Have you heard God calling your name? Hearing is the fifth and final sense we’ll discuss in our series on experiencing God through the senses He gave us.
How Hearing Works
What To Expect tells us that babies in utero begin hearing noises around 16 weeks and by 24 weeks they have been known to turn their head toward the direction of sound.
An article by How Stuff Works describes How Hearing Works and distinguishes it from our other senses by pointing out that it is purely mechanical in nature.
“And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.”
We see Jesus exercise the same authority over wind and wave when He commands the storm to cease. (Mark 4:35-41)
God’s Word is performative. When He speaks something always happens. His Word creates a response in accordance with His will. It never returns to Him void (Isaiah 55:11). It is living and active (Hebrews 4:12) and it always accomplishes His purposes.
The Centurion’s servant was healed and Jesus never entered his home. He didn’t see or touch the sick man. (Luke 7:1-10) The Centurion admitted his unworthiness to entertain the presence of Jesus in his home and simply said, “Say the word and my servant will be healed.” The Centurion knew that those under his command would obey his word, even if sent by messenger. So, he assumed a mere word from Jesus would carry equally astonishing power over illness and death, too. And he was so very right. For this, Jesus commended this man’s faith. In fact, Jesus said this Roman’s faith was greater than any He had seen in Israel. You see people had been flocking to Jesus and begging Him to touch them. But they didn’t realize their real need was simply to hear Him.
When Jesus raised Lazarus (John 11:38-34) He simply said, “Lazarus, come out.” Through the Word, He is still speaking words of eternal life to us today. His Word raises the dead to life.
Hearing and Perceiving
After telling the Parable of the Sower to the people who followed Him Jesus explained it privately to His Apostles, saying:
“Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
The Hearing Health Foundation (https://hearinghealthfoundation.org/how-hearing-works) has a great video that shows what happens once sounds enter our auditory pathway. What was most fascinating to me about this was that sound only produces a reflexive response in the brain while we sleep. We have to be awake for the portion of our brain that processes sound to apply emotions, memories, and motivations in order to determine the appropriate voluntary response to what we hear through conscious perception.
Which lands us squarely back where we began with my one ward for this year. We must Arise and Shine. God’s glory shines brightest when His Word is heard and understood. When God’s people hear and understand His Word, they find help, hope, healing, and an eternal home.
We have to wake up from our spiritual slumber in order to understand and respond appropriately to God’s voice.We have to wake up from our spiritual slumber in order to understand and respond appropriately to God’s voice. #hearinggod #experiencinggod #5senses Click To Tweet
Hear and Obey
Much like young Samuel who believed his teacher, Eli, was calling him in the night we have to wake up and respond to God’s call. Three times the Lord called Samuel. Because the Israelites weren’t seeking God in those days, but doing as they each saw fit, it was rare for God to speak to people. So, it took the teacher some time to realize it was God calling out to the young boy. Then, Eli encouraged Samuel to respond in a very particular way to God. On the fourth call, God appeared at the end of Samuel’s bed and the boy responded as his teacher directed him.
“Speak, for Your servant is listening.”
1 Samuel 3:10
The Hebrew word for “listening” or in some translations “hears” in this passage is shama (H8085) and means to hear intelligently, with perception and an intent to obey. This requires a level of humility and trust that was relatively non-existent in Samuel’s day when all the Israelites did what was right in their own eyes. During this period prophecy was relatively non-existent. The people refused to seek God with their whole hearts and subsequently did not hear from Him. But Samuel was different.
We, too, have to listen for God with a heart willing, not just to hear what God speaks through His Word, but to obey His commands. God is constantly calling out to us. He doesn’t give up after one or two tries. For Jesus’ sake and sacrifice, He gives us all every opportunity possible to hear Him calling our names.We, too, have to listen for God with a heart willing, not just to hear what God speaks through His Word, but to obey His commands. #hearinggod #experiencinggod #5senses Click To Tweet
Mary Heard Jesus Call Her Name
“At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. He asked her, “Woman, 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.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “teacher”).” Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.”
Mary saw Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him. She heard Jesus speak, but didn’t recognize His voice until He spoke her name. Jesus called her by name. Mary turned and spoke His name affectionately, tenderly. Her recognition elicited an emotional response. She thought she needed to touch Him, too. Yet, Jesus knew she could not cling to His bodily form, for His ascension was coming. He also knew His people would need His presence, and so upon His ascension into heaven, He sent to us a Helper. One that would seal and bind us to His presence. The Holy Spirit.
Jesus Calls Us By Name Through the Power of the Holy Spirit
Jesus said, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:8)” By our witness, people hear of Jesus. Hearing the truth points people to the promise.
Make no mistake, God is still speaking to us and calling us each by name today. Just as the risen Jesus revealed Himself to Mary there in the garden by speaking her name. He still calls us to come out of death and darkness into life through His Word and His Holy Spirit whom He gives to us to remind us of all that is written there.
Jesus calls us by name. His call into eternity is personal and eternal. We recognize His call. We turn toward Him and repent. We speak His name for others to hear. We open the door and share in the Feast with Him.
Have you Heard God Calling Your Name?
Jesus didn’t need to touch Lazarus to raise him from the dead. He didn’t even need to speak aloud to accomplish the miracle. But He spoke for the benefit of those listening. He simply called for Lazarus to come up out of the tomb. Throughout all time He has been calling out to those who will listen. To you. To me. Today. In this very moment. Have you heard His cry? How will you answer? How will you encourage others to hear and obey His voice? Will you use God’s Word to create and grow your faith?
“So, then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”
Romans 10:17Have you heard God calling your name? #hearinggod #experiencinggod #5senses Click To Tweet
Linking Up With
For more encouragement please join the discussions on these fabulous blog link ups – Suzanne Eller, Faith On Fire, Susan B. Mead, Faith Filled Friday, Grace and Truth, Faith and Fellowship Friday, Soul Survival, Rah Rah Link Up, Tell His Story, Sitting Among Friends, Testimony Tuesday, Planting Roots, and Fresh Market Friday, Salt and Light, and Becoming Press’s Writer Wednesday, Moments of Hope