Let’s just be honest with ourselves and our Lord, often times we feel as if God does not hear our prayers or that He just says “no” for no good reason! What is really going on?
Ephesians 6:17-18 Take the Word of God praying with all prayers.
Galatians 5:6 Faith works by love.
If we take the Word of God and pray it out in love, God hears our petition. Will He ever tell us no? How can He deny our prayer that is according to His will? He would have to deny Himself. Sometimes what we request in prayer takes time because other people are involved and they have the freedom to choose. We know that according to the Bible, God wants all men to know the truth and be saved. Does this mean all men will be saved? No, it does not. Many will go to hell completely against God’s will. Despite knowing this, the Lord wants His people to make intercession for all men. We praise God and rejoice when a sinner comes to the Lord, but we continue praying for those who have yet to make a decision.
Galatians 6:9 Let us not be weary(weak) in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
What is due season? It is an appointed time set by God. We want an instant answer to our prayers, but God picks the time and He seems to always be slow. This may sound funny, but I have prayed over myself for a healing and then stood for days awaiting the manifestation of my prayer. Days later it came and I said to myself, “Oh, that didn’t take long”. Some prayers require a longer waiting period than others and I’m not sure why God makes us wait. I do know this one thing, if we don’t take the Word of God praying, due season will not come.
1Peter 5:8-9 Be vigilant because the devil is seeking whom he may devour. Resist him with your faith knowing that he is over coming your brothers in the world.
Your prayers are far more successful than you realize, you’re still here prospering while other believers are being devoured. God is hearing and answering our prayers, that’s why we are still here and growing stronger every day. The devil never gives up, he has nothing better to do than to kill, destroy and steal. The prayers we hold fast to are protecting us. We take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, when we pray. Our prayers are more than nice flowing words, they are the devil’s worst day. Want to really mess with the devil? Pray in tongues! He doesn’t know what you’re saying, he just knows you are using your faith.
Hebrews 1:3 Jesus is upholding the whole world by the power of His Word.
Can you better understand why we are instructed to take the Word of God praying? We pray the Word Jesus uses to uphold everything and He performs His Word. If you expect to succeed in life you must have an ongoing prayer life.
Seven days without prayer makes us weak.
Surely by now you have come to know some people that you cannot carry on an adult conversation with. Their thoughts and ideas are not rational, they make absolutely no sense. They remind me of an old cliché.
It’s better to keep your mouth shut and let them think you’re an idiot than to open your mouth and erase all doubt.
The odd thing about all of this is that these people otherwise are quite smart and some of them are highly educated. What is the root of the problem? Why can’t we communicate with some of these folks?
Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness.
People can be profoundly affected by the devil and not be possessed. The devil cannot read our minds, but he can and does offer us his thoughts and concepts. The Word of God instructs us to cast these “imaginations” down because they do not belong to a sound mind. The devil’s thoughts always appear just and productive but he doesn’t have any measure of love within him. People who are directly influenced by the devil are very difficult to persuade of any truth.
John 8:43,45 Why do you not understand My Words? You cannot even hear Me. And because I tell you the truth, you believe Me not.
Jesus was speaking to the most religious people of the time, the Jews. Even when He spoke in parables, they could not relate to what He was saying but they could easily hear the devil. The devil is very easy to hear because he speaks the most. Jesus speaks when He needs to and He can speak volumes with very few words. Our Lord can impart one word to us and that word can change our lives forever. Jesus was full of wisdom and love. He spoke whatsoever the Father gave Him to say. Despite His supernatural power, He could not persuade men to embrace the truth. Why? Because He gave each man the freedom to choose the life he desired for himself. God has set before every man blessing or curse, life or death. He then encourages every one to choose life.
2 Timothy 2:25 In meekness instruct those that oppose themselves; if God perhaps will forgive them when they acknowledge the truth.
When we confront people who are under the influence of demonic powers, we have only one recourse. We must gently speak the truth just as Jesus did, we can’t make them accept it but we can certainly offer it. The truth is their only hope, the only way for freedom. Greater is He that is in us than he who is in the world. Many are content to be ruled by the lesser power. Blessed is the man that abides in the truth but woe to the man who chooses to never accept what God offers. God is merciful and gentle because He knows man must contend with the devil but mercy cannot save him if he will not cooperate with God. We must tolerate all men but not their pet devils. It’s like people who have cats, love the people dislike the cats.
Some folks have this idea that the devil is a red man with horns and a pitch fork. Some have been led to believe the devil is equal to God in power and they respect that. The Bible which is our source of truth, says he is most subtle. The word subtle means cunning or crafty. He is pretty clever when it comes to deceiving the feeble minded. Allow me to expose one of the devil’s greatest schemes.
