Humans are not steadfast. Our character ebbs and flows. Our sin nature does not allow us to be steadfast, we always falter, some more than others, until Jesus returns we are locked into the the fate of sin. The only constant in our life is that God’s character and standards never change.
This means the God who spoke in the Old Testament is speaking to us today. He spoke to His people through the disciples, prophets, and most importantly Jesus. The story always remains the same. Adam and Eve sinned and were thrown out of Eden. We entered eternal sin as the result of their disobedience. The Messiah will come and save us from eternal sin. Jesus will be crucified and return to heaven. He will return again to redeem His people, and we will live as one people in peace through eternity.
We all need stability. God’s character is our stabilizing force. Why? No matter what happens on earth, His plan is consistent, it does not waiver or deviate. The world today is not much different that the world of old. There are still false prophets and leaders who fail to surrender to the Will of God. Leaders still take bribes, or are rewarded by lobbyists. Many priests and religious leaders are bought by large contributions to their church, and fall pray to idols (money, fame, and fortune). Families still struggle to maintain the nucleus to hold the unit together. Economies and social justice are still at odds. And, the Word of God is still lost to many who only hear the noise of chaos.
This seems like desperate times, and in some respect it is. However, this world will operate in phases until the end. Our loving Father will love us, warn us of our wrong doing, judge us and restore us, each time hoping that we will turn back to Him.
The only thing we can rely on is His unfailing love and character that is ever-present, even when it seems He is not with us.
Our Lord never forsakes us or leaves us. He does not turn a blind eye to this world. He sees all, and remembers everything. He is always with us, holding us up when we cannot walk or take another breath. He provides for us when we cannot provide for ourselves.
He is here with us in the light and darkest moments. HE IS FAITHFUL throughout time. Rest assured, the sun will rise and set everyday as part of His creation and plan for our salvation. He is our loving Father who cannot fail. He is all truth and His character is unwavering.
When we exercise, we usually develop a routine that we follow on a daily basis. My question is, do you have a spiritual exercise routine? Do you wake in the morning and, the first thing, praise God for another day’s journey? Do you schedule prayer breaks in the same way you schedule breaks at work? Do you pray before all of your meals, regardless of where you are eating? And finally, do you pray before you go to sleep at night thanking God for all he has done, his direction, and the fact that he saved you from things that you were not even aware of?
If not, perhaps, today is the day to establish your spiritual exercise routine.
Prayer only becomes difficult if it is not intentional.
“Being intentional simply means to pray on purpose or as intended.” Spiritual exercise while designed by you is led by the Holy Spirit. This being said, God’s time is not our time. Your routine is your template, the Holy Spirit is your guide. Stay on track and let him guide you. You prayer may be only a moment long, or lengthly. Gid will provide the time and everything else will fall in place.
Looking in the Bible, 1 Thessalonians 5:17 instructs us to be purposeful—to pray always. (biblestudytools.com)
Prayers About Praying:
“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” Psalms 145:18 NIV
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Colossians 4:2 NIV
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41 NIV
“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark 11:25 NIV
“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” Luke 18:1 NIV
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12 NIV
When we are instructed to wait on the Lord in Isaiah 40:31, God is not instructing us to sit and twiddle our thumbs or coil, writhing in pain over what we should or should not do. The phrase ‘wait on the Lord’ means to wait in expectation, trust in Him, and put your hope in Him, not the circumstances you may be experiencing. If the farmers experience low crop yields, do they say, I will not plant seeds this year and I know God will supply a prosperous crop. No, they plant their seeds, care for the crop and pray that it will be bountiful. If we need a job, should we sit paralyzed or should we search for work and pray that God will direct us to the perfect position and give us favor in the employers eyes.
I am certain many may have experienced God’s work when seeking employment and the opportunities seem to be in conflict with your skills and education, yet that particular type of work seems to be calling. Quite often, God is sending you to a place where He needs you to be His messenger, or it may be a place that requires you to turn to Him and place all confidence in Him (a lesson, not a punishment). Is it easier to follow His direction in this instance, or to remain spirituality paralyzed? I submit, God controls everything, to assume He cannot direct your path is offensive. He created all in the world and universe, His architecture for our lives was completed long ago. He knew and knows all that we will go through in life, the good and the bad, as well as times of comfort and extreme discomfort, therefore He knows His expectations of how we are to approach Him; it is an act of defiance when we fail to reach out to Him. He expects us to firstly ask Him for direction(pray), then listen for His answer (seek), and thirdly act (respond).
