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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 112

Hindered Prayer continued...

One thing we must understand is that it is never God’s will that your prayers be impeded, it is never God’s will you don’t make it to prayer, or that you get so caught up in the day to day, you forget to pray altogether.

It is always the enemy, every single time and without fail. It is the enemy who attempts to impede our prayers, it is the enemy who attempts to distract us from coming before God with supplication, and we cannot confuse the two, or think to ourselves it is the Lord who stopped us from having fellowship with Him on any given day.

God’s desire is fellowship with His children. He would do nothing that would hamper or obstruct this desire from coming to pass.

Knowing God never attempts to inhibit or keep us from praying, when we feel resistance, when we feel opposition, knowing it is the enemy, we must resist him and rebuke him, and do so sternly.

1 Peter 5:8-9, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”

An adversary is one who contends, opposes, or resists. An adversary has also been defined as an enemy, or an opponent. As such, we must understand the enemy is never the neutral third party, he is never the conscientious observer; he is our adversary who walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.

Not only is the devil our adversary, he really, really hates us. It is one thing to go to war against someone because you’re getting paid to do it or you feel it is your duty, it is quite another to do so out of pure, white-hot hatred.

The one weapon we have against the devil is to resist him, steadfast in the faith. We know the victory belongs to our God. We know that Christ won the war on the cross at Calvary, but this does not exempt us of the responsibilities inherent with being children of God.

We must resist him, we must be steadfast in the faith, and though the journey might grow difficult, and the path might not be as smooth as we would like it to be, we keep our eyes affixed upon Christ, and continue on our journey toward eternity.

The instant we free ourselves from the bondage of sin, the enemy declares war on us. We are on his hit list, whether we’re preachers, evangelists, choir singers or laymen. Because some are on the front lines they end up catching more of the arrows, but it does not mean the enemy isn’t targeting every believer that has repented and received Christ as Lord and King of their lives.

Know that you have an adversary. Know that you have an enemy, and know that you can defeat him.

Up until the moment we were saved, we were at enmity with God. Every one of us, no matter how good or moral or upright we thought ourselves to be before receiving Christ, were at enmity with God. The instant He established His throne in our hearts, we switched sides, and now we are at enmity with the devil. Just as there is no neutrality in the devil or in God, there can be no neutrality in the heart of man. Every man, everywhere, at any given time has either been at enmity with God, or with the devil, but he has never been neutral.

This is yet another topic which is rarely if ever covered in many a church, even though it is essential when it comes to our spiritual wellbeing. Some consider that talking about the adversary, talking about the devil, and informing young believers that he walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, might be too traumatic for them.

‘Well, we can’t have young believers scared out of their wits thinking that the enemy’s out to get them.’

No, they shouldn’t be scared out of their wits, but they should know they have an enemy, and he is determined upon their destruction. Knowing that the adversary is real and that he exists, and knowing that only Jesus is able to keep us safe and out of harm’s reach, we will be all the more inclined to be dependent upon Him, and run to Him whenever the dark clouds begin to gather.

It seems like the hardest thing to come by nowadays, especially in a church setting, is balance.

We get so focused and obsessive over our pet doctrines, we get so fixated and preoccupied with just one aspect of God, that we throw the very notion of balance out the window.

‘God is love! God is justice! God is holy! God is merciful! God is righteous! God is forgiving!’

And while we’re screaming one of these mantras as loud as we can, and while others are screaming their own mantras right back at us, we miss out on the fact that God is all of these things and more.

We serve a multidimensional God, a God who loves, but who also hates, a God who is merciful but who is also just, a God who is forgiving, but is also holy. When we take just one dimension of God, and reject all others, when we define Him as one thing, and one thing only, what we’ve done is fashion our own God, create a version of the God we’ve always wanted, rather than the God who was, and is and ever shall be.

This is why I cringe every time I hear ‘my God wouldn’t do that’ even though the God of the Bible did do it. Granted, perhaps your God wouldn’t do that, but the one true God surely does.

Whenever we try to put God in a box, to our surprise, He always outgrows the box we’ve put Him in. When we start talking ourselves into believing that God can’t do something anymore, He proves us wrong in an instant, and the pretty box of words we’ve fashioned to explain away His omnipotence is shattered.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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