I believe the Lord is saying, ‘You know some things, BUT you must pray!’ Prayer is awareness! The spirit of prayer will be the corrective lenses thru which God’s view of the word is opened up to you. Prayer changes our posture from haughty to humble, from sinner to saint! Prayer unlocks the Mystery of Christ to you, within you and through you! Prayer will be the defining mark of what you have come to know and what you truly believe. Recently, I heard the question asked this way, ‘How is it that you believe in a supernatural God, but don’t believe in the supernatural?’ Prayer is the key to the mystery that changes your thinking to recognize Jesus is at the spiritual place of God’s right hand of power pleading for you! Don’t tell Him He’s changed and no longer moving in supernatural power. He is there interceding for you to grasp the concept of an open heaven so you might boldly come asking to receive His grace and power (Heb 4:16). I tell you truth, it is easier to listen to other preachers, read enlightening books, listen to spiritual music, and even read the Bible, but harder still to pray. Don’t misinterpret what I am saying, those things are good and necessary, but without the spirit of prayer, your life will be rather one dimensional missing the dynamic that can transform what you know in your head to what gets ahold of your heart! Psalm 40 is a psalm of powerful awareness in which David’s ears are opened in corrective fashion to realize the resources afforded him by the King of heaven. What do you have need of today? You must in faith believe “God IS, AND HE IS A REWARDER OF THOSE WHO SEEK HIM”. What is it that you seek? You will accomplish it in the place of prayer.
Jesus plainly tells us in Matthew 11:28 to come to His rest! In John 10:7 He says, ‘I’m the door you must enter through.’ All too often we fail to see the open door Jesus has made for our entry into His House of Rest! This past spring a red bird appeared in the window at our house of worship. At first, everyone was pleasantly distracted by his coming to the window. However, over the course of the next few weeks he would make it his mission to attack every window on our building repeatedly becoming a nuisance to everyone. I found myself thinking, ‘that stupid little bird…’, then God said to me, “you’ve been like that little bird”. The truth is, we have all been just like that little red bird. He might have found the door of entry, but he was too busy fighting his enemies, or so it would seem! In reality, he wasn’t even looking for the door. What are you seeking? Is it the open door of Jesus that brings you into a place of rest, or are you like the little bird? Just what does he see in the glass that keeps him coming back to the place of futility? He sees himself, but he is most deceived thinking it’s his enemy. In his zeal to fight, he is bound by a deception that allows the real enemy to steal what God says is rightfully his. There is a ‘little red bird’ syndrome bound in the nature of all our flesh. The little bird is fighting against his own image though he doesn’t see it. Your image will always make you angry, frustrated, and captivated by Your-SELF and the image IT produces. There is a blindness only Jesus can remove. He says to you, ‘I’ve an anointing that can heal blind eyes so you can see the door of rest.’ It is a place of recovery, it is a place of release and abundance. Any attempt to use something other than the door will leave you beaten and bruised. There is hope and healing at the Open Door of Jesus! His lessons are the cure of our ‘Red Bird’ syndrome! He is saying to you, ‘Son/Daughter, use the door! It represents the only legitimate way to my service and pleasure and by it you will produce My glory and not your own! Use the door, and you will be able to move freely in my presence where there is fulness and joy. It will be a fulness that will keep you from robbing Me and being robbed of what I alone have given you to possess!’