Mathew 28:19 Go into all the world and make disciples of all men, baptize them in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
The last thing Jesus said to the church before He returned to heaven was go all over the world and present the teachings of Christ. The devil heard what Jesus said and immediately he hatched a plan to stop the disciples. The devil knew that in order for the disciples to go into all the world they would need money. Jesus called him a thief for a reason, he began to divert the funds the disciples needed to preach to other worldly accounts. It requires a lot of money to go into all the world and preach the Gospel so the devil began to rob the church of the funds. One of the devil’s tactics is to reassign priorities, man putting himself before God.
Mathew 6:33 Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His way of doing things, and all these things will be added to you.
The devil would have us to spend our lives seeking what we need and then give God any leftover time. What is the conventional wisdom of the average Christian? Work hard all week and give God one hour of your time Sunday. Who do you suppose put the world on its schedule? Let me give you a clue, it is the one who has you so busy working to survive that you have little or no time for God. When you work hard for your pay check you become selective where you spend your money. It is your money and you hate to spend it even on things you must have like a house, a car and food. Every hard working man wants to keep his money as long as he can.
Malachi 3:10-11 Bring all your tithes into the storehouse saith the Lord, and I will open the windows of heaven and pour you out the blessing. And I will rebuke the seed eater for your sakes.
Ten cents of every dollar we earn belongs to the Lord, it is the Lord’s tithe. Statisticians tell us only twelve percent of Christians give God His tithes. If every Christian gave God His tithe, the church could easily send missionaries into all the world. Jesus is not coming back for His church until the Gospel is preached to every man! When Jesus returns for us, the devil will be locked away in the pit of hell. So, he has a very good reason for withholding the funds required to preach the Gospel to all nations. The church wants Jesus to come for them but they are not hastening His return!. The devil is so subtle he can make you believe that God will bless you in your disobedience. God is so merciful He will never tire of feeding us the truth that can make us free. I set before you this day blessing and curse, life and death, choose life that you and your family may prosper.
The Bible says that in order to be saved we must invite Jesus into our heart. How do we know that He is in us? When Jesus comes into your heart your spirit will become aware of Him listening to everything you say. Some would think that He has His ear open for all of our naughty words so He can condemn us, but that is not His purpose. He wants to hear what we would say to Him.
John 14:23 If a man love Me, he will keep My Words: and My Father will love him, and We will make our abode with him.
God does not come into a life and just sit there staring at the wall, He comes for the relationship. God is interested in what we are doing with the new life He gave us. Do you know how to maneuver through the spirit realm or do you need His help?
John 16:13 When the Holy Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak.
No man can know the truth apart from the Holy Spirit. Take special note of this text, it says the Holy Ghost will speak to us whatsoever the Father knows we need to hear. The Holy Spirit does not come and go, He remains with us forever. The Holy Ghost never slumbers or sleeps, He is on call 24-7. How much time will the Spirit give us? God does not put any limits on Himself, we are the ones who limit God’s voice. Some will say I haven’t heard from God for quite awhile! Well, when was the last time God heard from you? Immediately after I was saved and filled with the Holy Ghost I became aware of Him within me. Our conversations on His part were short but to the point., He never once said anything about my potty mouth. I began to connect the dots, if God heard everything I said then He heard every foul word. He did not need to hear my dirty words, so I made the decision to clean up my mouth. I became so keenly aware of His daily presence and I needed to respect Him.
Colossians 1:27 The riches of the mystery is Christ in us the hope of glory (manifestations).
The glory of God is His presence, His power and His goodness. If His glory is present, so is His presence. God is more than a conversation, He is the manifestation of His Word. Christianity is the only religion that worships a living God and whose God speaks to every believer. How deceived must a person have to be in order to worship a dead god or one made of wood?
1 John 5:6 This is He that came by waters and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.
When Jesus was baptized, a voice came from heaven proclaiming Him to be the Son of God. When He shed His blood He said it was finished, the last sacrifice under the Abrahamic covenant. The present day ministry of the Holy Spirit is to give to every man willing to receive His testimony and evidence. The best one to reveal God to anyone is God Himself and we have this treasure in earthen vessels.
Before Jesus died on the cross and opened a new and living way, religious folks were under the law. The law gave rules and commandments men were to follow in order to have a degree of spirituality. But the law could do nothing to change the nature of sinful man, under the circumstances it was the best God could do. Over a three day period everything abruptly changed. Jesus could settle the sin issue once and forever and then He would be raised from the dead to enforce His Word.
