Over the past few weeks, in my quiet times, I have run into this overwhelming theme of lives being changed by a very personal God. These lives varied in their backgrounds. Some were fishermen, others pharisees, some tax collectors but the overwhelming fact of it all was that no matter who they were or what they did, either occupation or lifestyle, they were changed by a very personal call by a very personal God.
As I watched a video sermon by Andy Stanley of Northpoint Community Church in Alpharetta Georgia, I began to get a deeper picture of just how personal our God is, and that His “personality” can change any heart; that it’s not the head knowledge or the hearing of miracles, or even seeing them first hand but that it is God’s personal nature and call that changes lives.
Let me tell you what I mean: You can hear about a miracle and be touched by it, but until that miracle is done for you or in you it has just been second hand. When the miracle is for you however, it becomes very personal. Let me give another example. Say someone is talking about how great one of their friends is, you are moved at how wonderful they speak of this person, you may even think to yourself that you want to meet this person. Now think if this person was talking about you. Would hearing _____________(Your name) inserted into how amazing…is, or I just wish I was like…. Don’t you think that would change it all together?
So it’s the personal nature in which God calls us that becomes so captivating. He calls us each individually and I love that! I want to share some stories.
First, think about Paul. He lived a life to the T of the law. He was the top in everything. He persecuted Christians in every way possible. He read the book of the law, even had memorized the first 5 books, so knowledge of God was there but no relationship. Until the personal call of God. As he walked the road to Damascus his impersonal knowledge transformed (literally) into a personal relationship with just the simplest, yet personal, call of our God. All it took was God saying his name, “Saul, Saul” (Acts 9:4) His knowledge of God creating the universe, creating man, earth and everything on it, in it, and above it. It took a personal call, and it was one that changed Saul’s life forever.
Then let’s look at John chapter 1 verses 43-51. In this passage Jesus calls Phillip then Phillip goes to tell Nathanael, but Nathanael is skeptical. He is skeptical of Jesus origins from Nazareth. That skepticism was quickly extinguished when God showed that He knew Nathanael.
47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!”
This verse Jesus is speaking of Nathanael’s straight shooting tell it like it is personality, that he will not hide what he is thinking.
48 Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?”
Nathanael is troubled as to how this man knows about his personality when they have never met. Then Jesus takes it one step further.
Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”
So not only is Jesus saying He knew Nathanael’s personality (or his heart), He also says He knew Him physically. He knew Nathanael, not just about Him; that He personally knew Him.
This personal relationship is not just segmented to Saul. It’s not just segmented to Nathanael. It is free and available to all. I understand there may be questions and hangups that you might have with christianity or the church, and that’s okay. Saul hated the church, Nathanael was a skeptic. These people were changed by the personal-ity of Jesus. It will change your life. It did mine as it did both Saul and Nathanael.
If you have questions as to how you can begin a relationship with God please comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org