Called Into Being
Start visualizing in your praying the promises of God and pray toward the answer — and believe God for it. Don't tell God what to do or how to do it. Let Him be God.
Hello radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing Alright? Bless your heart. I hope everything’s Alright at your house. Every time I begin these broadcasts, I pray with all my heart that God may put His love and is Truths and His power and real inspiration and help and encouragement into every word I say. We can’t see each other, and sometimes that’s probably a good thing. But oh, the voice can say so much in the overtones and undertones and nuances of pronunciation and all the rest, and I just pray that God may put Himself into what I say.
Well, we’re looking at Mark 1. And we’ve come to the story of the leprosy person, who came to the Lord Jesus, beseeching, that means desire, kneeling down, that means worship, and saying, “If Thou wilt Thou canst make me clean”, and that means faith. This then is the formula for getting somewhere with God. Desire, worship, faith.
Now, think about faith for a moment. What is faith? Faith is the willingness to risk a situation on God — it’s that simple. Risking a situation on God’s Word, God’s promise and God’s command. The writer to the Hebrews puts it, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. You trust God when you can’t see or when you can’t feel or when you don’t have in your hand, the answer to your prayer. You trust Him anyway. “Though Ye slay me, yet will I trust Him”, said Job. The process of trusting God, risking your situation, whatever it may be, on what you know to be the will of God at the time, this is faith. Faith risks the outcome of the situation on God. God told me to do this, and we’re going to do it.
I think so often of how things worked back in 1952-53. In the summer ’52, we met in a all night prayer meeting, at Winona Lake, Indiana. And as we prayed, God laid on our hearts that the next country we would visit. In our one country at a time evangelistic thrust, in then youth for Christ, would be Japan, and we set off a cablegram as a result of that all my prayer meeting, and the business meeting that followed, and said we’re coming to Japan, next August 1953. Get ready, have the campaigns and cottage prayer meetings and train personal workers and so on. We sent a long cablegram to him. Back came a letter a rather rapidly. This arrived then after the convention was over of course, said, “Dear brother Bob, I don’t think you better come. The missionaries don’t want you. They feel that you would all just bring a lot of camera toting tourists over that would complicate matters and spoil the work that they’ve done, and so they the missionaries don’t want you”.
Well, we didn’t really know what to do. And so we called another prayer meeting. This time at the headquarters of the Youth for Christ, which at that time was located in Wheaton on Cross Street, I remember. And so we called all of the fellas that we could get together and met and prayed and sought God again there came the feeling — this is what God wants us to do.
So, we sent a letter back said, “Go ahead. Schedule some preliminary campaigns, train some personal workers, and have by all means, have prayer groups everywhere starting up, among believers and with missionaries and all”. Well, again a letter, anguished letter this time, said, “You’re making such a bad mistake. Nobody here wants you to come, and they’re all afraid that you’ll just do damage, and all that”.
Well, we kept on praying and along about, I guess it was March ’53, sometime around in there — a good friend of mine with whom I had grown up, Dr. Fred Jarvis, was preaching or teaching to a group of missionaries who were on retreat in a mountain town called Cotizawa. As he spoke, all of a sudden, he broke off his message and he said, “Friends”. He said, “I am just not right with some of you and you know and I know it. Please forgive me. I have to go get right with some people”. And so he left the platform and went down in the audience and began to talk and pray with two or three different folk — and tears were flowing and the Spirit of God moved in and other missionary friends, and national Christian leaders who are there, began also to confess their failings to God and to each other, and there was a great time of revival that swept over that whole group.
As a matter fact you can always tell when there’s real revival by the amount of restitution the people do. And so there were all sorts of letters of apology and all of that, and payment of debts and keeping of long broken promises, that found its repercussions halfway around the world, as letters came from Japan, from hearts that had been cleansed and set on fire by that revival.
Well, strangely enough, after that happened, then came a letter saying, “We believe that God has changed our attitude, and we want you to come”. And so we were there. And in August 1953 we had a glorious time. And the Lord met us, and many were added to the Church there in Japan. Believers were added, and the whole work was strengthened, I’m sure.
See, faith. Risk the situation of what you know God has told you to do as you read His Word and pray. Now, don’t go off the deep end and say, “Well, I feel this way therefore I’m going to do it anyway”. Don’t trust your feelings and don’t trust the circumstances, necessarily. Although circumstances sometimes can be an indication of what God is trying to tell you. Let the Word of God, “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God”, go to the Word of God and prayer. That combination will most certainly keep you from making any mistake and faith. As I’ve said to you now number of times, faith dares to risk the situation on what you know to be the Will of God after you have searched His Word and been in prayer. Alright?
