How far do you have to go before you are ready to make the call? How bad do things have to get before you are willing to make the call? How long will it take before you are able to make the call? Will you keep calling till you get an answer? Will you decide to turn from your own ways and your own wisdom and seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness? Will you turn from your wicked ways, humble yourself, and call God? Will you call on God in hopes He is like a genie or will you turn back to Him in awe and wonder and humbly ask for forgiveness and seek His face and His will for your life? Will you invite Jesus into your heart so that you won’t be stubborn minded nor hard hearted?
As I considered these questions, I wondered about how often or what the circumstances might be when people decided to stop trying to go it alone and start calling on God. Here are some examples I found of people calling on God:
They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Having said this, he fell asleep.Acts 7:59-60
and he said,Jonah 2:2
“I called out of my distress to the Lord,
And He answered me.
I cried for help from the depth of Sheol;
You heard my voice.
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?Romans 10:12-14
I called on Your name, O Lord,Lamentations 3:55
Out of the lowest pit.
“I permitted Myself to be sought by those who did not ask for Me;Isaiah 65:1
I permitted Myself to be found by those who did not seek Me.
I said, ‘Here am I, here am I,’
To a nation which did not call on My name.
“For then I will give to the peoples purified lips,Zephaniah 3:9
That all of them may call on the name of the Lord,
To serve Him shoulder to shoulder.
Search God’s Word and you see many times when people call on God! If Jesus as He was on the cross thought it important enough to call out to God the Father, shouldn’t we make the important choice to be calling out to God too? Jesus cried out in both Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34.
‘About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” ). ‘Matthew 27:46
‘And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” ). ‘Mark 15:34
referencing to Psalms 22 where we can read:
‘Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises. In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame. Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast. From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God. Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help. But you, Lord , do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me. Deliver me from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dogs. Rescue me from the mouth of the lions; save me from the horns of the wild oxen. I will declare your name to my people; in the assembly I will praise you. You who fear the Lord , praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel! For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help. From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; before those who fear you I will fulfill my vows. The poor will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the Lord will praise him— may your hearts live forever! All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord , and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations. All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him— those who cannot keep themselves alive. Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it!’Psalms 22:3-5,9-11,19-31
So where are you today? Are you calling out to God to stay in a relationship with Him? Are you calling out to God out of distress or trouble? Are you in trouble or distress and not sure where to turn? Are you struggling because of bad decisions and wondering how you will ever be able to get out of it? Turn to God! Ask Him to forgive you and help you to get through this and fix things up. Ask Him for wisdom and discernment to get through it. Call out to God!
THE ONE YEAR DAILY INSIGHTS
WITH ZIG ZIGLAR AND DR. IKE REIGHARD
FOR DECEMBER 29TH
CALLING ON GOD
MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:
‘“For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the Lord our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him? ‘Deuteronomy 4:7
Let’s get additional context for this verse by expanding the verses and get more details by using the Amplified version:
‘“Now, O Israel, listen and pay attention to the statutes and the judgments (God’s legal decisions) which I am teaching you to do, so that you may live and go in and take possession of the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you. You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, so that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I am commanding you. Your eyes have seen what the Lord did at Baal-Peor; for all the men who followed [and participated in the worship of] Baal of Peor, the Lord your God destroyed them from among you, but you who held tightly to the Lord your God are alive today, every one of you. “Look, I have taught you statutes and judgments just as the Lord my God has commanded me, so that you may do them in the land which you are entering to possess. So keep and do them, for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God [is to us] whenever we call on Him? Or what great nation has statutes and judgments so righteous (upright, just) as this whole law which I am placing before you today? “Only pay attention and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your grandchildren [impressing these things on their mind and penetrating their heart with these truths]— especially the day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb (Mount Sinai), when the Lord said to me, ‘Assemble the people to Me and I will let them hear My words, so that they may learn to fear Me [with awe-filled reverence and profound respect] all the days they live on the land, and so that they may teach their children.’ You approached and stood at the foot of the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire to the [very] heart of the heavens: darkness, cloud and thick gloom. Then the Lord spoke to you from the midst of the fire; you heard the sound of the words, but you saw no form—there was only a voice. So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to follow, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone. The Lord commanded me at that time to teach you the statutes and judgments, so that you might do them in the land which you are going over to possess. “So pay attention and watch yourselves carefully—for you did not see any form [of God] on the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire— so that you do not act corruptly and make for yourselves a carved or sculpted image [to worship] in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, or of any winged bird that flies in the sky, the likeness of anything that crawls on the ground, or of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth. And beware that you do not raise your eyes toward heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and let yourselves be led astray and worship them and serve them, [mere created bodies] which the Lord your God has allotted to [serve and benefit] all the peoples under the whole heaven. But the Lord has taken you and brought you out of the iron [smelting] furnace, out of Egypt, to be a people for His own possession, as [you are] this day. “Now the Lord was angry with me [at the waters of Meribah] because of you, and He swore [an oath] that I would not cross the Jordan, and that I would not enter the good land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance. For I am going to die in this land, I am not going to cross the Jordan, but you shall cross over and take possession of this good land. So be on your guard and watch yourselves, so that you do not forget the covenant of the Lord your God which He has made with you, and make for yourselves a carved or sculpted image in the form of anything which the Lord your God has forbidden you. For the Lord your God is a consuming fire; He is a jealous (impassioned) God [demanding what is rightfully and uniquely His]. “When you become the father of