In Every Moment Find God
As a Christian, every circumstance we find ourselves in, whether good or bad, has God's provision in it. We are called to find God's faithfulness in every moment.
Alright, thank you very much and hello again radio friends, how in the world are you? Well sure, I’ll wait for you to answer. Why not? My father used to say to me, boy, when you ask a question, give people a chance to answer! That was one of the rules. Another one was, “Speak when you’re spoken to, boy!” To this day, I get a little bugged if I say something to a member of the family or someone around and they don’t answer. The things that are pounded, and in this case, I think it was literally, pounded into you as a child, they stay with you.
Have you ever thought about the peculiarities you have that are part of your upbringing? That’s interesting. I like what we called “coffee soup.” Did you ever have “coffee soup?” Somebody says, “Yuck!” (Chuckles). Well, that’s coffee, with milk and sugar, and then soda crackers crumpled up in it. It’s delicious. I tell you, every time we had an all-night prayer meeting during the years when I served Youth for Christ (nine years, I think) we had all-night prayer meetings. You’d need a little refreshment about the time you got through praying at 6:30 in the morning or so. I’d head for the nearest restaurant or coffee shop that was open and I’d order a bowl of coffee, and then I’d doctor it up with some milk or sugar and put some crackers in it. I tell you, that helps you live till the next time. Haha. Things that are part of you. Interesting detour. I’ll throw it in for free.
We’re looking at the 37th Psalm and right now, we’re in the logic of why God says, “Don’t get burned up.” Cease from anger, and forsake wrath. Fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. Don’t get burned up because of other people. Why? Well, because evildoers will be cut off. Even their place will be removed, and God knows what they’re thinking about. He’s laughing at them; he’s not upset at what’s happening, because he knows Judgment Day is coming. Because the evil plans of evil people end up attacking them. Evil plans end up attacking the planner. He says “The meek shall inherit the earth and shall “delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”
Did you know (this is just a small thought that I’ll throw in here before we go on) that the secret of being perfectly at peace in turbulent circumstances is not self-control but God-control? In the midst of turbulent circumstances or pressures, you just pull down the shades of your mind momentarily and get alone with God and say, “Lord, you handle this.” Oh, anything I tell you, I’ve been there, and I can recall this minute situations where I simply could not handle the pressures. I remember praying, “O God, take hold of me and control me now for Jesus’ sake,” and I could feel the steam going out of the pressure cooker. Yes, I could.
Oh, I recommend that procedure to you, beloved, this very day, because you don’t know what’s ahead of you and there may come a moment when you are absolutely unable to cope. Well, the Bible says, “The meek,” (that is the person who turns control over to God) “shall delight in the abundance of peace.” You’ll look around and you’ll be perfectly at peace, even though you are in the midst of a set of circumstances that is like being in an egg beater. Everything is whirling around, but you’re perfectly at peace. Oh, that’s great.
Well, what’s the logic of not getting burned up? Evildoers will be cut off, they’ll be forgotten; the wicked plots, but God laughs at him because payday’s coming. Evil plans end up attacking the planner. What else? The answer to evil logic is this: (verse 9) “Wait on the Lord.” The answer to evil logic and problems of people around you, and people who scheme and plan and hate you, who gnash their teeth at you…the answer to all of this is what? “Wait on the Lord.”
You find that expression occurring in different places, as you know. “Wait on the Lord, be of good courage and he shall strengthen thine heart; wait, I say, on the Lord.” What does that mean? Number one: Get in His presence. Number two: Stay in His presence. Number Three: Pour out your heart in His presence. Finally, wait until He talks back to you, until He answers, until He whispers in your heart; either through the Word as you look at it or through the indwelling Holy Spirit who dwells within the believer. Wait on the Lord until He speaks a Word of assurance in your heart.
The other day I was at the installation of the new pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, James O. Rose is his name, Dr. Rose, and a good man of God he is. I’m glad he’s there. They asked me to say a few words and in that connection, I quoted from Amy Carmichael’s book Gold Cord, where she remarks that it is possible for a whole company of believers to be guided so that they are unanimous, and not by discussion. She said “The interval of waiting on God is sure to be marked by the temptation to the” (and I’m quoting exactly now) “futile fuss of talk.” Isn’t that a beautiful phrase? “The futile fuss of talk.”
