Does God really know my name? Does He know who I am? Amongst all the billions of people here on planet earth, is God really that personal? Does He know me intimately and not just as a number? Does He know my name?
Recently, I observed some events that showed that God really does know who we are. In late April, Omega Team (www.omegateam.org), the apostolic network that I founded and is now led by my good friend Ian Peters, held its Annual Conference, with two fabulous speakers Leif Hetland and Shawn Boltz. Shawn has one of the most amazing word of knowledge ministries I have ever observed in person, since I first came into the Charismatic movement, over forty years ago. I have seem some similar things on video from the days of the Healing Movement in the 1950’s. Shawn had detailed information about people. To one family, he gave them their address and the last four numbers of their phone number. Let me tell you about a young man that I know personally that was ministered to that week.
Carl is like a spiritual son to Dorothy and me and when he writes he often calls us ‘Papa and Mama.’ He graduated from ACTS Bible School and is bi-vocational, working in wedding videography (often been named the best in the state of MN) along with preaching and teaching. I had the privilege of marrying Carl and his lovely wife Sarah and also dedicating their three children.
Last year Carl was diagnosed with melanoma, which, unless treated in its earliest stage, is a very serious disease. He felt that he was to undergo a long term weekly medical treatment, which is going on to this day.
Carl was only at one session of the Omega Team Conference, on the Friday morning. Towards the end of this session and after ministering to others, Shawn called out to the section where Carl was sitting saying, ‘Over in this section, is there an Ethan, September 20th, Ethan. Does that make sense?’ Carl called out, ‘Yes, that’s my son.’ It was also his birthday. Shawn went on to say, ‘And you’re the one that is going through the battle. . . going through cancer. (Carl – yes) I just feel like God wants to encourage you.’
In the course Shawn’s ministry to Carl, he identified a number of things, including that he went to USC (University of Southern California) and that he was involved in film and ministry. He went on to identify members of Carl’s family, ‘So I feel, Carl, I feel like the Lord is showing me your family and the joy that your family is about to enter into. There’s Gideon and there’s one that means life. Is that in line?’ Carl responded, ‘That’s right. My son is Gideon and my daughter is Zoe, which means life. So you got all three.’ Shawn went on to prophesy about Carl’s children in great detail. He also noted, ‘I feel you’ve made them world travelers; you have shown them the world. . . I see Europe, I see Ireland or Scotland. I see a lot of German speaking Dutch countries. I see these places you’ve been with your kids.’ Carl took each one of his children with him at least once when he traveled. Shawn also asked him, ‘Is March 7th for your wife and you?’ It was their wedding anniversary. He also said, ‘I just feel like the Lord is saying this season has been so hard on you that you’ve been struggling and He wanted to speak to you and give you grace for your family. That He wanted to show you that there is so much initiating right now in your children.’ At the end, people prayed for Carl’s healing and I invite you the reader to pray for him too.
WHY SUCH WORDS OF KNOWLEDGE?
Why would God give this kind of information for someone to minister to a person? Many times when we think of prophetic ministry and word of knowledge ministry, we also need to remember that according to I Corinthians 14:3 ‘But he who prophesies speaks edification, and exhortation and comfort to men. Edification means to ‘build someone up.’ Exhortation means to ‘encourage’ and comfort means to ‘console and strengthen them.’ We all need that at times and Shawns words to people at the conference certainly did just that.
Actually, all of us can be used of God to ‘prophesy’ and thus bring edification, exhortation and comfort to the lives of other people. Try it and see. Let God’s spirit flow through you to others.
GOD KNOWS WHERE YOU ARE
God promises to never leave us nor forsake us and also, ‘Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age.’ (Matthew 28:20) But does God really know where we are at any particular moment? Let me share a story from Mark Batterman’s book ‘Draw the Circle’ that will answer that question.
A few years ago, I heard author Ken Gaub share one of the most amazing prayer testimonies I’ve ever heard. He and his family were driving on I-75 near Dayton, Ohio, when they decided to stop at a restaurant. Ken’s wife and children went right into the restaurant while he stretched his legs. As he walked past a nearby gas station, he heard a pay phone ringing. The phone kept ringing, and Ken thought it might be some sort of emergency, so he answered it. He heard the voice of an operator, who said, ‘Long distance for Ken Gaub.’
Ken almost passed out. He said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me. I was just walking in the middle of nowhere and heard this phone ringing.’ The confused operator said, ‘Is Ken Gaub there?’ After making sure there weren’t any candid cameras, he said, ‘This is Ken Gaub.’
A voice on the other side of the line said, ‘Mr. Gaub, my name is Millie. I’m from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. You don’t know me, but I need your help.’ She went onto explain that she had just written a suicide note but had decided to give prayer one more shot. She said, ‘God, I don’t really want to do this.’ And as she prayed, she remembered seeing Ken Gaub on television. She thought to herself, ‘If I could just talk with him, he could help me.’ But this was pre-Google, making it extremely difficult to track him down. As she prayed, some numbers popped into her head, and she wrote them on a piece of paper. She couldn’t help but think, ‘Wouldn’t it be wonderful if God were giving me Ken’s number?’ Then Millie said, ‘I decided to try calling the number, and I couldn’t believe it when the operator said it was you.’
Millie asked Ken, ‘Are you in your office?’ When Ken said no, Millie sounded surprised. She said, ‘Then, where are you?’ Ken said, ‘You made the call. Don’t you know?’ She said, ‘I don’t even know what area I’m calling. I just dialed the number on a piece of paper.’ Ken said, ‘You won’t believe this. I’m in a phone booth in Dayton, Ohio.’ Millie replied, ‘What are you doing there?’ Ken answered, ‘Answering a pay phone!’
Ken went on to draw this conclusion: “I walked away from that phone booth with an electrifying sense of our heavenly Father’s concern for each of His children. What were the astronomical odds of this happening? With all the millions of phones and innumerable combinations of numbers only an all-knowing God could have caused that woman to dial the number in that phone booth at that moment in time.”
When Ken hung up the phone, he walked over to the restaurant and sat down with his family. Still stunned, he said to his wife Barb, ‘You won’t believe this. God knows where I am.’
A CLOSING THOUGHT
What an awesome God we love and serve. He know everything about each of us, everywhere we are, at any given moment. More than that our heavenly Father is concerned for all His children. Let’s be reassured of His love and learn to live in His presence.
The song ‘He Knows Your Name’ by Fireflight says it beautifully.
He sees you, He’s near you
He knows your face
He knows your pain
He sees you, and He loves you
He knows your name
He knows your name