This might be dating me, but I remember calling my dad’s pager when I needed him. I also remember coming home, seeing the blinking light on the answering machine (a completely separate contraption that you connected to your landline phone - please tell me you know what that is), and rewinding the tape if we missed the message.
I also remember the day we finally got caller ID, a smaller piece of equipment that was also connected to our phone and would tell us if the call was worth taking. Prior to that, you just answered the phone. You just called the number on your pager. And believe it or not, you’d listen to your voicemail and call the person back.
But times have changed. We screen our calls. Our voice messages can now be transcribed, and we don’t even have to listen to the actual message if we choose not to. Often, we choose text over an actual call. It’s convenient to say the least, but I feel some conviction that our spiritual phones are getting the same treatment.
The caller ID shows God is calling. Do you pick up? Do you call Him back when you missed the last ring?
The number one reason we may not pick up our end of the line is simple: fear. Fear of the unknown. Even good things can bring up the spirit of fear because change of any kind is an invitation to get out of our comfort zones.
I think of Moses and the burning bush. Esther and Mordecai. Paul and the bright flash of light. God called. Imagine if Moses walked past the bush, would the Red Sea have parted because the Israelites were being set free? Or if Esther discounted her cousin’s information, would an entire population have perished? Would half the New Testament exist if Paul just gave in to his blindness?
While I believe God sees through His plans whether or not we choose to participate, I also believe that He calls us out because He gave us our gifts, and He wants to bless us by showing us what He can do with them. He enjoys us partnering with Him. He loves being on mission with us. That’s such a loving God.
Scripture tells us that
“God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
- 2 Timothy 1:7
We’re all passionate about something. Our hearts break with God when it comes to _________… fill in your own blank. While that’s the spirit of love at work in us, the spirit of power is calling us to respond to the need. And the spirit of self-control reminds us that we need God to do this. He doesn’t place a call on our heart, and then says “You go handle it.” God wants to equip us and join us and get on mission with us.
Who could God be calling you to bless? What blessing could you be part of? What gifts do you have that others could benefit from? What breakthrough may be waiting on the other line? Maybe it’s joining a ministry, starting a business, or just starting a conversation with your neighbor. Don’t let your fear of the unknown or the uncomfortable stand in the way of God’s blessing.
Ring, ring. God is calling. Will you answer?