Today memory took me back to a lonely room in a distant hospital where I was lying very ill, paralyzed and lonely. My husband, always so faithful, had been called away, but just before leaving he had come to my bed and said, “Now remember, dear, if you’re too weak to pray or think of the promises we have learned, just hold your two fingers out; they will stand for what I told you and the Lord will know, and your faith will be strengthened.”
And what did the two fingers signify? What did he mean? Two verses of scripture—and we have quoted both of these so often to you—the one, “All things are possible to him that believeth,” and the other, “With God all things are possible.” (Mark 9:23; Matthew 19:26)
These two immutable, incontrovertible facts sustained my faith until the day came, that wonderful day came when God answered prayer and healed me and raised me up from that bed, a bed of hopeless invalidism where I had lain so long. This is our mighty God! And our mighty God has spoken in Psalm 18, through David’s voice, “I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God and my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, the horn of my salvation and my high tower.” (Psalm 18:1–2)
This is our God, our wonderful God in all His beauty and majesty. This Psalm is lengthy, but there are a few verses toward the close that are so important. The thirtieth verse: “As for God, his way is perfect, and the word of the Lord is tried”—I want you to particularly notice that—”and he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. For who is God save the Lord? Or who is a rock save our God?”
Note this verse: “The word of the Lord is tried.” You know, some time ago the well-known editor, Mr. Buckley, was a member of a panel that was discussing world affairs, and the consensus of opinion seemed to be that there was rather a dismal outlook for this old world along some lines. Then one of the panel addressed Mr. Buckley and he put this question to him, “Do you see any hope at all for the situation?” To which he gave the unexpected reply, “Yes, if God would clear His throat!” Well, what did he mean, “If God would clear His throat”? He meant if God would speak, if God would intervene in world affairs.
Others have asked the same question in various ways: Why doesn’t God stop the onward sweep of evil forces today? Why doesn’t God help the right more? Why doesn’t He intervene so far as communism’s advancing strength is concerned? Why doesn’t God clear His throat and thunder at the enemies of righteousness as He did in ages past? Why doesn’t God speak? “Why is God so silent?” they ask.
But God spoke once and for all on Calvary. God has spoken and God has intervened, and He is doing so today. But He intervened so wonderfully at the cross of Calvary when He struck at the root of all the world’s problems; He answered then. He struck at sin, the very root of the matter. That’s the crux of the whole matter and that was dealt with through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s sacrifice for sin.
God spoke then regarding everything that we’re discussing today so far as our problems nationally and internationally are concerned, or individual problems. There isn’t anything to be added. The only way to change the world—Russia, America, Afghanistan—is to change the sinful heart of man. Communism offers a changed world without regeneration—and that could never be. Socialism offers a utopia: reformation without regeneration. But the rebellious, vile heart of mankind, no matter what the system or the ideology, it will remain. The world will remain just the same with a heart like that.
This reckless, restless, wicked, unhappy world remains just the same unless man’s heart is utterly changed. God speaks and has spoken, and speaks again hourly, daily in His Word in answer to this question, and in answer to every question.
Read the Word of God and He’ll speak to your heart. Obey the Word and He’ll speak to you, and you’ll find He’s not a silent God. Prove Him and put Him to the test. That verse we read you just now: He’s asking that you do that very thing, that you prove His Word. He’ll speak to you through that Word. You’ll hear His voice.
My friend, just joining a church doesn’t change the heart at all. Jesus said, “Ye must be born again.” (John 3:3)–Born again a new creature in Christ Jesus. And here are the conditions: “If thou wilt confess with thy mouth the Lord is Christ and believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10).
God speaks to you. What are you doing about it? You’re so dissatisfied with your life; you’re so unhappy about the load of sin you carry. But God offers to change all that.—To change you completely; make a new creature out of you. God speaks to you thus through His Word. What are you doing about it?
It matters much, my friend, this change. It works when you meet the conditions, and what a change will come into your life! It’s one question you’ll have to answer: “What will you do with Jesus that is called the Christ?” (Matthew 27:22)
God has spoken to some of you that have other problems and other needs. You may be born again, and you know what I’m talking about. You’ve been saved but you’ve barely touched the dim outer edge of what God has in store for you for the other needs of your life.
If God does not seem to answer your prayer, go back and find where you missed some condition. Go back and find where the connection was broken. Read the Word of God till He speaks to you through its pages and your faith is strengthened and you can grasp at the promise that you need so much.
When God speaks, the angels obey Him,
When God speaks, all nature is stirred.
When God speaks, hard hearts are softened,
For no sweeter voice was ever heard.
When God speaks, ‘tis mine then to answer
When God speaks, my tempest is still,
When God speaks, ‘tis mine then to follow,
And following Him, do His will.
Speak to my heart,
Speak now I pray,
God of salvation and Lord of creation,
Speak to each heart that is listening in today.
Adapted from “When God Speaks,” by Carlton C. Buck
Read the Word and hear God speak to you, and He’ll answer your problems and solve them and bless your soul. God bless you indeed. He’s still on the throne and prayer changes things.