When We Call, He Hears!

When We Call, He Hears!

A psalm of David. Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer. How long will you people turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods. Know that the LORD has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him. Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the LORD. Many, LORD, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?” Let the light of your face shine on us. Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound. In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4  NIV

Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:11-13 NIV

In the day of evil–times when people forsake God and will not obey–there are those of us who recognize the times and when we call upon Him, He will answer.

When there is no “immediate response” that we can see or discern, some tend to get a little anxious and their faith begins to fade. But we are told repeatedly in The Word, to hold onto our faith and it will not fail us as long as our faith is in God.

Having faith in God–no matter what happens–means that even though it appears that the world is groping in darkness, we can trust God to guide us and keep us on the path He has already established for us. We simply need to remember that Jesus is The Light–of Truth, of Integrity, and Honor. And when we have received Him into our hearts, and filled to brimming over with the love of God and power of Holy Spirit–we need never to be afraid of darkness for even in darkness-we see Him in all of His glory.

Therefore, no one who knows God and has established a lasting relationship with Him through Jesus Christ never has to worry about walking in darkness for He is the light within. Have we not been told that we are the light of the world? Not because of who we are, but because of who He is in our lives. In the midst of the darkness, our light–within us–should shine so brightly that all will see our good works and know that every deed committed in darkness will be exposed by The Light.

Because we walk in the light and love of Jesus, we can confidently, approach His throne with boldness to place our petitions before Him and know with certainty, He hears us when we call upon Him.

We are His children and He is our loving Father and a loving Father never ignores the children He loves. Therefore, call upon The Lord and know that when our requests align with His Word, He will answer and give us the desires of our hearts when we take pleasure in serving Him.

I know that He hears me when I call upon Him because of my relationship with Him and His love for me. And while I wait for His response, I continue to do as He has directed me–even though there are times I don’t understand why He has me doing what I do. I am eternally grateful that He found me worthy to be used by Him and for that alone–I give Him praise!

Even when those around me don’t understand or try to put obstacles in my way, I can keep moving toward the prize I know awaits me because it is from God, not man. So, when I have done all I know to do and know that it has all been directed by God, I take a firm stand, supported by The Word and I refuse to move or back down from any assignment The Lord has given me. And while I’m standing–I am in constant communication with Him, and I know He hears me because it is in His strength, that I can keep going, and going, and going!

On this side of heaven, we are in a constant battle with evil and those spirits that influence evil so we must communicate often with Him who gives us wisdom and direction in order to combat the evil that confronts us. Having The Word in our hearts gives us strength and courage to not answer those the way they respond to us. Having Holy Spirit reigning in our hearts, keeps us from shaming our Father and reminds us to do what is right in His sight, at all times.

The naysayers in our lives don’t have to understand why we do what we do, but we must know that God has given us a task and it is our willingness to complete the task to His glory that matters more than man’s understanding.

Every day when I write, the enemy attempts to dissuade me by interfering with my vision and I’ve noticed it takes me a little longer to complete the task of writing this blog, but I am determined and I keep calling upon Him to help me see what He wants me to say. I’ve taken my stand and I will not be moved because I know–when I call Him, He hears me.

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Our Declaration Causes Him to Forget!

“No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Jeremiah 31:34 NIV)

What a wonderful day it will be when all the people of the Land–all over the world–stand up and declare, “I know The Lord.” Even though many of us teach that God will remember our sins, no more, we often forget the qualifier–when all know Him.

Having a knowledge of someone or something does mean we “know” for what we have is surface knowledge. It is the surface knowledge–without any depth–that most can claim to know about God, for those who even acknowledge He exists. For those who claim He doesn’t exist, it is because they choose to ignore Him and want to control their lives–doing whatever they want to do–having no accountability to anyone but themselves (just as Satan does).

While writing this, I remembered an exchange on an online news article with someone–a young lady I believe who wanted to dispute the veracity of God’s Word regarding homosexuality. Her comeback to encouragement to read The Word for herself was, “God wrote the Ten Commandments, but men wrote the Bible.” Her limited, surface knowledge of God did not give her any insight as to “men writing what God inspired them to write.” including the Ten Commandments. These are the people who “know of God,” but don’t know Him. 

It should not amaze anyone that those who refuse to obey will ultimately make excuses, live in denial, and re-write a bible–eliminating references to sin, hell and anything else they choose to ignore, including changing the gender of God, without justification or understanding any of history. Jesus called Him, Father (as translated into English). Any word–in any language–used to indicate “father” means a male. Therefore, simply re-writing anything pertaining to God’s Word–does not change His intent for human beings or what He said. It is only those who are intimidated by The Word that desire to change it,anyway.

