I have observed over the years of my life, which includes almost ten years of law enforcement work and now thirty-two years in ministry how no matter who you are seasons and times in our lives come where we cry out for help. What I have observed about who we cry out to has been astonishing.
Crying Out: What do You Want From Me Anyway?
I’ll never forget after working running my own company and ministering part time in a local church how it all started with joy but ended in a desperate cry for help. I loved helping God’s people in the local church and working my businesses. God had always given me great business success in no matter what business adventure I was in at the time, but not this time. There came a time in the season of my life where it was like the Lord stopped blowing His wind against the success sails of my business adventures. They didn’t bring me any joy and I didn’t know what to do. Here I was ministering with the Lord and working at my company, but things had stalled. The moment I’ll never forget was when I was in my office, frustrated, and desperate for an answer from God as I cried out to Him asking Him, “What do you want from me anyway!!!???” Shocking that I would even ask that in that way, but in desperate times we cry out with all we have. He answered me immediately. He said, “I want you.”
What? Here I was thinking He had me, and I was saved and serving Him, but He didn’t have all of me. He wanted me to leave everything and only minister for Him with Him. He wanted me to be like the man who found a hidden treasure in a field and goes and sells everything he has to buy the field. He wanted me to be all in, not just part time, ministering for Him, and with Him. He had in his plans for me church plants, Next Step Outback’s, Television, Radio, and establishing a wonderful family of believers around me. He had in mind so much more than I could have thought or imagined, but it was all contingent upon me saying “Yes, I’m all Yours!” Which followed selling my last business and stepping into ministry at one hundred percent 24/7.
Prior to this encounter with the Lord, I had cried out to the next business adventure, the next this and that, but none of it satisfied. It wasn’t until I cried out to God for His plans for my life, which I thought I was in, did things turn in my life that would begin a 25+ year adventure that is still going to this day currently known as Greg Lancaster Ministries. He showed me when He called me out, steps painting on the floor, like a dance studio would have, and they walked all the way across my office, and up the wall of my office. He said to me, ‘I can stand on His Word’ on this journey, and no matter what I thought, felt or was going on, I’d be make it as long as I was standing on His Word, for He is faithful to fulfill His Word for He is not a man that He would lie or the son of man that He would change His mind. He doesn’t speak and not act or promise and not fulfill. Now I can say, over my thirty-two years in ministry and twenty-five plus years of stepping into His hands with my “Yes” it’s been the greatest adventure of my life and one that has been a part of not only this life, but one done in site of eternity. I am forever grateful.
Crying Out: Dad Mom Look at Me, I Need Help
There seems to be a prevailing spirit of perpetual adolescence sweeping across America, where grown adults attribute their poor choices and subsequent negative outcomes to their parents. Despite the biblical commandment to “Honor your father and mother,” these adults dishonor their parent(s) by criticizing, blaming, and accusing their parents as though their life choices were not their own responsibility.
You’ll often see such individuals publicly shaming their parents and resorting to emotional manipulation time and time again. Siblings compete to see who can elicit the most sympathy, trying to manipulate their parents into fixing the consequences of their poor choices. There’s no sense of shame in employing this sort of emotional manipulation. They always share their problems, failures, and misfortunes with you as their parent, but never any successes. They resort to public shaming through social media posts and more, which all of this is akin to a form of “witchcraft”—a work of the flesh used to manipulate others to achieve a desired outcome.
For parents and other family members, this kind of behavior can have powerful emotional and spiritual repercussions. It’s not just a matter of feeling sorrowful that your children are suffering, and by extension, your grandchildren. This manipulation is a spiritual attack that can lead you, the parent, to feel overwhelmed, incapable of completing simple tasks, heavy with hopelessness, ineffective, isolated, and diminished in self-worth.
For your own well-being and that of your adult children, you should encourage them to seek guidance and help from God, who loves them more than you ever could and is capable of doing far more than you can imagine.
The conversation often goes something like this: “I know, Dad/Mom, I’ve made many bad business decisions in the past, but this one is different. I just need ______ to do it. Can you please help me out?“—all with no intention of ever repaying their parents for the help provided again.
Their parents are the first one’s they always go to, not God, their god, i.e., their parents they’ve made their god.
This spiritual attack on God’s design for family—parents and children—has grown so extensively that even the government joined in during President Obama’s administration. To win over these adult children as voters, the administration allowed them to remain on their parents’ insurance until the age of twenty-six. This is highly dysfunctional, and those who devised such a scheme are the very one’s bent on destroying God’s design for family today.
For the parent who sees this and uses it to control their children, you are also engaged in a work of the flesh: witchcraft. You are not only destroying your children but also leading them away from God and toward yourself as their ‘god.’ One would think that this will not bode well in the throne room of God, especially if you’ve taught your children that you are God, their provider.
