Waiting For Strength
It’s a daily process of receiving by faith the strength to take another step.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again friends. How in the world are you? Doing Alright today? Oh I feel fine. Happy in the Lord. I feel like I could live for another 25 years. Wouldn’t that be something? I would be pretty old, but hey, it’s great to be alive and to share the Word of God with you. I met with Dr. Arthur Robertson the other day at the airport and we were laughing about what happened 15 years ago, when he introduced his small son to me. They had been listing to the broadcast for some time and the little boy had never met yours truly, so a, we said hello and chatted for a moment and I walked away, but as I did I heard this childish treble saying, “Dad, he looks so old but he sounds so young”. Alright, however I look and however I sound, all of me is given to the Lord Jesus Christ, that is for sure.
Come with me then to Mark chapter 10. Talking about the story of this, this blind man whose name was Bartimaeus, and the fact that our Lord Jesus Christ asked him a question that didn’t really seem necessary. If Jesus knew everything, why would He ask this man what he wants? The answer is of course that God wants you to tell us, that God wants you to tell Him, excuse me. God wants you to tell Him what you want. Paul says it in Philippians 4:6-7, “Be worried about nothing”, careful means worried, “about nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests”, requests that is, “be made known unto God”. See, it’s prayer, supplication, thanksgiving, requests.
Have you ever realized that those words give you the proper order of worship and praying? Prayer is worship. Supplication has to do with the, bringing your needs the Lord. Thanksgiving has to do with mingling it with praise, “Whoso offereth praise, glorifyeth Me”, the Bible says. And then he says, “Let your requests”, and that means specific praying. A supplicant doesn’t always have a list. Sometimes a supplicant is brings himself and asks for mercy. But if you have requests, that means you have a definite statement of need.
I’m a great believer in a prayer list and the best way to keep one is to get a little blank book at the five and dime, and the start on one facing page, the left-hand page as it faces you. Start a list of things about which you pray everyday and on the other side, the right hand side of facing page, you leave that blank and when the, when the answer comes then you fill in the date of that side, when God give the answer to that particular request. Oh, what an encouragement it is to faith to have that.
Years ago when we moved from LaSalle, Illinois to Chicago, as so often happens some of the boxes didn’t get unpacked right away, and so after nearly a year had passed, I was unpacking some boxes, I thought I have to get at this because either I have to throw this stuff out or, or, or, or sort this out or get it properly organized, so I was working on one of these boxes that had sat around full of my stuff and not being unpacked and I came across a book such as I have described to you . A blank book and the on the facing the left-hand facing page, I’d put requests, and on the right-hand there was room for the answers. When we moved I had simply gotten myself another book and started another list of things, but now I looked at this and one after another, of the requests that I had been making, had been gloriously answered and I got a, I got a pen and, and then filled in the dates and the, and the details with a big hallelujah ,and I must confess my eyes were sort of spilling over as I realized how precious the Lord is when He answers prayers. Get yourself a prayer list and keep accounts with God. Best way to do it is the way I’ve just described to you, because you have a chance then to check and see how God is working with and in and through your life with dates and times and details that will strengthen your faith for the next test of faith.
Best way to strengthen faith is to exercise it today on the basis of what God has said and what He has done in your life. Remember how God’s ancient people used to pray, “Lord you took us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and you took us across the Red Sea and you fed us in the wilderness and you subdued the nations before us, now Lord behold your threatening, for we have no might nor power against this multitude”, and so on. They always reminded God of what He had done as a basis of their supplication for what He was about to do. So, God asks you and me, “What do you want”? If I were to come to you today and ask you this question, now we’re sitting together in your house, Alright, and you’ve made a cup of coffee for me or something, and we’re comfortable and we’re friends and we feel secure with each other, and we don’t have to prove anything to each other we’re just sitting there and enjoying a visit, Alright? Now, I look at you and I say, you know Paul, Hazel, or whatever your name may be, “What do you really want God to do in your life”? Oh hey, you’d have to think about that, wouldn’t you?
Now, that’s precisely what I’m driving it. The effort to think clearly what we really want God to do, will strengthen our prayer life and make it effective. “What will thou that I should do unto thee”? Obviously, the man was blind, obviously he was in need, obviously he was poor, he had no means of livelihood. All of these things were, were, were obvious. You could see it at a glance. The Savior asks him still, “What do you want”? Why? God wants you to tell Him. Tell Him today, beloved. Tell God today what you want and then by faith receive it. Jesus said, “What things soever ye desire when you pray, believe that you receive them, and ye shall have them”. And so it’s desire, pray, believe, receive, have. That’s the process of victorious praying. Well, the blind men said unto the Lord, “That I might receive my sight”, and Jesus said, “Go thy way, thy faith hath made thee whole”. And immediately, he received his sight and followed Jesus in the way.
