Did you know that when you call out to God, He hears you? But that He doesn’t just hear you and keeps silent, but that He hears you and will answer you to bring you peace, some joy, a renewed perspective, hope, strength and will remind you of who you are to Him? And this is just the tip of the ice burg.
A few months back, I was given the opportunity to teach a bible study on the benefits of God and I found myself in Psalm 3. This is by far one of my favorite psalms to read, but as I began studying it, the power of call on God was illuminated to me in a greater way.
The Backdrop of Psalm 3: King David is on the run from his son and is now hiding out in a cave. His son Absalom has caused a revolt against him and was in the process of turning the entire kingdom of Israel against him. Absalom turned the people against David and some of his most trusted advisors. When David found out, he took the few people who were still on his side and he fled. In the book of Second Samuel, we see David in great sorrow and agony. He has been betrayed by the people he loves and cares about, and to top it all off, it is all being spearheaded by his own son. He is in a place of mourning, confusion, and does not know what to do. People are telling him that this is all his fault and that God has forsaken him and he deserves all that is happening to him. Talk about kicking a person when they are down.
In Psalm 3, we meet David in the midst of this. But as we go from verse to verse we see David’s countenance shifting. He starts off in verses one and two telling us what people are saying about him.
“Lord, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me. Many are they who say of me, “There is no help for him in God.” Selah”
But then we see, in verse four, David respond to life’s circumstances by going away to talk with God in a one on one chat with the Lord God, his Father and Creator.
“I cried to the Lord with my voice, And He heard me from His holy hill. Selah”
This verse!!! In this verse, David is teaching us of how we should respond when life is going haywire or when our lives seem to get flipped on their heads. He makes the point to say that he cried out, or called out to the Lord. He didn’t go to advisors for wisdom or army commanders for military strategies, but He went to the One who could see all angles and attend to what he was going through from every side. He went to the One who would make a real difference. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying we cannot go to people we trust when we are going through, but through them we should ALWAYS be pointed back to Christ in their counsel. Also, God desires to be our first run to; so when others don’t answer or when we don’t want to be bothered with things, God should be our go to because His insight and perspective is higher and beyond our own. He desires to be our first place of outpour and home of refuge.
I love that it says that David cried out to God. This word cried, in its original Hebrew language, means to call out loudly in order to get someone’s attention. It’s a word used with expectation. He wasn’t just crying, but he expected God to hear him and respond.
When you cry out to Jesus, is it with such expectancy? Is it with the belief, the faith, that He WILL be attentive to your call? If not, I hope it becomes this for us all. This has challenged me to not just fuss, but to look to God with the expectation of His intervention. Babies cry out with purpose, knowing they are going to catch someone’s attention because they have a need met. Something that is causing a bother to them. The are seeking to to be held, fed, changed, picked up, and maybe even just to be noticed and get some attention. They do it with the expectation of getting their needs met and they do it until it’s met. Well, we are God’s babies, and our cries matter to Him and He desires to be attentive to then and sustain us.
“Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.” Psalm 55:22 New Living Translation Version
So when you call out to Him, do it KNOWING you’re going to get His attention because He cares for you beyond what you could ever think, hope for or even imagine. And the bible says, “[that] His ear is not too heavy that He cannot hear”. He is listening.
And David was rewarded for his cry; he was heard by God. But God didn’t just hear him, oh no, no, no; He answered him from His holy hill. Meaning, God answered David from a place of authority, a place of higher perspective and insight, from a place of wisdom and understanding of what was, is, and what was still to come. God’s response to David didn’t change the things that were happening around David, but He DID change David’s response to what was happening around him. When I was studying this text, I learned that verse three was the result of verse four. Because David cried out to God, he received a response from God and the answer from God shifted his entire perspective. So much so, David began to remember who God was to him and who he was to God (which was not dependent on the situation). David said, “But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head.” Meaning:
“But You, O Lord, are a shield for me” = You Lord, are my protection and You will be my defense! It does not matter how many are against me because I know I have You to fight for me and that you are on my side. God, You cover me…You’ve got my back and You will be my guard!”
“But You, O Lord, are…MY glory” = You Lord, are the One who brings significance and worth to me. It’s not from the title You’ve given me or the position You’ve placed me in. But I am significant because I am connected to You. I matter and have meaning because I have You; not because of my kingship or because of what people think of me or what I have done. All that can fade away or be taken from me, but because I still have You, I have EVERYTHING. Because of You Lord, I have purpose, value and importance.”
“But You, O Lord, are…the One who lifts up my head.” = You Lord, are the One who shifts my perspective from a low, defeated, and distracted place to a high and victorious place; to a place of peace and clarity. You are my Encourager, the Restorer of my joy and the Resurrector of my vision. The One who sets my eyes, my thoughts, and my understanding in the place where You are. The One who helps me see a clear picture.
This is what calling on God does. It changes things. It gives you back your fight, it gives you back your vision and it gives you back your strength to continue forward. So many times we feel so weak and downcast and heavy burdened with life and we just walk around with it on our backs; carrying things God is telling us to “just come to Me and put it in My hands”. One of my pastors said, “We have to give Christ our burdens because He cannot fix what is in our hands”. So many times we want things to change or to be mended but more often than not, we are willing to call on Him and place it firmly in His hands.
“casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].” 1 Peter 5:7 Amplified Version
We have to learn how to willingly go to God, call on Him and tarry in His presence; we have to learn how to stay put in His presence until we receive the response we need. And we may be seeking for God to change outside situations when really God wants to shift things within us. Proverbs 16:1 says, “We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer.” We can try to do things our way, but it’s God alone that has the response we truly need.
It’s in our time away with God, that as we call on Him, He will answer in the perfect way that is needed. It may not always come how we want it, but it will always be what we need. In Jude, it says that God is the only wise God, which means that He sees the perfect start of something and the perfect ending and all the perfect pieces, parts and steps in between. He never misses a step; not one beat. But we have to be willing to cry out to our Father. We have to be willing to run to Him as our refuge and call out to Him with expectation.
He loves you and has so much to share with you. It does not matter what you have done up to this point in time. It does not matter if the situation you are currently in is of your own doing. God still loves you and has a perfect plan for you. Jesus died on the cross for these very things; for our sins, our shortcomings before God. He knew we would never get it right on our own, so Jesus, who is the Only Begotten Son of God, came to earth to make a pathway back to the only One who could get it right for us, God Himself. We will forever fall short of God’s standard of living, but with Christ, we have received the lifeline of grace that pulls us from trenches of death and grants us eternal access to God, our Father and Creator, who has ALL that we need. With Christ, we CAN conquer and overcome, but alone, we NEVER will.
Run to Him! Call on Him. Give Him your burdens. Listen for is response to you. Live in it. Believe in Him. Believe that when you call out to Him, He hears you and will give you the answer you have need of.
I am praying for each of you reading this. That there will be an unlocking in your heart, an unveiling of your eyes and understanding, a Godly shifting of your perspective and a reviving of your connection and relationship with Christ Jesus. I declare that this shall be so, in the mighty and matchless name of Christ Jesus, Amen!
Love you and God’s Blessings to you,