Now, how does faith work? Well, our Lord Jesus said, “What things whatsoever you desire when you pray, believe that you receive them and ye shall have them”, Mark 11:24. “What things whatsoever you desire” — there we’re back to desire again. See you have it in in Mark 1 here, “Beseeching Him”, desire. “What things whatsoever you desire”, “Ye have not because Ye ask not”, James says.
What is there in your heart that you really want from God? Not any polite speech now that we make to the deity with our eyes shut. God gets tired of such prayers, He says quite plainly in the first chapter of Isaiah. God gets tired of routine prayers, just as you and I might. But what you really want from God, desire, “Whatsoever ye things ye desire”, that’s a strong word. It’s a word that means ask, crave, demand, beg, plead. You look it up in your concordance or your lexicon. You’ll find that all of those meanings are wrapped up in that one Greek verb that is translated in this instance, desire. So, he says, “What you really want what you crave, what you have to have from God, when you pray”. That’s the next thing, “pray”. Talk to God about it.
I’m amazed, often times, when someone will come with a problem. I’ll say have you prayed about it? Well no. They’ve talked to Dr. so-and-so, and they’ve talked to their friends and now they’re talking to me and seeking somehow a solution of the problem, but have they prayed about it? Well, no. Have they prayed with anybody about it? Well, no. So, that’s the second step. When you pray, and then he says, “Believe that you receive and ye shall have”. Faith receives the gift before it arrives. Faith receives the gift before it arrives.
The best illustration of that I know, comes from my own two daughters, older daughters, who when they were very little, wanted a bicycle. And so Coreen and I tried to figure some way or other, how we could we could manage that on our limited budget. And finally we found a way that we could work it out and get a bicycle for them. So, I told the two little gals, we were living in Chicago at that time, on the northwest side, and I told the two little gals, I said, “Now, Mom and I have found a way to, we think, to get you a bicycle, by whatever it was, birthday or Christmas or some special day that was coming”.
Oh, they were overjoyed and they dashed out the front door, down the steps onto the sidewalk of that tree-lined street, and said to the neighbor children, “We got a bicycle, we got a bicycle” — and one of the neighbor children who was cynical said, “Where is it?”. And one of the gals, I forget which one it was said, “Papa said we’re going to get it”. That was it, Papa said. You parents and grandparents know that you would break your neck to keep your word to a child like that. You’re not going to break your promise, oh no, and neither is God. “If you being able, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father give good that the things of them that ask Him”, Jesus said. Papa said. Abba, Father, Papa, God.
Are you depending today, really depending on the promise of God, even though you may not have in hand the answer to your prayer? That’s faith. That’s not kidding yourself. Faith is believing what God says and acting upon it. Faith is acting while your hands are empty, as though they were filled, because God said they will be.
Someone sent me a booklet that said, “Pray toward the answer, pray toward the answer. Don’t pray toward the problem.” You can tell God in seventeen words or less what’s wrong. Pray toward the answer. Visualizing in your praying, what God has promised in His inerrant, inspired, Holy Word, the Bible. Visualizing in your praying, the promises of God and pray toward the answer, and believe God for it.
Don’t tell God what to do or how to do it. Let Him be God. Don’t try to meddle in how the answer ought to come, just leave that with Him, but pray toward the answer and receive it by faith. “Whatsoever things ye desire when you pray, believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them”. Now, what’s the result of that? Well, “Unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ, and if any man has that gift”, Paul says in Romans 12:4, “let him do so according to the proportion of faith”.
How much you can achieve for God depends on how much you can believe God for — as you obey Him. Some people don’t believe God for very much and they never get very far in life. Some people believe God for a lot and even though they are limited in their abilities — God honors that faith and uses them greatly.
Jim Savage told me of a young man who graduated with great difficulty after failing many courses, graduated from their Bible Institute and in Venezuela. Everybody was glad to see him go because they thought he never would amount to anything. He went back to his native Colombia, got a little motor launch, and went up to the big river. And wherever he stopped, he founded a New Testament Bible believing church. In one year, he had founded a number of such churches — a man who didn’t have very much possibility, but who believed God. Let’s you and I do the same thing.
Dear Father today, wilt Thou walk with us and may Thy Holy Spirit fill us and wilt Thou give us the grace to believe God, for things that may not have arrived, as yet, but which are in Thy blessed promise for us. I ask in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Until I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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