Many years ago, my uncle asked me: “How do you know when God is calling you?” At that time, I wasn’t quite sure how to respond, so I paused a moment before I answered: “You hear him”. My uncle was not a believer, but I found out afterwards that he was literally hearing a voice calling his name. Somehow, he knew deep down that it was Jesus.
In Luke 24, we see two disciples on the road to Emmaus. These men had hoped that Jesus would be the one to redeem Israel… and then he was crucified. The resurrected Jesus joined them, although they didn’t realize it was him. It wasn’t until later that day as he reclined at the table with them that their eyes were opened. Then they said to each other:
Weren’t our hearts burning within us while he was talking with us on the road and explaining the Scriptures to us? Luke 24:32
Even though they didn’t know that it was Christ walking with them and talking with them; their hearts were burning just hearing him speak! Jesus was only waiting for the right moment to reveal himself to them.
It was as he reclined at the table with them that he took the bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him, but he disappeared from their sight. Luke 24:30-31
I imagine that it was like that with my uncle… and with me before I made the decision to accept Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. I was just walking along, discouraged, not realizing that Jesus was walking with me- waiting for the perfect moment to reveal himself. The moment when the symbolic “breaking of the bread” would open my eyes to his sacrifice on the cross for my sins. Before that moment, the truth of the Gospel was hidden from me, no matter how many times I may have heard it (& I am a PK, so I’ve heard it plenty) or how my heart burned. It was only when I believed in his sacrifice, that the veil over my heart was lifted, and I could finally see the resurrected Christ.
If my uncle were to ask me again: How do you know when God is calling you? I don’t think my answer would differ by much. I might add, “you hear him & your heart burns within you”. Yup, that’s Jesus.