But those who know God, accept His Word and understand His intent–not because of what is written on a page in a book, but because they have developed a relationship with Him and communicate with Him on a regular basis. And I don’t mean ritualistic prayer where “words are merely repeated” but have not the power to transcend the heavens. Merely repeating words is not communication and if we understand that communication requires interaction between two people, we would know that not only do we talk to God in prayer, we listen to what He has to say.

Think about it this way.  If we’re communicating with a spouse and all they heard was the same thing and they never responded, the marriage wouldn’t last long. If children keep repeating the same request of parents and parents never respond, frustration and rebellion ensues. There can be no communication without a response or interaction between the two parties. Prayer is communication with God; therefore, we must actively listen to what He has to say to us before we continue to badger Him with redundant nothingness. When we hear and obey, He knows, we know Him and when He knows we know Him, He forgives our sins and remembers them no more.

Do we know Him or do we just know about Him? Soon and very soon, we must all give an account for what we do and say, and right now, I’m declaring, “I know The Lord!”

The Cost of Understanding!

“The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you.” (Proverbs 4:7,8 NIV)

When we look at the “wisdom” discussed in Proverbs, we sometimes miss the fact that we cannot seek true wisdom, unless we seek it from God. “If any lack wisdom, ask of God who will give it” (paraphrased). Seeking wisdom from any source other than God is foolishness for man does not have the capacity to distribute the wisdom God has.

Once we have sought God for wisdom, now we must seek understanding–no matter what the cost may be. The cost here is not necessarily a monetary cost, but a cost in humility, service, and constant communication with God. Are we willing to pay the cost to stay before the Father, no matter how foolish people say we are? Or will we succumb to the masses and man’s limited wisdom and attempt to please man more than God?

In this life we all have choices and our victory over all that is put before will be determined by the wisdom of our choices. Will we succeed or will be defeated?

Get wisdom and understanding and develop a willingness to pay the cost–even though you may appear foolish, determine to be a fool for God and not for man.

According To His Truth!

“Teach me your ways, O LORD that I may live according to your truth! Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor you. With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God. I will give glory to your name forever”(Psalm 86:11,12 NLT).

How long has it been since we asked God to teach us–His ways–according to His truth?

This is probably why our society is in the shape it is today! We have not asked God to teach us anything, but have been willing to listen to any and everyone who has something to say that–sounds good. And then we wonder why–we don’t hear God speaking to us. If we don’t know His voice, how can we hear Him?

The only way we’ll ever understand when God is speaking and when people are speaking (their version of truth) is by knowing what He has said in His Word. This cannot be said often enough. If we know His Word, we’ll know His voice because He will not say anything contrary to His written Word! This is why Jesus said through John, “My sheep know my voice and another they will not hear (or listen to, or obey).”

Until we determine, collectively, to hear and obey His voice–our prayers are in vain. It is not that He does not hear us, but that we cannot hear Him or choose to ignore Him when we hear Him because sometimes–what He has to say–we just don’t want to hear.

In verse six of this Psalm, the psalmist is asking God to hear his prayer and then goes on to tell Him all of the wonderful things He is to him. Is that what we do or do we just ask–selfishly for those things we want?

Prayer–our communication with God–should not just be about asking for things, but praising Him for who He is to us and our gratitude because He is who He is!

If we want to see a change in our society–change worth having that eliminates the hatred and violence–then those of us who know Him and will hear His voice when He speaks–need to know how to pray, hear, and respond;  know His voice and obey!

Prayer changes things, but only when those who are praying are willing to hear and obey and then do things, according to His Truth!

 

None Like Him!

To you it was shown that you might know that the LORD, He is God; there is no other besides Him “(Deuteronomy 4:35 NASB).“Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the LORD, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other” (Deuteronomy 4:39 NASB).

In this conversation with the Children of Israel they are reminded of the God of Heaven, how He remembered them because of their fathers with whom He had a covenant, and to make sure they knew that the other gods, had done nothing for them or anyone else.

This powerful reminder is just as relevant to us–spiritual Israel–as it was then. We need to be reminded from time to time of how great God has been, is and will be. No matter what we create or set up to worship–we are reminded there is none like Him. He is the God of Heaven and earth. He is the God who brought us back into relationship with Him through His willingness to die for us. He is the One who allowed us to experience Him first-hand through many trials and tribulations and He brought us through them all. He is the One, the only One who loves us enough to keep giving us chance after chance to get things right, before He returns.  How great a love is that? Of course He can do no more than what He is because He is Love. 

