“Ascribe unto Jehovah, O you sons of God, ascribe unto Jehovah glory and strength. Ascribe unto Jehovah the glory due His name; bow down before Jehovah in the beauty of holiness.” Psalms 29:1-2
The other day there was a video that first went viral on our local media outlets here in Montana, finally spreading throughout the internet to a worldwide platform. A lightning caused fire had started in Glacier National Park. Quickly the fire spread out of control, leaving a couple of people stuck on a dead end road, at a campground in Glacier National Park.
These people decided to film there way driving at night through a forest on fire. Really quite remarkable of a sight, as the trees on both sides of the single lane dirt road where eerily lit up with the fire of the trees. The scene was quite eye-opening.
In Montana we often have wildfires, during the past few years they have been large and frequent. This year, we have numerous less wildfires and the ones we have are much smaller than they have been, but we still have had a steady stream of smoke coming from fires in other states and Canada. What these tourists experienced was a worse case scenario that shows the true wildness of Glacier National Park.
In the video that they took, you can hear two men having a conversation. The one is telling the other to remain calm and continue to drive down the road, to try and escape the wildfire. After all they are cornered in an area that requires immediate evacuation, there is no other way out. Much of Glacier National Park is very rugged terrain and to try and hike out of there is no small task.
As they are driving, the driver is scared that the car might blow up. Perhaps it could? He continues to give the car a little more gas and is cautioned by the passenger to just take it slow and steady out of there. During this video the driver calls out to God to help them. Up ahead they finally hit the end of the road for them, there is a tree that has fallen down in the road, they are unable to escape by driving out.
Eventually, not shown on video, they had to backup down the road, returning to their campsite. There happens to be a boat nearby and the person picks them up. Though the ride was still rough, they managed to make it out, reflecting on how close to death they had come. In the end, the rental car they were driving is burned by the fire. Now I do not know these people, nor do I know their hearts before their Creator, but there is a lesson to be learned from this.
Mankind often cries out to God during situations where there is nothing but hopelessness. Before you take this lightly, has there ever been a time where you have called out to God to help you in a situation? God certainly is not hidden, He wishes that all would be Saved. So I do not take it lightly that God can certainly be willing to even help out those who are not yet Believers.
The question regarding this is what did the person or people who were helped out then do? In this situation a miracle had happened, there was a boat nearby, getting ready to leave, but these two were able to gain access to the boat and were brought to safety. Now just how does one deal with such a situation?
Does a man look towards God? Do they see the great deliverance of their Creator, of whom they DID call out to? Or do they look at it as simply being of chance and circumstance? What about with a Believer?
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to shame. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” Jacob (James) 4:8-10
“Then they cried out unto Jehovah in their adversity, and He rescued them out of their distresses.” Psalms 107:6
“Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of Jehovah are upon the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry. The face of Jehovah is against those who do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The righteous cry out, and Jehovah hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. Jehovah is near to those of a broken heart, and saves such as are of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but Jehovah delivers him out of them all.” Psalms 34:14-19
Oftentimes a Believer will seek supplication regarding a certain matter in there life, perhaps it is very serious, as the situation these folks found themselves in, other times maybe it is something less benign, but nonetheless they seek out their Creator regarding whatever it may be. Do these people then give glory to God, if He decides to intercede regarding their supplication made unto Him?
There are times where even when Christians call on God, our prayers are not answered as we had desired. One thing that must be understood is that everything is according to His will and sometimes we might not understand it, sometimes the outcome may be different that what we hoped for, but ultimately as a Christian we simply continue on, knowing that we are in Christ, we have repented and by faith believed into Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. We were bought with a price (1 Cor. 7:23) and we follow Christ, no matter the odds.
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
“Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said to them, Repent, and let every one of you be immersed in the name of Jesus Christ to the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 2:37-38
“For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.” Romans 14:8
“But what does it say? The Word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart (that is, the Word of Faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:8-10
All over the world there are numerous people who will call out to God during their lifetimes, I suspect a large amount of people would not even be Saved as they do so. Yet when God does intercede, when He does answer our cry, what is our response?
To the unbeliever, certainly the response should be to seek God with their whole heart. They should realize that they are sinners, that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for their sins, that God sent His Son into the world that they might be Saved. They should know that Jesus was raised from the dead and sits at the right hand of the Father (1 Pet. 3:22) and there is no other name from which to be Saved.
