Sunday, 22 January , 2017

Living like Jesus – Prayer (4)

GOD DESIRES PARTNERSHIP WITH HIS PEOPLE

We finished yesterday saying that through continuous communion with God we will soon find ourselves friends of His, and as such, those in whom He confides in and partners with.

God has sovereignly determined the primary events in His eternal plan and He will surely accomplish what He has determined regardless of what people or the enemy do. However, He has chosen to give us a dynamic role in determining some of the measure of the “quality of life” that we experience in the natural and Spirit (in time and eternity). We determine this based on our response to the grace of God in our partnership with Him (particularity in prayer and meekness).

God opens doors of blessing and closes doors of oppression in response to our prayers. There are blessings that God has chosen to give, but only if His people rise up in the intimate partnership of prayer to ask for them.

  • You do not have because you do not ask. (James 4:2)
  • This kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting. (Matthew 17:21)
  • The LORD longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on High to have compassion on you….19 He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you. (Isaiah 30:18-19; NAS)
  • I sought for a man among them who would…stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. (Ezekiel. 22:30)
  • Gather yourselves together…2 before the decree is issued…before the LORD’s fierce anger comes upon you…3 Seek the LORD, all you meek of the earth…it may be that you will be hidden (protected from judgment) in the day of the LORD’s anger. (Zeph. 2:1-3)
  • Return to the LORD…for He is gracious…and He relents from doing harm. 14 Who knows if He will turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind Him…? (Joel 2:12-14)

Some “trust” the sovereignty of God in a non-biblical way by “trusting” God to do the role that He has assigned to us. This is not truly trusting God, but rather it is presumption before Him. Karl Graustein said ‘Trusting God doesn’t give us an excuse to idly sit back, doing nothing. Praying to God and asking Him to help doesn’t allow us to be lazy. We need to trust God and do our part in the strength and guidance He provides.’ We cannot do God’s part and He will not do our part.

Scott Hafemann writes: Trust in God’s promises comes to light in obedience to his commands….  It is therefore a contradiction in terms to say that we acknowledge Christ’s rule in our lives if we do not submit to his word….  There is no distinction in the Bible between knowing God or Jesus as our “Savior” and knowing him as our “Lord.” Saving faith always expresses itself in obedience (James 2:21-24).

Our partnership with God has three steps. First, God initiates what He wants by declaring it in His Word and stirring our hearts, as we seen yesterday the will of God is revealed to us in our intimate relationship with him through prayer. Second, we respond in obedience and prayer to God’s initiative. Third, God answers our responses by releasing more blessing that He would have withheld until He heard our cry.

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