The Prayer that Makes Perfect

Something made me think of my Grandmother the other day; she would often call and say, ‘I don’t know nothing….I just called to find out how you were doing’. She was a busy woman, probably too busy, but I was amazed that she could find the time to do the things she did. “I don’t know nothing” may not be good english, but it made me think about her and the love she had for me. It makes me lovingly think of others I care about and how I should find the time to reach them. The truth is, I don’t have much to offer and I really don’t know much… but, for the grace of God I am nothing and I have nothing. While in that momentary thought of, ‘what little I could offer anyone’, I found myself praying; God save my children, save my family, God save me, and Lord save others through my life…oh, how I need Your power.’ Your life is a powerful thing, a tool created really for only for one purpose and that’s to be used by the power of God to influence others for His cause. Your life is to become a living testimony made by what only the Holy Spirit can reflect upon you, so others could be saved. I love the place where Jesus says, ‘Come to Me all you who are weak and heavy laden, and I will give you rest….’ The word says, Jesus lives at the right hand of God (Mk16:19). Residing in power, He lives to make intercession for us’ (Heb7:25). He lives to call us to rest ourselves in His finished work and be connected to His life and power by the Holy Spirit whom He sent as our Helper and His agent of extra-ordinary benefits. He lives to bring you into a restful place to stop thinking there’s anything you could do for Him. He lives so you might realize it’s in only what He can do for you– to reflect His life by powerful changes in your character and demeanor. The Spirit of God moves in the place of prayer connecting us to the will and intention of His heart. While men search for the perfect; the perfect life, a perfect home, the perfect love, it can only be found in the perfect heart of God, known only by time in the presence of His own dear Son.   E.M. Bounds one said, “Prayer is far reaching in its influence and worldwide in its effects. It affects all men, affects them everywhere, and affects them in all things. It touches man’s interest in time and eternity. It lays hold upon God and moves him to interfere in the affairs of earth. It moves the angels to minister to men in this life. It restrains and defeats the devil and his schemes to ruin man. Prayer goes everywhere and lays its hand upon everything.” It’s prayer that makes us behold Him who is perfect, so we should reflect His glory. The enemy would have you weak and giving up over the things you see, but Jesus would have you pray and He says, ‘come to Me!’

His Cross

Jesus is in the making and what it takes to make disciples of men by way of His cross. I recently saw some youth bound in hand with their bibles in a local coffee shop, and it blessed me. We live in an age where many are seeking for a real expression to relate to this Jesus and His Lordship in their lives. It is a great thing we would aspire to do. It is however, important to remember in this new age where the music seems to lead the discourse, it has always been about the word of the Living God. Here is a thought to add to this modern age perception of all things as Christian. Jesus is not in the hairdo, or in sporting the new tattoo; He is not in the anti-establishment, or in being different for different sake; He is not in strange for strange sake. He is making His mark on men as aliens and strangers because they find a place for humility and brokenness because they are working out their common salvation through the living breathing Word of God. The music, and I love music, should lead me to brokenness, thanksgiving and praise as I walk as His disciple enslaved to nothing in this world, it’s thinking or culture. The music alone will not produce disciples, only a relationship with the Living Word can do that. Is the word you are hearing making you more like Jesus, or are you being defined by the pop-culture you are living in? His cross is not a new concept, but a clear command of the word; it is timeless rugged thing that leaves one strangely following the movement of the Holy Spirit keeping in step as His disciple, shedding the mantle of worldly influences to be uniquely His–He was pierced for a different cause and that will likely leave you more persecuted than popular because the way of the cross will always be the defining mark of real Christianity.

The Burning Bush

Somewhere on the backside of your wilderness there is a place in God’s presence that will draw you in to captivate your heart and arrest your complete attention. Like Moses in Exodus 3, the burning bush reminds us God is never finished — though we may have long given up. I have recently been reminded that we are living in the last days. Things are out of control, and it seems men’s hearts are so hard. Even believers seem so fixed in just what they know; there is no desire to receive any more than just what they have. It would seem all is well, yet something turns sideways because all is not well, and men are racing over a cliff to destruction with no one to hold them back. It is all indicative of the last times. There seems to be resistance to the truth no matter how hard you try. We are living in days where the people of God often find themselves in a wilderness from wanting to follow God, but genuinely not knowing how. Have you found yourself in a wilderness like Moses running — running from your fear, from your people, from what would be the plan of God for your life — all because you tried to follow God and failed?  In these days you had better find that burning bush on the back side of the wilderness you are living in. I believe these days are to be a season of rescue and recovery, but you need the burning bush. You need the Spirit of God to draw you in to look at Him spending time in His presence beholding what consumes, but does not burn up. It is marvelous as Moses said it was. It causes you to remove what is unholy because you got a word from God that says put that down and away from your life and come to me … here on holy ground. There you actually can hear God confirming to you His desire to save — it was His desire all along, and you thought He had forgotten and left you in the wilderness. But He has not forgotten you. You, like Moses, may have had the right idea, but failed to get in on the full plan of God. But now with the bush He includes you, telling you, “I see the affliction of men’s souls, and now I want to use you.” You see, we need the burning bush experience that lies in the wilderness of our struggle, because without it we lack awareness of God’s care or concern. We lack understanding of His plan to include us in the work to liberate men’s bondage. We are in the last days, and men are surely in bondage. If you fail to see that, you are proving you need a touch of the marvelous bush from which God speaks. Somewhere, there in your dry place, He is telling you to stand and see — looking for that bush that burns. It is Christ in you the hope of glory. It is not so far, though you may believe it cannot be found. God will use these very words you are reading now to stir your heart and bring you to find that place. It is a place of power and privilege; it is a place of revelation and inclusion. It is a place in these days you cannot afford to be without. From the bush, He calls us to identity as sons. He says, “Come, and I will send you.” God is saying to us — I will touch your lips and give you a voice so that your slowness of speech will be met with the confidence to declare freedom to every bound place, so the captive souls of men can be made free.

 

Today I Call You Sons

On a morning shortly before the new year I found myself at a troubled place wanting to hear the Father speak a word to my heart; it was then I was reminded of this scripture in Psalm 5:3; which says: “In the morning I will order my prayer to Thee and eagerly watch”. David prayed this prayer with a heavy heart to remove his groaning cry; it was a prayer that could shelter his soul from evil and keep his path straight. My prayer began with just a glimpse of how my life had grieved the heavenly Father by saying, ‘Lord I want to be Your son–a vessel you can use, so remove all my failures–I don’t want to fail you as a son….’  As I continued to follow the word I had heard and watch, I believe the Lord spoke clearly by saying: “Your many devices grieve Me because in them you believe they help you know Me, and nothing could be further from the truth. Worship has become just another song on an endless playlist made common by meaningless repetition, but still you’re moved no closer to my heart to know Me….You grieve Me in that you look to preach to others and your the man I wish to speak to as a son….You can easily see the moral failures of others but will you see yourself?… I made you to be My son, My ambassador.” Interestingly enough the word I heard refreshed my heart namely because I believe it was spoken by a loving Father who had my best interest in mind. I further took great encouragement in His endearing reference to me as “son.”  You see, if that word makes you angry, you will likely miss the Love the Heavenly Father has for you as a son. Do you contemplate your life as God’s son? To all sons He would ask: just where is your treasure?; And what has your ear?; Where is the leaning of your heart and to whom do you cry?; And whereby is your life occupied?  Today, He calls you son if you hear His voice.  In this new Year will you hear His voice, or will you just be content to go thru life understanding your God from a distance, semi-friendly with the knowledge of Him and missing your place as a son?