Earning To Be Heard
The way to strengthen a person who is weak in their prayer life is to show him or her how real praying can result in real answers from God.
Alright, thank you very much, and hello again, dear radio friend. How in the world are you? Aren’t you glad you can be in the world but not of it? You don’t have to tarred with the world’s brush just because you live in a sinful world. Kept. “You who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation,” Peter says. You can bloom unsullied in a world that is so full of the cold dust of sin, so to speak, but the petals of your life will be blooming, and shining and Jesus will be glorified and you will be a credit to his holy name.
Well, I trust everything’s alright at your house. I wanna go, if I may, immediately into Romans Chapter 14, where Paul says, “Him, that is weak in the faith, receive ye, but not to doubtful disputation or arguments.” We stopped for a moment the last time we got together in this matter of what do we mean when we say weak in the faith? And it occurred to us that some people are weak in their assurance of salvation, they don’t really know where they stand and you can help them in that regard, by turning them to the word of God, one’s faith is strengthened by being in contact with God’s eternal Word, “Faith cometh by hearing,” says the Bible, “and hearing by the Word of God.” So, get people in touch with God’s Word and you will at the same time strengthen their faith. Someone else may be weak in his prayer and devotional life. The best way to help along that line is to pray with them, get them into an atmosphere where real praying is going on. Once a person has had a taste of genuine answers to prayer, he or she will never again be satisfied with routine, religion, I promise you that. The way to strengthen a person who is weak in his devotional life and prayer life is to put him or her in touch with real praying that results in real answers.
Once a person has experienced that, well, he or she will never be satisfied with anything less. I assure you. Well, some people are weak in the way they face temptations. They may have one particular besetting sin, or they may be weak in any number of areas in their lives. And life is a constant succession of distresses and failures. What my Spanish-speaking friends called for a fracasos. Fractures. Well, that’s what happens, isn’t it? And whenever we try to meet the onslaught of Satan and evil, and temptation, meet it in our own strength, what happens? Down we go. And so you’re going to get in contact with people who seem to be chronic failures along this line. What do you do with them?
Well, here again, lecturing or scolding doesn’t do very much good because they already know what they ought to do. You will probably hear from the plaintiff statement, “I know I shouldn’t do this but… ” “Or I know I ought to do this but… ” See it’s not a matter of not knowing, it’s a matter of not being able to confront the temptation or the problem successfully. My cousin Urban Hague wrote to me many years ago, “You preachers spend too much time telling people how bad they are, tell them, they already know how bad they are in most cases. And you’re telling them only makes them want to defend themselves, tell them how to get rid of their badness through trusting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.”
Well, that’s certainly one side of the question, isn’t it? There has to be conviction, and the Bible is full of references to the sinfulness of man so you and I cannot sugar coat that. Can we? At the same time you meet someone who is weak in this department of knowing how to handle temptation, you can be practically certain that the individual already knows what ought to be done, what they’re looking for is a way to be successful. Well, what’s the answer, the answer again is the Word of God, “Thy Word have I hid in my heart,” said the Psalmist, “that I might not sin against thee.”
Portions of the Word of God put into your mind and into the computer portion of your brain, what they call the unconscious mind, the part that the Holy Spirit can use to crank out truths under pressure, so to speak, portions of the Word of God put into your mind can be used by the faithful Holy Spirit to control your thinking, and thus control your conduct under the pressures of life. This is such a beautiful truth, I wonder if you know about it yet, do you dear friend, that the Bible in your mind and heart can actually motivate you to do the right thing when you are under pressure? Oh, thank God for His word, the indwelling word of God, let the word of Christ dwell, that means, be at home, that’s what that word means. Let the Word of Christ be at home in your hearts richly. The Word of God in your heart and in your mind, in your memory, in your unconscious mind, the real you, in other words, God’s word plowed into your consciousness will actually change the way you feel about situations when you are under pressure. And will this make a difference in what you say and do.
Now, here’s a person, then that is weak in confronting temptation. What do you do? Scold him and say, “You oughta know better that that. Why do you go out and get drunk all the time and so on. No that isn’t gonna help. I recall on one occasion, after I had prayed with a man in Chicago for salvation, he was a solitary drinker, an alcoholic who was a solitary drinker, he would get alone, lock himself up in his house, and then proceed to drink himself into stupor and all of that.
