father and I have been sharing messages with you from
his latest book, "Don't Throw Away Tomorrow."
Today I will continue as we look at the chapter entitled,
"Choose and Clear the Channels of Communication."
There is a wonderful Bible verse in this chapter which
upon Me and I will answer you. I will show you great and
wonderful things you do not know, says the Lord."
love this verse. It is a call for us to come and open
our channels of communication with God. It is a call for
us to pray. When I break this Bible verse down, there
are three basic phrases I want you to remember.
1. The Person we conceive.
2. The Promise we believe.
3. The Provisions we receive.
we look at this verse, that is what it says. "Call
upon Me, say the Lord." Our first point is: The person we conceive. Each of us has a picture
in our mind or some kind of a thought process when the
word God is mentioned. Every single one of us has a slightly
different picture because God has chosen to reveal Himself
to different people in different ways. What He has revealed
to us is only a very small part of who He is. God is far
too grand, far too glorious, far too incomprehensible
for us to fully understand the totality of Him. In our
finite ability, we do our very best to comprehend God
in any way we can. We conceive of who He might be and
what kind of power He might have, and how He can impact
us. Part of this conception comes from the Bible which
reveals different aspects of Him and gives us an understanding
and realization of how He works, who He is and how things
of your picture of Him, God says, "Call upon Me."
Those are powerful words. He begs us, He commands us,
He requests us, "Call upon Me, says the Lord."
We have to realize that He will answer us and He will
supply our every need.
John R. Rice was a 20th century preacher. He
died about 25 years ago after writing two hundred books.
He had a radio show entitled "The Voice of Revival."
He was a wonderful communicator. He used to share a story
that I found rather interesting regarding the provisions
that God has for us. The story takes place right after
the Civil War. The emancipation act has been signed.
Though the war is over, there is a man who has been freed,
but he has nowhere to go. There is another man who is
very sick and in very poor health. The man who has been
freed was the sick man's slave for many, many, many years.
The sick man, needing somebody to take care of him in
his last remaining months or possible years, asked the
free man if he would stay and take care of him. The free
man, not knowing what to do or where to go or never knowing
any other lifestyle, decided that was probably his best
option. The freed man, also having a heart of compassion,
chose to stay and so he cared for the sick man until he
passed away. The free man did not know how to survive
in a free world. He didn't know how to live, he didn't
know where to get his food, etc. He managed to survive
until one day someone saw him and said, "Don't you
realize that the man who was your master for all those
years, whom you cared for until his dying day has put
$5,000 in a bank for you. Don't you realize this?"
Being a humble man he hung his head and said, "Do
you mean I can go to the bank and get 50 cents so I can
buy some meal?" The man said, "There is $5,000
in the bank for you." $5,000 was a lot of money in
those days; for example a good days wage would probably
have been under a dollar. So the man walked into the bank.
Never having been in a bank, he was very intimidated.
He walked to the teller and said, "Sir, I was told
if I came here, I could get 50 cents to buy some meal."
The teller asked him "what's your name?" After
looking up the account the teller said, "why sir,
we can give you up to $5,000." The man replied, "you
mean you'll give me 50 cents so I can buy a bag of meal?"
The teller replied, "of course if that is what you
would like; sign right here." He signed a piece of
paper and the teller gave him 50 cents. The man grabbed
the coin and walked across the street. He bought a bag
of meal and went home never comprehending that there was
still $4,999.50 left in his account.
human beings we are finite creatures and we look at God
in a finite way. Therefore, we never come to the full
realization of the incredible power that God has to move
things in our lives. So, we walk into God's presence asking
for 50 cents when He will actually give us anything and
everything we need. "Oh, ye of little faith,"
said Jesus Christ. In our scripture passage Jeremiah 33:3,
God says, "Call upon Me." The way we perceive
God will have a direct implication upon how we come into
His presence and what we ask for when we are in His presence.
The Person we
The Promise we believe.
Here is the promise: "I
will answer you, says the Lord."
answer is not always what we want to hear. Don't get the
wrong impression. God is not the genie who simply gives
you whatever you ask. God knows what you need. He knows
what is going to make you a better person and He will
answer you and give you everything you need.
My father wrote a fabulous message many years ago entitled,
"How does God answer
prayer?" There were four points:
Sometimes God answers No. That is an answer, after all.
