God has a way of dealing with His children by asking them questions. And He poses these questions in such a way as to expose our very thoughts.
When Elijah was hiding in the cave, the Lord asked: "Elijah, what are you doing here?"
When Peter began walking on the water toward Christ, and doubt caused him to sink in the waves, Jesus asked: "Why did you not believe?"
When Saul, soon to be named Paul, was on the Damascus road, Christ asked him: "Why do you persecute Me?"
These questions were penetrating. They were designed to make the people think, to look deep within their hearts. And today, God still uses questions to get right to the heart of matters with His children.
The Lord often speaks to me with a question. In fact, not long ago, I shared with our church a question God had posed to me: "David, is your God an idol?"
I wondered what the Lord was asking. And I had to search my heart deeply to find out what He was getting at.
I soon realized the question had to do with whether I pictured the Lord as alive - as truly hearing and answering prayer - or as one who doesn't see or hear. Was He to me no more than wood or stone, like any other dead idol? Or did I really trust Him to hear and answer my prayers, as a living, caring Father?
In recent weeks, as I sought the Lord for this message, another question popped into my heart. The Lord asked me this:
"David, do you accuse Me of child neglect?"
I was astounded at the very thought! Then the Spirit whispered to my soul: "You are My child - I am your Father. Yet do you doubt Me? Do you accuse Me in your mind of neglecting you, of not hearing your sincere cries?"
Again I had to search my heart before answering. And the Lord quickly brought up a number of other questions - all of them dealing with accusing God of neglect!
Now, we Christians rarely verbalize our doubts and unbelief. We never say to others that the Lord has neglected us - that He has been silent to our cries, He has not heard our prayers, He has not been working in our behalf.
But the fact remains - we do think such thoughts! These questions and doubts exist deep within us. They are things we feel when God seems to be absent from our lives.
I believe God gave me this message because the Spirit wants to deal with each of us about trusting in Him fully. Our glorious worship in church, our heartfelt praise, our daily Christian walk - all are in vain if we think for a moment that God has neglected us in any area of our lives!
Let me share with you some of the questions the Lord has put to me recently. If you can settle these three questions in your soul, you will be quickened in your faith and confidence in the Lord:
1. Does God Have the Answer to Every
Question and Every Need in My Life?
Any believer who wishes to please God with his prayer life must first settle this question: "Does God have all I need? Or do I need to go elsewhere for my answer?"
This appears to be a simple question - one that shouldn't even need to be asked. And most Christians would immediately answer, "Yes, of course I believe God has all I need." But the simple fact is, many are not fully convinced!
We say we believe it. We sing hymns and preach about it. But when a crisis hits and God doesn't seem to answer, we don't really believe He has what we need!
Paul states: "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19). The Lord has a storehouse of abundance with which to meet our every need!
Why did the troubled woman in Jesus' parable keep bothering the unjust judge, saying, "Give me justice!" It was because she knew that he alone had the power and authority to solve her problem. She could go to no one else!
Oh, if we only had such an inner knowledge that God alone has all we need! We would never turn in vain to any other source. The Lord is a just and holy Judge - and He has all the wisdom, power and authority to solve any problem we face.
God spent forty years trying to convince Israel they would never lack anything - that He would be their constant source and supply: "For the Lord thy God hath blessed thee in all the works of thy hand: he knoweth thy walking through this great wilderness: these forty years the Lord thy God hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing" (Deuteronomy 2:7).
God was saying, "There is no scarceness, no shortage with Me. I have all you will ever need!"
"For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land... a land wherein... thou shalt not lack any thing in it... When thou hast eaten (thou shalt be full)" (8:7-10).
Today, the Lord has brought us into our Promised Land - Christ! Jesus is to us an abiding place where there is never any lack. He represents the fullness of the Godhead bodily.
Now, if you do not believe that, then you are saying that the Old Testament provided something better than we have now in Christ. You are saying that under the Law the people had a bounty and a fullness - but in Christ we have less!
Indeed, Old Testament believers had the shekinah glory of the Lord. But God says He has provided something even better for us - and that is the very presence of Jesus Himself. He is constantly present in us!
The Bible says of Moses' time: "Yea, forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not.... (They) delighted themselves in thy great goodness" (Nehemiah 9:21,25).
I ask you - do you delight in the Lord's goodness to you? Or do you whisper within your heart, "God hasn't been good to me. My prayers aren't being answered. So many things have been left hanging...."
Dear saint, if God could take 3 million Jews through the wilderness, don't you think He can take care of you? Or do you think He is more faithful to the Law than He is to grace? Do you marvel at the way He took care of Israel, and yet you look at yourself and say, "Poor me!" That is accusing God of child neglect!
Israel never was convinced they would have all their supply if only they would trust God completely. These were not a holy people. They were impudent, disobedient, idolatrous. Moses told them, "Ever since I've known you, you've been bent on backsliding!"
