CALL ON HIM Andy Hollifield 2-17-18
Isaiah 55:6 Seek the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
Romans 10:12-13 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. (13) For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Psalms 27:5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me upon a rock.
Psalms 37:39 But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in time of trouble.
1 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Where do I start? I know that I have included a lot of scripture but if you read it again nice and slow, I believe that you can’t help but to be blessed and comforted. We are living in a time of turmoil in our country, and in the whole world for that matter, when evil is rampant and people live in a constant state of fear. According to a website called Psych Central, in a report released on October 19th, antidepressant drug use has increased 400 percent over the last two decades. The CDC, who released the report, found that 11 percent of people over age 12 takes an antidepressant with about 14 percent of those taking the drugs for over 10 years. With those kinds of statistics, it seems it would be almost impossible to keep up.
I mention those statistics because it seems we have gotten to the place where men and women of all ages can no longer cope with the stress of living in the society that we have created. With church attendance dropping in some studies to as little as 17.2 % of Americans on a given weekend instead of the 40% that Gallup reports, it is evident regardless of which number you believe, that commitment to the local church is not what it used to be. There was a time in the early to mid seventies, that Christians were committed to the Lord and living pleasing to him. The church was the center of your life back then and the center of most small communities. Now, we have so many activities and distractions that not only do we not have time for the Lord, but we don’t even see the importance of it until tragedy strikes. I can even remember when there wasn’t ball practice on Wednesday nights much less a game. We have allowed so much of the world to become a part of our services, that we have in a lot of cases, driven out the Spirit of God. We have done so much to “quench” the spirit for so long, we have become a church like that one in 2 Timothy 3:5 “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” We talk the talk because we have learned the language and the mannerisms of being in church almost all of our lives. That is the best way to see the loss of power is to go in the church and get too modern or too busy to have time for the moving of the Holy Ghost. The worst thing is to not even be able to recognize when God’s Spirit is present.
I didn’t write this to state the obvious but I wrote it to declare that I know the entire secret, five steps for having a dynamic Christ honoring church. First off, our obligation is to preach, pray, study, repent, and worship. I am afraid we are raising a generation that knows nothing about the moving of the Holy Ghost. We like to talk about how spiritual our churches are but if we do lead anybody to the Lord, it may prove to be next to impossible to keep them in long enough for them to grow to maturity in the Lord. but I do have good news; there is a remedy!
It doesn’t really take a five step program but just a one step action: turn back to him. If we will just turn, he will see us afar off, just like the father of the prodigal, and will come running to meet us and fall on our neck and kiss us to welcome us back. It is true that you can be sitting in a church and be a million miles away in your heart. The verses I listed above are just a few that I could find to illustrate the love that the Lord has for us. He made it easy on us. All we have to do is to look for him and call on him while he is near. Don’t wait until the storms hit your life to call on the Lord. We have a world of people doing that now and it pays to make plans to be close enough to call on him when we wind up in a pinch. Romans 10 promises that he is rich to those that call on him. He also promises that when the father calls us that he is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance(2 Peter 3:9). The first part of the verse also talks about how longsuffering he is to us and how that he is not slack concerning his promises. Psalms 27 talks about how that in times of trouble, he will carry us. Psalms 37 promises that in troubled times, he will be our strength. The 10th verse of 1 Peter 5 is one that I really love for several reasons. He says that he has called us and that we will still have to suffer for a while. After you have suffered for a while, he will work on making you perfect, and then it says he will strengthen us, get us established in what he wants us doing, and give us strength to do it and finally he will just settle us down. I am thankful for the settling hand when we just get uptight. I am glad that in this tumultuous age, I haven’t yet had to worry about keeping my mind and my heart because those are in God’s hands and he always gives peace that we can’t understand. In our work though, fear takes many different forms but according to Isaiah 41:10, we don’t have to fear because he is with us. We don’t have to be troubled because he will strengthen us, help us, and hold us up when we can’t stand. He don’t ask where we have been or what we have done, he just takes us in and loves us as only a father can. I am thankful that we just have to learn to lean upon his righteousness. Just call on him. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!