TEXT: Jeremiah 33:3
The Hebrew term translated “mighty things” is “betsuroth” and in its earliest usage it referred to a “sheepfold,” but with time it came to mean a “fortress.” In common usage it was used to refer to that which was inaccessible, either because it was hidden or well protected.
Jody Jamison was a new Christian, but she believed this. She was 500 miles away from home before the days of Pop-A-Lock, her car door was locked and she could not find the key. She had dumped the contents of her purse out three times in search of the missing key. She scoured the motel room where she had been staying for the past week, but still no key. In recalling the event she said, “It just hit me, if Jesus could save me, surely He could help me find my keys.” Jody prayed, “Jesus, you know where my keys are, so please help me find them.” Immediately she was prompted to look inside her purse again. Once again she dumped its contents on the bed and browsed through the disorganized mess. This time she noticed something shiny protruding out of a wadded up piece of tissue. Upon investigation, you guessed it, she found her key.
Your situation may be a bit more serious than a lost key.
- Perhaps you need direction for your life.
- Perhaps you need deliverance from a health destroying habit.
- Maybe your need God’s answer for your ailing marriage/relationship;
- Maybe you need a job or financial assistance to keep from losing your home.
Perhaps you are in need of something that is immediately inaccessible. God gives those who call upon Him access to hidden things. Whatever you need, God can show great and mighty things in your life.
Isn’t that AMAZING? Hey, my God’s in the AMAZING business!! Let’s us examine this verse as we discover the keys to God’s GREAT AND MIGHTY THINGS.
1. UNDERSTAND HIS INSTRUCTION: “CALL UPON ME!”
God instructs us to call upon Him, TO PRAY! The Hebrew term here is “qara” (kaw-raw). In Psalm 147:9, it is used to describe the “cry” of the young ravens for food. When used with reference to prayer it carries the idea of an urgent cry for help.
In Psalm 50:15, the Psalmist records the following invitation, “And call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.”
In Psalm 91:14 and 15, God’s speaks to the one who trusts in the Lord and says, “Because he has love Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known my name. He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him, and honor him” (Psalm 91:14-15).
God promises to do GREAT AND MIGHTY THINGS if we PRAY
What is prayer? Each of us probably has his or her own definition for prayer. What do you call it? Communion with the Father? Calling out to God? Pleading with Him for preservation and protection? Looking to Him for guidance and direction? Some call it conversation, adoration, praise, confession, petition, requests, devotion, thanksgiving, supplication, penitence, worship, intercession? In truth, these can all be aspects or definitions of prayer. I like this one from “Walking With the Savior” – “Prayer is the recognition that if God had not engaged Himself in our problems, we would still be lost in the blackness.”
How many of you believe that your relationship with Jesus Christ is the most important relationship in your life, and that prayer is vitally important to that relationship? Then why are you not doing it more? Statistically, the average DEVOUT Christian spends THREE MINUTES a day in earnest prayer. QUESTION? How much time do YOU spend in earnest prayer each day? You say, preacher, I pray before meals and I pray before bedtime – GREAT – what’s that take, maybe 5 minutes? WOW! That makes you above average! How many of you think the most important relationship in your life is worth – say – at least FOUR PERCENT of your time, priority, and devotion? Of course it is – and that would mean spending ONE HOUR – SIXTY MINUTES every day with the Lord! Some of you can barely stand sixty minutes in corporate worship! There’s no way you could PRAY for a solid hour! WHY NOT? You talk to your girlfriend or boyfriend for an hour on the phone! You talk with your family for an hour at a restaurant! You talk to your spouse for an hour in bed at night!
Do you want to know how to deepen your prayer life? PRAY! Don’t prepare to pray – just PRAY! Don’t read books about prayer – just PRAY! Don’t attend lectures on prayer – just PRAY! Don’t engage in discussion about prayer – just PRAY! Just PRAY! JUST PRAY! Somebody say – JUST PRAY! Say it again… “JUST PRAY!”
“All our failures are prayer failures.” – John Rice
We see the importance of prayer from the servants of God…We see the importance of prayer from the Holy Scriptures itself.
A missionary on furlough told this true story while visiting his home church in Michigan…”while serving at a small field hospital in Africa, every two weeks I traveled by bicycle through the jungle to a nearby city for supplies. It was a journey of two days and required camping overnight at the halfway point. On one of these journeys, I arrived in the city where I planned to collect money from a bank, purchase medicine and supplies, and begin my two day journey back to the hospital. Upon arriving at the city, two men were fighting, and one was seriously injured. I treated his injuries and told him about Jesus Christ. I then traveled two days, camped overnight, and arrived back home without incident. Two weeks later I repeated my journey. When I arrived back at the city, I was approached by the young man I had treated. He told me he knew I carried money and medicines. He said “Some friends and I followed you into the jungle, knowing you would camp overnight. We planned to kill you and take your money and drugs. But just as we were about to jump your camp, we saw that you were surrounded by 26 armed guards!”
