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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 56

Prayers of Petition continued...

The reality of this present life is that it ends. No matter who you are, no matter how well you take care of yourself, no matter how many vitamins you take, how much you jog, or how organic your diet is, one day, you will go back to the earth as surely as the sun rose this morning.

No, the purpose of this post is not to make you aware of your mortality, but rather to make you realize how important it is to petition God for forgiveness earnestly, and frequently.

If the first universal truism is that death comes to us all, the second universal truism is that not one of us knows the day and hour when we will pass from this life to the next. Our lives are in God’s hands, our time is on His spool of eternity, and when the thread is cut, we leave this life suddenly.

Revelation 14:5, “And in their mouth was found on guile, for they are without fault before the throne of God.”

Those who stood before the throne of God had two identical traits. The first trait was that no guile was found in their mouth, and the second was that they were without fault before the throne of God.

We are all imperfect; we all have flaws, and faults, and wrinkles and shortcomings, so those who stood before God’s throne weren’t without fault because they were perfect, they were without fault because they had learned the secret of praying petitions of forgiveness to God with consistency.

Do not put off your prayers for forgiveness until enough faults have amassed wherein it would take you fifteen hours to get through the entire list. Be consistent in asking God for forgiveness; be consistent in petitioning Him with prayers for forgiveness, because you never know when you will stand before His throne.

Don’t let the sun go down on your day without taking the time to ask Him to forgive you for those things you know you need forgiveness for, and if you make it a common practice, yes even a habit to ask God for forgiveness consistently, you too will stand before His throne without fault, because He forgives those who ask for Him for it.

When we know we are at fault, when we have fault in our hearts, it ought to be so unbearable, so uncomfortable, that asking for God’s forgiveness becomes a priority, superseding anything else we might have to do at that given moment.

I have said this before, but it bears repeating, we must not allow our hearts to grow hard, and our love to grow cold by discounting the urging of the Holy Spirit to pray, to repent, and to ask for forgiveness.

The word of God warns us that the love of many will grow cold, and in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, the church at Ephesus is rebuked for having left their first love.

Revelation 2:4-5, “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place – unless you repent.”

Two things need be pointed out here: first, it is the revelation of Jesus, not the revelation of John as so many pseudo-preachers like to claim, and second, the church at Ephesus did not lose their first love, they left their first love.

Love is not a set of keys. You can’t lose love. You can however distance yourself from its warmth, and you can consciously and actively leave it, knowing exactly what you are doing and the reasons why.

Yes, it is a pet peeve of mine, but I believe a justified one, because one too many individuals have come up to me after a service, and asked me to pray for them because they’ve lost their first love. You weren’t playing hide and seek, you didn’t let it off the leash to go for a run and it got away from you, you left your first love.

For some the intensity of first love is too much to handle. For others, the heat of the flames of first love is too all consuming. As such, they choose to leave their first love, they choose to be less zealous, less committed, less steadfast, devoted, loyal, and staunch.

Men do not lose their first love, they leave their first love!

The siren’s song of compromise is too sweet for some to ignore, and once they begin to compromise, the enemy finds platitudes and generalities by which they can justify the compromise they’ve allowed to enter their heart.

First love burns away compromise, first love burns away concessions, first love is a fire that consumes half-heartedness altogether, and this is why the enemy hates those who still possess their first love.

First love also stirs you to pray for forgiveness when you know you’ve brought offense to God, it stirs you to petition God for mercy and compassion when you know your conduct, your speech, or your actions were not what they ought to have been on any given day.

Although some would prefer I walk around in flowing white robes, with not a hair out of place, giving off an air of equal parts piety and superiority, I am just a man who sometimes forgets to shave, who often eats things he shouldn’t, who chews his nails until they bleed, and has the nasty habit of drinking milk straight out of the carton.

I am a flesh and blood human male, who was called to the great high calling of preaching the gospel of Christ, who strives to comport himself worthily before his Master, but who often has to bow the knee and petition God for forgiveness, for falling short of the mark.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

1 comment:

MaryL said...

Excellent! I have found the last few years of my walk to be of such, that if I stumble in thought, word or deed and offend God... The Holy Spirit shows me immediately and I fall to my knees immediately because it is indeed unbearable even for a few moments... Praise Him for His great mercy!

PS... My husband will attest 'milk taste best straight out of the carton'!! :)