Hebrews 8:6 But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for He is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises.
The covenant God made with Abram was between God and a man, the new one is between God and Jesus. So, everything contained in the Old Testament is brought to Calvary and filtered through the cross. Some things came to an end such as eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth. Some things were changed, such as circumcision. We don’t circumcise our flesh, we make covenant in our heart. Furthermore, some things ended such as animal blood for atonement of sin. The blood of Jesus blots out all sin and changes our nature, which removes us from any bonds with the devil.
Deuteronomy 28:1-2 If you will hearken unto the voice of the Lord, all of these blessings will come upon you and overtake you.
This blessing was spoken over men who were under the law. What happened to this promise when it was run through Calvary’s filter? Can men now have the blessings apart from obedience? Has the offer of the blessings expired? We are not under the law, we are under grace. How does this affect the blessings? Grace has been imparted to the new creature to empower him to obey and be faithful to his new nature. The promises remain but the means by which we take hold of them now becomes much easier. If you think it’s hard living under grace, go back and try to live with the devil telling you what to do!
Colossians 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in Himself.
The devil came to the cross of Calvary rejoicing that he killed the Son of God. For three days hell celebrated the incarceration of Jesus. But on the third day a light brighter than hell came and emancipated Jesus. He was raised from the dead by the glory of God. The devil crawled away from Calvary totally defeated and stripped of all the power he took from Adam. The only working part of the devil is his mouth, he can talk a good game but he can’t play. The purpose of a filter is to screen out contaminates and the devil didn’t make it, his mangled nonexistent body is not in our realm. The old wiped out devil must sit on the sidelines and hear us sing praises to our Lord. If he gives us too much grief we can make him join us in praising our Lord.
On July 4, 1776, thirteen colonies claimed their independence from England, an event that led to the formation of the United States. The bulk of the founding fathers of this nation were Christians and they used the Bible to form the United States constitution. People declared their freedom from a nation but they were never totally free. There remains another entity that is dedicated to enslaving nations but no nation or man can make himself free. The head of this nation is not visible, he can be conquered only by another stronger invisible head.
John 8:33 The men answered, we are Abraham’s descendants, and were never in bondage to any man.
Most men are in captivity to this evil foreign nation and are not even aware of their bondage. Jesus was truly a free man and free men can easily identify those who are in captivity. Jesus came to give every man his independence from a foreign nation called the devil. You cannot see the wind but you can see it’s affects on trees. You cannot see the devil but you can see his affects on men. In order for the colonies to become the United States they had to defeat the British and drive them out. Freedom was so important to the pilgrims that they were willing to die for it. A patriot by the name of Patrick Henry said, “Give me liberty or give me death”!
Romans 5:6-7 For when we were in bondage Jesus died for us.
Jesus was the only man who could get us free, He would fight our battle for us and it would cost Him His life. Freedom is never free, someone ends up dying before liberty is established. In my opinion, I believe it is a crime to ignore and dishonor the blood of men who sacrificed to gain our freedom. In order to commemorate the wars and the men who fought them, a flag was created to remind us of those heroes. People who don’t cherish freedom trample the flag and burn it, using their freedom to dishonor those men. The history of a nation is a record of its struggles, its mistakes and finally its victories. Jesus died to free the world, soldiers died to free their nation, freedom is never free. Freedom is so important to Americans that they travel to other nations and die there to gain that nation’s freedom.
Galatians 5:1 Stand fast in the liberty that Christ has made us free, and do not entangle yourselfwith the yoke of bondage.
Some Christians forget what Jesus went through to gain their freedom and they return to the elements of their former bondage. Some folks in America have lost sight of what men had to do to set us free, they want to alter the laws that guard our freedom. They are overcome with the spirit of stupid. The freedom they want will surely lead to bondage because God’s Word has no place in it! Ignorant people want to do away with the laws that make them free in the name of freedom. God created Israel because He wanted a people to love. He created the United States because He wanted a people who would love Him.
Some “believers” can’t believe God’s Word because they have no faith in His identity. All of us make a big mistake when we put God on the same level as we are. Some of us do it inadvertently and some do it out of plain old ignorance. So, how do we get God back on His throne? We kicked Him off, so it’s our responsibility to restore Him to His rightful position.
Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that He should lie; has He said, and shall He not do it? Or has He spoken, and shall He not make it good.
Make a mental note of the first five words of our text: God is not a man. All men are liars, there is no such thing as a man who never told a lie. It is impossible for God to lie. If tomorrow God said from now on two plus two is five, we would have to change all our books or be branded as liars. So, if God cannot lie then the Bible He gave us is true. Now we must choose to believe it or not! One day a person challenged me. They said you can’t trust the Bible because it was written by men.