children and grandchildren and have grown old in the land, then if you corrupt yourselves by making a carved or sculpted image in the form of anything [for the purpose of worship], and do evil [things] in the sight of the Lord your God, provoking Him to anger, I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today, that you will soon utterly perish from the land which you are crossing the Jordan to possess. You shall not live long on it, but will be utterly destroyed. The Lord will scatter and disperse you among the peoples (pagan nations), and you will be left few in number among the nations where the Lord drives you. And there you will serve [false and foreign] gods, the work of human hands, [lifeless images of] wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell [the offerings of food given to them]. But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul. When you are in distress and tribulation and all these things come on you, in the latter days you will return to the Lord your God and listen to His voice. For the Lord your God is a merciful and compassionate God; He will not fail you, nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them. “Indeed, ask now about the days that are past, [those days] which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything been done like this great thing, or has anything been heard like it? Did [any] people ever hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you heard, and [still] live? Or has any [man-made] god ever tried to go and take for himself a nation from within another nation by trials, by signs and wonders and by war and by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm and by great terrors, as the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your [very] eyes? It was shown to you so that you might have [personal] knowledge and comprehend that the Lord is God; there is no other besides Him. Out of the heavens He let you hear His voice to discipline and admonish you; and on earth He let you see His great fire, and you heard His words from the midst of the fire. And because He loved your fathers, He chose their descendants who followed them, and brought you from Egypt with His Presence, with His great and awesome power, dispossessing and driving out from before you nations, [nations that were] greater and mightier than you, to bring you in, to give you their land as an inheritance, as it is this day. Therefore know and understand today, and take it to your heart, that the Lord is God in the heavens above and on the earth below; there is no other. So you shall keep His statutes and His commandments which I am commanding you today, so that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and so that you may live long on the land which the Lord your God is giving you for all time.” Then Moses set apart three cities [of refuge] beyond the Jordan toward the rising of the sun (eastward), so that someone who committed manslaughter could flee there, [that is, a person] who killed his neighbor unintentionally and without previously having hostility toward him, and that by escaping to one of these cities he might [claim the right of asylum and] save his life: Bezer in the wilderness on the plateau for the Reubenites, and Ramoth in Gilead for the Gadites, and Golan in Bashan for the Manassites. This is the law which Moses placed before the sons of Israel; these are the testimonies (legal provisions) and the statutes and the judgments which Moses spoke to the sons of Israel when they came out of Egypt, beyond the Jordan in the Valley opposite Beth-Peor, in the land of Sihon king of the Amorites who lived at Heshbon, whom Moses and the sons of Israel defeated when they came out from Egypt. They took possession of his land and the land of Og king of Bashan, the two kings of the Amorites, who reigned across the Jordan to the east, from Aroer, which is on the edge of the valley of the [river] Arnon, as far as Mount Sion (that is, Hermon), with all the Arabah (desert lowlands) across the Jordan to the east, even as far as the sea of the Arabah (the Dead Sea), at the foot of the slopes of Pisgah.’Deuteronomy 4:1-49
POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
- Are you ok with rules and regulations to set healthy boundaries in your life?
- Are you ok with correction and instruction to help you learn the ways you should go?
- Are you ready to make good choices?
- Are you prepared to make good decisions?
- Are you aware of the benefits and the consequences of your choices and actions?
- Will you choose to live by God’s instruction and directions?
- Will you allow the Holy Spirit to be your counselor and your guide in making good decisions?
- Will you allow the Holy Spirit to be your counselor and your guide in taking right actions?
- Are you living with the reassurance of God like the people of Israel did back in the day?
- They had the tabernacle and the pillars of smoke and fire to remind them.
- Do you turn to God’s Word, the cross, the resurrection as your signs for reassurance?
- Do you realize that these are signs given to let everyone know that He is giving you an open invitation to come to Him in prayer?
- Do you realize that these were signs to let everyone know that He was available day or night?
- Do you realize that these were signs to let everyone know that He was able and that we didn’t need to have some formal or informal way to calling on Him?
- Do you realize that these were signs to let everyone know that He was available to individuals and to groups?
- When you look at the laws of the land, do you realize how they were written base don Judeo-Christian ethics?
- Do you realize the balance they come with between freedom and direction?
- Do you realize the balance they come with between reward and punishment?
- Ever noticed how people, both secular and Christian leaders, over history have called people to pray during difficult times?
- Ever seen a call to prayer during times of wars?
- Ever seen a call to prayer during times of famines?
- Ever seen a call to prayer during times of flods?
- Ever seen a call to prayer during times of natural disasters?
- Ever seen a call to prayer during times of blessing?
- Ever seen a call to prayer during times of prosperity?
- Ever seen a call to prayer for families?
- Ever seen a call to prayer for homes?
- Many of the founders of the USA looked to God for direction, will you? do you?
- Many of the founders of the US Declaration of Indepence looked to God for direction, will you? do you?
- Many of the founders of the US Constitution looked to God for direction, will you? do you?
- Many of the founders then thanked God for His wisdom and direction, will you? do you?
- Have you ever noticed how short lived the times of thankfulness can be over history?
- People seem to forget and start to go it alone or at least try.
- People seem to forget and walk away from Him and His covering.
- Today do you see how people have forgotten, even in the midst of the blessings God has given us?
- Today do you see how people have forgotten, even in the midst of God’s care and protection over us?
- Let’s remind one another!
- Let’s not allow ourselves to forget but instead find ways to remind each other of God’s goodness!
- Let’s remind each other through the highs and the lows!
- Let’s remind each other through the good and the bad times!
- Let’s remember all that God has given us!
- Let’s remember all that Jesus has given us!
- Let’s remember God’s love!
DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
- What leader do you know of who called on people to pray to God in either good times or bad?
- What are some ways you can remind yourself and others to pray more often for our country?
QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
So where are you today? Are you ready to start a relationship with God? Are you ready to not only call on Him but rather be in conversation and relationship with Him? Are you ready to get things back into order and start pursuing God’s plan and purpose for your life? Let’s pray:
Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?
Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?