Faith believes God – even though you haven't got the package in your hand.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing alright? Well, certainly I wait for you to answer. I know many of you do, although we don’t have two-way radio here, but well, we’re connected together by the blessed Spirit of God. Anyway, I’d wait. This is your good friend, Bob Cook, and I’m back again with some precious thoughts from the Word of God. I count it as the highest, holiest privilege of my life, to share from God’s Word those things that sort of pop out as I read the Bible and compare one passage with another and think and pray about it. You know, it’s interesting how the Bible agrees with itself. There are three verbs in John 3:10, 11 and 12. And I noticed them as I was going over the verses and talking with you about them, “Art thou a master in Israel, and knowest not these things?” The verb ‘to know.’ Verse 11, “Ye receive not our witness.” The verb ‘to receive.’ Verse 12, “How shall ye believe?” The verb ‘to believe.’ To believe, to receive, and to know. This is the way God works it. I’m looking back now into the Gospel of Mark chapter 11. Our Lord Jesus said, “What things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe that you receive them and ye shall have them.” Believe, receive, and have or know, in other words. Same things. See, the Bible agrees with itself.
The way God deals with you and with me is first of all, a commitment of faith. It doesn’t work any other way. I know some of you have analytical minds. You like to think through everything. You like to have a reason for everything. You have a million questions to ask and as soon as one is answered, another pops up, because that’s just the kind of an inquiring mind you have. And that’s all right. It’s good to have a bright, sharp mind. Use it. But when you’re dealing with God, He says, “I just want you to believe me. I want you to receive me by faith.” “Therefore, it is of faith that it might be by grace,” says Paul. God wants to save you freely but He doesn’t want any bargains, He doesn’t want any small print in the contract. He wants your commitment of faith, just to believe Him. Faith, and this is a Cook definition, faith is the willingness to risk the situation on God and His Word. To risk the situation on God, that’s faith. So, believe and then receive and then have or know it personally, as the verb is there.
Do you wanna try that out in your own life, beloved? What is there in your own life concerning which today you could say, “Lord God, I don’t understand it and I can’t manage it, but I’m gonna believe you for it. I’m gonna trust you, I’m gonna turn it over to you.” A dear friend of mine who’s now with the Lord wrote in one of his books that he was so burdened for a daughter who was away from the Lord and who had become suicidal and who was deeply depressed and the more he tried, the more he prayed, and the more he talked with her, things just went from bad to worse. She tried suicide and was hospitalized and was in a very fragile physical condition. He was so burdened. And then he said that he just gave up and he said, “God, I just give up to you. I’m not gonna try, I’m not gonna lecture, I’m not gonna preach, I’m not gonna nag, I’m not going to worry, I’m just giving it up to you.” And he just turned it over as his tears flowed and his heart was breaking for that precious daughter. Well, he said, almost that very day, she began to mend, and her attitude began to change. When he let go, God took hold.
Paul Rader, any of you old timers remember him? I remember hearing him as boy just coming, I guess, into my teens, I remember hearing Paul Rader preach and Merrill Dunlop and Lance Latham playing the pianos and different ones singing and what a tremendous ministry he had worldwide. Paul Rader used to say, “Let go and let God.” Let go and let God work in your life. That was one of his phrases. To believe means to let go to God. That’s what it means. Stop fussing, stop trying, stop working for your own benefit, stop explaining an alibi and quit it all and let go to God. Say, “Lord, I give it over to thee.” And then start obeying Him as the Holy Spirit of God begins to deal with your heart. One step of obedience will quicken your faith and make you ready for the next victory. One step of obedience will quicken your faith and make you ready for the next victory. If we walk the steps, if we walk in the light, that means obeying God. If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another in the blood of Jesus Christ. His Son keeps on cleansing us from all sin. Let go today, would you?
So I’m talking to somebody that needs this. I don’t know who it is or where you are. Obviously, I can’t know, but God knows and you know. Let go. Stop fussing, stop alibiing, stop excusing, stop blaming other things on other people. It may all be true, you may have had a rough deal in life. There’s no doubt about that. Life isn’t fair, is it? But complaining and blaming and excusing yourself and wishing things were different does not change the reality. The way to change things is to let go to God. ‘Believe’ means commit yourself to the Lord in faith. Do that today. Right now. Say, “Lord, I let go. By faith, I let go of all this, and I give it to you to manage.” Then he says, “Receive.” And that is the affirmation of faith. And the affirmation of faith, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Faith believes God even though you haven’t got the package in your hand.