Doctor Dobson Speaks About This
Doctor Dobson speaks about this in his book Fatherless, where a son was taking his mother, she first thought to a nursing home, but ended up being a place where they perform euthanasia [kill you]. As they were sitting in the offices of this euthanasia facility, she was in and out of her memory, not understanding what was really going on. It’s hard for a parent to believe their children see your home, your things, your life insurance, your wealth as “their answer to their life’s problems.” Instead of working hard in their life, serving the Lord as they do and honoring the Lord with His tithes and offerings, then trusting Him. Because of this feeling of, is this really happening, you convince yourself you must be misunderstanding what they are saying. That is what was happening to this mother in Dr. Dobson’s “Fatherless” as she sat in this office, with her son right beside her, holding a pen trying to hand it to her to sign the document, which no one was telling her that it was signing to take her life that day, her son says ‘Mom, you always want me to be a professor at a university, now I will be able to do it.’ To be clear what he was saying, he was saying mom, help me kill you so I can have your stuff and things and insurance policy so I can have a better life.
Simple Solution: Repentance
The best thing you can do if you are one of these adult children who have cried out again and again to your parents through phone calls, pouting visits, pushing your parents buttons, or posting on social media that you know your parents will see your “public outcry” is repent before God for dishonoring your parents, repent to your parents for lusting after their stuff and things, for saying you owe me, and for manipulating them, i.e., using witchcraft on them harming them emotionally. Then tell them, help hold me accountable to be “the man” or “the woman” you raised me to be. Share with me your wisdom and ideas, not your stuff, things and wealth. Let me see the hand of God move in my life. Help me to cry out to God teaching me He hears and answers. Help me to respond to His expectations with a resounding “Yes” and to build not just for this life, but to build in site of eternity. You’ll be surprised how proud your parents will be of you as well as the respect you will gain in their eyes. For it is that day, the day you repent and take ownership for your life and your life’s decisions they’ll begin to see you as he adult you so often claimed to be to them.
There is nothing more beautiful than parents being able to voluntarily bless their children. Conversely, there is nothing more painful for a parent than to realize their own children, whom they love and for whom they have sacrificed, now see them merely as a financial resource to be manipulated. Like the mother in Dr. Dobson’s book “Fatherless,” if or when this happens to you as a parent, there’s little you can say. What words could capture the sadness of such a moment in your life?
Life is challenging for everyone. During those difficult seasons, we have a choice: to become bitter or to deepen our dependency on God.
“Well, look, everybody is in the position in their life to feel alienated from existence itself from time to time. Life is pretty difficult, and things don’t always often turn out the way we want them to. And we can all doubt the meaning of our own lives and the purpose. And we are all subject to a certain amount of torture, with the temptation to get bitter and resentful and to look for enemies, to tear down the tradition [God’s design for man], partly to nearly shake your fist at destiny itself and to express their dismay. It is a constant temptation for everyone. In some ways to be tempted, to be enticed down that pathway, but it is a very dreadful state.” Dr. Peter Jordan
It’s Time to Play the Man
“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” 1 Corinthians 13:11
Polycarp, an early Christian bishop of Smyrna and disciple of the Apostle John, who was one of Jesus first twelve disciples, embodied the essence of courage and unwavering faith when he faced persecution at the hands of the Roman Empire. Arrested for his beliefs and brought before Roman authorities, Polycarp was given the chance to renounce his faith and make sacrifices to Roman gods in exchange for his life. Undeterred, he resolutely declared his lifelong commitment to Christ, stating that he could not betray the one he had served for so many years. When he was subsequently sentenced to be burned at the stake, it was said that an angel told him, “Polycarp, it’s time to play the man.” Heeding the call, he stepped out to be burned at the stake, but the flames miraculously failed to consume him. Ultimately, he was stabbed to death, cementing his legacy as a martyr.
To all the adult children out there, I say to you in the spirit of Polycarp, “It’s time to play the man,” “It’s time to play the woman.” It’s time to be the adult you are, turn to the Lord, and start honoring your parents, which is the fourth commandment of God and an expectation from Him. God promises a long and better life when you honor your parents and warns of a short and troubled life if you dishonor them. You will find your self-worth will increase greatly when you take this adult step.
Crying Out to The Government: From Samuel to Socialism: A Biblical Perspective On Modern Governance
Did you know that Israel cried out wanting a government to meet their needs instead of God?
Israel said to Samuel, God’s prophet, “now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.
The Lord told Samuel: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.”
Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.” 1 Samuel 8:5-18
The people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight ‘OUR BATTLES.’” They didn’t want to do the hard work or experience the personal sacrifice required to fight their own battles while trusting God for the victories. No, much like the child in perpetual adolescence who demands that their parents dip into hard-earned savings, who want their parents to fight their battles for them. You see, this is nothing new, but it is something from which we can learn.