Other times God answers Grow. This means not now, but as you become
mature enough and capable of receiving it, I will give
it to you.
Sometimes God answers Slow. Slow can be very slow. Meaning you
start today, and you creep along and you expect things
to go a lot faster and it just goes along at a snails
pace until the day you die. We don't understand
everything about God and how He makes this universe work.
Sometimes He answers Go. The heavens open and the plenty and
the bounty falls from the sky and our prayers are answered
the way we expect.
second point is: The promise we believe.
In the Gospel of Mark, chapter 9 we read of a healing
which Jesus has with a man who brings his son to Him.
The man comes and presents his son and Jesus asks the
father, "How long has your son been like this?"
The man answers, "Oh, from childhood. But if You
can do anything, take pity on him and help us." Now
we see some real personality here in Jesus. Jesus says,
"If? Did you say if I can?" Isn't that interesting?
The man says, "if You can help us." Jesus responds,
"if?" "If I can help you? Everything is
possible for him who believes," He says. Immediately
the man jumps to attention! The gospel says, "Immediately
the boy's father exclaimed, 'I do believe.'" Then
he sort of back pedals and he says, "Help me overcome
my unbelief." So which one is it: does he believe
or does he have unbelief? This is a very amusing account
of the conversation between this man and Jesus. It shows
the honestly and the reality of the situation. Jesus is
questioning "if", the man is saying "I
believe, well not really, I'm trying to believe, help
me to believe."
account is so realistically the way we are today. That
is why it is amusing. I say, "I believe Lord."
Then I say, "if You have the power to heal, help
me." How many people pray that way? "If You
have the power to help me God." Then we say, "I
believe Lord, I believe. Lord, help me with my unbelief."
This is the way we live. Yet, we must remember that God
says, "Call upon Me, and I will answer you."
third point is: The provisions we receive. "I will show
you great and mighty things which you do not know."
There are so many things we do not know. It is absolutely
astonishing for me to get on an airplane and see hundreds
of people get on and all of the luggage and all the food
and all the beverages! Even though I have studied the
aerodynamics of aircraft and have seen all the diagrams,
I still cannot understand how this aircraft will lumber
down the runway and suddenly leave the ground and soar
so high in the air it disappears and then continue to
go halfway around the world, and 12 hours later you will
land on the opposite side of the world. It just boggles
my mind every time it happens to me.
ask the question how is it possible for God to answer
my prayers? Suddenly, we realize we are in a process from
the very beginning when God created the heavens and the
earth, God has been in the process of uncovering information
and new scientific discoveries and things that you cannot
even begin to imagine today, things that will be taking
place a hundred and fifty years from now. You know it,
I know it. When we read these words, "All things
are possible to him who believes." (Mark 9:23) we
understand there is nothing that is impossible for God.
1. The person we conceive
2. The promise we believe
3. The provisions we receive
provisions are "I will show you great and mighty
things which you do not know." I think God was laughing
to Himself, thinking of 747's and DC 10's going down the
runway and trying to explain it to Jeremiah. We continue
to be educated about a lot of things. We also can be misinformed
about some things. It's like the little girl who went
to the museum and saw the dinosaur there and she asked
the security guard, "how old is this dinosaur?"
He said, "Oh it is three million, four and a half
years old." "Three million, four and a half
years, how did you get so accurate?" He said, "Well
I started working here four and a half years ago and at
that time they told me he was three million years old."
in His timing, will continue to reveal new things and
we will come to know things in the future that we do not
know today. "I will show you great and mighty things
which you do not know."
fact is God always answers our prayers in a good, positive,
beautiful way. When things happen, we have to respond
believing "that all things work together for good
to those who love God, who are called according to His
purpose. (Romans 8:28) We don't always see it at the time.
But, the time will come when it will be revealed and we
will understand the power, the wonder, the graciousness
and the love of God. "Call upon Me, says the Lord. And I will answer you and
I will show you great and mighty things which you do not
know." Pray. Call upon the God who has
the ability to move mountains and see it happen.
Heavenly Father, we thank you that You are a God who cares,
a God who loves, a God who continues to provide us with
everything we need. So we call upon you to help us to
be responsive and to believe in Your words and Your promises.
We thank you, Lord. Amen.