Isaiah 43:1-3 (ESV)
But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
“I have called you by name. You are mine.” Have you ever heard God call your name? We are each as unique and dear to the Lord as our own children are to us, and he calls each of us by name. He calls us to him in a way that fits our personalities and meets us where we are in our faith journey. What appeals to me may not to you. That’s ok. We aren’t to reproduce spiritual clones, but to respond with all that’s within us to the voice of Love. God has something unique for each of us in how he leads us to pray. To each one of us he says over and over, “Do not fear. I will be with you.” The God who came down as Emmanuel is ever present. Ask him what he wants to show you personally about spending time with him.
One name he uses for each of us is Beloved. Do you know this with your heart as well as your mind, that you are precious in his sight, his Beloved? When I still myself in the morning and take time to rest in the knowledge of his love for me, I feel virtually bulletproof. Not in my own strength, but in his. There is great energy in his love for me, and as my day unfolds and things don’t go as planned, all I have to do is remember to rest in his love for me. This is such a comfort. Resting in his love enables me to love like he does, unconcerned about my self-interests or my return on investment. His love helps me lay down my life. And that does not come naturally.
Today’s Prayer Practice: Conversational prayer
What would you like to talk to God about in light of the promise of his presence? What are you facing in your life today that feels like deep water or even flames? Does it make a difference, knowing he is with you? Reread the verses above as you bring your heart’s concerns to One who calls you by name.