21 Jan 2013
In recent days there has been an abundance of bad news. It seems that this world while not fully recovered from the last disaster is unwillingly entertaining the next.
You have heard that things usually must get worse before they get better. While this may at times be accurate, the degree of accuracy is certainly dependent on our current position on the time line of God. For example, things no doubt looked significantly different from the dry ground in the middle of the Red Sea than they did a few minutes earlier looking west at the dust kicked up by the Egyptian army from perspective of the west side of deep water. Just when it seemed as if the final tragedy was about to transpire, they perceived that God had another plan. When it comes to God, conventional wisdom frequently falls far short of factual. For another example we might look at Luke Chapter nine.
Luke 9:1-6 (NASB95)
1 And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases.
2 And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing.
3 And He said to them, "Take nothing for your journey, neither a staff, nor a bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not even have two tunics apiece.
4 "Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that city.
5 "And as for those who do not receive you, as you go out from that city, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them."
6 Departing, they began going throughout the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.
Jesus apparently had two things in mind: providing a training exercise for the twelve disciples and preparing many local areas for His upcoming ministry. Jesus made it very clear what they did not need for this specific mission. Do you find it interesting that when these disciples were given power and authority from Jesus they needed so little else? In the present day in contrast to Jesus’ instructions, we often develop a pregnant perspective related to the plethora of prerequisites needed to be successful in ministry.
In fact it is possible to be so focused on the things we think we need that we fail to pray for the power and authority of Jesus. It is possible to be so fearful that we do not have the things we think we require that we blame God for failing to support our ministry or answer our prayers.
Jesus will always provide for us exactly what we need for the ministry to which He has called us if we seek from Him what He knows we need and avoid the pride trap of assuming that we know. The power and authority of Jesus by His Spirit will inevitably flow from intimate fellowship with Him. This cherished connection with Jesus will also provide the prerequisite for positive answers to our prayers as we pray for those things that He reveals are dear to His heart.
John 14:12-14 (AMP)
12 I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, if anyone steadfastly believes in Me, he will himself be able to do the things that I do; and he will do even greater things than these, because I go to the Father.
13 And I will do [I Myself will grant] whatever you ask in My Name [as presenting all that I AM], so that the Father may be glorified and extolled in (through) the Son.
14 [Yes] I will grant [I Myself will do for you] whatever you shall ask in My Name [as presenting all that I AM].
It is by brokenness and repentant submission flowing forth from personal time spent with Jesus that we are prepared for the work of God. We must come to the humble place where we know in our hearts that we cannot do what God has called us to do and from our need cry out to God for His provision. His ears are constantly waiting to hear our cry and His hand is poised to perform our necessities.
John 15:8-9 (AMP)
8 When you bear (produce) much fruit, My Father is honored and glorified, and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of Mine.
9 I have loved you, [just] as the Father has loved Me; abide in My love [continue in His love with Me].
God deeply desires to produce fruit through us for His glory. He passionately yearns to answer our prayers, when those prayers are focused on the desires of His heart and are asked according to His will.
Matthew 6:9-10 (NASB95)
9 "Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
10 'Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.