2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
God dictated His Word, His will to men appointed to his business and they recorded what He said. If there is any error in our Bibles, God will have to honor it.
After Jesus was baptized with the Holy Ghost He was led into the wilderness to pray. He fasted and prayed for forty days and the devil came to tempt Him. The devil tried to get Jesus to turn stones into bread, but listen to what Jesus said to him.
Luke 4:4 Jesus answered the devil saying, it is written that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word of God.
Jesus rebuffed the devil by quoting something Moses had spoken hundreds of years before. If the Bible is good enough for Jesus then it’s good enough for all who will believe. The devil could not get to Jesus, He used the Word as if it was a two edged sword. Jesus showed us how to live by faith. Why do some Christians seek for a different way that does not involve God? Because they approach God as they would a man!
Jeremiah 1:12 Then the Lord said to me, you have seen: for I will hasten My Word to perform it.
The word hasten means God is alert and sleepless, He will not rest until He confirms His Word with signs following. God decides how He will answer our prayers and the time, His time, is always due season. If you perceive God like a man you will grow weary in well doing. We must come to accept that God knows us better than we know ourselves, He therefore knows exactly what we need. God is not a man and must never be treated like one, He is God and we are His creation.
Jesus emphatically told His church to walk in love with all men. I have endeavored to obey His command all my Christian life. However, I have run into some issues. I have found quite a number of folks who are unlovable. There are a lot of people that you cannot love enough to meet their standard. I am just stating a fact. Love never fails. So, if someone will not accept the God kind of love it will not fail in the one offering it. Let me illustrate this to you, the world hates the God kind of love!
1 Corinthians 13:6 Love will not rejoice in iniquity (celebrate diversity) but celebrate truth.
The world hates the God kind of love because it will not agree with their manner of life. Who does God think He is telling people they are committing sin? We are not hurting anyone. We just love one another in a different manner but it’s the same love!
Jude 1:7 Sodom and Gomorrah gave themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh are an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
So, what does love do? The Sodomites in these cities were sent to hell, we are told this as an examples of this sin. Speak the truth in love, warn these folks of what awaits them. Sodom and Gomorrah were given as an example, God hasn’t changed His mind. When folks speak the truth in love and the sinner opposes it, they will accuse you of judging them making you the hypocrite. These folks are at the time unlovable, they are not ready to deal with the thing that separates them from God.
John 15:18 If the world hate you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.
Jesus is love and the world hated Him, so don’t be upset if they hate you just like Him. What did Jesus do when He was rejected? He continued to go about teaching the truth because love never fails because love never gives up. Love never fails to be a life changing force in the lives of those who will welcome it. Many will not accept the love of God, but that will not lessen it’s power to transform the lives of those who will receive it. God will love a man while he is in the womb and He will love him up to the very minute he enters hell because love never fails. No man can ever claim that he was never loved, it’s just that sin had a greater priority.
John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do.
Many in the world call lust love and love a weakness of character. Anyone can demonstrate hatred but it requires the supernatural grace of God to walk in love. In order to fulfill the lust of the flesh one must put love aside. Is it love to have another man’s wife? Love empowers us to resist lust, it will not accept things it is not entitled to. Love will do everything in its power to keep a sinner out of hell, even if it means suffering shame for telling the truth. Love can never be quenched, not even by the unlovable.
When we are young we are full of vitality so we rarely ponder our last days. Young people never consider aging, they think they will live forever. To this I say, if you want a dose of reality visit a home for the elderly. My aunt Arva lived in such a home. I went to see her when she was a hundred and three. One of the last things she said to me was “I hate living so long, I can’t hear and I can’t see”. Aunt Arva was a devout Catholic and was told little about a life with Jesus. As you grow older you realize you cannot do what you once could do, you know you will not live forever in your flesh.
Revelation 22:5 There is no night time in heaven, no need for the sun, God gives the light, and all who are there will reign forever and ever.
There is a place beyond our imagination God has prepared for all those who love Him. There is just one thing we must do that God considers small, we must leave our bodies here and then move up yonder. The Lord saves our soul (spirit). He will deal with our bodies later. No matter how well a man cares for his body, it is nothing compared to a glorified body. What is a glorified body? When Jesus died He shed every drop of His blood, now He has the Holy Spirit coursing through His veins. That is a glorified body.
