CRY OUT TO GOD? WHY?

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CRY OUT TO GOD? WHY?

I want to begin today’s message by being honest. I have seen my fair share of dark days. There have been times when the mind games that the devil plays did make it look like he was winning the tug of war in my life. Yes, there have been times when I would look around and wonder why I even bother to continue. God doesn’t seem to care about what happens. The world surely couldn’t care less. So why should I? And it is at these times when the devil is at his best. His arguments are subtle, empathetic, and very convincing. And beloved, if you have ever been there too, you know exactly what I mean.

But, and this is a really big ‘but’, those are precisely the times when we should call out to our Father all the more. For our Father is not a distant God. He is not up high on His mountain or ivory tower. He is right there with us, in the midst of our storms, just as He was with His disciples in the boat. He is not flippant with His words, but chooses each and every one of the them carefully because He means them all. So when He makes promises like these,

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;” Isaiah 43:1-3

He is good for every word. And you know what, beloved? We should count ourselves all the more blessed that these are our times. For in these times, God’s promises are no longer empty, but they are fulfilled. So when we look back at how He has fulfilled His promises in the past, we can be sure that because

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever;” Hebrews 13:8

His promises to us, both corporate and individual, will all be fulfilled in time.

“Look at my distress, and rescue me,
for I do not forget your Torah.” Psalm 119:153 [CJB]

As we have seen from yesterday’s message, times have certainly changed. Back in the old testament, all Israel had to go by, as far as God’s promises were concerned, was that which was recorded in the Torah, the old testament that is, and their collective experience of being delivered from Egypt and into the land of Canaan. There were no ‘miracle services’ or online testimonies. Even the miracles of Jesus had not been performed, much less His saving work on the cross.

Yet, the Psalmist is still able to have the faith to call out to God in his time of need and ask Him for rescue. And do you notice the reason he gives for why God should deliver him? I mean, we ‘modern’ Christians think that old testament law is difficult to live by. And it was, for this was what Jesus Himself said about the law,

“You’re familiar with the command to the ancients, ‘Do not murder.’ I’m telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder. Carelessly call a brother ‘idiot!’ and you just might find yourself hauled into court. Thoughtlessly yell ‘stupid!’ at a sister and you are on the brink of hellfire. The simple moral fact is that words kill.” Matthew 5:21-22 [MSG]

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:27-28

Yes, living the perfect life under the law of Moses was difficult. Yet, the mere ability to remember the law, do you notice, not even carry it out, gave the Psalmist enough gumption to ask God for deliverance.

And it wasn’t even ‘normal’ deliverance that he was asking for.

“Plead my cause, and redeem me;
in keeping with your promise, revive me.” Psalm 119:154 [CJB]

Back then, there was no one to plead their cause. If they sinned, they just had the system of atonement through sacrifice and that was that. There was no other form of redemption to speak of. And there surely was no such thing as revival.

You see, back then, before Jesus came, resurrection from the dead was unheard of. Yet, in this section of Psalm 119, this idea is mentioned several times.

“Great is your compassion, Adonai;
in keeping with your rulings, revive me.” Psalm 119:156 [CJB]

“See how I love your precepts, Adonai;
in keeping with your grace, revive me.” Psalm 119:159 [CJB]

‘In keeping with your rulings’? Back then, the ruling was

“Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God:” Deuteronomy 28:1-2

“But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:” Deuteronomy 28:15

Do good, get good. Do bad, get bad. And he had the guts to ask to be revived? Not only that, because of ‘do good, get good; do bad, get bad’ there was no such thing as ‘grace’ or ‘unmerited favor’ of God. For you see, as John says,

“For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:17

Or putting it more completely,

“For while the Law was given through Moses, grace (unearned, undeserved favor and spiritual blessing) and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:17 [AMPC]

But that’s just it, beloved. They only had The Law back then and still they believed that our Father loved them. We have unearned, undeserved favor and spiritual blessings now because Jesus has come. We had Jesus already tell us this,

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:7-11

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17
“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:31-33

“And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14

“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:24

So why do we find it so difficult to believe?

Not only that, if it is revival you need, if it is resurrection you need, whether it be for your marriage, your business, your finances, your ministry or even your own personal life, Jesus has already shown you, three times, that resurrections are possible. He can and He will.

It doesn’t matter if your situation is dying or has just died, like Jairus’ daughter, Jesus will revive it. It doesn’t matter if other people ‘hijack’ Him along the way, just like the lady with the issue of blood did when Jesus was on the way to Jairus’ house, He will still get there and you will be revived.

It doesn’t matter if your situation has already been dead four days. It doesn’t even matter if it has been dead four months or four years. Just like He raised Lazarus, He will raise you and your situation.

It doesn’t even matter if you don’t know how to mouth the words to ask Him for your miracle. Because He loves you, because He can see your tears, feel your pain, hear your cry, He will raise your situation, just like He raised the son of the widow of Nain, even though she did not utter a word.

Beloved, if the men of old can do it, even more, so can we. If they can have faith that our Father loves them, even more so will we re-experience His love for us when we look back at each and every deliverance that He had already given in our lives. Our situation is different. Jesus has come. He has died. He has taken away our sins. He has taken away all righteous reason for God to fault us. He has opened Heaven to us like it has never been to anyone at any time. So if you are not calling out to our Father now, when will there ever be a better time?

Don’t go away today still carrying your problems. We don’t know why the delay was necessary. We don’t know why the silence was needed. But just like Jesus told His disciples, concerning Lazarus,

“Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe.” John 11:14-15

He has a damn good reason for whatever it is He is doing. And that reason is that He wants you to believe.

So beloved, cry out to Him today, right now. There is no better time, there is no better season. God is not far. He is right there with you. So hand over your cares to Him today and let Him revive you.

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