Oh today. I wish it might be possible for me to sit down with each one of you and just, just encourage you to do as Bartimaeus did. Level with God. God, this is what I need. You got a bad temper? Just praise Him say, “God, what I need is, is control over this temper of mine”. You got a tongue that lies easily? Why don’t you just tell Him honestly, “Lord I lve and I want to be truthful, take charge of my mind and my tongue”. You have trouble with the lusts of the flesh? Tell the Lord Jesus about it. Do you have trouble with compromise, you, you cave-in easily under pressure? Tell your blessed Lord about it. Are you awfully tired? Some of you are so tired you can’t put one foot ahead of another and still life keeps falling in on you, doesn’t it? Tell Him, “Lord I need your strength”. “Oh, they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary and they shall walk and not faint”. God gives you His strength, “Strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man, though our outward man perish, yet our inner man is renewed”, says Paul, “day after day”. It’s a daily process of receiving by faith the strength to take another step. Oh, I know how that feels. I’ve been as tired, I guess, as anybody, from time to time, and I know that if you wait on your blessed Lord He will renew you.
Frank Phillips is been with the Lord now for a good many years, but he was a good friend during the years we worked together in Youth for Christ. I often marveled at the amount of work he put out. He was a practicing veterinarian for one thing, he had an animal hospital and a busy, busy practice. Every morning he would be, he would be busy operating on, on his canine and feline patients, taking care of things and then he ran the Youth for Christ office very efficiently, and then he preached now and again in, in local churches and he set up great mass meetings under the sponsorship of Youth for Christ, and he raised missionary funds and, and ever so many different things. I said to him one time, I said, “Frank, don’t you get exhausted? How in the world do you keep it up?” Well he said, “Every now and again”, he said, “I’ll spend a day or so in just fasting and prayer”. He said, “I’ll go and I’ll, I’ll get myself a motel room somewhere”, and then he said, “I’ll just, just wait on God all day long, fast and pray”. Said, “I won’t, I’ll drink some liquid but won’t eat any food”, and he said, “You’d be surprised with that will do for you. It’ll refresh”, and I looked at this man with his amazing output of work. I realized that here was the secret, not an iron constitution, he wasn’t all that strong physically, but he found the secret of waiting upon God for strength, “Lord that I might receive my sight, Lord that I might have an honest tongue, Lord that I might have freedom from the lusts of my flesh, Lord that I might not cave-in under pressure and be a compromiser, Lord that I might have strength enough to do the work that faces me, I can’t handle it all, I need your strength”
See, just tell Him, tell Him, tell Him, tell Him. He’s waiting beloved, for you to tell Jesus and then receive by faith the answer. You don’t have to get it from somebody else. People call me sometimes and say, “Brother Cook, how can I believe”? They might just well ask me, “How can I breathe”? You got all the air there is, breathe. You’ve got all the faith that’s necessary. Believe Him, trust Him, “He that believeth not God made him a liar”, says John. You don’t want to that to God, do you? Well then, take His promise, believe it, and claim the answer.
Eric Hutchings arrived at 4 AM at a prayer meeting in Korea, the church, a large church holding about 5,000 people, was already full at 4 AM, and people there seemed too busy with their Bibles and all. So he approached one of the ladies that was sitting near the aisle, and engaged her in conversation through an interpreter and he asked her, he said, “My sister, why are all of you here so early”? Oh, she looked up smiling brightly, she said, “We’re here early so that we can look up promises that we can throw up to heaven when we pray. We pray on the basis of the promises and we’re looking for promises that we can throw up to heaven when we pray”. God likes for you to remind Him of His Word, “Ye that are the Lord’s remembrancers, give Him no rest until He establish peace in Zion”, said the prophet.
God likes to have you remind Him, just as any parent or grandparent likes to have a little child say, “You promised me Poppa, you promised me grandpa”. Why that little, childish voice what winds its way into your heart and you would give them half the world, wouldn’t you? So, God likes your little children like, like his dear children, to come and say, Abba, Father, you said it, now I’m going to claim it. Tell God what you need today, then by faith, take the answer, don’t depend on somebody else, just you and Jesus, take the answer by faith and see Him work victoriously in your life.
Dear Father today, help us to be sensible enough to tell Thee honestly what we need and then to receive by faith, 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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