2 Corinthians 5:8 We are confident I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
The Apostle Paul says it’s better to leave our bodies behind and to be in the very presence of Jesus. Why is Paul so sure of himself? Because Paul was caught up to the third heaven and spoke mouth to mouth with Jesus. Paul was never the same after his short time in heaven, he looked forward to the day when he would be taken from his body. I once saw a sign on a local business that read:
Everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die.
We cannot drag our old corruptible bodies to heaven because there is no corruptible thing in heaven. Many view death as the end of a life but not for a believer. The death of our corruptible body is the beginning of a life we can scarcely imagine. My aunt Arva was miserable because she focused on her corruptible body. As a Catholic, heaven is never a sure thing. Aunt Arva was a nice, sweet lady and I tried to share Jesus with her, but she preferred Catholicism.
Colossians 3:2, 4 Set your affection (mind) on things above, not on things on the earth. When Christ, Who is your life shall appear, then shall you also appear with Him in glory.
Don’t mope around about your body, you can’t stop it from wearing out. Fix your attention on where you are scheduled to be after you have finished your course. No matter how you “feel” things will get miraculously better, better than you can possibly imagine. Our future does not include our body, not for awhile anyway. When we are firmly in the arms of Jesus we won’t know if we are in our body or not.
God the Holy Spirit has been active even before the creation of man. In the old covenant He had limited activity because He was dealing with spiritually dead men. Very few men knew about the Holy Ghost and their knowledge was very limited. The Holy Ghost was waiting for a certain day, He and the prophets knew such a day was coming. The day was called Pentecost, which is also called the feast of Passover. But there was a Passover that would be like no other. The day of Pentecost would be changed forever because the Father’s Lamb would be offered. Passover was a memorial celebration commemorating the day when lambs were slaughtered in Egypt and their blood spread on the door posts.
Acts 2:1-4 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and they began to speak in tongues.
The Holy Spirit came out of the box, the Arc of the Covenant, and entered into those people who believed Jesus was the Messiah. This event must never be taken lightly, it was where God was reunited with men. Under the old covenant men would seek out a prophet for direction, but under the new covenant every man would have the Holy Ghost to be their prophet. The Holy Spirit would now have an entirely new ministry made possible by the crucifixion of Christ.
John 16:14 When the Holy Spirit comes, He will honor Me (Jesus): for He shall receive of mine and shall show it unto you.
The Holy Ghost will take everything Jesus died on the cross for and minister it to those who believe. A lot of Christians do not know everything that Jesus died for on the cross. They are not close enough to the Holy Spirit to receive His witness of Jesus dying for them. Everything is recorded in the Word, but it must be more than words, it must become revelation. The Holy Spirit honors Jesus by revealing the fullness of His sacrifice, man cannot accomplish this. Everything every man knows about the death and resurrection of Jesus came from the Holy Ghost.
1 Corinthians 2:10 God has revealed (the mystery of salvation) to us by His Spirit: for the Holy Spirit knows all the deep things of God.
In light of what we have seen so far, who comes first Jesus or the Holy Ghost? John the Baptist was a type of the Holy Spirit, he was preparing the people for a visitation. The devil did not want the people to have a revelation of Jesus, so he arranged to have John beheaded. The devil is at work today keeping Jesus obscured from the folks who need Him. The devil discredits the Holy Spirit so men have no revelation of the Messiah. If any man is determined to know Jesus, there is nothing the devil can do to successfully conceal Jesus. The Holy Ghost reveals Jesus and exposes the devil, we can’t live without Him very well. The Holy Spirit is called the comforter. How can He comfort us? By revealing the reason Jesus went to the cross in our place. Thank God for the Holy Ghost. He is our friend and He is on our side, He makes every Christian a victorious overcomer.
The devil has created satanic reservoirs,
he has robbed from us
because he is a thief.
But the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.
God is the transferring agent, He will give His gold and silver to the just.
The sinner will finance his own redemption and God will save his soul.
Matthew 9:37 Jesus said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest, that He will send out laborers into His harvest.”
PRAYING FOR laborers
PRAYING FOR our part: Individually/FOJ Church/Body of Christ in Helena
PRAYING FOR hearts: Our hearts to minister and people’s hearts to receive. We are trees who have been planted, watered and feed by God. We are rooted in His Word and love.
PRAYING FOR divine appointments: 2 Tim 2:19 God knows who are His. Holy Spirit lead appointments!
PRAYING FOR courage: Jeremiah 1:8 Do not be afraid of their faces. (Do not shrink back) Philippians 2:13 For He who calls us is faithful; he will surely do it…. equip us with everything good that we may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight.
PRAYING Hebrews 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation…