I FaceTimed my 83-year-old mother on Sunday. Usually when I FaceTime her, she puts the phone to her ear and asks me why I speak so loudly. This time, she looked straight into the camera lens and said, “Hello!” I waved excitedly, saying “Hi Mom, how are you?” She looked at me and said quietly, “I’m in church for the service.” I almost fainted.
“I’m so sorry!” I whispered. “I’m hanging up now!”
“That’s probably wise”, my mom whispered back. “See you!”
I giggled while shaking my head afterward. My mother goes to a Lutheran State Church. I could just imagine her sitting in the hard pew of that white-painted wooden church that’s twice her age. There she was, surrounded by her peers, searching for the ringing phone in her purse. She never turns it off. She knows that if she turns the sound off, she might forget to put it back on.
Why would she pick up the phone when she was in church? And worse, why would she answer my FaceTime? But then again, she’s my mom. She would answer my call any time, no matter what. Mom would never let me go unnoticed.
I felt this stirring in my spirit and I knew why. How do I respond to God’s calling? I’m not talking about the overall calling on my life, but the daily nudges. The messages. The face-to-face time with Jesus. The word that I am to speak to someone. The healing I’m supposed to bring.
The random acts of kindness that are not random at all, but rather heaven-infused breaths of life in a Spirit-orchestrated CPR administered to someone he passionately loves.
What does my daily walk with Jesus look like? Am I taking his calls?
This weekend I ministered at a conference, praying for women who sought the presence of God. They were so hungry for more of God and we could just pour into them. It was easy, uncomplicated, and I could feel myself getting comfortable. Too comfortable. So, I told God: “Go ahead and use me. I’m here. Tell me what to do.” He did. Things were no longer as easy-going and comfortable. This apparent willingness to suffer really messes up my life sometimes.
Holy Spirit got chatty. As I talked to people, he would share the Father’s heart for them, and I had these two parallel conversations going on at all times. After a while, he started speaking about people who were not present, and I had to go and look for them. Turns out, I was not so brave anymore. One thing was speaking the heart of God to people who had sought me out. Looking for those who had not specifically expressed a desire to hear from God, was something else altogether.
The inconvenient call
For a while, we sort of hung out, Holy Spirit and I. Until he said, “Are we waiting for something? For what? For a convenient time? How about you just go ahead and make that time? While you still remember what to say… Wouldn’t it be nice if you actually went ahead and gave the word while it’s still in season?”
So, I did. I could feel me feet getting wet as I stepped out on the disheartening waves rocking my boat. Instead of giving a one size fits all prophetic word, I tried to be as specific as I possibly could, thinking that either I would fail miserably, or God would be glorified. Because that word was still in season, it was received and embraced, and God was truly glorified.
Someone felt the Father’s love. My response to his call led to someone else’s face-to-face time with God.
The call that’s conditioned by your response
How do you respond to God’s calls? Do you pick up? Are you responding to the messages from Holy Spirit, or did you snooze him for 30 days? Did you turn the sound off, conveniently forgetting to put it back on?
Are people missing out on their God encounter because you neglect to pick up God’s calls?
Are you missing out on a wonderful Spirit-led adventure, not realizing that if you snooze you lose?
The beauty of an answered call
Even if the prophetic word I gave had failed – either because I didn’t hear it correctly, or my timing was off – God would still have been glorified. As I stepped out of the boat, my Father delighted in my every feeble step. He would have backed me up, helping me clean up my messes. Even when my words fall short, God still encounters the one with his love. As we speak out the heart of God, each recipient is invited into a holy moment where they see that they are known and loved by the Father.
That’s the beauty of an answered call. Our response glorifies him.
You were created for this: to glorify the Father as you bring people into his presence.