Deuteronomy 4:7: “For what great nation great nation is there that has a god so near to it as is the LORD our God whenever we call upon Him? (NASB).
Jesus said: ask and you will receive (Matthew 21:22), as he taught us to have faith in God (Mark 11:22-24). Everyone has faith in something. If you worry and panic, it shows that you have faith in yourself, and when you see that you cannot help yourself you begin to feel that all hope is lost.
When certain people do not come through for you and that disturbed you, it shows you were leaning on them and not on God. A psalmist wrote: even if my mother and father forsake me, God will pick me up (Psalm 27:10). That is the mindset we should have.
We read that we should trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not on your own understanding and that we should acknowledge God in all our ways (Proverbs 3:4-5).
Paul said that rather than worry and lose our peace, we should let our request be known to God (Philippians 4:6), and similarly Peter said that we should humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, casting our cares upon him because he cares for us (1Peter 5:6-7). Therefore, when we do not cast our cares, we are proud and rebellious. It is a rejection of the true God. And whoever we trust we have made god (Isaiah 30:1-3).
When we do not trust God, it means that we trust in something else, that you trust yourself and trusting in yourself, your smartness, will definitely lead to worry because you cannot do all things.
Jesus asked: can anyone by worrying, increase his height (Matthew 6:27)? Therefore, if worrying is useless, why indulge in it? Why not trust in God, in the processes he has set in place to make things happen for you? The bible says: all things are working together for you (Romans 8:32). Do you believe that? Jesus told Martha before he raised his brother Lazarus from the dead: Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God (John 11)?
When we call upon God we show that we trust him and the bible says that God shows himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts is stayed on him (Isaiah 26:3, 2Chronicles 16:19). When we set our hearts, on the word of God, on the things on heaven, on the ways of God, we are following in the light, walking on his ways, walking in the Spirit, setting out in the direction that God wants us to follow, the way of success.
Though we cannot see God, he is only a call away. Paul puts it this way: whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13). While talking about worshipping God to a woman, Jesus said that we shall not worship God on a mountain or in a temple but those who worship God will worship him in spirit and in truth (John 4:21-24). In the Spirit there is no distance, we only need the internal posture of trust which calling upon God indicates.
Jesus right now is called a life-giving spirit (1Chronicles 14:45). It means that he is no longer limited by time and space, by the flesh, and we can reach out to him in the realm of the spirit where there is no space or time. He actually told the disciples just before he departed from them, that he will be with them always, and that is in a spiritual sense, not physical (Matthew 28:20).
He said when two of three are gathered in his name he is there in their midst (Matthew 18:20). He is the Lord in all realms (both seen and unseen). And he is active. The bible says that he ever lives to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25). He exists for us, he is the head and we are the body (Ephesians 1:22-23). He listens when we call and acts on our behalf.
God is only a call away. He said: call unto me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things in which you have not known (Jeremiah 33:3). When we call upon God, it means we recognise him as God. The writer of the book of Hebrews says that without faith it is impossible to please God because he who comes to God must know that he is and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6).
There was a time in the land of Israel when the children of Israel en-mass worshipped idols, specifically Baal and Asheroth as moved by Jezebel the wife of the king- Ahab. It was like the devil has set up a little kingdom among the people of God, but Elijah would have none of it (1Kings 17-18).
Coming with the power of God, he called a drought in the land and before the rain came three and half years later, he called for a confrontation between himself on one side, representing God, the prophets of Baal on the other side.
The task was: whoever brings down fire from heaven is the real God. His words: the God who answers by fire let him be God. By implication, he was saying, let this be the last time that will be a source of argument.
The prophets of Baal spent all day trying to get their god to bring down fire, to no avail, they even cut themselves, pushed themselves into a higher state of frenzy and earnestness, but that also did not work.
But when Elijah prepared his own altar, God responded with fire coming from heaven on the sacrifice and lick up everything, including the water Elijah caused to be poured on the sacrifice with and the stones on which the animal was laid, and the animal itself.
God in heaven showed himself to be close at hand, just a call away, from wherever you are and whoever you are.
The people who witnessed the confrontation between the prophets of Baal and Elijah, when they saw the way God answered by fire, shouted: the Lord, he is God and they bowed down. God showed himself alive and active, not laid back and aloof.
God answers whoever we call on him. Jesus said that whatever we desire, when we pray we should believe we have received it and we will have it indeed. He said God sees us when we pray in secret because he will reward us openly (Matthew 6:6).
God has a special affinity for praying people. David said: I will call upon the lord, who is worthy to be praised, so shall I be saved from my enemy (Psalm 18:3). Peter said: we will give ourselves to pray and the ministry of the word (Acts 6:4). Habakkuk said that he was going to separate himself and see what God will say to him, and God answered him by sharing his perspective with him.
David asked for direction and he got it. What will happen if he did not ask as he faced the different enemies in his life, it means he would have groped in darkness, not knowing what to do, and many things would have gone wrong for him.
- Jesus’ baptism site to get tourist boost after becoming world heritage site (christiantoday.com)
- News, views and pews: Why Christians need to be aware (standupforthetruth.com)
- How Ancient Hebrews Really Looked (prophecynewsandviews.wordpress.com)
- Testimony and Invitation (news.sosevents.org)
- Westminster Shorter Catechism – Lord’s Day 28 (garyware.me)
- a few words from God’s Word about our words (pastorpaulpurdue.com)
- Monday, 29 June 2015 : Solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul, Apostle, Great Feast of the Church of Rome (Gospel Reading) (petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com)
- Take a listen to this beautiful musical adaptation of the Lord’s Prayer (rare.us)
- John Chapter 1 Sermon Notes (elysjoy.com)