Can you hear me now?

God has blessed me with enough time and opportunity to hold two jobs which I love right now. Of course I am privileged to serve as the youth minister at Mt. Zion, but I am also the admissions counselor at Heritage Christian University. Well, I started working for Heritage last week and I was beyond excited to get started. When I got to work they had everything set up for me; my very first office!, my computer, my notebooks, a huge stack of potential students, and a boss who was eager to teach me everything he knows. The only thing they hadn’t gotten in yet was my phone.

Now for an admissions counselor whose primary job is to stay in touch and communicate with potential students, the one thing I could not go without is a phone. Of course Heritage is not at fault, the company simply did not get it sent soon enough. Needless to say I began my job with no communication line! (Okay yea I did have my computer, social media, email, internet, you know all that stuff), but I like to talk and how was I supposed to call and talk to people without a phone?

Well today I got my phone! When they came in the office holding it I smiled from ear to ear like a child on Christmas morning. So as I sat there and watched the phone getting hooked up I excitingly thought to myself, “Who are you gonna call first?” It’s the simple things in life that get to me.

The phone was all plugged up, computer running, stack of potential students contacts on my desk and…..I made a cup of coffee. Now partially this was because it was super late in the afternoon and frankly I was not up to making phone calls at the very moment. But if I am being honest I was a little intimidated. All this time I had these cheap ways of connecting with the world without them hearing my voice, seeing my face, and no pressure from getting turned down. I was afraid that if I began to communicate using the phone I would have to face whatever truth was on the other end of that line. Then it hit me. I realized that if I NEVER called anyone then I would NEVER have to face this challenge and I would probably NEVER recruit new students to Heritage and, well, I would probably lose my job and NEVER get it back. Okay a little dramatic but stay with me for a moment.

The Bible says “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” (Psalm 145:18). If I never pick up that phone and call recruits I will never build a relationship with them and they will probably decide not to come to Heritage Christian University. Our walk with God is so similar to this concept of picking up and calling. If we call the Father we will draw near to Him. If we draw near to Him we will learn His truth, and if we know God’s truth and God’s commands  then we can learn how to love Him. “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:3-5).

Jesus said, ““Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7). But if we never ask, seek, or knock why should we expect and answer. I certainly would never walk up to someones home, stand in front of the door, and stare at the pale paste awaiting immediate service.

Imagine if you found yourself on an secluded island with God. How great would that be?! But what if you knew a distance out in the water there was the rest of the world. There is a boat at the edge of the island and it is your choice whether to stay or go. So you wake up one morning, climb in the boat and tell God, “I’ll be right back.” You row a little ways out, catch a glimpse of the world, and row back in. Each day you get a little bit further and further away from the island all while God patiently waits for you to make up your mind on what you will do. Finally, you wake up and begin rowing. This time the snare of the world has caught your attention and you row a little further out then you intended. You are so far out that you can no longer see the island, so you begin screaming, “God where are you? God come help me! God why can’t you just come get me? God why did you leave me?” Wait. What? God never left. You did!

How many times in this life have we said this very thing? “God where did you go? Why did you leave me!” Friends God never left. He has been right where he has always been for “he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5b). Paul even wrote in Romans 8:28-29 “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” And of course we all know what Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” God has never changed, left, or hung up the phone. 

Our phone has been delivered in completion long ago, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17), andRejoice always, pray without ceasing,in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). Our lifeline to God is the and the avenue of prayer. The outgoing line is Prayer, incoming is the Bible.

Remember those Verizon commercials where the man would walk around all over the world saying, “Can you hear me now?” I do too. I think he is working for Sprint now and I find the new ones just as annoying as the original. Well the whole point of the question was to show that Verizon reached all over the world wherever he went and this was exciting. Brethren with God the communication lines reach even further and wider! He is only a whisper away. I am confident that I will never have to ask God, “Can you hear me now?” I do, however, want to make sure that I challenge myself to keep the lines open so God never says to me, “Todd, you never called.” Will you call Him today?

– Todd Johnston

Published by Mt. Zion Church of Christ

We are a friendly, loving congregation filled with people eager to serve God. We are not perfect, but in everything, we strive to be like Christ.

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