Its four-ish in the morning and I’m wide awake. I’m not headed to the airport to travel to someplace wonderful, and I don’t have a paper route. I do exercise in the morning, but not quite at this hour. I’m not up for prayer, although I am feeling a bit guilty for writing instead. Maybe God doesn’t know. LOL! At any rate, we are a few weeks from opening on the campus where I am employed, and I went to bed with a gazillion thoughts running through my mind. I spent about 30 minutes prior to going bed flagging emails to respond to. I suppose those emails called unto me in my sleep and here I sit. I turn on Cheers and the theme song is playing. I recall my visit to Boston a number of years ago and my desire to see the actual bar the series was named after. I sing along to the song and my mind races to a thought. “You want to go where everybody knows your name.” That was always my favorite part of the song. Why? Because it’s true. Being in a space that is familiar is comforting. It has the potential to provide a sense of security, of assurance. It’s not necessary to feel unsettled, because your presence is anticipated, expected and welcomed. The hope is that if people know your name, they know something about you. Right? Well… I submit for your consideration, Sunday mornings.
What are we speaking? On Sunday mornings, are we calling the name of a God we know or just going through the motions because the name of the Most High God appears on our mega screens, or because the worship leader commands us to do so on the mic? When Norm walked into Cheers, there was always a resounding, “NORM!” He walked in, sat down and got comfortable. Can we say the same for God? Are we creating an atmosphere that makes him want to sit for a spell, and allow His glory to rest upon us? Imagine what our worship experiences might resemble if each of us developed a critical relationship with him, welcoming him into our homes, our jobs, our family, our hearts, our lives? How might our personal regimen benefit our Pastors and make preaching easy? If that is our practice, then when we come together, corporately, and collectively call upon the name of the Lord, what we might avail ourselves to? Healing, deliverance, miracles, marvelous wonders!
When I come home, my dog Diamond desires to be acknowledged. If I enter, and begin my routine, looking through mail, getting something to drink or eat, turning on the television, or making a phone call, she gets upset. When she hears me come into the house, she runs and gets a toy to greet me. She wants me to greet her as she greets me. She is eager to meet me. Excited that I am talking to her, rubbing her belly, taking her for a walk. Essentially, she wants to spend time with me. Now, I am not likening the God I serve to that of my beloved Diamond, but I’m like the woman in the 15th chapter of Matthew, even the dogs eat from the master’s table! Where is our faith? Might we really believe the power that we have access to when we remind God of who he truly is so much so that it terrifies us? Because if we actually believe God at his word, we might have to actualize ownership and lesson our dependency upon people, places and things that have no spiritual wherewithal relevant to our salvation?
It’s is imperative to insert Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” We have been granted instruction to understand the will of the Father. One is to read the Word of the God and another I might suggest is to develop relationship with the Father so that we may tap into understanding the will he has for our lives. There are other instructions, but these are the two that relate to this concept. Jeremiah 29:13 affirms, You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Everything may not be revealed to us all at once. But certainly, one small step may have magnanimous results in our lives and the lives of those we are assigned to touch.
I challenge you to call on Him! Call on Him for every area of your life and watch Him work! He responds to his Word, so we must know He will respond to His name. Let’s make it our practice to create spaces and live lives where everybody knows His name! The words to the entire theme song speak to why I find church so liberating! “Making the way in the world today, takes everything you got. Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot. Wouldn’t you like to get away? Sometimes you wanna go, where everybody knows your name. And they’re always glad you came. You wanna be where you can see, where you can see the troubles are all the same. You wanna be where everybody knows your name!” We may not all have the same trouble at the same time; our seasons are cyclical, but we serve a permanent God who will see us through everything we encounter!
We have been called by His name! There is a plethora of scriptural evidence in support of this commendation (1 Peter 2:9; 2 Chronicles 7:14, Isaiah 43:7). Accordingly, we have responsibility to reciprocate and replicate the practice of calling. As he has called us and equips us, we must remember to call upon him! For the name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and is safe (Proverbs 18:10). Might the Lord find safety in the spaces we employ? Is he a recognizable figure, or do we usher him down to our personal VIP sections for show and tell? Do we only call his name when we stand in need of something? The Word of God tells us in John 10:27 that, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” Can he say the same of us? Does he recognize our voice? When we cultivate relationship with the Father, we have the advantage to reap the benefit of verse 28 which reads, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” That’s exciting! That makes me leap! That makes me want to call upon the name of the Lord! JESUS!