Awareness And Action
When following God, knowing His will for us is only half the battle--action must follow awareness. Action through good works brings our faith full circle.
Alright, thank you very much, and hello again, my dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, this is your friend, Bob Cook and I’m glad to be back with you. Well, this is a special week, a birthday week for some very important people in the life of yours truly. I trust that the coming year will be blessed by the blessing of God in those lives.
Say, how are things with you? Are you aware of the presence of God? That is what we’ve been talking about recently, the presence of God in your life. How do you achieve an awareness of His presence? Well, the Bible says the secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him, and He will show them His covenant. “Wait on the Lord,” it says, ‘Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart.” Therefore, will the Lord wait that He may be gracious unto you. God wants you to spend enough time with Him to become aware of Him. The Bible says, “Be still and know that I am God.” You don’t really know His quality of being God in your life until you get quiet before Him.
Actually, we fill up our prayer time so often with our requests. I know I do. I have a list a mile long, it seems, of things I have to call on God about. But you know, the most precious times of prayer are not the times you are asking God for things or crying out to Him to deliver you. Certainly, these are things we must do, but the most precious times of prayer are the time when you are just quiet before Him, and the blessed Spirit of God whispers to your heart either through some portion of God’s inerrant Word or else through the wordless language of the Spirit that speaks right down in your heart. God whispers to you something of His own love and His own will for your life. Make a habit of writing those things down because they will be unspeakably precious to you in the coming days and years. The presence of God: I trust that will be real in your life. I certainly want it to be so in mine.
Well, we are walking around in the 37th Psalm, you and I, and we finished verse 27 the last time we got together. “Depart from evil and do good and dwell forevermore.” The only way to be secure is to turn away from things you know are contrary to God’s will and deliberately do what you do know about God’s will. That is very simple, isn’t it? But that makes for a solidity and a security of life that cannot be duplicated anywhere else. The simple process of turning away from what you know is wrong and deliberately doing what you know is good. It makes your life secure. “Dwell,” it says, “forevermore.” Now why? It says, “The Lord loveth judgment and forsaketh not His saints.” This is verse 28. They are preserved forever, but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off. The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell therein forever. The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment. The law of his God is in his heart. None of his steps shall slide.” Now why should I turn away from evil and why should I do good? It says, (Here is another cause phrase.) “Fret not thyself for the workers of iniquity shall soon be cut down.” That is verse two. Then He says, “Cease from anger and forsake wrath. Fret not thyself in any wise to do evil, because evildoers shall be cut off.” See there is another because phrase. Then, there is another one in verse 22. “The righteous showeth mercy and giveth because such that have been blessed of Him shall inherit the earth and they that be cursed of Him shall be cut off.” The two elements of a child of God are forgiveness and generosity according to that 21st verse, “showeth mercy and giveth.”
Then, you come down to the 28th verse which is where we are right now, and he had said in verse 27, “Depart from evil and do good and dwell forevermore.” If you want to be secure, turn away from what’s wrong and start doing what is right. Simple, isn’t it? And He says, why? Because the Lord loves that kind of conduct. Judgment is our word righteousness, doing the right thing and because, it says, “He foresaketh not His saints.” You can afford deliberately to do what you know is right because God isn’t going to drop you. I often say God hasn’t brought you this far to drop you now. This is precisely what He is saying in this Psalm. You can afford to turn away from what is wrong and you can afford to do deliberately what you know is the will of God because He isn’t going to let you down. “He forsaketh not His saint. They are preserved forever.” That verb “preserved” is interesting. Paul Rader used to say with a smile, “God preserveth His saints and some He pickles.” Well, we’ve met a few sourpuss Christians in our day, haven’t you? Well, don’t blame that on God. They were that way before.
He says, “He forsaketh not His saints.” They are preserved forever. You want to be secure in your life? Turn away from what is wrong. Start deliberately doing what is right because God loves that. He isn’t going to drop you. He is going to see to it that you are preserved, that you are held secure in all of the phases of life. You are not going to be shaken up. That’s great, isn’t it? You see, living for God is such a simple matter, but it goes so deep. Down in my heart there are those recesses of self will that God keeps on showing me. Do you have that experience? After all the years have past, you’d think I would have learned all the lessons I need to learn with God, but He keeps on showing me down in my heart, the deep recesses and corners of self will that need to be brought into His control, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10:5. He says, “The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell therein forever.” This, of course, is a promise that was particularly applicable to God’s ancient chosen people, and God hasn’t gone back on His promise concerning Israel and the land. You may be sure of that. The nation of Israel is back in the land and they are going to stay there. One day they will see their messiah coming in the clouds of the air. They will recognize Him. “They shall look on Him,” it says, “whom they pierced.” But the prophecy is there, and God is seeing to it; that His ancient people chosen of God are back in the land that He chose for them.
Verse 30 says, “The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment because the law of his God is in his heart.” “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh,” the Bible says. And so it says the law of his God is in his heart. I have a theory that people keep on compromising in their life on matters concerning which they have never decided that it is absolutely important, in terms of being a life and death matter, to deal with it. I tend to consider myself an exception, don’t you? Just automatically you think, “Oh well, that applies maybe to other people.” And that is in every phase of life. I am not just talking about doing right or wrong. But, so often in every phase of life we think, “Oh well, that is for somebody else.” No. The element of compromising in your life and in mine continues in areas where we have not made real this statement, “The law of his God is in his heart,” which is to say, “I may never have decided that this thing is absolutely impossible for me to do. I cannot, I must not, I will not do it.”
Or to consider the other side of the matter, this thing is something which I absolutely must do because God says I must. Now, you know that oftentimes involves a battle with our wills and with our desires, and I suppose that until we get to heaven, we will never get through fighting that battle. Somebody asked Dr. Henry Savage, the long-time pastor of the Baptist Church in Pontiac, Michigan, father of Jim, Bob and Helen Savage, a great man of God. He was now, I guess, in his 80’s and somebody asked him, “Pastor Savage, at what age does one stop being tempted?” He chuckled and said, “I haven’t reached that age yet.” So, I suppose until we get to glory because we live in a sinful culture, and we have a sinful human nature which we inherited from Adam (every Christian has two natures, the old nature and the new nature which you know) there will always be the battle. But the resolution of the battle comes when I face up to any given issue and the answer to that issue becomes the law of his God is in his heart. Then, my mouth will be talking of wisdom. “The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom. Then, my tongue talks of judgment, righteousness.” You get the idea?
I will give you an illustration. A friend of mine was a smoker, two to three packs a day, and he enjoyed it. He was convicted about it because he was a believer, but he kept on smoking. Then, he discovered that this constant smoking had resulted in the formation of a malignant growth in his body, and he realized as the doctor told him very soberly that he could either keep on smoking and die sooner or he could quit smoking and live awhile after surgery. He told me, he said, “I lay there on that operating table and I said, ‘Dear Jesus. I give this over to you.” He said, “I did, and I haven’t smoked since. “ Now, it is a pity, isn’t it, that he waited that long? But, we do that because we are human. We put things off. But, this illustrates the point that I am getting at. Have you and have I come to a point where we have said, “This is what has to be because God said it. “The law of his God is in his heart.” That will settle a good many matters for you. Believe me.
Dear Father today, oh may the love of God, the will of God, be in our hearts. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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