“And you shall seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”… Romans 3:23
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
“Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of Jehovah been revealed? For He grows up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of the dry ground. He has no form nor splendor that we should regard Him, nor anything spectacular that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men; a Man of pain, and knowing infirmity; a hiding of faces; being despised, we have esteemed Him not. Truly He has borne our sicknesses, and carried our pain; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, each one to his own way; and Jehovah has laid upon Him the iniquity of us all. He has been oppressed, and He was afflicted; yet He opens not His mouth. He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter; and as a sheep before its shearers is mute, so He opens not His mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment; and who shall declare His generation? For He was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgression of My people He was stricken. And His grave was assigned with the wicked, and with the rich in His death; although He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth. Yet it pleased Jehovah to crush Him; to grieve Him; that He should give His soul as a sin-offering. He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the delight of Jehovah shall prosper in His hand. He shall see the travail of His soul, and shall be fulfilled. By His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will apportion to Him with the great, and He shall divide the spoils with the strong; because He has poured out His soul unto death; and He was reckoned among the transgressors; and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Isaiah 53
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone believing into Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17
“And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.” 1st John 2:2
“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under Heaven given among men that is required for us to be saved.” Acts 4:12
Likewise they should also realize that as it stands right now, when death comes, they will stand before Him. Let it be known that in this life, the life that He has given each one of us (Ps. 139:15), however long it may be, with whatever ills or pleasures may befall us, that one day each man will stand at the Great White Throne Judgment. There men will realize the holiness of God and the mercy that He provided, when He gave His only begotten Son, that they might have been Saved.
“But, beloved, do not be unaware of this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow concerning His promise, as some count slowness, but is longsuffering toward us, not purposing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with intense burning; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, of what sort ought you to be in holy behavior and godliness, looking for and earnestly hastening unto the coming of the Day of God, through which the heavens will be dissolved, being set on fire, and the elements will melt with intense burning? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and without blemish; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the unlearned and unstable twist, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware also that you not be led away with the error of the wicked, and fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.” 2nd Peter 3:8-18
“And the devil, who led them astray, was cast into the Lake of Fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heavens fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God. And books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, out of the things which were written in the books. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one, according to their works. And Death and Hades were cast into the Lake of Fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the Lake of Fire.” Revelation 20:10-15
“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to what his work shall be. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, the First and the Last. Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the Tree of Life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and prostitutes and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and produces a lie.” Revelation 22:12-15
At that moment, the cries will go out, the tears will flow, but because God is holy, those who have refused His Salvation will be cast into the Lake of Fire. There is no exceptions, those who were not Saved through the blood of the Lamb, will by no means enter into eternal life, because their names are not written in the Book of Life.
Likewise when Believers seek God in a matter and He answers our prayer, what should our responses be? Should we not give glory to Whom glory is do? Just how often does a Believer have a prayer answered and before long they consider it to be a matter of potential coincidence or the great joy that comes with the Lord fulfilling a supplication made through Him, is destroyed by ungodly living…yes even with true Christians.
“Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul is not pleased with him.” Hebrews 10:38
“But flee youthful lusts; and pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” 2nd Timothy 2:22
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Let it not be! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were immersed into Christ Jesus were immersed into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through immersion into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be nullified, that we should no longer serve sin. For he who has died has been justified from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives unto God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under Law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under Law but under grace? Let it not be! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered to you. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves to righteousness. I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to uncleanness, and to iniquity unto iniquity, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness unto sanctification. For when you were slaves to sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves to God, you have your fruit unto sanctification, and the end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6
Jesus makes quite clear that His burden is light. We who are Saved, must remember that we were bought with a price (1 Cor. 6:20) and we must live accordingly. Whether or not our cries to God, during times of despair, are answered according to our hearts’ desires, we must realize that the Creator of the heavens and the earth certainly knows what He is doing and will do all of His pleasure.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also become holy in all conduct, because it is written, Be holy, because I am holy.” 1st Peter 1:13-16
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked from Him.” 1st John 5:14-15
“Remember the former things from a long time ago; for I am the Mighty God, and there is no other; I am God, and no one else is like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from antiquity things which are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure; calling a bird of prey from the east, the man who executes my counsel from a distant land. Indeed, I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have formed it; I will also do it.” Isaiah 46:9-11
“I am Jehovah, and there is none other, no God besides Me; I embraced you, though you have not known Me; that they may know from the rising of the sun, to its setting, that there is none besides Me. I am Jehovah, and there is no other; forming the light and creating darkness; making peace and creating evil. I, Jehovah, do all these things. Rain down from above, O heavens, and let the clouds pour down righteousness. Let the earth open, and let salvation bear fruit; and let righteousness spring up together. I, Jehovah, have created it. Woe to him who strives with the One who formed him, a potsherd among the potsherds of the earth! Shall the clay say to the one who forms it, What are you making? Or your work, He has no hands?” Isaiah 45:5-9
Just how many people in the world will stand before Christ one day, having died in their sins, and hear as Jesus reminds them how that one time during a terrible situation He helped them and they went on with their lives, just as before? Quite honestly I ponder that question, but I know for sure that each man needs to repent of their sin and accept the free gift of Salvation. For the sooner the world realizes that their life is like that of driving down a road with trees on fire on both sides, without hope, the better!
“Let no one say when he is tempted, I am tempted by God; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lusts and enticed. Then, when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.” Jacob (James) 1:13-15
“For by grace you are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, that no one should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
“Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has established a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has appointed. He has given assurance of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead.” Acts 17:30-31