For those who do not learn history, are doomed to repeat it.
If you turned to anything, including government as your god, God will give it to you, but you will deeply regret it, yet will still have to live with the fact you asked for such oppression.
You will get what you asked for, but you will not like what you get.
Americans’ crying out for the government to act as their god have been an ever-increasing reality. According to a 2019 YouGov poll, 70 percent of millennials say they would vote for a socialist—a sentiment to which current governments in America and around the world are gladly responding to as they expand their government control over more and more of the people with a goal to enslave those who cry out to them. These individuals, like Israel was, are so blinded by the direction of their pleas that they fail to realize “the borrower will be a slave to the lender.”
They cry out through social media, political support, and community organizing, attempting to get the world, their nation, and their community to bow down and pay them the tribute they believe they are owed, simply because they have a need. Their fear that it won’t happen, or that there won’t be enough help, leads them to punish their neighbors, their community, and their nation with constant insults, shaming, and union controls in government. These are all forms of witchcraft—a work of the flesh—forcing the government to tax their neighbors and nation more, all in an attempt to provide for themselves, even if it means embracing socialism or communism crying out to government, while knowing these forms of government are known for being godless. Why? Because the government sets itself up “as god” to the people who cried out for them to be ‘their god.’ Yes, they are willing to give up God for their provision, i.e., they believe baal is god, and their provider, not God, Who is truly there provider.
All you have to do is turn to God, accept God’s provision of salvation, His amazing gift of forgiveness, repent for all this fear and sin, and trust God as Jehovah Jireh your provider. It is also important to repent to your nation, your community, and your neighbors at the same volume you had when shaming and controlling them. Doing so will help bring healing to your family, community, and nation.
Crying Out: To God
If you have not figured it out yet, may you do so before your life comes to its end and the light of your life fades, at which point you will go to see God at His Judgment Seat. Here is what you will find out: God is the Creator of all things—the earth, the sky, the seas, and all that is in and on them. He created mankind, which includes you, and has given us air to breathe and a life to live. He is the Creator of the Universe, and He holds all things together, including you. He chose the exact times, places, and seasons in which you would live, all for one reason: to see if you would reach out to Him and cry out to Him, even though He is never far from you. That’s right; God has designed everything for you and Him to have a relationship with you, and He doesn’t want to share you with anything or anyone else. This is made clear in His first commandment, among the Ten Commandments He has given us to follow: “Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” Exodus 34:14
We’re Watching You!
Your parents, your neighbors, your community, your nation and yes, God is watching you as you scramble for this, then that for help. Crying out for anything and anyone for help, other than God. When God is right there all the time wanting and waiting for you to cry out to Him.
‘Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ Jeremiah 33:3
Your very act of crying out to others for help demonstrates how your Creator, God, designed you. He designed you to cry out for help, but that cry should be directed toward Him as your God and provider, not toward other gods. Many people have made gods of government, parents, friends, human systems, material possessions, and money. These are not gods at all, yet people worship them and expect them to act. God says this is akin to a man who carves an image out of wood, falls down to worship it, and actually expects it to speak. His jealousy over this has huge consequences.
Jesus Cried Out!
Jesus, the Son of God, walked as we walk and was tempted as we are, yet without sinning. He set an example for how we should live our lives and relate to God as our Father, while recognizing ourselves as His children. The writer of Hebrews articulates this as clearly as anyone could.
“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission. Son though He was, He learned obedience from what He suffered and, once made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him…” Hebrews 5:7-9
That’s right, Jesus Himself cried out, but not to anyone or anything on this earth. He cried out to His Father, the only One who could provide for Him and save Him. In doing so, Jesus showed us that crying out is not wrong; it’s how we are designed by our Creator. However, who or what we cry out to can be misguided. We should imitate Jesus and cry out to God, the only One who could save Him from death. We need to realize that our trials and difficulties are training grounds for reigning; it’s through them that we learn obedience. Once we do that, we too can become a source for others, leading them to God.
Notice, Jesus, the Son of God, wasn’t heard by His Father, because He was crying out. He was heard by His Father, God, because of His obedience. God sees our obedience as love. Jesus plainly tells us, ‘If you love Me, you will obey Me.” You see, Jesus loved, and loves the Father, and He set the example for us to love Him too through our obedience to Him. We told, in view of God’s mercy, to offer our bodies in obedience to God. If we want our cries to be heard, it’s important to love Him. The greatest commandments Jesus tells us is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength,” I would say that is a cry that God will hear every time. What is saw awesome about our loving Father is that He offers us mercy and doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve or hold our failures against us if we repent of them and ask Him to forgive us. He forgets them as if they never happened as if we have a clean slate. So, He sees us leaning in, working to surrender our heart, mind, soul and strength over to an abandoned love for Him and promises that when we head His way, He comes towards us. It’s a mutual relationship of love. We can never out love Love Himself!
