Monday, February 14, 2011

Wait and pray only when you feel worthy? Not!!!

Ever ..like.. feel not "worthy" enough to come before a holy God in prayer.. cuz perhaps you use to live like a dirty wild bore or a snorting hound dog ..as I unfortunately did for so many years (and I'm not at all proud of it)?

If you did, cheer up because Christ Himself is way worthy and His blood also makes us totally, not partly, clean before the Father..even if you did or didn't quite live like a wild bore or gruesome hound dog.

I love what the Bible says of Jesus near the end of the Book, "And they sang a new song, saying: 'You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God" (Rev. 5:10). Huh, kings, priests.. what's that all about? Hey, if these words don't jump start your prayer life and help you want to freely pray and sing, then maybe these following Scriptures will do hit the spot to get you over the hump into worship. Please meditate upon or memorize and pray about God's encouragement here:

"His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by sending Jesus Christ to die for us. And He did this because He wanted to! Now all praise to God for His wonderful kindness to us and His favor that He has poured out upon us because we belong to His dearly loved Son" (Eph. 1:5-6, tlb).

Child of God, you are already beloved and favored in His eyes! And God's powerful adopting grace will always be so much bigger and kinder than your fickle human feelings and doubts, yes, even through times where He might seem kinda silent or hidden.

"And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven's Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. This is the new, life-giving way that Christ has opened up for us through the sacred curtain, by means of His death for us. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God's people, let us go right into the presence of God, with true hearts fully trusting Him" (Heb. 10:19-21, nlt). I love how God doesn't say with "hearts fully trusting ourselves" here, don't you.

 

I guess you kind of know by now that I enjoy fellowship. And I love to talk about the Lord with people that are open to this too. I love to talk about (and do) honest worship, non-pushy discipleship, and tactful joyous evangelism, but I never ever want to be insensitive or cavalier about it and do this in such a way that I put a heavy on people ..or even slightly pressure anyone to do more than their gentle, loving, Good Shepherd is actually leading them to do.

 

Do I ever personally need to receive some motivation and inspiration to do the basics, you know from a fired-up brother or a sister in the Lord? Sure I do, and I like the blessing that follows as I go apply the Word with Christ's lead.

 

Honestly, I think I could possibly do more at times or accomplish more, but it's really about what Jesus already accomplished. I enter His rest, and He gets all the glory. I'm really far from good at this Christian life and witnessing, but learning is still fun to me. Yes, I have a whole lot of fun as a Christian and I really don't want to live for fun or hearing applause because I accomplished so much. I'm an ordinary dude and haven't accomplished much, but I still have goals.

 

Listen up, my doing and your doing, all of our past good deeds or avoiding past temptations IS NOT going to make us worthy to approach the Lord in prayer. Only those dripping blood stains of Jesus that ran down His splintery weather worn cross is what has made us worthy. That's where He did it and won for you and me.  

 

He alone is the Lord of the harvest and He is glad to use us in this privileged noble task, and yes it starts with believing prayer. The devil has lies to work with to try to stop us, to keep us from our knees. If he can only keep us out of the prayer closet due to our bad feelings, doubts, self condemnation, false guilt or due to adverse circumstances, then he knows how we will lack what we need dunamis power-wise when it's time to confidently tell the whole nine yards of the Gospel.

 

So often, we hear about what we "should do," "ought to do" are "supposed to do for God" and I hope that I am not guilty of coming off to you like God's love for you is according to how much you do for Him. I sure hope not. Please forgive me if I've ever shoved, cracked the whip, or given you this impression. But as you journey through the entire Bible, the emphasis of the Word that you will notice is not so much on what we are "supposed to do for the Lord as we spread the Gospel" but rather it's on Jesus Christ and what God has already done for us.

 

We work from salvation, not for it. We fight the good fight of faith from His victory at the cross, not for it. We serve from God already being pleased with us in Christ, not in order to become acceptable or pleasing. Believer, you won't ever be more acceptable to the Father than you are right now. Sure there will be times to humble yourself, confess and forsake when you or I blow it, though we will do our best to avoid sinning. I guess this touches on the question for you to ask yourself: Are you serving in order to have God be pleased with you (hey, that means drudgery), or are you joyfully obeying and praying, because you know deep in your knower that He is already overjoyed with you following Him due to His strong grace?
 
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