Call My Name
TAI: “Call My Name” picks up where “Cry Out to Jesus” left off. “Wherever You Are” was an album of empathy. The songs were encouragements for friends going through difficult times. Revelation picks up from a personal perspective. What is amazing about our relationship with God is that it is not one-sided. It's not self -help. We have to humble ourselves and ask for help, but God does the heavy lifting. "Call My Name" speaks from God's perspective directly to each of us that are going through a difficult time. So many promises in the bible are communicated in an "if/then" manner. The message of this song is so simple, but so true. If you call out to God, he will be there. That's what faith is.
MAC: One thing we have to remember is that prayer is a two-way conversation. So often we just think of prayer as us talking to God without realizing it’s also about God talking to us.
QUESTION: So is “Call My Name” written from your perspective saying to God ‘whenever you call my name?’….
MAC: No. It is God saying to me, or the listener, that when you feel all alone in your sadness then ‘Call my name and I’ll be there”. It’s God reminding us that He is there no matter what situation we are in, no matter where we are physically, spiritually or mentally, God is always there with us and it’s a simple matter of crying out to Him. He’s always there anyway, so it’s just that we need to come to that understanding. This is simply a prayer song about hearing God speak to us.
If you call, you’ll get an answer.
If there is one verse in the Bible that sums up the heart behind this song then it must be Jeremiah 33:2-3. Jeremiah 33:3 is often referred to as God’s telephone number! God speaks to the prophet when he is under house arrest and supervised by a guard. He’s in the difficult position of having to deliver a message of desolation for the people of Jerusalem, and probably feeling quite desperate he receives these words from the Lord:
“This is what the LORD says, he who made the earth, the LORD who formed it and established it — the LORD is his name: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’
God makes a habit of revealing wisdom far beyond ordinary human knowledge to those who really cry out to him. In other words, if you want a revelation then genuinely and humbly ask the Lord. The message God eventually asks Jeremiah to deliver is a tough one but does end with hope and peace for the nation of Israel.
ELIJAH CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD
Read the story of Elijah challenging the false prophets on Mount Carmel in 1 Kings 18:19-39.
Elijah was a man who hated the fact that his fellow countrymen were being deceived into worshiping false gods and he desperately wanted to do something about the situation. At times he must have felt alone in his faithfulness towards God, and in this incredible encounter he faces up to 450 false prophets. Perhaps you can understand his sense of isolation- perhaps you are the only believer in your family, your school, your place of work. Or you may be in a situation where it seems like everything is stacked up against you-it feels like you against the rest of the world!
As you read 1 Kings 18 you can see that Elijah put himself in a position of absolute trust and dependence on the Lord. It’s the Superbowl, World Cup Final, Heavyweight Championship, all rolled into one. Which god would be able set alight a bull placed on wood and a stone altar? Elijah boldly challenged the false prophets of Baal to call out to their gods, and supposedly their gods should have been good at this contest-people believed they were the gods of rain, thunder and lightning! Elijah uses these words:
“Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD. The god who answers by fire — he is God.” 1Kings 18:24 NIV
The false prophets call for their gods to answer, they even slashed their own bodies to gain the attention of the false gods. But you can’t get an answer from someone who isn’t there and is powerless to speak. Just to make it interesting, Elijah then drenches his own altar with 4 large pots of water, not once but three times! Then he cries out a passionate prayer to the Lord.
At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.” 1 Kings 18:36-37 NIV
Immediately, God answered with fire from heaven, and beat the false gods on their own turf, a victory that meant the people gathered all around recognised the Lord Almighty as the one true God. If you read verse 38 carefully you will see the supernatural way that the Lord answered: the bull burnt first, then the wood, then the stones, the soil and the water. The natural order would have been upward but this was downward! God always answers the desperate cries of men and women who genuinely want to serve Him.
THERE IS POWER IN THE NAME OF JESUS
Jesus told the disciples that because they knew Him and knew His name that they, and all his followers, would be granted privileged access to God the Father:
I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. John 16:23-24 NIV
A short while later, in the first days of the early church, Peter and John are brought before the religious leaders of Jerusalem to explain why they had been preaching about the resurrection of Jesus and how they had healed a crippled man. Peter’s reply included these words:
“Then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:10-12
If you read through the book of Acts you will see that the disciples mad a habit of praying, speaking, acting… ‘in the name of Jesus’. We too are able to have unique and intimate access to God our Heavenly Father through the precious name of Jesus.
SAFETY AND SECURITY IN THE NAME OF JESUS
In the Old Testament there is much made about the name of the coming Messiah. The names given indicate not just who the person will be but what he will do. Matthew’s gospel reminds us of the words from Isaiah:
“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” — which means, “God with us.” Matthew 1:23 NIV
And other familiar words from Isaiah, heard in Christmas celebrations each year, also indicate the importance of the names of Jesus:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 NIV
The very name Jesus Christ reveals not just the character of Jesus but his job title! Jesus is the Greek form of the Greek name Joshua, meaning ‘Yahweh is Salvation’. The name Christ came again from Greek and translated the Hebrew word ‘Messiah’ or ‘Anointed One’- in other words the one who was to come and exercise Godly rule over the nation. When Jesus knew that He would shortly be leaving the disciples He prayed to God the Father thus:
I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name — the name you gave me — so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. John 17:11-12 NIV
So if we are really part of the family of God then we are kept safe by His name. The Old Testament uses a picture of a strong tower to signify God’s name: a place to run to for provision and protection. Another way of understanding this is as if God’s name been has given to His bride thus guaranteeing His love and His faithfulness.
Old School Third Day - Listen to ‘King of Glory’ from Offerings.
Written by Pastor Nigel James