God is good! If there’s anything you can take away from this, it’s that He is good; there is none above Him. He is God and God alone. He is the only one who can provide for you. All other forms of provision come with enslavement, which initiates and leads to deeper and darker sin and bondage.
Crying Out: For Freedom
Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind. I am to set the oppressed free and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19
God sent Jesus, His Son, as a gift to You, to provide you with the greatest Gift of Provision known ever in the universe, freedom from our sin. It is the gift of salvation. That is not only for your forgiveness of sin, which is HUGE, but also to put in in right relationship with God Himself through Jesus. Making you a son or daughter of God. This throne is called the Throne of Grace, which we’re told we can approach with boldness to ask for help, to cry out for help in our times of need. Jesus set us up for success, for provision, for relationship, all we have to do is reach out and touch the Father’s heart with accepting His gift, Jesus, as our way to this amazing life.
Crying Out: For Someone To Reason With
“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18
God has also designed up where, if we are wise, we’ll see a multitude of counsel before stepping into something that is major. God is not afraid of you talking things over with Him. Having a conversation with Him that is real, not religious, where you reason with Him and your life, your concern, and listening to Him and His wisdom. Mainly through His written word and in prayer.
Many people only see God, they see Jesus through a religious lens. That has always frustrated me when I see someone choose a certain image to represent an article, or a message, or something we need an image for that represents an attribute of God and they choose the same manmade religious images: a book, a cross, a historical figures, a building, a person praying…that’s not God, that is man’s idea of God. The Bible tells us about God, but it’s not God and it is perfect in its original text. The cross is a place where Jesus paid the ultimate price for us, but it is not God. Historical figure are men and women just like us, they are not God, though they may be the evidence of God. A building certainly is not God, even if it has a cross on top of it. Someone praying is not God, but it is someone praying to God. Jesus is the image of God, the invisible God. When you see Jesus, you’ve seen God the Father.
Why does it bother me when they show these images as being a representation of God? Because that is how they see God. This creates a great hinderance in your life when you look at God with a religious lens. Realize, He is God, He is Good and He is in love with you. You are His treasure. He designed you how you are in your innermost being and He has good plans for you, plans to bless you, restore the years the locust have devoured and to give you hope and a future.
Decide today, that you will reason with the Lord any time you need to talk about a matter, talk things out, talk things through.
We all have great friends, and possibly relatives or business partners, who serve as excellent sounding boards. Speaking to them about our thoughts helps us iron out any wrinkles in the direction we are considering taking. At the risk of sounding irreverent—which is the last thing I would ever want to do or cause you to think I am doing—think of God as your Sounding Board. According to Merriam-Webster, a “sounding board” is “a person or group on whom one tries out an idea or opinion as a means of evaluating it.” Whether it’s a relationship, a business idea or decision, a ministry choice, a national decision, or a simple matter you want to reason with the Lord about, consult with God. Run it by Him and wait for His answer. Read scripture, asking Him to speak to you about the matter at hand. Pray, asking God to communicate with you not only through His word but also through dreams.
Our God speaks, and He communicates in many ways, one of which is through dreams. Not every dream you have is from God, but some might be. When you have such a dream, take it to God and reason with Him about it to ensure it’s from Him and to understand what He is saying.
Hearing His Voice Clearly
“Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.” Jonah 2:8
Know right up front that God is not going to agree with the idols in your heart, which are desires for other gods. This can differ among individuals because people’s sin nature leads them to make gods out of things, rather than worshiping God Himself. Also, know that if you insist on keeping an idol in your heart while reasoning with God, He will turn you over to that idol to show you its bitter end and will even cause prophets to agree with your evil hearts desire for the purpose of turning you over to it. It’s best to live a repented life and not try and twist God’s arm, as if you could, to get Him to give in to the idols you may have refused to repent of. He turns you over to that which you refuse to repent of in hopes the pain the trajectory which will be inflicted on you by that evil choice may bring you to repentance where you return to Him as the true God, the One and Only God, Who loves you and provides for you.
Cry Out: To be a Bold Witness for Jesus
Now you’re getting down to the brass tacks. This is your calling: to bear witness to the world of God’s goodness. Your mission is to reach out to your family, neighbors, community, city, nation, and even other nations, sharing with them the Good News of Jesus Christ. God loves them so much that He sent His Son to pay the price for their sins. This allows them to enter into a right relationship with God through Jesus Christ. And just like you, they too can cry out to God and experience His goodness made manifest in their lives.