The Real Force

By Jim Cymbala

Satan’s main strategy with God’s people has always been to whisper,
“Don’t call, don’t ask, don’t depend on God to do great things.
You’ll get along fine through your own cleverness and energy.” The truth of
the matter is that the devil is not terribly frightened of our human efforts and
credentials. But he knows his kingdom will be damaged when we lift up our hearts
to God.

Listen to David’s confident assertion in Psalm 4:3: “Know that the Lord has
set apart the godly for himself; the Lord will hear when I call to him.” That
was David’s whole posture, his instinct, and especially his approach to
warfare. It doesn’t matter what the Philistine armies have. If we call out to
God, He will give us the victory. If we backslide and don’t call, then we can
be defeated by even a tiny army.

I can almost hear David saying, “You can chase me, you can persecute me, you
can do anything you want—but when I call on God, you’re in trouble! The
Lord will hear when I call to Him.”

Notice how God defines wicked people in Psalm 14:4: “Will evildoers never
learn—those who devour my people as men eat bread and who do not call on the
Lord?” That is the divine definition of the ungodly. They will do many
things, but they will not humble themselves and recognize God’s omnipotence
by calling on His name with all their hearts.

Salvation is impossible until a person humbly calls upon the name of the Lord
(Acts 2:21), for God has promised specifically to be rich in mercy to those who
call on His name (see Romans 10:12-13).

“Call upon me in the day of trouble,” God says in Psalm 50:15. “I will
deliver you, and you will honor me.” God desires praise from our lives but
the only way fresh praise and honor will come is as we keep coming to Him in
times of need and difficulty. Then He will intervene to show Himself strong on
our behalf, and we will know that He has done it.

Jim Cymbala began Brooklyn Tabernacle with less than twenty members in a small,
rundown building in a difficult part of the city. A native of Brooklyn, he is a
longtime friend of both David and Gary Wilkerson and a frequent speaker at the
Expect Church Leadership Conferences sponsored by World Challenge throughout
the world.

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