At this I laughed and said that I certainly was all alone out in that jungle campsite. But the young man pressed the point, saying, “No Sir, I was not the only person to see the guards. My five friends also saw them, and we all counted them. It was because of those 26 armed guards that we were afraid and left you alone.”
At this point in his message, a man in the audience jumped to his feet and interrupted the missionary and asked the exact day that incident happened. The missionary told him – and the man excitedly told THIS story – “On the night of your incident in Africa, it was morning here, and I was preparing to play golf. I was about to tee off when I felt the urge to pray for you. In fact, the urging of the Holy Spirit was SO STRONG, I called men to meet me here to pray for you. “If you were here with me that day to pray please stand up?” The men who met together to pray stood up. The missionary wasn’t really concerned with who they were – but he wept as he counted their number -You guessed it – there were 26!
The disciples never asked, “Lord, teach us to…”
- Sing (PSALM 100)
- Preach (“Foolishness of preaching…”)
- Be a soul winner (“GO INTO ALL THE WORLD; ACTS 1:8)
- BUT IN LUKE 11:1 – “LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY.”
The Bible doesn’t say:
- PREACH WITHOUT CEASING
- SING WITHOUT CEASING
- STUDY WITHOUT CEASING
- SOULWINNING WITHOUT CEASING
- BUT “PRAY WITHOUT CEASING!”
“There is more you can do after you pray, but there is nothing you can do until you pray.”– A.J. GORDON
“When we work, we get what we can do; when we pray, we get what God can do.” – Unknown
Brethren there are 3 secrets to success: 1. PRAY; 2. PRAY; 3. PRAY!
One day George Mueller looked down the streets of Bristol, England, & saw 100¡¦s of homeless children. He was so moved with concern for them that he decided that something had to be done.
He had only two pence in his pocket. That’s two cents. But he decided to start an orphanage. In 60 years, beginning with two pence, George Mueller took care of 10,000 orphans. He looked out & saw homeless kids. He could have said, “I don’t have any money. There’s no way to care for them, to meet their needs, to buy the food.” Instead, he looked at them & said, “I will reach out & help them.” And God blessed his efforts in a mighty way.
During his 60 years of ministry, George Mueller never solicited funds from anyone. Instead he committed himself to pray and ask God for what he needed to keep the orphanage running. During his 60 years of ministry George Mueller kept a record of his prayers, & his prayer records filled more than 3,000 pages. His notes show that more than 30,000 prayers were answered.
One night there was no food in the orphanage to give to the children for breakfast. But at 3:00 in the morning a baker called him up & said, “I just can’t sleep. I’m going down to the bakery to bake some bread. Would it be all right for me to bring some over to you this morning?”
On another occasion a milk truck just happened to break down in front of the orphanage on a day when they had no milk. The truck driver came in & said, “All this milk is going to spoil. Would you like some of it?” And their need was met.
Time & time again, 30,000 times in 60 years, God answered George Mueller’s prayers.
Ladies and Gentlemen, THE SECRET TO ANSWERED PRAYER IS TO PRAY
And THE SECRET TO UNASWERED PRAYERS IS TO SILENCE PRAYER.
Paul exhorted Pastor Timothy, “Let your request be made known to God.”
James declared, “You have not because you ask not.” If we do not have what He wants us to have it is only because we have not asked! Let us “Call unto Him.” Tell to the person next to you, “YOU PRAY!”
2. REALIZE WHO YOUR GOD IS.
FAR TOO MANY people don’t have the foggiest idea who the ME really is! WHO IS ME? WHO IS HE?
Let me tell you something, folks – HE ain’t BUDDA! HE ain’t CONFUCIOUS! HE ain’t MOHAMMED! HE ain’t BAAL. HE ain’t SATAN. He ain’t the WICCANS. HE ain’t HARI KRISHNA! HE ain’t JOSEPH SMITH! HE ain’t CHARLIE MANSON. He ain’t JIM JONES. He ain’t DAVID KORESH. HE ain’t YODA. And He ain’t found in YOGA, OR ZORASTROISM, or any of those far eastern religions!
OK, preacher, if HE ain’t any of those, then WHO IS HE? I’m SO glad you asked!
