God Is Calling You
Some weeks ago I was sitting in a beautiful oceanfront restaurant at sunrise. I was thinking about how wonderful God is to create such a beautiful world. I was watching people strolling on the beach, and they, too, were watching the sun as it began to rise. Then it was like I heard God saying, You see all those people? I am calling each of them to know Me.
God wants us to know Him. He wants us to believe Him. Just because we can’t see Him does not mean He is not there. He is closer than our breath. He is more alive than anything we have experienced. He wants us to let Him love us.
He calls out to His children, “Come to Me; draw near to Me.” But they don’t know it’s their Father God who is calling. They become distracted thinking about other things or letting people fill that void. But nothing or no one can possibly fill that intimate place that is prepared for God Himself.
Frustration sets in and we might be tempted to believe, He does not love me. He is too far away; He is too ‘high’ for me to attain. Those are lies and we have to learn the difference between the two voices.
How do we know the difference? Know that He loves us more than anyone else can. We can trust His love, His plan, His strength, and His grace. The Great I AM is whatever and whoever we need or want. Even the birds don’t go unfed. How much more does He want a relationship with us!
Where do we start? We just go to Him and tell Him our heart; we can entrust our heart to Him. He knows all the concerns of our heart already and He wants to heal it. He wants us to know that many of the desires in our hearts are from Him — we just simply have not trusted Him enough to know those things are in His heart for us.
We begin with “create in me a clean heart, O, God.” He will clean out the places that we don’t know how to clean out. Though we put them there, He can clean them out. He does it so gently and in so much love that we will receive His peace and joy and develop a deeper trust and relationship with Him.
No one else can fill this need and special place like God with His precious Holy Spirit. He wants us to trust Him and His love for us. There is nothing to fear. Jesus said, “I came that you may have life and have it to the full.”
Make a decision to welcome the presence of God. We can come away with Him and experience all the peace and joy that the abundant life has for us. He is calling. This is His idea, not ours.
We must stop resisting and do what the word says: “Submit to Him and let Him truly abide in you and you abide in Him.”
What a wonderful adventure is ahead for us. All we need to do is make the decision!
He has paid a full ransom for his people. He has guaranteed his covenant with them forever. What a holy, awe-inspiring name he has! (Psalm 111:9 NLT)
2 Chronicles 32:19-21 19They spoke about the God of Jerusalem as they did about the gods of the other peoples of the world–the work of men’s hands. 20King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz cried out in prayer to heaven about this. 21And the LORD sent an angel, who annihilated all the fighting men and the leaders and officers in the camp of the Assyrian king. So he withdrew to his own land in disgrace. And when he went into the temple of his god, some of his sons cut him down with the sword.
Assyria was conquering the known world at this time in history. Its forces were unstoppable. They took Egypt and the nations around Judah. Israel had fallen. When they came to Judah, they took the fortified cities to the south. Archeologists have found pottery shards on which notes were written during the fall of Lachish and Azekah. There are still great murals in existence of the siege of Lachish by Assyria. But when they reached Jerusalem, they were unable to breach the walls. They began with a propaganda war by saying that the God of Judah was like all the other gods that could not protect them from their great army. They had heard how Hezekiah had destroyed all the other gods and encouraged the worship of the one true God. The testimony had gone out into the world.
Here is something you rarely see. The king and the prophet cried out to God. They presented the Assyrian mockery of God to the throne of God. Hezekiah told the people of Judah that the Assyrian army had only physical power and military might, but the Jews had the LORD God of the universe helping them!
The LORD heard their prayer and sent and angel that annihilated huge numbers of Assyria’s fighting men. History records that when the king or Assyria wrote his poem of conquest he said, “I shut up Hezekiah like a bird in a cage.” Reading between the lines, you see he was unable to take Jerusalem and had to give up his siege. Upon returning to Assyria, some of his sons assassinated him as he worshiped in the temple of his god. His god could not deliver Jerusalem into his hands nor could he save his life. Now whose god is a sad record of not being able to protect? The possession of military superiority does not matter. What matters is who is on the LORD’s side. I hope you are.
Consider: Anything other than the true God will fail and leave you disappointed and empty.
Streams in the Desert – August 22
- 202122 Aug
And the rest, some on boards, some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass that they escaped all safe to land (Acts 27:44).
The marvelous story of Paul’s voyage to Rome, with its trials and triumphs, is a fine pattern of the lights and shades of the way of faith all through the story of human life. The remarkable feature of it is the hard and narrow places which we find intermingled with God’s most extraordinary interpositions and providences.
It is the common idea that the pathway of faith is strewn with flowers, and that when God interposes in the life of His people, He does it on a scale so grand that He lifts us quite out of the plane of difficulties. The actual fact, however, is that the real experience is quite contrary. The story of the Bible is one of alternate trial and triumph in the case of everyone of the cloud of witnesses from Abel down to the latest martyr.
Paul, more than anyone else, was an example of how much a child of God can suffer without being crushed or broken in spirit. On account of his testifying in Damascus, he was hunted down by persecutors and obliged to fly for his life. but we behold no heavenly chariot transporting the holy apostle amid thunderbolts of flame from the reach of his foes, but “through a window in a basket,” was he let down over the walls of Damascus and so escaped their hands. In an old clothes basket, like a bundle of laundry, or groceries, the servant of Jesus Christ was dropped from the window and ignominiously fled from the hate of his foes.
Again we find him left for months in the lonely dungeons; we find him telling of his watchings, his fastings, and his desertion by friends, of his brutal and shameful beatings, and here even after God has promised to deliver him, we see him for days left to toss upon a stormy sea, obliged to stand guard over the treacherous seaman, and at last when the deliverance comes, there is no heavenly galley sailing from the skies to take off the noble prisoner; there is no angel form walking along the waters and stilling the raging breakers; there is no supernatural sign of the transcendent miracle that is being wrought; but one is compelled to seize a spar, another a floating plank, another to climb on a fragment of the wreck, another to strike out and swim for his life.
Here is God’s pattern for our own lives. Here is a Gospel of help for people that have to live in this every day world with real and ordinary surroundings, and a thousand practical conditions which have to be met in a thoroughly practical way.
God’s promises and God’s providences do not lift us out of the plane of common sense and commonplace trial, but it is through these very things that faith is perfected, and that God loves to interweave the golden threads of His love along the warp and woof of our every day experience.
–Hard Places in the Way of Faith
Sickness and Death
Scripture Reading — Luke 8:40-56
“Don’t be afraid, just believe. . . .” — Luke 8:50
I was talking to a friend a while back who was dealing with many health concerns. As he was about to undergo another major surgery, he said that while he was anxious about his health and didn’t want to die, he wasn’t necessarily afraid of being sick or dying. I asked why—and he said he knew that whatever happened, God was in control.
A trembling woman who had been sick for many years approached Jesus. Then she touched the edge of his cloak and was immediately healed! While she was afraid to speak up about what she had done, Jesus assured her that her faith in him had made her well.
A father whose daughter was dying fell at Jesus’ feet begging for his daughter’s life. He was afraid to lose her—and even more afraid when he heard that she was dead. But Jesus assured him that she would be fine. “Just believe,” he said, “and she will be healed.”
Sickness and death are things that we all fear in one way or another. But as we look at these grim realities, we need to see them through the lens of Jesus’ sacrifice for us and God’s love for us. Sickness and death won’t go away until the Lord’s return, but we don’t need to fear them as we would if we did not know about God’s love for us.
Loving God, we fear sickness and death in our lives and in the lives of our loved ones. Help us to overcome those fears and to rely on your love even when we are afraid. Amen.