Be very careful in worshiping anything created by man or mankind himself. They are limited in what they can do and absolutely nothing we make with our own hands (or digitally) can ever do what God does. We need not get so caught up with achievements that we forget God. None of our technology has been created without Him since it is He who inspired all things created and without Him, nothing has ever been created.

People (who don’t know God) want to blame God for all the ills of the world, but they must first look to themselves and see if they have been willing to hear God. When we can hear God speak to our hearts and then to our minds, we can discover–cures for illnesses and means to convince others to obey Him so there won’t be unrest and confusion in the land. We know how to “ask God” for things, but do we know how to listen for His response. He has said, He will withhold no good thing from us. Finding a cure for illnesses is a good thing--He is not withholding the information, we are not hearing Him. Establishing peace in a world of unrest is a good thing–He is not withholding the means, we are not hearing Him.

None of the statues, or beads, or crystals or anything else we worship or use in worship will ever change anything. There is no candle that holds power. There is no piece of jewelry that holds power. There is nothing in the land that holds power other than our faith in Him who can and will do all things well. There is none like Him who can get the job done. It’s about relationship, not religions or religious observations! It is our faith alone that moves Him–not tears or emotions–to doing what He does in response to our communications with Him. Prayer is communication with God, but for most of us, it becomes a one-sided conversation. Stay quiet long enough to hear what He has to say. After all, He took the time to hear you. No, there is none like Him.

Father, in the name of Jesus, thank You for hearing and answering our prayers. Thank You for taking the time to respond to us on a level we can understand clearly. Thank You for reminding us, through Your Word that there is none like You and there never will be. We give You all the praise and glory for You are the only One worthy of it.

We Can Ask Anything?

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (I John 5:14 NIV).

I just came to a conclusion about expounding upon scriptures, verse by verse. If I wrote about any “one” scripture a day, I would probably not live long enough to address all of them. Therefore, I try to explicate those that encourage confidence in our belief and promotion of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, remind of instructions given and rewards for obedience, and warn of the consequences of disobedience.

Verse twelve and thirteen of this same passage provide us with a foundation for our beliefs. John says that “whoever has the Son of God has life (hope for eternal life) and whoever does not have Him, does not” and then he explains why he’s writing to the churches.

If we believe that we have Jesus in our lives, and we have given Him authority over our lives, we have access to heaven and our mansions. If we don’t believe, we won’t have. But with the belief comes the confidence that we can go to God, on our own, and ask Him anything, and we know He hears us. If He hears us, will He not respond to us?

There are many who do not believe in God, and certainly don’t have conversations with Him, but for those of us, who do–we know-we can talk to Him any time, expect Him to hear us and respond to our requests. When we ask of Him anything that aligns with His Word (His Word is His will), we can expect to receive it. John knew there were those who scorned believers and tried to make them feel foolish because of their beliefs and he wrote to them to remind them--they knew Truth and they could count on Truth to do all He said He would do.

So, go ahead, ask God–anything–in Jesus’ name–and see for yourself that He will respond. For believers, you know what I mean.
For scorners who don’t believe–don’t believe! Asking God for anything foolish or evil will not happen, but then if you don’t believe, why ask Him anything?

Father, in the name of Jesus, I ask You to strengthen the faith of believers everywhere so they will develop confidence in You and know that whatever we ask of You in Your Son’s name, will be given. Amen!

What Are We Teaching Our Children?

What do you want your children to learn?

The Word tells us to “train up a child in the way they should go, and when they get older, they will not depart from it (what they were taught).”

Are we training our children to seek a path of greed, complacency, violence and selfishness? What do they see us doing? Whether we like it or not–our children watch what we do and say, and then do what we do. What do they see us doing or saying?

Watching The View the other morning, I was appalled to hear Whoopie Goldberg talk about teaching her grandson to use profanity. I wasn’t in the room with the television, but I could hear what was being said and when I went into the room to hear, I was ashamed. How could anyone think that teaching a child to use profanity was cute? And she just joked about it–like it was no big deal. It was a big deal to me.

I’m raising my grandson and it’s very difficult to teach him the things he should do, when there is so much out there–in the music, on the television–that he shouldn’t do. What I have said to him is this–If you don’t hear me say it; you can’t say it. If you don’t see me doing it; you can’t do it. And then, after I’ve admonished him about his behavior–I watch my own. No, I’m not a perfect human being–there aren’t any. However, I can teach my grandson to be a really good, considerate, and generous person who does not have to use profanity to communicate with anyone. How about that! I can train him to be a great communicator on another level–a level that demonstrates someone raised him in a loving, nurturing environment and one in which all around him knew how to effectively communicate–without using profanity.

What are you teaching your children?