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Devotions > Abiding Praying

15 Jan 2014

A few days ago in a Blackaby devotional book “ Experiencing God Day by Day”  the devotion for the day was titled “When God Speaks, It Is So”    The scripture was from Isaiah 55:11:

Isaiah 55:11 (NASB95)
11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

Throughout scripture we see the results of God speaking. Below are a few examples of the results of the word doing what it was intended to accomplish.

Genesis 1:3 (Darby)
3 And God said, Let there be light. And there was light.

Genesis 1:9 (Darby)
9 And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together to one place, and let the dry land appear. And it was so.

Jesus spoke:   Luke 18:35-43 (Darby)
35 And it came to pass when he came into the neighborhood of Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the wayside begging.
36 And when he heard the crowd passing, he inquired what this might be.
37 And they told him that Jesus the Nazaraean was passing by.
38 And he called out saying, Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.
39 And those who were going before rebuked him that he might be silent; but *he* cried out so much the more, Son of David, have mercy on me.
40 And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be led to him. And when he drew nigh he asked him saying,
41 What wilt thou that I shall do to thee? And he said, Lord, that I may see.
42 And Jesus said to him, See: thy faith has healed thee.
43 And immediately he saw, and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people when they saw it gave praise to God.

John 11:43-44 (NASB95)
43 When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth."
44 The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said* to them, "Unbind him, and let him go."

Jesus also said in John 15:7:
7 "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  [NASB]

A few verses earlier Jesus illustrates what it means to abide1 "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3 "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.
5 "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

Jesus is our only source for fruit bearing, He is the vine and we are the branches.    He is our resource for answers to prayer.  If we abide in Him and His words abide in us we can ask anything and it will be done.   These requirements to abide in Him and to have His words abide in us bring us into the point of being an effective instrument in the hands of God.   We are in sync  with and submitted to His will and His purposes to the full extent that is possible in this side of heaven.

Oh how Jesus longs for disciples who are completely committed such that they abide in Him and His words abide in them.    He desires to see this world redeemed and He wants to use His children to be the instruments of His Spirit to accomplish this task.   When His words abide in us it is in some ways similar to Jesus speaking, that is the things spoken by Him come to pass.

One day Jesus was with His disciples in the presence of a large crowd.  [ Matt 9:25-38 ]  Jesus looked upon the crowd with compassion and He instructed the disciples to pray to the Lord of the harvest that He should send out or thrust out or force out workers into His harvest.   The word often translated send out is a very strong word in the original language.   It is the same word used in Matt 10:2 where Jesus gives His disciples the power over unclean spirits to cast them out.   The word translated to cast them out is the word used by Jesus when He instructed His disciples to pray for the Lord of the Harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.

The strength of this language gives us the idea that Jesus felt strongly about the need for laborers due to the desperate needs of the multitude.     Jesus’ solution seems to start with prayer.   Pray ye to the Lord of the Harvest that He might take strong action in answer to your prayers (thrusting out laborers) such that the result would be to bring many of these needy ones in to the place of being true disciples of Jesus.     We are so conditioned in our day to think that Jesus only wanted decisions but the force of the scriptures strongly indicates that He distinctly desires disciples.     Jesus was not one to encourage half-hearted following.   He knew that half-hearted following would not bode well for the half-hearted one in heaven’s eternity.

Jesus did not sugar coat discipleship.   Luke 14:26 (AMP)
26 If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his [own] father and mother [in the sense of indifference to or relative disregard for them in comparison with his attitude toward God] and [likewise] his wife and children and brothers and sisters—[yes] and even his own life also—he cannot be My disciple.

Luke 14:27 (AMP)
27 Whoever does not persevere and carry his own cross and come after (follow) Me cannot be My disciple.

Luke 14:33 (AMP)
33 So then, any of you who does not forsake (renounce, surrender claim to, give up, say good-bye to) all that he has cannot be My disciple.

Jesus knows what we struggle to believe …… there is no sacrifice for Him that is not worth it.

Luke 18:28-30 (AMP)
28 And Peter said, See, we have left our own [things—home, family, and business] and have followed You.
29 And He said to them, I say to you truly, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God
30 Who will not receive in return many times more in this world and, in the coming age, eternal life.

Once again in the “Experiencing God Day By Day” by Henry and Richard Blackaby  we read     [Jan 15th] these words …..  Title:   “Compelled To Serve”  -    Your people shall be volunteers in the day of Your power – Psalms 110:3

“One mark of revival, during which God comes to His people in power, is that God’s people are compelled to offer their lives for His service …….   What we need is not more pleas for volunteers, but an outpouring of the power of God.  When God comes among His people in power there is no shortage of volunteers or resources for His work!”

While human logic is often dangerous it seems that if Jesus asked His disciples to pray for laborers that it would be likewise pleasing to God if we were to pray for God to send His revival power upon His people that many would respond to make disciples who would make disciples to the glory of God.   Jesus is still looking at the multitudes with compassion ….. what about us?  Will we start with prayer?

Jeff Williams