One Day, You’re Gonna Need God
Here’s a verse of scripture that’s a favorite of several of us here.. “And we know, that God causes all things to work together for good, to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8, verse 28)
That’s quite a promise isn’t it? That’s what’s called, the providence of God. The assurance, that whatever does happen, God has the ability and the desire, to cause it to somehow work out for your good, no matter how bad something may SEEM, at the onset. But not everyone has that promise, and that assurance, to rely on. As that scripture says, that promise is for “..those who love God, to those who are called. according to His purpose.” And we know that the evidence of loving God, is that you “keep His commandments”. (John 14, verse 15)
But for whatever reason, not everyone appreciates the benefits, of “keeping” God’s commandments, and so His commandments are not kept. And thus the assurance, and the benefit, is simply not there. You have no one to look to, but yourself. Many times, this world can be pretty tough place, for someone who’s in it alone, and without God.
And here’s something else that the scripture says that “We Know”.
In John chapter 9, and verse 31, we read these words; “We know, that God does not listen to sinners; But, if anyone is God fearing (that means you have reverence for God, respect for God, honor for God) ..if anyone is God-fearing, and does His will, (obviously that means that you OBEY God’s word. You do everything that God has instructed you to do, that you are physically and mentally capable of doing) So.. “..if anyone is God-fearing, and does His will, God listens to him.” Is that a “tall order”? Or is that simply a reasonable request from the God who created all things? I’m going to say.. It’s very reasonable!
We’re urged, in Romans 12, verse 1, with these words; “I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice..” In other words, “sacrifice” your actions and your behavior, to do GOD’S will, and not your own. Pattern your mind after God’s will, and then let your mind control your body. “Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
To me, that sounds “reasonable” I know the new testament quite well, and don’t know of one thing that God has instructed us to do, that’s “unreasonable”. I don’t find any instruction in the bible, that’s too much to ask. Are we asked to make some sacrifices? Yes we are. In order to be “God-fearing” and to “do His will”, we’ll need to make some sacrifices. But God has never asked us to do anything unreasonable!
And when you consider the benefit! The benefit of KNOWING that God will always hear your prayers; The benefit of knowing, and being able to trust without a doubt, that God will indeed cause all things to work out for your good. Even things that you don’t think are so good for you right now, in the long run, when ALL is said and done, God will make SURE, that it will have benefitted you, for your own good. And considering all that, what God asks of us, is SURELY not unreasonable!
Have you ever prayed to God? Most people have. And I’d venture to say that Christians probably pray to God multiple times, every day! And I’d also venture to say, that even people who aren’t particularly “God-Fearing” have had occasion to pray to God. Don’t we all encounter times in our lives, when we NEED God in our lives? When we really can’t do it on our own, and we truly NEED God’s helping hand? And so, what could possibly outweigh the benefit, of KNOWING that God is actually listening to, and hearing our prayers; That He’s paying attention to our prayers, and that He’s there for us? That God’s providence is “upon us”.
The scripture says.. “We know, that God does not listen to sinners.” Makes you want to NOT be sinner! Makes you want to be “God-fearing”. What’s it worth, to have God on your side?
Take a moment here, and think about the young shepherd boy named David, and the story of David and Goliath. God was on David’s side, wasn’t He? David had evidently learned from a young age, to “fear God and keep His commandments”. He had no doubt been taught, that “this is the whole purpose of man.” David’s own son Solomon, penned these words from God, in Ecclesiastes 12, verse 13; “This is the end of the matter; All hath been heard: Fear God, and keep his commandments; For this is the whole of man.”
“The WHOLE of man” There’s no other reason that we’re alive in the first place; But to fear God, and to keep His commandments. It reminds me of Acts 17, verse 28, which says.. “For in Him, we live and move, and have our being..” We’re here because of God, and we’re here FOR God. Without God, your life, and my life, is meaningless. That’s a simple truth. A simple fact.
But back to David, the shepherd boy. He lived for God, and God was WITH him! And God was causing all things to work together for good, for David. In 1 Samuel chapter 17, we find the story of David and Goliath. The Israelites and the Philistines were assembled for battle, and Goliath the giant, was the greatest warrior that the Philistines had. Verse 4 of that chapter tells us that Goliath’s height was “six cubits and a span.” That’s over nine feet tall! And Goliath had been taunting Israel day after day, challenging them, to chose a warrior to come out and fight him.
