Everyone in America and maybe around the world know what cell phone company used this slogan.
But before it was used by Verizon, millions of people in eons past have stood out in the open sky looking up toward heaven and they have all asked the same thing.
In the days when Ahab was king, the people of Israel were serving the false god Baal more than they were serving God. In fact Ahab’s wife, Jezebel, had many of the prophets of God killed. Elijah was the best known of the prophets. He was tired of God being ignored so he challenged the prophets of Baal.
If Elijah had been a cowboy this challenge would have been as big as the gun fight at the OK Corral.
Anyway, Elijah told Ahab to bring 450 prophets of Baal to the top of Mount Carmel.
“ Elijah answered: You’re the troublemaker—not me! You and your family have disobeyed the Lord’s commands by worshiping Baal.
19 Call together everyone from Israel and have them meet me on Mount Carmel. Be sure to bring along the four hundred fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah who eat at Jezebel’s table.
20 Ahab got everyone together, then they went to meet Elijah on Mount Carmel. 21 Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How much longer will you try to have things both ways? If the Lord is God, worship him! But if Baal is God, worship him!” The people did not say a word.” I Kings 18:18-21 NLV
Elijah’s challenge went like this. You call out to your god. Ask him to send fire from heaven to consume a sacrifice. If he answers we will know that he is the true God. But if he doesn’t I will call on my God and ask Him to send fire. If He does then you will know that He is the true God.
“Elijah said to Baal’s prophets, “There are more of you, so you go first. Pick out a bull and get it ready, but don’t light the fire. Then pray to your god.”
26 They chose their bull, then they got it ready and prayed to Baal all morning, asking him to start the fire. They danced around the altar and shouted, “Answer us, Baal!” But there was no answer.
27 At noon, Elijah began making fun of them. “Pray louder!” he said. “Baal must be a god. Maybe he’s day-dreaming or using the toilet or traveling somewhere. Or maybe he’s asleep, and you have to wake him up.”
28 The prophets kept shouting louder and louder, and they cut themselves with swords and knives until they were bleeding. This was the way they worshiped, 29 and they kept it up all afternoon. But there was no answer of any kind.” I Kings 18:25-29 NLV
I love it.
Elijah was taunting them and poking fun at their god and they fell for it. Then it was Elijah’s turn to call on his God, the Lord Almighty.
“He told the people, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it over the meat and the wood.” After they did this, 34 he told them to do it two more times. They did exactly as he said 35 until finally, the water ran down the altar and filled the ditch. 36 When it was time for the evening sacrifice, Elijah prayed:
Our Lord, you are the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. Now, prove that you are the God of this nation, and that I, your servant, have done this at your command. 37 Please answer me, so these people will know that you are the Lord God, and that you will turn their hearts back to you.
38 The Lord immediately sent fire, and it burned up the sacrifice, the wood, and the stones. It scorched the ground everywhere around the altar and dried up every drop of water in the ditch. 39 When the crowd saw what had happened, they all bowed down and shouted, “The Lord is God! The Lord is God!” I Kings 18:33-39 NLV
“Please show these people who You are. Let them know that you are the true God!” Elijah’s prayer “hear me now Lord” received an immediate response from heaven.
We don’t have to wonder if God is going to hear us. We have the promise of His word.
“I have called to You, O God, for You will answer me. Listen to me and hear my words.” Psalm 17:6 NLV
“Hear my cry, O God. Listen to my prayer. 2 I call to You from the end of the earth when my heart is weak. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. 3 For You have been a safe place for me, a tower of strength where I am safe from those who fight against me. ” Psalm 61:1-3 NLV
“I love the Lord, because He hears my voice and my prayers. 2 I will call on Him as long as I live, because He has turned His ear to me.” Psalm 116:1-2 NLV
“For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for well-being and not for trouble, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will look for Me and find Me, when you look for Me with all your heart. ” Jeremiah 29:11-13 NLV
“Call to Me, and I will answer you. And I will show you great and wonderful things which you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3 ERV
What I hope you are seeing from all these verses is that God is there when we call. He is waiting for us to come – come when we need help and instruction but also to come and just visit.
As parents we desire to provide for our kids. When they ask for something they need we don’t ignore them or ridicule them, no we lovingly help. But we don’t just want them coming only to get stuff – we want to have time to talk with them, listen to their dreams and have them spend time with us.
If we listen we can hear the Lord calling out to us.
“Come to Me, all of you who work and have heavy loads. I will give you rest. 29 Follow My teachings and learn from Me. I am gentle and do not have pride. You will have rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29 NLV
“So whenever we are in need, we should come bravely before the throne of our merciful God. There we will be treated with undeserved kindness, and we will find help.” Hebrews 4:16 CEV
The Lord is always waiting for our call! He CAN hear us now.