This morning we heard a word about an enemy who has a plan to engage us in a battle. It’s a battle of entanglement to dishearten us from our weapons and the authority that is ours. However, we heard a word about God as our maintainer and our provider. He does not deal in confusion, but in the position of truth. His provision comes as the living word of truth which he watches over to perform wonders. We heard a word that says God is all sufficient and he works at the place of our surrender. We heard a word that says our God in Christ left us a pattern that we should follow, so that at the pattern of the cross we posture ourselves for success not failure. It is a posture of humility by which he will perform wonders before our very eyes. Today he would say, do not be afraid, and do not listen to the voice of the adversary who would discourage your Faith in Christ alone! When you speak those words “In Christ Alone” you make a bold declaration of surrender about who you’re going to trust. By assuming this posture, you will be speaking forth a prayer of great release. Today, let him release you from the fear, let him release you from the things that keep you from realizing what only He is able to produce! I was impressed this week with something someone had given me to read. It revealed a long forgotten story of a man in New York City, who in 1857 called a meeting to gather people with him to pray. In that prayer meeting only six people showed up. Rather than be discouraged by what may have seemed to some as a failed attempt, they would continue to meet weekly for the purpose of prayer. It would be that within the next year, the Spirit of God would move on upwards of 10,000 people to meet daily in churches all over the city to pray. As a result of a little prayer meeting, it is estimated that 1 million people came to faith in Christ during the course of the next year. There are greater things to be had when we pray in agreement with the Spirit of God. Today, find the authority that belongs to you in Christ and never underestimate the power when His saints pray in faith.
“Are you saved?” I can remember as child a Baptist preacher saying every week without fail the words; ‘Are You saved?’ I believe those 3 words are possibly Baptist’s greatest contribution to the faith. You may know a lot about Him, but do you know Him? If there is no grieving or sorrow over your sinful condition…no witness of the Spirit, then you don’t know Him. For Jesus to truly save you, you must believe you are drowning and in need of saving—otherwise the broken cry for a savior is not heard and He cannot save. It is a matter of need…do you need Him? Do you see your very real need of His love and forgiveness? Or, do you see yourself ‘pretty good’– never considering that one sin…it’s rebellion like witchcraft that has you under a spell of deception never considering yourself that bad; it is your only weak link, but it is powerful enough to destroy your whole life with that one unredeemed failure. I see God is not mocked and sin must be atoned for. What are you doing and where are you taking your sin for atonement? Because what He takes, He covers–what He covers, He redeems, what He redeems He changes, and what He changes He keeps for Himself with a movement of the Spirit that directs my steps to increase as His disciple and witness. So, I ask you again, “Are You Saved…Are You Really Saved?”
Remember Nazareth, the hometown of Jesus? It was the place He could do very little. You’ll remember it to be a place of unbelief and a place that just considered Jesus a common man with nothing special to offer (Matt 13:54-58). It was here He would declare the power of God to release the captive and heal the broken. It was here the foolish thoughts of men raged so as to want Him dead (Lk.4). We need to get ourselves away from the small minded, common thoughts of Nazareth. The Prophet Joel prophesied of a day of power and provision of early and late rain unto a harvest to restore God’s people (Joel 2:23). It would promise a harvest of righteousness and an outpouring of His Holy Spirit. It is however, important to understand what Joel prophesied could only come when men humbled themselves to pray from the heart. James 5:7 says, ‘be patient for these rains like a farmer who waits for the early and late rain to produce what’s precious’. Too often we are thinking of the latter rain of Joel’s prophecy as some clearly defined end times movement, but what about the move of God that awaits us in prayer? I believe the patient farmer does not wait in the hot sun, but after his labor looks to do his waiting in a place of shade with a cool breeze. If you will look with spiritual eyes you will understand he waits in hope for God under the shadow of His almighty power. The patience to wait is found in prayer. “Prayer is the patience God will answer your fears and the confidence that He alone can dissolve your doubts”. Prayer changes the mind and heart of God concerning His people and moves Him to action on their behalf. Listen… there’s a thinking God must revolutionize and even re-new in your life. There is a wound that God must heal. He says to you, ‘I have healing balm which flows only from the finished work of Calvary, but you must open up your heart and trust Me to heal and restore in the humble place of prayer, and the shadow of my presence will refresh you, heal you and send rain to bring precious produce! Stop trying to live out of the movements of others, and start listening to what the Holy Spirit is saying to you! Stop looking for ‘the Revival” and start living for Jesus in this moment knowing He produces a harvest from His shadow by sending the early and late rain!
Recently, seeing a nearby field, the question came to me, “How green is the grass?” There are days we look upon the fields and because of our complaint, fail to see anything. Other times, we are passing by way too fast, thinking way too many things to realize the grass is green for a reason. The answer I received is; it all depends upon the prism thru which you look, either through the humble eyes of a ‘suffering servant,’ or the angry heart of an ‘indentured slave’. Only Jesus, can cancel the certificate of debt by the power of His cross to those decrees against us that hold us in pledge to this world and its lusts with an extreme precision to release us from slavish thinking and cruel bondage. The power of the cross is for the humble who will draw near with confidence to surrender their thoughts of care and ambition for this life to understand the statement, ‘Have this same attitude which was in Christ Jesus who although He existed with all the attributes of God, He humbled Himself as a slave, becoming obedient to God by taking up His cross.’ His cross, calls us higher under the influence of a still small voice, mighty in power, rich in service, and green as the grass. Philippians 2:6-11