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!’
To my children I often feel compelled to ask, ‘have you been in the word today, or even lately?’ That is a good question to ask yourself. You may say sure, I listened to the greatest radio preacher on the way to work today, or I am reading the latest, greatest Christian book, or I was in church just yesterday and the pastor was talking about the word. Anything remotely similar to those responses, really misses the point of the question. I mean, no doubt the radio preacher, the Christian author, or the pastor all base their life and message on the word. But, are you spending time in the word of God for yourself, or are you for the most part a ‘word-less Christian’? You’ve made a commitment, but have done little to build upon it. Have you become, according to the book of James, ‘a forgetful hearer, but not a doer of the word.’ Commit yourself to spending time daily in the word of God. Look for the word to move you, to speak to you, to change your thinking by hearing and doing what God says. Let the word of Christ bring forth His mind as it opens your heart and unblocks your thinking to view things as God sees them. The Bible says God’s word is ‘living and active’. It states that this word is further able to cut right to the heart to produce a testimony of Jesus. It was for this reason the Apostle Paul could say, ‘for me to live is Christ….’ The heavenly Father desires for His children to be His living witnesses. You simply cannot do that without this ‘living Word’. Or said another way, you cannot be His disciple without living in, and living out this word by your faith. Faith depends, trusts and relies on the word, and without it you will not be able to stand in these days. So activate your Christian life today by looking with expectation for the move of God through His living word. Finally, pray over this word asking God for the spirit of soberness and truth and you will receive a deeper revelation giving you eyes to see and a faith come to life!
Your life will rise or fall depending upon the word that you hear. Truth is, your life in Christ is dependant upon the word dwelling in you richly to increase your hearing and make you mindful of the resources He offers you to bring you to victorious living. This year, I believe God would say to you, stop living on the faith experiences of others and take a determined approach to devote youself to His word allowing His Holy Spirit to feed you and give you and understanding of ‘the things eye has not seen or ear has not heard what things God has prepared for those who love Him’ (1 Cor. 2). Stop allowing the enemy a place in your thinking to keep you stubbornly opposed to what God says by locking you in a default position resistant to the riches of God’s word. God says, ‘find your focus in prayer’ following the example of Jesus who urges us in Luke 21 to, ‘keep watching and praying’ with a pattern of persistance that gains not just answers but victory over the thief who comes to steal your joy and your peace. He comes to rob you of the vast riches in Christ that are yours because of God’s Word. Are you going to faint or finish strong? Stop living in defeat by what the enemy says; surrender your life to God and you will hear His terms of peace and see the victory of His power on high.
What does it mean to worship God? I mean, is it great music in some concert like gathering that enables me to find that place for myself? In John 4, the woman at the well had a lot of ideas about the place of worship, but an encounter with the person of Jesus in one day forever changed her thinking in reference to the true place of worship. You remember Jesus offered her living water from a well much deeper than her own. His offer involves a well that never runs dry. I would say that’s a deep well. Like all deep wells one must have the means by which to draw up the life giving resources. While her well required physical tools with which to draw, His well is only accessable by the work of the Spirit. Jesus went on to expand her thinking as to the true meaning of worship there around that well by revealing “God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” What she didn’t realize or even his discples for that matter, was that Jesus, by revealing the true place and attitude for worship was preparing them for a witness that could in fact change the thinking of the community around them. True worship would be the enabling power of His Spirit to do his will by seeing the fields (Jn. 4:35) and working to bring in a harvest of souls. What about you? What about your place of worship? Is it only enhanced by the sparkle of man’s abilty, or is it from a well that springs up from within? Does it lead you to the cross of truth? Further, does it lead you to a life of service? On that day, there was true worship at the well, because of the testimony of a life changed by an encounter with the Spirit of Truth. In your place of worship, pursue the truth and His presence will take you to deep water.