God is our only prospect for deliverance. Consider your options and listen to the directions God shares with you. It may be as you hoped, and then again it may be something completely out of your purview. For many, attempting to make a decision creates paralysis and indecision; taking the path less traveled may also cause (temporary) paralysis. But, consider this, if we operate outside of God’s Will or chose our own path, we are not honoring God. God gives us strength when we seek Him. He directs us when we abide in His Word. His hope energizes us when we seek Him. When we wait upon Him, trusting He will answer and direction, we begin to exhibit strength, a peace of mind, and deliverance from the storm that rages and attempts to sink us, and consequently seeks to weaken and destroy our relationship with the Lord. Psalms 25:5 advises us to ask God to lead us in His truth and teaches us learn to wait on His reply. Only God is our salvation. Psalms 27:14 implores us to wait on the Lord; to be strong and let your heart take courage as you yield to His direction. We are, according to Webster’s Dictionary, (commentary on Wait on the Lord, word search ‘wait’) stay or rest in expectation until the arrival of His answer is clear. We can rest in the knowledge that His provision will be better than anything we force.
Waiting on the Lord is active, not passive. It is preparing us to act when it becomes clear that He is directing our path. It urges us not to be indecisive and writhing in paralysis. Psalms 37:7 (ESV) shares “Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for Him to act.” Rest in God’s love, be active and wait on the Lord. “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.” Roman’s 12:2 (NIV) Continue to plant your crop, in the case of farming, send out your resume, share with others your need for employment, seek out communities of those also searching for employment and ask God to show you direction, ask for a sign that you are on the correct path even when His path may mean lower income that you are accustomed to, he is plotting your path. He will reward you for relying on and obeying Him.
Waiting on the Lord is an active and decisive practice. Indecision is passive and inactive. It is a form of spiritual passivity that creates spiritual paralysis and weakens your relationship with the Lord, our Father.
Images in order: 1) LAB Photos; 2) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.com; 3) m.lovethispic.com
Resources: Barnes Notes On The Bible, biblehub.com
We all experience ups and downs, peaks and valleys, rest and challenges in our lives. This we must proclaim daily, I am a child of God who loves me unconditionally. He promises to care for me throughout my life and in him I rest all Hope. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
God gave us the authority to free ourselves from the shackles of the evil one. ~ Lisa Blair
Freedom is the response to faith and prayer. We pray and pray, but do we operate in God’s authority when we pray? As Christian’s we are seated with Christ in the heavenly place above all principalities and power. Paul pronounces this truth in Ephesians.
“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,” Ephesians 2:6 NIV
We sit in a place of authority. When we recognize we have authority, then we should also recognize our prayers are powerful prayers, prayed by a person in authority – you. This power was bestowed upon us when we received Christ as our Lord and Savior. We are authorized to pray using the power bestowed upon us. In short, we all have the potential to be prayer warriors. Galatians explains that we are not weak, but strong. Paul tells us to be strong in the Lord. We are encouraged to pray with authority. We must learn to operate in God’s authority.
An article entitled What does Ephesians 2:6 mean? Knowing-Jesus.com explains it this way:
As believers we are united with Christ, and because the Lord Jesus broke the power of sin and death and hell when He rose from the dead, the strength of sin in our lives has also been broken and we have been raised up into newness of life, in Him.
But God did so much more for us when the Lord Jesus died and rose from the dead (and then ascended into heaven, to sit at the right hand of the Father in great glory and majesty), we discover that we have a new and eternal position, simply because we believe in Jesus. We have been positioned in Christ and exalted together with Him into heavenly places, IN HIM. We have been seated spiritually in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV
John Eckhardt author of Routing Out Demons, explains that “we have the authority to tread on serpents and scorpions”, not because it’s is a mortal thought, but our responsibility as children of God. We are his ambassadors on earth. We are his workers. God gave us authority to overcome the evil ones’ intent to kill, steal and destroy. He empowered us with His Word with is our manual to operate while we live on this earth. The Bible is our shelter. His promises protect us. His commands empower us. I believe that anything that confronts us can be considered serpents and scorpions. We suffer the onslaughts because we fail to live in God’s authority. We do not pray in His power, or His hope for our futures. We do what many call, ‘hoping and a prayin’, as if we are reciting something outside of ourselves. When we treat this as an intellectual practice, we fail to operate un the authority bestowed upon us. We do not do this on our own accord, the Holy Spirit guides our prayers. His Word is nestled in us. His power and authority is in us. We must operate in His power and authority. Jesus shared with his disciples in Luke 6, “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. We are the Lord’s present day disciples. Luke explains the same in Luke 10:19,21 NKJV. “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
We have the authority given to us through the resurrection of Christ and at the direction of the Holy Spirit to loose ourselves and our loved one from illness, financial burden, loss and spiritual darkness. We have been empowered to pray in God’s Name through continuous and fervent prayer. We are to confess His Word and the promised outcomes for his people. This is not magic. It is not some self proclaimed power. It is a gift from God. His Will may not always align with ours. Our prayer may not be answered immediately. It may not fall in the scope of what God wants for us at a particular time. There will be times that the answer is ‘no’ or ‘not now’. But it is His desire for us to, in modern terminology, activate the promises He has given us. In the Book of Matthew, we read how Christ empowered His disciples with the authority to heal, spiritually and physically. We are His spiritual children and He has empowered us through the Word to do the same, use His authority in praying and confessing His promises when we pray other ourselves and others.
We can proclaim freedom from the shackles of the evil one, we can tread on serpents and scorpions through prayer with conviction.