A beautiful story that came to me many years ago from a German couple that were laboring among refugees after World War II. They were helping people who were in desperate straits. And they prayed that God would send them the garments that were needed by the various individuals in their little flock. And so they had been praying for an overcoat for a man named Joseph who was a giant of a man, well over 6 feet tall. Great big, tall man. And they were praying for an overcoat for him, for it was winter weather and bitterly cold and he had no adequate coat. So, they were praying for a coat. Well, they were just having supper one night when there came a knock at the door and it was an agent from the express saying, “I knew that you people were eager to get some help for your little flock and so I brought the package over so that you could have it right away.” Well, they thanked him profusely. He went on his way and they began to open it.
And the man said to his wife, he said, “Oh, here are some clothes, I hope there’s an overcoat for Joseph.” And then as an afterthought, he remembered that Joseph was such a tall, big man and he said, “Oh, I hope it’s his size.” And his wife looked at him and said very quietly, “My dear, if Father has sent an overcoat for Joseph, it will be his size, won’t it?” [chuckle] Isn’t that sweet? “If Father has sent an overcoat for Joseph, it will be his size, won’t it?” Well, they went through the box and there, among the other garments, was an overcoat. They took it out and shook it out and held it up and sure enough, it was a great big size, big enough to cover that bulky frame of the man who needed an overcoat. Father, our heavenly Father, that is, knew the size of the man who had a need and sent it in answer to prayer.
If Father has sent an overcoat for Joseph, it will be his size. God knows what you need before you ask Him. He wants you to reach out and receive it by faith in answer to prayer. And then, of course, there’s that blessed personal awareness of knowing that God is real. To believe, to receive, and to know with a personal experience. But I know whom I have believed and I’m persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him against that day, that last judgment day. Does your heart respond to that, beloved? Do you know anything about the reality of Christ? Do you know anything about answer to prayer? Do you know anything about that perfect miraculous peace that can flood your soul even when everything is falling apart, literally? Do you know that? I want to tell you, my beloved friend, you can. You can and you may.
God invites you. Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man that trusteth in Him. That word ‘trust’ means roll it all over onto God, turn it over to Him. And I just wanted to chat with you about that. It’s precious to my own soul as I go over these truths, ’cause I’ve lived them and I know they’re true. And our Lord Jesus speaks about His own heavenly relationship. He says, “No man has ascended up to Heaven, but He that came down from Heaven even the Son of Man which is in Heaven.” The fact that the heavenly presence of God is inaccessible to fallen human nature, that’s the first point. The incarnation is the second point. He that came down from Heaven. The omnipresence of our Lord is the third point. “Even the Son of Man which is in Heaven.”
Is it possible for God to be everywhere? Of course. Of course. He is omnipresent. And although His home is in Heaven, somebody has rendered it that way, even the Son of Man whose home is in Heaven. The fact is that God, our God, is everywhere present. “Whither shall I flee from thy presence?” said the psalmist with awe in his voice. “Why,” he said, “If I take the wings of the morning and fly to the outermost parts of the sea, even there,” he said, “You’re going to find me. And thy right hand shall lead me. If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there. If I make my bed in hell, thou art there. If I say surely darkness shall cover me, even the night shall be light about me. The darkness and the light are both alike to thee. Whither shall I go from thy presence?” That’s Psalm 139.
Yes, God is everywhere and the fact is because He is, He’s aware of you. I used to marvel at the fact that God made the universe and runs it and the billions of people that are on Earth. Out of all of that, God knows my name and He knows all about me and He takes time to listen to me. “Yet the Lord thinketh upon me, such knowledge is too wonderful for me,” the psalmist said. “It is high, I cannot attain unto it.” God knows your name, beloved. He knows your station in life. He knows your circumstances. “Call unto me,” He says, “And I will answer thee.” Oh, if you have a need today, look up and pray and trust God and receive by faith His wonderful answer. He won’t fail you.
Dear Father, today, may we walk in the light of that wonderful faith that makes God real so that we can say, “I know whom I have believed.” In Jesus’ name I pray this. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today, and be a blessing!
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