Isaiah 55:5-8 AMP Behold, you [Israel] shall call nations that you know not, and nations that do not know you shall run to you because of the Lord your God, and of the Holy One of Israel, for He has glorified you. Seek, inquire for, and require the Lord while He may be found [claiming Him by necessity and by right]; call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have love, pity, and mercy for him, and to our God, for He will multiply to him His abundant pardon. For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord.
Israel is God’s chosen people and we see throughout the Old Testament His interaction with His people and how He lead them, protected them and provided for them. They are a type and shadow of the New Testament church. Those who believe in Christ Jesus and put their trust in Him for forgiveness of their sin become a child of God and a part of His Church. As such, we are His people and He always used His people as a witness to the unbeliever. As we look at Israel throughout the Old Testament God used them to witness to the surrounding nations of Who He was and what He wanted to be to them. As New Testament believers He wants to use us as a witness to those unbelievers around us. As we grow closer to the time of Christ’s return it is imperative for believers to draw close to the Lord, to be filled with His Spirit and to be able to share with unbelievers the good news of Jesus Christ so they can enter into the family of God as well.
We do not know when the Lord will return, but He has given us enough information in His word about His return that we can look at the signs of the time and know that it is near.
Matthew 24:3-8 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. “All these are the beginning of sorrows.”
As we draw closer to the return of the Lord, people will be running to believers because they know Jesus and will be able to minister His love to them. It is as believers seek the Lord for His direction that they will be able to offer answers to those who are fearful about what is happening around them.
Luke 21:25-28 “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; “men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
We see so much happening around us already of which the Scriptures have spoken. We see wars and hear rumors of wars; there is unrest all over the world. There are earthquakes happening all around us and people are fearful of the future, not knowing how to live even in the present. The economy and the state of the nation has provoked fear in the hearts of the people. The word says that men’s hearts will fail them because of fear. It is imperative that we as believers are able to give them hope, knowing that God is our Source and He will provide even in the midst of troubled times. People need to know that God loves them and wants them to be saved from the destruction that will eventually take place. We, as believers need to draw near to the Lord so we will have something to give out to unbelievers as they become fearful of the future. You can’t give something away that you don’t own for yourself. If you are filled with fear then that is what you will share with others. If you are filled with faith and know God’s provision for your own life, then you will be able to share with others that He is faithful to provide for them as well.
1 Corinthians 2:1-5 And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God, For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
Paul declared to the people Jesus Christ and Him crucified. He used His relationship with the Lord as a platform to preach the way of salvation to those unbelievers who were around him. He didn’t share his own thoughts or feelings about their lives and situations, but he made sure that his preaching was a result of his dependence on the Holy Spirit so their faith could be placed in God and not himself. It is only the power of God that can eternally change people; it is only God that can save, heal, deliver and set free. Man under his own power can have no lasting eternal effect on another human being, but when man places his dependence on the Lord, he then becomes a living vessel through which God’s power can flow.
Jesus said this in John 15:4-8 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”
Jesus said the key to being fruitful and having something to share with others on a spiritual level is abiding in Him; living in His presence; praying and listening to His voice and then sharing with others what you have heard. It is a life lived in close communion with the Lord that bears fruit for His kingdom.
Isaiah 55:6 Seek, inquire for, and require the Lord while He may be found [claiming Him by necessity and by right]; call upon Him while He is near.
It is of utmost importance that we seek the Lord before the time of trouble is upon us so that we can be ready to share the help needed with those around us. Are you seeking the Lord as if He is a necessity in your life that you can’t live without? Or is your relationship with Him a hit and miss type of thing? It is much more difficult to get answers to a problem when you are in the midst of the battle, but if you have tuned your spirit to hear the voice of God in times of peace when there is no turmoil in your life you will be prepared to hear Him when the pressure of adversity is upon you.
1 Corinthians 2:9-12 But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the hear of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.”
When we draw near to the Lord we can know what God has planned for us because He reveals them to us through His Spirit. Jesus told His disciples in John 16:13 that His Spirit would reveal to them those things that were yet to come, that would be happening n the future.
John 16:13 “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”
He will guide you, share what He hears from the Father with you and inform you of future happenings. It is through the relationship and fellowship that we have with Jesus through His Spirit that we learn the things that God has planned for us and what will happen in the future. If we do not spend time in His presence we will be unprepared for the future and of no use to those around us who are fearful because of the happenings leading up to the return of the Lord Jesus.
Will you be ready to help those around you? Or, will you be one of those believers who is almost like an unbeliever because you have not grown in your walk with the Lord? Will you be able to give out hope and the answers that are needed for salvation to the lost or will you be one who needs reassurance from other believers that things are going to be okay in your own life? Success comes through preparation, planning and activation in all of our life’s endeavors.
Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law.
The word for revelation in this verse actually means “prophetic vision”. We receive revelation or prophetic vision from the Lord. With out it people run around like chickens with their heads cut off. They do not know what to do. But with God’s vision we know what to do to carry us through the difficult days. We can be happy in living by His laws or principles set down through His word and revealed by His Spirit for success. We will have something to share with others that will bring hope and success in their lives as well.
Father, I thank You for Your word and for making it possible for us to come to You through interaction with Your Spirit to know the things that lie ahead of us. Thank You for revealing Your plans to us so we can share them with those around you that may be fearful of the future. Father, open our eyes to see the need for a close walk with You. Grant us the courage to come boldly before Your throne of grace before it is too late to get the help that we need. Father, impress upon our hearts the importance of developing a close and intimate walk with you. Draw us by Your Spirit and give us a hunger and thirst for You, Lord, that can only be quenched as we draw from Your heart. Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my prayer this morning. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.