Often we find ourselves in a fog, wondering where God is in our circumstances. We may feel as though we made a decision to follow the Lord way back when, but the enemy would have us convinced that all those decisions for what we believed was right and honorable have left us in the middle of the desert. You think, after all these years life should be more comfortable, but instead you feel like your life is in a wilderness and everything you believed is being tested. You are not alone though you may think you are. How you handle the wilderness will be the defining moment in your Christianity. You said you wanted to serve God and be his disciple, but what you may fail to realize is; there is no effective ministry without a wilderness. Matthew 4:1, Jesus is led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness. This wilderness is for His glory. This wilderness is defining your call. Many a young person may think it well to serve God without fully removing the harmful effects of sin, pride, or rebellion, but without a wilderness you will serve God by what is born out of ‘pop culture’ pursuing what is popular and not what is holy. Remember Moses? It was the wilderness that led him to a place of holy ground. The wilderness defines my call by leading me to holy ground to meet a holy God not given to the popular, but to the pure. The wilderness defines my identity as being in Christ and in Him alone because there is nothing else to cling to. It is here the enemy comes to question your sonship saying, ‘If you’re a son, then do this or do that for instant comfort’ but in the wilderness you must discover it is Christ alone your hope of glory. It is a place of understanding my identity as the Apostle Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me….” You may feel you have spent your whole life serving people and even family, only to be kicked in the teeth. You may have worked so hard to accomplish some purpose only to be disappointed in some way, yet is it the wilderness that defines my God. He uses the wilderness to prove the true object of my affection. Was my service just my gratification or was it for His glory? You see, the wilderness makes the object of our affection very clear; will my god prove to be self as I bemoan the circumstance, or will I recognize the greatness of our God by completely trusting Him as I offer Him my praise. Often we have come to make worship about the “lights, camera and the action”. In the wilderness, He proves there is no power but His, and He wants to be the main attraction. While He makes us to sing, it’s not the music, it is the message. Jesus said in the wilderness, “man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the Mouth of God”. The good news is, this wilderness will define your victory by advancing the kingdom for God’s glory. Just remember this fact from the life of Christ; wilderness advances the kingdom (Matt.4:17;19). As you are hidden in Christ and His life is yours, you will advance His cause bringing many sons to glory. The wilderness God is using produces glory every time. After the wilderness, Moses saw God liberate a nation in just a few days. After the wilderness, Jesus moved with might and power. And this wilderness you may find yourself in at this present hour is for His glory to give you a future and hope that through your tried and proven testimony He lives, He moves, He saves, He redeems, and He alone is able to rescue and recover when no one else can. God is using your wilderness to define your Christian faith so embrace it, embrace Him and glory will follow.
God says, ‘If you love Me and serve Me with all your heart, I will send the early and late rain bringing the necessary provision to finish the work of harvest in these times’ (Deut. 11:13-14). We live in difficult days, yet glorious days when you consider the Master commands a harvest. He presides as Lord of the harvest urging our service as His followers. In James 5:7-8, He says to you in these days, ‘be patient brethren until the coming of the Lord’. The reference to brethren is a reference to kinship and friendship; if you care to receive it, is a call to discipleship. It is a call to follow the things that drove the ministry of Jesus. In these two verses he says, consider the farmer and be like him. What about the farmer you ask? He is waiting on the precious produce of the soil with a vested interest in the field. These verses remind us the coming of the Lord is at hand, and that we should find ourselves committed to the produce of His field. Like the parable of the talents says about His return, He will be looking for your produce. He is not coming back so you can show Him your stuff. His return will be all about souls and what you’ve done with the seed He gave you. Jesus said, ‘lift your eyes and look on the fields white unto harvest’. Right now, amid perhaps, the greatest mixture of Christianity and darkness the world has ever known, there is a harvest waiting. However, one can only reap by being a friend of Jesus as John 15 states. He is saying, ‘I chose you, I appointed you to bear fruit, I appoint you to a harvest’. ‘Understand the season of my return is near, I’ve given the early rains, but it’s the latter rain that ushers in harvest.’ The body of Christ need remind herself and be encouraged that the rain of God’s blessing for harvest comes to a people–to a whole hearted people– who have lost themselves and yet been found, in a place of prayer. Praying with expectatation, they are looking to be found faithful in their work with a complete dependance upon the Lord who sends the rain that brings harvest. Do you understand the signs of the times? Have you heard His call? Let’s pray for eyes to see His field and for the rain that brings harvest.