Rescue me and deliver me from the hand of foreigners, Whose mouth speaks lying words, And whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood—That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; That our daughters may be as pillars, Sculptured in palace style; That our barns may be full, Supplying all kinds of produce; That our sheep may bring forth thousands And ten thousands in our fields; That our oxen may be well laden; That there be no breaking in or going out; That there be no outcry in our streets. Happy are the people who are in such a state; Happy are the people whose God is the LORD! (Psalm 144:11-15)
Isn’t the above passage what all of us desire? That we and our children would be delivered from this ever defiling, ever encroaching fallen world… and from the deceptive lying spirits that have become its prophets? That our children would be established and built up in an authentic faith and that we could prosper enabling us to help others?
The problem comes when we find we’re not in that ‘happy state’ and we begin lifting up pious prayers hoping that God would miraculously appear and deliver us. Then when that doesn’t happen, we sink into the depths of despair and begin complaining that we just don’t understand why God doesn’t move.
Yet the truth is; it’s not God who should be moving. There is a reason why God hasn’t moved and we should start asking Him the right questions if we expect to get any answers.
The first question we need to start asking ourselves is ……where is God’s man?Co-workers with God
God has predetermined that if His will is to be done on this earth as it is done in heaven then He must work through man. So, should something need to happen on this earth (or in our backyard) and God desires to bring change … He will first find a person. And not just any person either …but a person whose heart is loyal to Him and His interest. Upon finding such people, the scriptures promise that God Almighty will both assist and support those people.
For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. 2Ch 16:9
Sometimes it only takes only one man to change the direction of events for an entire city.
"Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem; See now and know; And seek in her open places If you can find a man, If there is anyone who executes judgment, Who seeks the truth, And I will pardon her. (Jer 5:1)
Why is this?The 7th Day Decision
On the 6th day God reached the zenith of His Creation…He created man. On the 7th day contrary to popular opinion, God didn’t become tired, fatigued or weary (the word rest can also be translated celebrate). God is still working but does so in a different way.
But Jesus answered them, "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working." (John 5:17)
God didn’t stop working but He did stop working the way He had previously worked and made a very determined and far reaching decision on how He would continue working on earth.
That decision was this… from that day forward He would work with and through man. Today if God does a work on the earth, He first secures a man (or woman) to work through. God chose to work through man.
What we must begin to see is; if God has something to do in this earth (or our neighborhood), He will look for a man (or woman) He can move through. This is His 7th day decision. This shift in how He works addresses two issues.
First; if we want God to move, then the first thing we should do is offer ourselves to Him to work through us. Second; if God has raised up someone else to move through we should follow him. Either way God will find a person to work through.
Therefore men who say they won’t listen, won’t submit to or obey a man… will neither find God’s will nor be able to accomplish His work. Why? Because on the 7th day God determined that when he works in the earth, He will work through man.
And here’s something else very interesting… though He takes great pains to form and ready that man to be His co-laborer, rarely is that man aware of it. In fact, long before they were born, God started preparing them for that task. Take for example John the Baptist.
John the Baptist’s parent’s names were a prophetic announcement of what God had been planning to do and also as you will see, gave a little indication of just how long He had been planning it.
Before Christ came and before John was born John the Baptist’s mother was given the name Elizabeth which came from the Hebrew word (Strong’s H472)…‘God’s promise or oath’ and John’s dad Zechariah’s name came from the Hebrew word (Strong’s H2148) meaning… ‘God remembers’.
When God remembered His promise to speak again to Israel after 400 years of silence … God’s promise (Elizabeth) got together with God remembers (Zechariah) and gave birth to John the Baptist. John would be the man who would prepare the way for God’s Word (Jesus) to come! Why? Because God needed to get people ready for the coming of His Word and John was the man chosen to make that happen.
The names given to John’s parents before he was born spoke of God’s prearranged plan to use their yet to be born child to break His silence. The reason for all that is that God wants us to know … God has predetermined to work through man of His choice.