YHWH! He is Yahweh, Jehovah God of the Old Testament. The “I AM” God. He is JEHOVAH-JIREH – the God who provides all my need. He is JEHOVAH-ROI – my caring Shepherd. He is JEHOVAH-SHALOM – the God of my Peace. He is JEHOVAH-ROPHEKA – the God who heals me. He is JEHOVAH-NISSI – the Lord my banner. He is JEHOVAH-MEQADDESHKEM – the Lord who sanctifies me. He is JEHOVAH-TSABAOTH – the Lord of hosts. He is JEHOVAH-ELYON – the Lord Most High. He is JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH – the Lord who is there for me. He is JEHOVAH-TSIDKENU – the Lord my righteousness. He is the creator and sustainer of all life. He created the worlds and the universes and everything in them. He is the TRIUNE GODHEAD – FATHER, SON, and SPIRIT.
WHO IS ME? WHO IS HE? In the New Testament, He is Jesus Christ.
- He is the LAMB OF GOD.
- He is the RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE.
- He is our ADVOCATE.
- He’s the GREAT GOOD SHEPHERD.
- He is the SHEPHERD and BISHOP of SOULS.
- He is the JUDGE. He is the KING OF KINGS.
- He is the LORD OF LORDS.
- He is the MAN OF SORROWS.
- He is the MASTER.
- He is the SAVIOR.
- He’s the HEAD OF THE CHURCH.
- He is the FAITHFUL AND TRUE WITNESS.
- He’s THE ROCK.
- He’s our GREAT HIGH PRIEST.
- He is the DOOR.
- He is the LIVING WATER.
- He’s the BREAD OF LIFE.
- He is the ROSE OF SHARON.
- He is the LION OF JUDAH.
- He is the ALPHA AND THE OMEGA, the FIRST AND LAST.
- He’s the LILLY OF THE VALLEY.
- He is the TRUE VINE.
- He is the MESSIAH; TEACHER; the HOLY ONE.
- He is our MEDIATOR.
- He is the BELOVED SON.
- He is the BRANCH.
- He is the CARPENTER.
- He is the LIGHT OF THE WORLD.
- He is the IMAGE OF THE INVISIBLE GOD.
- He’s THE WORD.
- He is the CHIEF CORNERSTONE.
- He is the SERVANT; and He is THE ALMIGHTY.
- He is the EVERLASTING FATHER.
- He is the PRINCE OF PEACE.
- He is SHILOH. He is the great I AM.
- He’s the ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF THE FATHER.
- He is a WONDERFUL COUNSELOR.
- He is IMMANUEL, God with us.
- He is the KING OF THE JEWS.
- He is DAYSPRING.
- He is the PROPHET.
- He is our REDEEMER.
- He is our ANCHOR.
- He is the BRIGHT MORNING STAR.
- He is THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE.
- He is THE BRIDEGROOM.
- He is THE AUTHOR AND FINISHER OF OUR FAITH.
We call Him JESUS — JESUS — JESUS! — There REALLY IS something about that name!!! WOW! The Psalmist tells us “There is no other God before You, there is no other God like You!”
So what does it mean?
- If you are in need, He says, “Call unto Me, Jehovah-Jireh, and I will supply your need.”
- If you are sick, He says, “Call unto Me, Jehovah-Rophe, and I will heal your body.”
- If you are confused, He says, “Call unto Me, the Mighty Counselor, and I’ll give you counsel.”
- If you feel alone, He says, “Call unto me, Jehovah-Shammah, for I am the Lord who is there.”
- If you are going through the valley of the shadow of death, He says, “Call unto me, Jehovah-Rohi, for I am the good Shepherd who is with you.”
- If you are hungry, He says, “Call unto me, the Living Bread.”
- If you are thirsty, He says, “Call unto me, the fountain of living waters, and out of your belly will flow rivers of living water.”
Brothers and sisters, this is the kind of God we have…Your God and my God is the Living Almighty God! He is the same yesterday, today, and forever! And if things had always been possible for Him before, up to this point of time all things are possible with Him! And He is still the answer to all of man’s problems in life!
3. EXPECT GOD’S ANSWER.
God gave a promise – “I will answer you.” We’re SO important and special to God that when we pray – any time we pray, every time we pray – He PROMISES to hear and answer our prayers.
NOW LISTEN TO THIS – If you are NOT born again – if you do NOT have a personal saving relationship with God through Jesus Christ, then God only promises to answer ONE prayer from your heart and lips – the prayer of faith for salvation. Does that mean He can’t or won’t answer other prayers? Absolutely not – He is GOD – therefore He can do whatever He wants within the confines of His nature and the parameters He places upon Himself. He may have answered numerous of your prayers – hoping those answers would turn your heart to Him by faith.
