VN520420 10-18-15 – Our God Hears, Answers and Delivers Us
I’m going to end up eventually over in chapter 11 of Genesis, but I’ve got to tell a story before that. Not a funny story, just a story. First we’re going to Genesis 4-6. I was reading some news clippings and releases and the way one of them was phrased really struck me. It said that there was a study that had been done in two separate universities and one of them was in England, the study was showing that if they put strong magnetic waves or put some strong magnets on the front of people’s brains, Christians, that when they got done with their treatment that their belief in God had dropped by 30%, and also as a positive, they ended up liking the idea of letting immigrants into the nation of England. Now that’s all interesting, but when you read the article and you go down through it what you take away from it is that it is a positive thing that Christians quit believing in God, and it’s a positive that they would let immigrants in and would look forward to immigrants moving into their country.
The immigrant issue is a little bit off to the side for me right now, but why did they single it out? Why did they make the statement Christians have a 30% reduction? They didn’t say people in general have a 30% reduction in believing in the divine. They didn’t say Hindus have a reduction. They didn’t say Buddhists have a reduction, taoist, animist, pagans or satanists. They never said that. They singled out that Christians had a 30% reduction, and the way it was worded it sounded like a positive thing that Christians would quit believing in God, and who are the immigrants going to England now? Syrian immigrants most of whom are Islam. Now the point being though is when you put these two things together it’s a good thing that the Christians quit believing and it’s a good thing that Islamic people are coming in. Obviously it’s better to have the Islamic people than it is to have the Christian people. They don’t come right out and say that, but there is this undertone. Is the study accurate? These things I do not know, but this I do know, it doesn’t matter whether it’s accurate or not. It’s out on the Internet. Therefore, people will read it and just the tone of that, they will have a bad image of us that we need to be decreased while all others need to be increased and we are bad for society where other people are positive for society, and you got that just from reading the article itself.
Now the interesting thing about the way they put these magnets was on the front of your head. I don’t know if you realize that’s where they used to do the lobotomies. How many people remember the lobotomies? You were lobotomized. They would go in and cut off the frontal lobes of your brain and you were just basically a walking zombie after that point. You had no thought, no emotion, no expression. You just were there and they didn’t know what was going on in people’s minds. They just were there. So, they were putting these great magnets on these people’s heads and going oh, look. Well dah. They’re getting lobotomized through magnets. Whether it’s true or not is immaterial, but like I said, it’s the thought that was going on and the way they’re spreading this and so we are once again cast in a negative light and they’ll say oh, no, it wasn’t that way. Oh yes it was or they wouldn’t have written it with that slant in view.
Now, in Genesis chapter 11, I’m going to try to pursue that some more, we’re talking about the building of the Tower of Babel and then it stops in the land of Shinar and they settled there. This is the people after the flood. “They said to one another, ‘Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly.’ And they used brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar. They said, ‘Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.’ The LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. The LORD said, ‘Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language.'” “Nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them.” Then it goes on down into the story of how He decided to confuse the people’s languages. A lot of people get hung up on the idea of the tower and they stop at the idea of saying well, you Christians believe according to your Bible that they were building a tower high enough that they could get in the face of God, they could reach out and touch God.
Yes, it’s true the Bible says they were building that tower, but you’ve got to understand these other things, or it would be useful if you understood these other things. The word, the city called Babel actually means L means God and bab means like the gate of God or the gate to God, so the city itself was known as the gate of God. This is the way you access God. God had told the people when they got off the boat and started multiplying, He said don’t settle together in one group. Spread out. Go out over all the land and yet man said we’re not going to do that. Let us build a tower. Let us build a place that reaches high. We will spite God. We will not separate. We will topple God from His supremacy. We will go through the gate of God and we will display our rebellion to God by this tower. Now it was immaterial whether they thought they could get to heaven by building a tall enough platform in which to reach the heaven, but you’ll notice what God said. They’re all one people, they’ve all got one mind, they’ve all got one purpose and when they put their minds together they will accomplish what they want to do.