From Genesis to Revelation …God finds a man!
All of biblical history reveals when God wants to do something He finds a man. God wanted to save His creation… so he found Noah. Then because Noah was loyal to God’s interest, he found grace (power and ability) from Heaven. Why? Because… God has determined to work through man.
God wanted to deliver His children from the bondage of Egypt so He found Moses. Then Moses found power from on High. There must be men who will cooperate with Him. Men who care about the things God Himself cares about.
As with John the Baptist’s life, God starts working on those men before they are born so at the right time He can… “empower them”. Why? Because….God has determined to work through man.
The Israelites …. God wanted to construct a place He could meet with humankind so he found Moses and the Israelites. If God created the heavens and the earth He certainly could have constructed a place to meet with men. But He didn’t do it that way. Men built the tabernacle. Why? Because…God has determined to work through man.
And when no man can be found to work through… God became one. God needed someone to perfectly reflect His thoughts and feelings to redeem mankind… someone absolutely loyal to God’s interest. Yet there was no one qualified, so God became a man. Why? Because… God has determined to work though man.
Satan knew about God’s seventh day decision and tempted Christ in the wilderness to do the work of God as the Son of God instead of the Son of Man. But Christ identified with humanity and answered him… "It is written, “MAN SHALL NOT LIVE BY BREAD ALONE, BUT BY EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS FROM THE MOUTH OF GOD." (Matthew 4:4)
God could have easily healed Paul’s eyes and led Paul on the Damascus road but He didn’t. He chose Ananias to help Paul… why? Because…. God has determined to work through man!
OK! I know I’m being repetitive but do we really understand that God’s decision on the 7th day still stands? That decision was for God to work through man to do His work here on this earth or not do it at all.
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO PREACH THE GOSPEL OF PEACE, WHO BRING GLAD TIDINGS OF GOOD THINGS!" (Rom 10:14-15)
Whether that’s in Selmer, Tennessee or half way around the world in Nakuru, Kenya. Why? Because… God has determined to work through man.
The Point of All This
The point of all this is that God wants to do things right where you and I live and so He is asking…
“Is there any devoted to Me and My interest that I can work through?” The prophet Isaiah heard God speak this and responded with the correct response.
Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then I (Isaiah) said, "Here am I! Send me." (Isa 6:8)
The reason why the church is in such a mess, isn’t because God doesn’t desire to correct things, but because He doesn’t have people in whom He can work through.
Yet, even so, God will not resend his 7th day decision.
We live in a very wicked time and it is obvious to most everyone that so many believers are possessed by unbridled selfishness. Too many Christians are engrossed in self-gratification, too many occupied with the cares of this life, advancing their careers, and enslaved to the pursuit of pleasure. They have no heart or time for preaching the gospel, building the Church or doing any of God’s work and yet… when things get bad and they are no longer in that ‘happy state’ those same people wonder… where is God? Why won’t He work for us?Far, far too many people remain unsaved and when they do become ‘saved’ they are never taught to change their carnal behavior. It isn’t because God doesn’t have a will to change things, but rather because He can’t find anyone to cooperate with Him.
What do you think would happen if all who call themselves Christians became willing to cooperate with God, presented themselves sacrificially to be made into someone God could trust and fill with His power? The world around us would change.The reason God’s work is being held back is simple… He does not have a man. Do let us realize that the Lord must have you and me before He will accomplish what He wants to do.
God’s Interested in Your Fidelity… Not Your Ability
We look at ourselves and say… I can’t do anything. I’m too weak, unspiritual, ungifted. Understand that God is not interested in your abilities or lack of abilities. He is looking for the heart that is seeking to serve Him. He watches to see who is developing fidelity for Him… those who will be loyal to His interests and not their own. To those people, no matter who they are, no matter how they feel, He will give Light (revelation of what the problem is and what to do about it) and Power (the strength and ability) to accomplish His will. Therefore understand from our side of things that spiritual power depends upon fidelity and consecration.