If you ARE born again – God promises to answer EVERY prayer you utter. Now pay attention – God has more than one option for His answers. Among them, He can say YES, or He can say NO, or he can say “WAIT OUT” – that’s army for “NOT YET!” I WILL ANSWER YOU.
Nothing is impossible with God. Nothing is too hard for Him. I WILL SHOW YOU GREAT AND MIGHTY THINGS! What kind of GREAT AND MIGHTY THINGS? –
- Just when the womb gets too old for babies, Sarai gets pregnant.
- Just when the people have given up, God sends a Moses.
- Just when the Israelites think they’ve reached a dead end – God parts the Red Sea.
- Just when the enemy seems too large and the battle too hard, the walls of Jericho come tumbling down.
- Just when the Giant seems too fierce, God sends a David.
- Just when the sin seems too great for Grace, David is pardoned.
- Just when the people have lost their focus, God sends a prophet.
- Just when the FLAMES are ready to “lick up” their prey, God sends a “fourth man, like the Son of God” into the fiery furnace to save Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
- Just when the King says “let the big dogs eat!” – God stills the lion’s mouths for Daniel.
- Just when the people of God have given up hope, God sends His Messiah.
- Just when the Centurion’s servant is about to die, Jesus speaks the word of healing.
- Just when the disciples fear they will drown, Jesus calms the storm.
- Just when the Pharisees think they’ve trapped him in the rules of the law, Jesus kneels and writes a new law in the dirt – “He who is without sin among you may cast the first stone.”
- Just when the disciples think they’ll be Generals in His army, Jesus goes to the Cross.
- Just when the Romans and Jews alike think they’ve rid the world of this rabble rouser, Jesus of Nazareth, – God raises Him from the dead!
- And just when the world least expects it – HE WILL COME
GOD’S PROVISIONS ARE GREATER THAN ANY OF OUR PROBLEM. Paul echoed this in his letter to the Ephesians when he wrote, “Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think; to Him be the glory!” (Eph. 3:20, 21).
- When the little boy placed his tiny lunch in Jesus’ hands, it fed 5000 and there was enough left over to fill 12 baskets.
- After the woman gathered empty vessels, shut the door and began to pour oil into the vessels from her little bottle of oil, the flow of oil stopped only after she had no more room to contain God’s provision.
God can answer you bigger than you can pray!
QUESTION: What GREAT AND MIGHTY THINGS do you want from God? What GREAT AND MIGHTY THINGS do you want for this church? What GREAT AND MIGHTY THINGS do you want for this community?
Nothing is too hard for the Lord! What do you want God to do for you? What kind of FAITH do you have? Do you possess eternal life? Have you experienced the new birth?
- Every time Jesus forgives one of us of our sins and writes our name in the Lamb’s Book of Life – THAT, my friend is a GREAT AND MIGHTY THING!
- Every time Jesus heals a broken body, or broken spirit, THAT is a GREAT AND MIGHTY THING!
- Each time Jesus restores a troubled marriage or relationship, THAT is a GREAT AND MIGHTY THING.
- Anytime there is forgiveness and cleansing for a sin, or when God gives the ability to quit – Alcohol, drugs, fornication or adultery, THAT is a GREAT AND MIGHTY THING.
- Every time a believer determines under God’s power and leadership to quit being a Gossip, or to stop using profanity and gutter language, or stop slandering others, or stop losing their temper, THAT is a GREAT AND MIGHTY THING.
- Every time one believer has the courage to go to another believer and say, “I’ve wronged you, and I’m sorry. Please forgive me – THAT is a GREAT AND MIGHTY THING.
- Every time the Holy Spirit speaks to one of God’s children, giving them unction to plant a seed for Christ in some lost sinner’s life, THAT is a GREAT AND MIGHTY THING.
- Every time a believer has COMPASSION on someone less fortunate, and helps pay rent or utilities, or buys groceries and leaves them on the doorstep, or even gives a cup of cold water in Jesus’ name, THAT is a GREAT AND MIGHTY THING.
God is watching. He is waiting to do GREAT AND MIGHTY THINGS in your life! He wants to do GREAT AND MIGHTY THINGS in this church. He would love to use you as His instruments to do GREAT AND MIGHTY THINGS in this community! For all you know – right at this moment – the check is in the mail. The apology is on someone’s lips. The job contract is on the desk. The marriage proposal in the making. The baby is in the oven. The healing is about to take place. The walls are about to come tumbling down. The REVIVAL is about to break loose!
I can’t wait to see what GREAT AND MIGHTY THINGS He will do in our lives in the coming days.
- Lou Bartet
- Danny Presswood
- Larry Brincefield
- Jonathan Falwell