But all of Israel’s fighting men were too afraid to meet the challenge, until young David came to the battle ground. And when that young shepherd boy heard the taunting of Goliath, he went to king Saul, and he said.. “Let no man’s heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” (verse 32) But king Saul said, in verse 33.. “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war, from HIS youth.”
But that didn’t worry David, because David KNEW, that God was with him. Here’s what David said to king Saul.. “Your servant has been tending his father’s sheep, and whenever a lion or a bear came and carried off a lamb from the flock, I went after it, and struck it down, and delivered the lamb from its mouth. If it reared up against me, I would grab it by its fur, strike it down, and kill it! Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them; For he has defied the armies of the living God.”
David was a pretty confident young man, wasn’t he? Why was that? Was David simple stronger than a lion or a bear? Of course he wasn’t. But God was! And God was on David’s side.
Let me tell you a little story that I read. It’s about someone who DIDN’T have God on his side. Here’s the story..
An atheist was walking through the woods on a beautiful summer day. He looked around, and thought to himself.. “What majestic trees! What powerful rivers! What beautiful wild life.” And as he continued walking along the river bank, admiring all the sounds of nature, and contemplating the wonder, of how all this had “evolved”, he heard a rustling in the bushes not far away. Turning to look, he saw a 9 foot grizzly bear, charging towards him.
He took to running, and he ran as fast as he’d ever run in his life! But looking over his shoulder, he saw that the bear was closing in on him. His heart was pumping frantically, but he tried to run even faster, he tripped, and fell to the ground. As he tried to pick himself up, he saw that the bear was already right on top of him, and his paw was raised, about to take a swipe at him. And at that instant, the atheist cried out, “God help me!”
Time stopped. The forest went silent. And the bear froze in his tracks.
At that moment, a bright light from heaven, shone down upon the man, and a voice from above said.. “You have denied My existence for all these years, you have taught others that I don’t exist, and you even credit My glorious creation, to a cosmic “accident”. And now you call on Me, and expect Me to intervene? Am I to all of a sudden count YOU as a believer?”
The atheist got the courage to look into the light, and he said.. “I suppose it would be completely hypocritical of me, to ask You, to bless me, and make me a Christian; But PERHAPS, he said, you could make the BEAR a Christian?”
“Very well,” the said Voice. The bright light went out, and the sounds of the forest resumed.
And the bear, lowered his paw, and bowed his head, and said.. “Lord God, and Father in heaven, please bless this food which I am about to receive.”
Have you ever needed God in your life? Do you think you ever will? It would sure be nice to have God on your side, when you need Him. Because as the scripture says; “We know, that God heareth not sinners..”
It’s just like we’re told in Isaiah 59, verses 1 & 2; “Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it CANNOT save, or his ear dull, that it CANNOT hear; But your iniquities have separated between you and your God; And your sins have hid his face from you, that he WILL not hear.”
Let me tell you another little story. A man asked the game warden in town.. “How can you tell a black bear, from a grizzly bear. And the game warden said; “Well, you sneak up behind him, and you give him a big kick in the butt, and if he runs up a tree, you know it’s a black bear”. And so the man asked; “But what if he doesn’t run up a tree?” And the warden said; “If he doesn’t run up a tree, I guess you better start praying!”
You know.. I can almost guarantee you, that as you go through this life, you’re gonna to run into a few bears. And you know what I mean. Not literal bears, but problems, difficulties, tribulations. And you just might be able to get out of most of them by yourself. But what happens when you run into that grizzly bear, and you can’t get out of it on your own? Then what are you gonna do? Are you gonna have God on your side? Or are you gonna become that bear’s “dinner”?
And what if you do get “lucky” all of your physical life, and you somehow get out of every bind that you ever get into? There’s still gonna come a day, when death comes calling. It’s gonna come for all of us sooner or later. “It’s appointed for man once to die, and after that, the judgment”. (Hebrews 9, verse 27) Who’s gonna be on your side on that day? Will it be the God of heaven and earth, who “causes all things to work together for good, for those who love God, and are the called according to His purpose”? Or, will it be a grizzly bear?