Yet when they called out, God came and answered their cry! He had mercy on them! I ask you - will He not all the more hear the cries of those who have left their idolatry and love Him passionately?
You have to be convinced - your answer is all in Him! It is not in something you can do, or in some friend or support group. It is beyond all you know of things on this earth! Scripture says we are to be "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2).
If you don't believe that - if you are not convinced the Lord has everything you need - then you charge Him with being an unfit Father! You are saying He has no right to raise a child. You accuse Him of having all power and authority to provide for you - and hiding it all from you!
No matter what your problem is, no matter what your confusing maze may be - if you will simply wait on Jesus humbly, He will speak. He will give you all wisdom and knowledge, sufficient for your trial. He has always made a way through for those who trust in Him fully And He will do it for you!
2. Does My Father See What I Am
Going Through - and Does He Care?
This is another simple question -yet I believe it is not being answered honestly by most Christians.
God is asking, "Do you truly believe I see exactly what you are enduring right now?" Perhaps as you read this message, you are going through something that calls for Him to act on your behalf. The very nature of your problem demands an answer.
Beloved - do you believe God monitors your every move, as a father does his infant child? Do you know in your heart He is interpreting every thought you think? Do you believe He is at work - bottling every tear, hearing every sigh, hovering over you as a loving, caring Father?
This is exactly the way the Bible describes Him!
"The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.... The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles" (Psalm 34:15,17).
"For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him" (2 Chronicles 16:9).
"Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you" (1 Peter 5:7).
Do you believe God is absolutely, totally aware of your every thought, grief, pain, trial, financial burden, family problem - and that He wants to see you through them all?
The psalmist tells us, "Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him" (Psalm 103:13).
The Hebrew word for "pity" here means "to fondle, cuddle, love, be compassionate." Scripture is saying the Lord cuddles in His arms those who fear Him!
God puts His arms around you, He strokes your cheeks, He holds you to His breast. He says, "I know your thoughts, your concerns, every battle you must face. And I care!"
David said: "O Lord... Thou hast known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before... "How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee" (Psalm 139:1-5,17-18).
David is saying, "God knows all about me. He sees my every move, even my thoughts. Everywhere I turn, there He is!"
Think of it. No matter what you are going through, no matter how you feel, the Lord sees it all! He feels the very feelings of your infirmities. He knows every move you make - all you say and do.
And yet, all the time. He thinks precious thoughts about you! He says, "My thoughts of you are so powerful and so many, they are more than the sands in the sea!"
Many Christians go through life thinking God is angry with them. They think they can never please Him. How wrong they are! David was not a perfect man, and yet he was able to say, "How precious are Thy thoughts unto me, O God!"
Dear saint, God is not mad at you right now. No - He is thinking precious, cuddly, loving thoughts about you. He knows the way you feel - and He cares!
He is saying, "Yes, you're going through a great trial - you're being tempted and tossed. But you're My child I will never allow the enemy to ensnare you I'm going to bring you through!"
Now, there is a third question you have to answer:
3. Is God Willing to Come Forth to My Help?
Do you believe God is willing to come quickly to you to solve your problem?
Here is where many Christians fail They know God has all they need - they admit He cares. But they are not convinced He is willing to come quickly to help them.
When God does not answer their cry right away, they imagine hindrances and inner blockages in themselves. They think of all kinds of reasons why the Lord must not be willing to come to their aid.
No - that is accusing God of neglecting His child!
On Mount Carmel, Elijah accused the pagan god Baal of child neglect:
"And they...called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered... "
"And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked,
"And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner till the blood gushed out upon them.... [But] there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regardeth" (1 Kings 18:26-29).
Hear these words again: "There was no voice... no answer... no one to pay attention or regard... "
This is exactly how we accuse God of child neglect! We pray, we cry aloud to God - but we go our way not believing He has heard us! We walk away from the Lord's presence - away from church, away from the secret closet - wondering if He has even paid attention!
No! The Lord is always ready to hear and answer our cry for help. I love what David said of Him:
"For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee... In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me" (Psalm 56:5, 7).
David said, "My God is ready and willing to answer me in the very moment I cry out to Him! I don't stop and contemplate my trouble. I don't grieve over it or try to figure it out. I go to my Lord and cry, 'Help!"'
That is all God is waiting for - your heartbroken cry, uttered in child-like faith!
"But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord" (James 1:6-7).
The Bible says that under bondage in Egypt, "Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God... And God heard their groaning, and God remembered... And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God took notice of them" (Exodus 2:23-25).
God did not answer Israel because they were worthy. On the contrary, the Lord had much to teach them. No - He heard them because they earnestly cried - and He took notice and heard their cry!
Just before Moses died, he reminded the people of God's faithfulness to come forth at their cry:
"And the Egyptians evil entreated us, and afflicted us, and laid upon us hard bondage: and when we cried unto the Lord God of our fathers, the Lord heard our voice, and looked on our affliction, and our labour, and our oppression:
"And the Lord brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great terribleness, and with signs, and with wonders" (Deuteronomy 26:6-8).
