He Never Forgets You
Pray after you do something, not just before you do it. Thank God for giving you the desired result. After is when you're most vulnerable to Satan. Trust in God that He hasn't forgotten you, because He always shows up when you need Him.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing all right today? Yes, that little greeting establishes the fact that this is indeed your friend Dr. Cook and I’m glad to be back with you to look at the Word of God and try to put a handle on that so that you can get hold of it for yourself. God’s inerrant Word is forever true, whether or not anyone reads or believes it. Paul says, “Let God be true even though every man is found a liar”, but God’s Word becomes a value to you and to me when we apply it to our lives and my purpose them is to make the truth so plain, that you can get hold of it and say, that’s for me I’m going to apply that to my life today. I’ve just been praying that God’s Holy Spirit would put His truth and His love and His blessing and His compassion and His power into the things that we say to each other in these next few moments. May God grant it for His own glory. Well, you and I are looking at Mark chapter 6. The Lord Jesus has just completed the feeding of five thousand men and that is as it says in another gospel, besides women and children. Now it says, “Straightway He constrained His disciples to get into the ship and go to the other side of the sea of Galilee before Him onto Bethsaida while He sent away the people”.
Small thought here; the disciples have been eager for the benediction, but they missed it. Now, God has a way of saying, look you didn’t want it so now you’re not going to get it, and that isn’t because He’s captious or whimsical or irrational, it is because God wants us to learn the lessons that have to do with walking closely and humbly with Him. You recall at some hours before they had said, “Send them, send them away, send them away that they may go in the country round about”, so on. He said, well it’s your responsibility, you give them something to eat, they said, what, you want us to go and buy two hundred days wages worth of bread? That’s what you want? They were little bit put out about the matter I’m sure at that point. For, here’s the procedure and it once you learn it you’ll learn to look for it and avoid it. When you get burdened for your own convenience, the next thing that happens is irritation with other people’s needs. When you get burdened for your own convenience, the next thing that happens is irritation with other people’s needs. Why does he have to bother me? Why does it have to happen now? I once heard a widow lady whose husband had passed away suddenly, she said, “Why did he have to go and die now”? Well, I don’t think he planned it. No one ever does, but from preoccupation with your own convenience comes irritation with other people’s needs, and so they said, you want us to spend two hundred days wages, we haven’t got that much anyway. That’s what it would cost to feed this crowd. Well, you remember the rest of the story. Our Lord Jesus took what they had, He multiplied it, gave it back to them to give out to others and there was enough left over for one basket of fragments for each of the apostles. Interestingly enough there were twelve apostles and twelve baskets of fragments, Jesus didn’t have the basket left for Him. I wonder if anybody thought about that. Maybe they did, so anyway it says, He said, “you get in the boat and go on over across the sea of Galilee and I’ll send the crowd away.” They wanted the benediction, but when it came time for the parting blessing, He said go ahead, you go on now. You wanted to leave, go ahead, leave. Beware of the desire to serve your own comfort and convenience. Beware of the desire to serve your own comfort and convenience. It will cost you the blessing of the Lord at some point or other. Will you remember that beloved? So it says, “When He had sent the crowd away He departed up into a mountain apart to pray”.
Another small thought here; we need to learn to pray after ministry as well as before it. I find myself praying earnestly before I have to preach a sermon, because I’m burdened to know for sure that God’s anointing is upon me and that I have in mind clearly, what it is that I’m to say. I want to be emotionally charged up and properly ready for the ministry of the word of God. Every pastor, every evangelist, every missionary knows about this. You pray, “Oh God anoint me. Give me your Holy Spirit and power now. I know He dwells within. Now I want Him to anoint me fill every part of my life so I can preach with power”. Oh how you pray. I don’t find so many people praying right after they preach. As a matter of fact, I myself have that had to remind myself many a time, Cook you better pray now as well as you prayed before. Why? Because after you’ve ministered you become vulnerable to the attacks of Satan in a way that you weren’t before.