But, she said, if we waited on God, “Soon, the same quiet Word came to all. So we end upon our knees. Teach me Thy way, O Lord.” Beautiful passage there in her book. Wait on the Lord. Now, don’t make a federal case of this, but this is simply a matter of running into God’s presence and staying there until you hear from Him. “If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.” Come confidently to God, and rest the situation on Him. But don’t run away before you hear from Him.
I don’t know who it was anymore, but it was many years ago now that someone used an illustration that, it seems to me, tells the story pretty well. John and Mary are husband and wife. They live in New York City, where in summertime, as the clichÃ© goes, it gets hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk. Having seen the sidewalks of New York, I don’t know why anybody would want to fry an egg on the sidewalk, but that’s what they say. And so, John says to Mary, “Take the kids and go down to the shore for a few days and get yourself a break. Let them play in the sunshine, and I’ll come and see you on weekends.” And that’s how it is. But of course, it’s a lonesome old business, being alone. Some of you know that, don’t you?
And so John calls up Mary in the middle of the week: “Hello, Mary?” “John?” “How are things?” “Fine.” “How are the kids?” “Fine.” “How’s the weather?” “Fine.” And so on. All of the tender little nothings you say in conversation when you’re checking up on the family. Well, finally the time is up and they have to say goodbye, and so John says, “I’ve got to go. I’ve got to say goodbye.” And she says, “Goodbye,” but nobody hangs up. And after an interval, he says, “I love you, Mary.” And she says, “I love you too, John.” Then, they hang up.
See, most of us, when we call up Heaven, hang up too soon. That’s the point of that little story. Wait on the Lord. I used to tell the young men in Youth For Christ, “Stay on your knees an extra fifteen minutes after your mind has said, “Let’s get out of here.” Stay on your knees an extra few minutes waiting on God. Be quiet before Him. Have a little notebook and a pen or pencil with you, so that you can write down the precious thoughts that flash into your mind under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. When you’ve prayed yourself out, when you’re “prayed through,” as we say, don’t run away then. Wait on the Lord; stay in His presence long enough for Him to whisper His love to you.
How long has it been since you’ve said, after you’ve poured out your heart to God and your eyes were wet and your heart was tender, how long has it been since you’ve said, “I love You, Lord?” And then you waited long enough for Him to whisper back into your heart of hearts, “I love you, too, with an everlasting love.” See, that’s what we’re talking about. That’s the cure for getting burned up. You go through that process, and I’ll assure you that none of the nicks and bruises and abrasions of everyday life are going to stay around very long. There is a healing quality in waiting on the Lord.
Well, what about God’s answer to evil logic? The first is “Wait on the Lord.” The next is in verse 16: God’s values are best. “A little that a righteous man has is better than the riches of many wicked.” What’s better? It’s better to be righteous than to be wicked. That’s the first thing. It’s better to be full of the Spirit of God than the spirit of evil. It’s better to be right with God so that all eternity will be yours than to be outside of God’s saving grace so that all eternity will be spent alone and away from His presence. The greatest punishment of Hell will be to be banished from the presence of the God who so loved the world.
God’s values are best. It’s better to be righteous than to be wicked (verse 16). It’s better to have what God gives you than to have what you can get for yourself. The riches of many wicked represents what they can get for themselves. How do I know that? Because the Bible says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the Father of Lights with whom is no variableness, neither shadow turning.”
What you have if you’re a Christian (now get hold of this) and the situation in which you are, and the circumstances in which you function, are part of God’s gift to you. And somebody says bitterly, “Yeah, God’s gift. I’m paralyzed. I’m shut away here in this nursing home and I don’t see anybody but the rest of the patients. God’s gift? Oh, preacher, you must be kidding.” No, I’m not.
Where you are, and what you are, and the circumstances in which you are, and what you have, little though it may be, is part of God’s provision. Thank Him for it, and ask Him for His guidance in using it.
Well, we’ll come back to this the next time we get together.
Dear Father, today, help me and all of my precious friends to turn things over to Thee, so that we can have Thy peace and Thy control. In Jesus’ 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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