Romans 10:13,14 “‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”

     When you’re in trouble or up against a situation that you know is going to turn out badly for you, who do you call?  Do you call an acquaintance? A friend? Family? A lawyer?  Jesus?  Who you turn to in times of trouble is one of the more accurate tests of who and what you ultimately believe in.  Elijah when confronting the prophets of Baal had the faith to call on the name of the Lord; “And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.” (1 Kings 18:24)

     The Bible tells us: “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)  And here’s the problem for many Christians, we don’t trust one another enough to be vulnerable enough to confess our sins to each other.  We don’t trust God to ask for healing in prayer because many believe healing and miracles belong to an earlier age.  Our faith such as it is, is not even close to what it should be in order for us to pray powerfully and effectively.  We know about Jesus and we know His Word but we don’t really trust Him.

     If faith is the problem then how do we get faith?  Paul tells us; “. . . faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” (Romans 10:17)  Lots of people read the Bible.  Lots of people go to church and sometimes hear the Word of God.  Why is there so little faith then?  Paul considered the problem with respect to his own people and said that times had not changed since Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal; “What the people of Israel sought so earnestly they did not obtain. The elect among them did, but the others were hardened, God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that could not see and ears that could not hear, to this very day.”  (Romans 11:8) The Bible tells us that times haven’t changed since then.

     The spirit of stupor seems to work on us in two ways.  People will sometimes pray for help or healing but find that either it doesn’t work or it didn’t work out in the way they had hoped.  So they believe that God doesn’t answer prayer because He doesn’t answer immediately or in the way that they want.  They become disillusioned or even bitter.  There is no shortage of other people who say maybe you have some hidden sin that’s hindering God from working in your life.  Sadly, it becomes easier to suffer in silence than run the risk of crying out to God and not being healed. Jesus tells us to be persistent in our prayers; ” . . . And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”  (Luke 18;7,8)

      Have you ever gone to a movie where people rave about the special effects yet cannot seem to remember much of the plot or any details?  This is the other way the spirit of stupor works today.   People are easily ‘wowed’ but don’t think about what they see and hear.  Scripture predicts this happening; “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:5-11) The spirit of stupor besets people dulling their minds and hardening their hearts.  They may be wowed by signs and wonders but not know or love His Word enough to discern who is doing the supernatural work – Satan or Jesus.

     Jesus will always speak in agreement with God’s Word.  God and His Word testifies about Jesus; “And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5:37, 38)  Without God’s Word we are at the mercy of supernatural impostors and their lying servants!

     We believe lies because they are more beguiling than the truth.  We believe lies because they are more popular than the truth.  We believe lies because we don’t read His Word let alone abide in it daily.  Our minds have become so dull and our hearts so hardened that we no longer call upon His name first.  We’ve lost trust in Him.  Many know His name but can’t recognize His face.  Our children don’t know His name because we haven’t bothered to teach them.  Our faith is so weak we couldn’t pass it on to our children if we wanted to.  What a pathetic mess!  Is this the end?

     No, it isn’t over ’till God says it’s over!  God can work miracles if He is called upon!   He can take the dead bones of our dried out spiritual bodies and raise them up; “And He said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live? . . . Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’  Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord  ‘Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves.  I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it; and performed it, says the Lord.’” (Ezekiel 37; 3,11-14)

    We can live by His Spirit.  He can raise us up if we ask Him.  The biggest lie the church has accepted is that we are OK and the rest of the world is in trouble.  If that were the case then why don’t we live in victory as overcomers?

     Let our first and last prayer be; “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)

     Praise the Lord!

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