The Israelites, as backslidden and idolatrous as they were, simply cried out to the Lord. And God is saying to His beloved children today, "You can call upon Me, you can cry out to Me - and I will hear!"
Are you afflicted? Bound? Troubled? Needing deliverance? Cry aloud - with faith! God is ready to deliver you with wonders by His mighty arm!
You can sum up the history of Israel in these few verses:
"And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and forgat the Lord their God... (But) when the children of Israel cried unto the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer..." (Judges 3:7,9).
God's people repeatedly forgot Him. But when they cried out He came!
Indeed, Samuel chided Israel by reminding them of how their fathers had cried out to the Lord:
"And they cried unto the Lord, and said, We have sinned, because we have forsaken the Lord... but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies... And the Lord sent Jerub-baal, and Bedan, and Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and ye dwelled safe" (1 Samuel 12:10-11).
God always sent deliverance! No matter how badly the people had sinned against the Lord, no matter how terribly they forsook Him - in the very moment they cried out to Him, God went to work to save and deliver them!
Dear saint, do you believe God has turned a deaf ear to your cries? Do you believe He was willing to hear the cries of a stubborn, backslidden Israel who hardly ever trusted in Him fully - and yet He will not hear the sincere cry of a blood-bathed, believing child?
Never! No matter what you are facing, He will not allow Satan to overcome you! He has put a wall of fire around you. He is ready to come to your aid at a moment's notice!
David Cried to the Lord Often - and He Was Delivered
Out of All His Troubles and Every Snare of the Enemy!
David tells us why God answered him: "He brought me forth also into a large place; He delivered me, because he delighted in me" (Psalm 18:19).
"Delight" here means "to take pleasure or joy." David was saying, "I bring pleasure to God. He delivered me simply because He takers pleasure in me!"
Yes - and, beloved, He takes pleasure in you and me as well!
You see, we who trust in the Lord are His holy Zion, His holy remnant. Remnant means, simply, "those who call on the Lord from a pure heart," They are those who have been called out of a lazy Christendom and are totally devoted to Jesus.
To the chosen of Zion, God says:
"Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee" (Isaiah 62:3-4).
Why does God come to my rescue, so willing to deliver me? It is because He delights in me! I am a pleasure to Him. He enjoys my friendship!
A precious young man told me: "I have never been convinced that I've truly been accepted by the Lord. I seldom feel good enough for God - like I just don't I measure up. I keep trying to appease Him by doing something good for others
So many Christians feel this way! Over the years I have known many old-time Pentecostal people who never had assurance in the Lord. They felt unworthy, unclean, unloved. They never believed they were a delight to the heart of God.
So they were always trying to work something in their lives to please Him. If they failed in one area, they did three things in another area to try to make God happy.
Beloved, this can never be! When you come to Jesus, you can't make up anything to Him. No - He makes it all up to you. That is who He is! He says, "I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you" (Joel 2:25).
No matter what your failure or shortcoming - God makes it all up to you!
God's Children Are Tattooed
Into the Very Palm of His Hand!
This is one of my favorite Scriptures:
"Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, o mountains: for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted. But Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.
"Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me" (Isaiah 49:13-16).
God says I am engraved in the very palm of His hand! The Hebrew word for "graven" means "tattooed" - that is, indelible, unerasable. He cannot stretch out His hand without being reminded of me!
Dear saint, I want to assure you: You may go through trials and sufferings. You may be far from what you wish to be in the Lord. But you can know one thing more than anything else: You are a delight to Him!
I write to you now with a confidence and knowledge in my heart that, although I have not arrived, He has made me a part of His remnant. I believe with all my heart I am a royal crown, a diadem in His hand, a delight to His soul. He is not mad at me - He delights in me!
Listen to this wonderful promise:
"I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities; and thou hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room...
"Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!" (Psalm 31:7-8,19).
Can you call that child neglect? Never!
God has given you all you need to be free and victorious. He sees your condition - and He cares. He cuddles you as you call on Him. And He is ready to come forth to help you in the moment you call on Him.
Rejoice in the Lord - for you are a delight to His soul! Hallelujah!
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reference these messages.
This data file is the sole property of World Challenge. It may not be altered or edited in any way. It may be reproduced only in its entirety for circulation as "freeware," without charge. All reproductions of this data file must contain the copyright notice [i.e., "Copyright © 1999 by World Challenge"]. This data file may not be used withoutthe permission World Challenge for resale or the enhancement of any other product sold. This includes all of its content with the exception of a few brief quotations. Please give the following source credit: Copyright © 1999 by World Challenge, Lindale, Texas, USA.
This material is solely for personal use and is not to be posted publicly on other web pages. The Lorain County Free-Net Chapel holds exclusive rights from World Challenge, Inc. to publicly post these messsages on its web page. You are free to download, copy, print and distribute this material, so long as you do not post it on a different Internet site. You may, however, link this site to reference these messages.
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