I wonder if it is even possible – to hear God speak our name when we are so busy with the noise all around us -- and perhaps especially with the noise in our minds. That is why it is so important that we get alone and quiet with God.
From time to time I challenge my audiences to take the 15-minute challenge. For 15 minutes every day, get alone and quiet with God. No phone. No internet. No one in the room with you. Find a place where you will not be distracted. Bring your bible with you, read a little from perhaps the gospels, or the epistles, or the psalms – and listen for God to speak with you.
It may take some practice at first. But once you get used to the quiet, you will find it the sweetest 15 minutes of your day. And I guarantee you who are children of God – I guarantee you on the promise of Scripture, you WILL hear God speaking your name.