A doctor who knew of our ministry in Chicago at that particular time, this would have been back in the ’40s, I guess, sent me, on a prescription slip, a little note with the man’s address and said, “I think you can do more for this man than I can at this point.” I went to see him and prayed with him that very day for salvation. He prayed to receive Christ as his Lord and Savior and he was so happy he said No, he said, “Mr. Cook. I’m gonna make it.” Well, I said, “Now, remember you can’t make it on your own, you can’t make it on your own. You need Jesus every minute of every day.” “Oh, I’ll make it alright.” Well, within a week or so, he was back, he had fallen off the wagon as we say, and when I went to see him again, he was right down discouraged and feeling sorry for himself, and upset and ashamed. And then it was that I showed him that the word of God could make the difference. And he began putting the Word of God to work in his life.
The difference was remarkable. For when the scriptures that he began to memorize and the net result of turning his heart to God in prayer and trust under pressure, took place, he was indeed able to surmount that habit of solitary drinking that had bound him for these many years. The Word of God makes the difference. When you meet someone who is weak under the pressure of temptation don’t scold him, get him into the word of God and get the Word of God into his or her life. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man. But God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape that ye may be able to bear it.
That very verse, from 1 Corinthians 10 was being memorized by a man who had trouble quitting tobacco. This story was told to me by the man who observed the whole process. And knew first-hand what had happened. He said, this man, simply he trusted Christ as Savior, but he had been a smoker so long that it was impossible for him to lay aside this habit. And he wanted to do so, to honor the Lord in the use of his body, but it just didn’t work and so it was that one evening, after the dinner hour was finished, he said, to his wife, “I’m going down to the corner store, I’m out of cigarettes,” and so he began to walk down the street to the little corner store where he could buy a package or two of cigarettes and as he walked along, because it was a little distance, he said, “Well, I might as well go over my verses.” And so he began to quote 1 Corinthians 10:13, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man. But God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape that ye may be able to bear it.”
He thought, “Well, I’ll say it over again.” And so he said it over again with the reference, 1 Corinthians 10″13, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man.” And all of a sudden he stopped, he said, “Hey”, he said that means that my temptations aren’t any different from anybody else’s and he said God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able. That means that God will help me. And he said, if that’s so what am I doing going to the store for cigarettes? He stopped, turned on his heel, went back home, praising the Lord for the deliverance that had come to him. When the Word of God took effect in his heart and mind.
“That verse means that God will deliver me.” And he turned on his heel and went home. Well, hallelujah. The Word of God makes a difference, dear friends, believe me it does. And so the answer then to helping a person who is weak at this point, is to love him. It says, “Receive ye,” love him, reach out and take him in and then get him in touch with the Word of God, so that it’s ploughed into the very framework of his mind and God the Holy Spirit can use it for the glory of the Lord Jesus, “Him that is weak in the faith.” What kind of weakness are we talking about? Some people lack assurance, some people are weak in their devotional and prayer life. Some people are not able to meet temptation victoriously, and then there are others who have great difficulty in witnessing for their Lord.
And as a result, they always feel a little guilty. They are always a little backward about taking any share in Christian work, and so their whole Christian life seems just a bit defeated because other people who seem to have as we say, the gift of gab, are able to speak easily about their Lord. And here is this person who has difficulty witnessing to anybody about Jesus. Well, now we can’t work on all of this subject, because time will run out, before we get a chance to do so, but let me just say this to you, we talk easily about the things we are most familiar with. A man who runs a garage can talk easily about whether to use a half x 9/16th inch wrench or a metric size on a given nut and bolt combination. A lady who is a homemaker can talk easily about how to bake an apple pie. We talk easily about the things we are most familiar with, and so the way to help a person who is weak in his witnessing is to help him, first of all, to get sure of what he is sure of.
To get familiar with what he is sure of, so that he can speak easily to you of the things that are certain. Well, that’s a starter anyway, we’ll get back to it later on.
Dear heavenly Father today, help us to help other people through the Word and through the Holy Spirit, in Jesus’s name. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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