1 Apr 2013
Yes, indeed, He has Risen! But first, God’s prerequisite requirement for this awesome miracle giving us entrance into the very presence of God; He was wounded.
Isaiah 53:5 (AMP)
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.
Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow. – Elvina M.Hall 1865
We are helplessly and eternally in debt to our Savior! Yet in this day and time some often secretly audaciously accuse God of being unfair or even unloving. Our perspectives are impoverished and imprisoned by our proud perpetual propensities in the direction of being unconsciously but consistently centered in self. The world applauds and promotes this self-centered predisposition providing a steady stream of words and pictures designed to communicate “it is all about you.”
How can we defeat these sinister swindling schemes to keep our focus fixed on self? First we must decide. We must decide if we will believe the world’s message that is reinforced by the flesh and the enemy, or if we will believe the Word and the Truth. It is only the power of the Truth that will set us free from the tyranny of self.
Not only must we decide which of these messages to believe, we must seek the power to discipline our minds and eyes and ears to maximize the messages of truth and minimize the messages of destruction. Our enemy knows that no matter how blatant the lie, if we listen to a lie long enough we will eventually begin to buy into some or all of that lie. Likewise if we continue to consistently put into our minds and eyes and ears truth, we will become stronger and stronger and position ourselves to experience freedom and peace.
A secret is found in our fear perspective. For example, we may think that a certain television show in not permissible for children, but since we are adults; we can handle the things to which children should not be exposed. In other words we may fail to fear the things of this world (and the flesh), but fail to fear our God who is holy. We will either primarily fear God and flee the world, or we will fail to fear God and flounder and fail while loving the world.
We are told that God sees the secret things of our hearts. God is incredibly aware of the slightest erosion of our love and devotion for Him. How do we lose our first love? Is it not one self-centered choice at a time?
Matthew 6:4 (NASB77)
4 that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will repay you. (emphasis added)
Jesus has instructed us that we should love God.
Mark 12:30 (NASB95)( Jesus is speaking )
30 AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.'
In order to in fact fulfill this command of God; we must love God with an appropriate attitude. That is to say, if in our hearts we attempt to love God with the motive that we will be blessed in so doing, then this secret motive of our heart is readily observed by God and we have neither loved rightly nor will we receive a reward. Love is always about giving, not giving to get. Giving to get is not love; it is bartering. God does not participate in the bartering business.
Jesus used the self-centered attitude of Peter to teach us the correct perspective regarding the things of God.
Matthew 16:21-24 (NASB95)
21 From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.
22 Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, "God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You."
23 But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's."
24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. ( emphasis added)
Perhaps this is another secret relating to prayer, “setting our minds on the interests of God and not on the interests of man.” That is to say we must deny our own interests in favor of prioritizing the interests of God. As we pray for revival, we should ask ourselves this question; are we praying for revival from the motive of man’s interests or are we praying for revival from the rationale of God’s interests?
How then can we know the interests of God? Perhaps we can never know exactly every interest of God on this side of heaven, however if we are to bring our awareness to its maximum potential to know the interests of God we must follow the example of Jesus. Jesus told His disciples and others that He did everything His Father instructed and did nothing His Father did not instruct. How did He know each exact instruction of His Father? From all appearances He simply spent protracted time in the presence of His Father every day. Could this be a secret of praying from the right perspective? Could spending protracted time in the presence of our Father, denying ourselves and focusing on the interests of God provide additional power to your prayers for revival?