Elijah, I suppose, is the classic example of this. He was able to gather all Israel to Mount Carmel. He was able to lay down that tremendous challenge to the priests of the false idol and say, now you put your sacrifice on the on the altar and then you call on your God, and the God that answers by fire, let Him be the God. I will submit to you that Elijah the prophet had no proof that Almighty God would answer Him either. This was step of faith on his part, and it took some courage to do it, didn’t it? His life was at stake at that point, as well as the history and the future of Israel, but no, he was up to it and as the day wore on he was even able muster little sarcasm as he said to them, you better pray louder, maybe he’s taking a nap, maybe your God is going on a journey or he’s taking a nap, you better pray a little louder. You know he wasn’t above giving them a little jibe now and then. Now comes the time for the evening sacrifice, which would to be about 3 PM and he pours the water a very scarce commodity. You will have to remember there had been three years of drought and this was a mountaintop. Where they got it I don’t know, but there was enough water to drench the sacrifice and the altar and then to fill a trough that had been dug round about those stones that form the root altar. So it was thoroughly drenched. Nobody was going to say that it was spontaneous combustion, that day. Then he prayed to the Lord, “Hear me that these people may know that Thou art God and the fire came and consumed the sacrifice and the altar and licked up the water that was in the trench. Well the people were convinced. Elijah was up to that and then there was the execution of these false prophets who had led a whole nation into dreadful sin, and after that there was the praying for the rain. Elijah prayed until his servant said, “There rise up out of the sea a small cloud a little cloud, like a man’s hand”. Elijah said, that’s it. Go tell the King, hurry up, go tell the King it’s going to rain and in the meanwhile it said the heavens were black with clouds and the rain came and the Elijah ran in front of the King, in front that is of the King’s chariot, twenty some miles. I measured it on the map in the back of my Bible. Looks to me like about 27 miles. That’s a words first marathon run, and the ran in front of the King’s chariot, back to the nearest town there. When he got to town the message then the awaited him, your head is going to be taken off by tomorrow morning, and he got immediately upset and ran for his life. He was vulnerable after the victory, that’s the point I’m making. Will you my beloved pastor and Sunday school teacher and missionary and evangelist and just like the rest of us garden-variety Christians, shall we learn to pray after ministry as well as before. Jesus did. “He departed”, it said, “into will mountain to pray and He was there alone”. Nobody praying with Him. He was just alone with His father. You and I need to take the time to get alone with God, after we’ve ministered, after we preached, after we’ve taught that Sunday school lesson, after we’ve counseled with our family on some matter, after we witnessed to someone about the Lord Jesus Christ, take a moment to pray and seek God, after your ministry, as well as before. Good idea?
Well it said, “When the evening was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea and He alone on the land and He saw them toiling in rowing, for the wind was contrary unto them”, you couldn’t set the sale because the wind was blowing the wrong direction, “and about the fourth watch of the night, He cometh unto them walking on the sea, and would’ve passed by them but when they saw Him walking on the sea they supposed He had been a spirit and they cried out, for they all saw Him and were troubled. Immediately talked with them and said unto them, ‘Be of good cheer. It is I. Be not afraid.’, went up under them into the ship. They were so amazed”. We get to that in a moment. Back now to the verse said, “He saw them toiling in rowing”. It’s human to say where is God when I need Him, and I’m sure that some thought such as that must’ve crossed their minds, as there, in the midst of the sea in the middle of the night, they, watches of the of the day and of the night are calculated by hours and the night began at 6 PM ,so the fourth watch of the night as I understand it, you scholars can correct me if you wish, would’ve been around 10 o’clock at night, and so there it was, dark, pitch dark. No navigational lights, the winds blowing hard right against them and they had to row for it. It was a good-sized boat, and big enough to hold twelve people and their gear, and so was it was a task, they weren’t getting very far. I’m sure someone said, well I wish He were here. Why did He send us away? Wish you were here. Where’s God when I need Him? That’s the question that comes up in people’s minds. Your tears are flowing, your heart is breaking, the burden is heavy, things are going into reverse, somebody has hurt you deeply, and you just can’t cope with it, your job may be at stake, your health may be failing, or all of the above, you know. Life has a way of giving you troubles in clusters, doesn’t it? The insurance people say that accidents happen in clusters. Well anybody that’s lived a while knows that troubles happen in bunches too. So, it’s just about to plow you under, oh, you’re just so down because everything seems to be going wrong, you don’t know what to do about it and you say, where is God when I need Him? Well He’s there, it said, “He saw them and He went to them and He spoke with them and He went up onto them into the ship”. Hey, God hasn’t forgotten beloved, He hasn’t forgotten you. He knows about you, He knows all about you. The psalmist says, “Thou knowest my God sitting in my uprising and Thou are acquainted with all my thoughts. There is not a word in my tongue but oh Lord Thou knowest it all together such knowledge is too wonderful for me. I cannot attain unto it. Yes,God knows. He saw them and He went to them and He spoke to them and He came up into the ship. Would you give God a chance to do that for you in these times when you’re so heavily burdened. Look for His presence, look for His word of cheer, look for His touch upon your life because it most surely will come. Yes it will. He hasn’t forgotten you. He said, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee”.
Dear Father today, help us to trust the Christ who always shows up when we need Him. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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