So, if they had done this and they built a tower as tall as they possibly could build a tower and got to the top of it they would have said God is still not here. We need to approach this from a different angle. How do we get in the face of God? How do we topple the supremacy of God? That was what they were really going after. Let us stay together and we’ll show God He can’t boss us around. It wasn’t the top of the tower that was the important thing. It was this show of defiance against God and getting in His face and toppling Him. Then God says now that they’re all together they’re going to figure something out so we can’t let this go on. Now, is this true? Well, yes. How many centuries have men and women sat around and said I would like to fly? I don’t know about you, I would like to fly. Even in my dreams I fly sometimes. Not a lot, but I love it. Sometimes it’s more like swimming, sometimes it’s like Superman, sometimes it’s just real slow and floating along. I love those dreams because I’ve always thought it would be great to fly like birds.
As people learned and communicated with each other, it took centuries to break down barriers and to get communication going, people finally figured out there is nothing magical about feathers. There was nothing magical about just having wings out there to flap around. What was important was the size and the aerodynamic and the shape of the wing, the power, lift over drag, how you attack the wind, all this kind of stuff. People finally, because their desire was to fly, they figured out how to fly from hang gliders all the way up to these jumbo jets which can carry hundreds and hundreds of people and shoot across the oceans and travel all over the world. They figured out how to do this. There is something there that the people, the unbelievers, yeah, had grabbed onto and understood that we as Christians really haven’t grabbed onto. The important one is grab ahold, and you’ll hear this in political discussions today, grab ahold they will say of the narrative and make the narrative yours no matter what it is.
You hear somebody will say never waste a good crisis. When there is a big turmoil going on in the world they’ll say don’t waste that crisis. Figure out how to manipulate the story of the crisis to play into your favor. That’s what was going on with the leaders of the people of Babel at the time. There was this crisis. Are we going to spread out? Are we going to go over the world like God told us to and they said, the leaders, let us grab the narrative. Let us tell the story the way we want the story told. God said spread out over the face of the earth. Repopulate. Go out there and go all over the continents of the world and instead, they said we need to stay together. We need to make a name for ourselves. Let’s build a tall tower. Maybe they were going to put a light on it, put a fire up there so that as people did go out (in pastures) they could always find their way home. Maybe that was the idea so that they would not drift away from the city of Babel, the gate of God, and they had grabbed the narrative and they were determined to go against the will of God.
That is something that the world gets that we don’t seem to understand. They have a purpose and God says once people have a purpose nothing is impossible. They’re going to figure out what the real purpose is. It wasn’t to build a tower. It was to rebel against God. It wasn’t to get real high up into the clouds. It was to get in God’s face and not be spread over the face of the earth. Most Christians, it seems like, haven’t adopted the idea that we need to set our heart on things and be determined to get them. Know what it is we’re really going after first. Define narrowly exactly what it is we’re going after and then go after that particular thing, not just some broad vague idea. Now most Christians follow after a guy known, and most of you know him, W. C. Fields. One of his famous sayings was this. “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use looking like a fool about it.” And most Christians come up with the idea we want to do this. Pick a subject. Build a church. We want to build a church building. We want just whatever.
They pick something and they try and it doesn’t work, and they try again and it doesn’t work, and they try again and finally they say well, that’s it. I quit. We don’t want to look like fools and keep pounding away, and yet God said there is the possibility with people once they put their mind to it, when they really purpose to do it, they will manage to get it done. I know churches that sit out in the country and they say we can’t grow. We’re just a little church and we have no hope. By the way, I heard another church that’s getting ready to close. Did you guys hear that one? (South) church at Wynoose. I’ve had two or three different people come in and say they’re giving it up and they’re going to shut the doors. I was like really? And people say well, you know, it’s a little church. It’s out in the middle of nowhere, it can’t make it, but I can drive you to little churches out in the middle of nowhere that are thriving because the people have purposed in their heart that their church is going to survive and it does grow. They purposed to do this.
Sometimes we just quit too soon and we’re not there saying God, how is this? Lead us to the place. Bring us the people. Change the people in the church. If not, change me, and when I say change the people in the church I don’t mean throw out everybody on the membership roll and bring in a whole new batch. I’m saying change the hearts and the minds of people that they will catch the vision like building the tower, and they will go after it, and they will keep going until it’s accomplished. How do we do this, this accomplishment, and now we’re back to Psalm 57:1-3. We need to approach it like David did, and I’ll give you some more information about this as we read. “Be gracious to me.” That means be favorable to me O God. “Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, for my soul takes refuge in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge until destruction passes by. I will cry to God Most High, To God who accomplishes all things for me. He will send from heaven and save me; He reproaches him who tramples upon me. Selah. God will send forth His loving kindness and His truth.”
