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 says:
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 happen.
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
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.