Remember it was the Samuel’s mother’s consecration that produced Israel’s first prophet Samuel and John the Baptist’s parent’s dedication to the purposes of God that produced Israel’s last prophet… John.Remember also that it was Samson’s consecration (as symbolized by his hair) that allowed God’s supernatural power to flow through him. When he allowed His carnal (selfish) desire (Delilah) to cut his hair (consecration) it ended his strength. Lesson learned? Cut the consecration… cut the power.
Do others seem to have light and power from God and we don’t? Is God using others and not you? Revelation (what’s the problem and what to do about it) and Power (the strength to do it) begins with our fidelity and consecration. Then, and not until then, like Noah and Moses, will we find the power to accomplish God’s will.
If we cry out and offer ourselves to fulfill His purposes right where we live, He will show us what is lacking in our consecration and empower us to change.
That is of course unless we just want to fool ourselves and wear a hat (religious traditions) to cover the lack of hair (consecration). Then rest assured, we will be filled with great darkness.
God has chosen to need you and me to accomplish His spiritual work. That is why you and I are hearing this word right now… because God has chosen us to do something right now, right where we’re at.It seems to me to take infinitely more power, resulting in infinitely more glory, for God to work through man than for Him to just do it Himself. But it is what He has chosen to do so that we might see the greatness of His power toward us who believe.
And He is waiting for us to discover… just how glorious and powerful His inheritance is in us. Yes… His inheritance. Not our inheritance in Him… His inheritance in us! Oh… how blessed we would feel if we knew how protective God is of His inheritance in us.
…that the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power (Eph 1:18-19)
Yesterday I read a little story from T. Austin Sparks that illustrates what we think it will take to open our eyes.Some long time ago, when I returned from my last visit to America, I told you a story. I'm going to repeat that again, you may have forgotten it, but it is very, I think, apropos of what I am trying to say now. I was at a conference and one of the other speakers was the son of a very well known servant of God in America, a man whose name I had known, of whom I had read much, and I was very glad to meet his son and to ask, like the king asked Gehazi about the works of Elisha, to ask for first-hand information about this great servant of God. He told me quite a lot of things, amongst them were this. His father was very interested in the American Indians in a certain settlement, and the government was very anxious that that Indian settlement should be developed and modernized, and provided with all the up-to-date accessories of civilization, modern life. And they asked this man what he thought would be the best way of introducing these things to these people who were ignorant, and very suspicious, and unbelieving, not prepared to accept anything at its face value. They wanted to be very sure of everything.
The man said, "Well, I think the only way in which you'll do it will be to get one or two of the most influential and intelligent of the Indians, and bring them out into city life here and let them see it.""All right," they said, "Well, you go and find the men."
So he went back to the Indian settlement, and stayed there a little while, watching and talking, until he found a man who had more influence than anyone else, and seemed to have more intelligence and was at least willing to come and have a look for himself. So he took him away up country to one great city, took him into a hotel, a modern American hotel. And it was night, late in the evening, and getting dark quickly. And as they went into their room, the man who was conducting the Indian put his finger on the electric light switch and on came the light.And the Indian was startled, "How did that happen? What did you do?" "Oh," he said, "I simply put my finger on that little button there.""I don't believe it. I don't believe it. Do you mean to tell me that all that is just in that little button? You have only just got to touch that little thing and all this comes on? I don't believe it!"
"Very well," said the man. Switch off. He switched it off. "Stand on that table." And he took out the bulb.
He said, "Put your thumb up inside that socket."
And he went to the door and the next moment the Indian was picking himself up from the corner of the room, very shaken and very bruised.The man said, "Do you believe it now?"
"Oh yes, I believe it now, I believe it now!"
So in conclusion…. So ... start experiencing the power…. quit complaining, get up off the floor of despair and … stick your finger in the socket!!
(Greg Dickerson … I know you can relate!)
(Greg Dickerson … I know you can relate!)