We have to have that same determination that David had. We believe that God is going to accomplish this for us. We purpose in our heart to see the fulfillment of God’s promises in our lives, and the word calamity, the word destruction there actually means mischiefs, mischiefs. Stay with me. I’m going to take refuge under Your wing until the mischiefs of life passes by, and it’s not just destruction. Anything that is causing you mischief in your life no matter how minor, no matter how big, you take refuge under the wings of God, under His protection until the mischief passes by. It says that God will send from heaven, that He accomplishes all these things for me, and the word accomplishes or in King James performs, the idea isn’t just that He performs this, but it is that He completes what He begins. God completes what He begins and if He ever begins something in your life He will, that’s the idea of that word there, complete it in your life.
David trusted and trusted only in God. He trusted in God’s grace, and grace is the favor of God that we don’t deserve but He just gives it to us. He trusted only in God and he trusted in that favor that God shows His children, and He trusts that because he is such a trusting being, David is trusting in God. Now that’s the idea is he is saying God, I trust in You, be gracious to me O God, be gracious to me. My soul is taking refuge in You. I am seeking You out. I am expecting you to trust me and because I am such a trusting person I’m asking that You would deliver me, that You would overcome the people who are trampling upon me and the mischiefs of life would pass by, and by the grace of God the idea is in the Hebrew which once again it’s always hard to bring this stuff out unless you do word studies so I would encourage you all to do word studies, but the idea is he trusted in God to intervene in our lives on a personal level either providentially which just means it looks so natural that it happens and some people say oh, well, that wasn’t God, that was coincidence. No, that was the providence of God. He set that up to happen in your life and if it can’t be providential then David is expecting God to do it miraculously in our lives.
Providentially is great. It works. Miraculous is also great and it works. Whichever God wants to choose, whichever way God wants to choose, David is fine with that. Just be gracious to me O God. I’m being trampled upon. I am having mischiefs in my life. I’m having troubles of all kinds at all different levels and I’m wanting You to take care of this kind of stuff. And also that whole idea of completing things is in the book of Philippians and he says God will accomplish the things that He has begun in you. He will complete it and that is a New Testament thought. It comes out of this Psalm here. God is going to complete the things in his life that He started in you. What did God start in you? Salvation. You’re being saved. Not just that end game of walking through the pearly gates, but you are being salvaged each and every day. He is pulling you up and taking you out of the muck and the mire of this world and we are to be of that understanding and expect that this is what’s going to go on in our life. Whether it looks like it or not, we believe. We are committed to this accomplishment happening in our lives, and we achieve that accomplishment by trusting in God’s providence, miracles if necessary, by following His providential leading and obtaining that.
The way that a Christian obtains is the commitment of heart and soul. The tower people were committed totally to building that tower to get in the face of God and to touch Him, slap Him right in the face and let Him know what’s going on. We are to be committed to touching God also, but not to slap Him but rather to obtain the grace from Him that we need to be delivered. New Testament style of obtaining. Matthew 9:21 is where the lady who had the issue of blood for 12 years reached out and touched the hem of His garment. Mark 14:36 it says they implored Christ that they may touch the hem and all that touched were cured. Mark 3:10 says the sick pushed, pushed forward to touch Him and when they did they were healed this way miraculously. In Luke 6:19 all tried to touch Him, Christ, because power was coming from Him, Christ. All the people were trying to touch Christ because there was power flowing out of him and they were getting healed. They were getting restored and the things that they were wanting to obtain were flowing from Him out to them by touching.
The question is how do we obtain from Christ? By touching Him. By touching Him. No, we can’t physically reach out and touch Him like there He is, all we’ve got to do is just touch Him. We’ve got to have the determination to force our way through the crowds. We’ve got to implore Him, let us just touch You, let us come into Your presence. In John 20:29 it says more blessed are those who have never seen and yet believe. More blessed are those who have not yet seen and yet they believed, and that word blessed implies they are happier than you Thomas. You had to see to believe. These people are more blessed than you are, more favored than you are because they never saw Me at all. They never had the teaching coming straight from My mouth to your ears. They never had that. They are to be envied because they have the faith just like Abraham had. It was just believe and trust Me and Abraham said I believe, I trust, and I will follow after You, and he obtained the promises by his faith in Christ, and the promises of God are great. We are to obtain those promises fulfilled in our lives by touching Him, by having direct contact with Christ by faith, and we touch God by faith through the prayer of faith.
The prayer of faith is that persistent, that heart and soul commitment, that going after it just like the people that were going to build that tower, they had narrowed it down. This is what we want, this is what we’re going to go for, and we are to have that same narrowed down understanding and say God, what I want is deliverance from the problems of my life, from the mischief that is going on. I don’t know how You are going to accomplish it. Providentially works for me. God, I don’t know how. If you don’t have time to do it providentially miraculously will work for me also. But as you read through that Psalm, if we read the rest of Psalm 57, you will find the place where David’s tone or tenor switches from one of “God, I need Your grace” to” I am going to proclaim the fact that You are going to do this.” Whether it’s providentially and looks coincidental, and this is my paraphrase, I will stand up in the presence of the congregation and say that is my God that accomplished that for me. That is my God who providentially, who made it look like a coincidence, and yet I am delivered at this point by the grace of my God, and that’s what we are supposed to be doing is going after Christ through prayer, through the prayer of faith and staying right there until we touch Him, until we obtain the grace that we looking for.
The narrative that we need to grab now is the narrative of Christ, that God can be touched even now in this day and age and we don’t need a tower, we don’t need things piled up real high. What we need is the presence of God and the prayer of faith to reach out and touch Him. We need to grab the narrative away from the nonbelievers of this world and we need to start proclaiming the narrative. We are proclaiming what we want them to understand and believe, and that’s what they mean when they say we need to grab the narrative, we need to grab the news headlines and tell the things we want people to believe. Hitler understood it. You tell a lie long enough and people will start to believe it and yet we back down and give up a little too soon. We don’t tell lies. We are to tell the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are to proclaim this, God hears us. Magnets or no magnets our God hears us. Our God answers us. Our God delivers us, and with just as much determination as the people of the world have of smearing us and throwing mud at our name, the name Christian, and saying well, Christians will quit believing if we put some magnets on their head, we need to be just as determined to get the message of Jesus Christ and the good news that their sins can be forgiven, their follies can be wiped away, their stupidity.
You know, they can go from stupid to smart by trusting in Christ, from lacking of wisdom to having wisdom by the fear of God, and people will listen as long as we start doing it and repeating it over and over. There is a God, there is a God, there is a Christ. He rose from the dead. We have encountered Him. He has heard my prayers. I have obtained answers from Him. God leads me. As we make those proclamations people’s lives will be changed, but we have to have that determination and we have to have that trust that God is going to protect us from mischief so we can testify to the fact God has delivered me from the problems of my life providentially or miraculously. We’re not picky. We want to be delivered. I asked to be delivered. I was delivered, and now I testify to the fact that I am delivered, and that’s what He wants to do for us. While they were building mud bricks and building a tower we are to build a celestial tower to the praise of God by being the living stones of Christ, building the temple of God which is used to praise Him. That’s our lives, testifying for what Christ has accomplished within us.
Shall we pray? Father, in the name of Jesus I ask that You would (descend) to us and hear us today. We want to obtain Your favor. God, we want to obtain Your grace. We want You in our lives Father. We want to be sheltered from the mischief and storms of our lives. We want to see you providentially, coincidentally, or miraculously work in our lives. Lead, guide and protect us. Give us testimonies so that we can testify to this world repeatedly, repeatedly, repeatedly there is a God and He has a Christ and that Messiah came and delivered me from my sins. That Messiah is leading me and I’m being salvaged every day of my life, and I will make it through them pearly gates, and my life is better for being a person who has encountered the Christ. I ask it all in Jesus’ name and bless us with an answer. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.