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Monday, August 20, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 148

Prayers of the Old Testament
The Prayer of Moses continued...

Moses did not live an autonomous life. He did not attempt to brave the trials and hardships of his existence on his own, but consistently deferred to God, and asked Him for help and guidance.

It goes without saying that a man who has learned to be dependent upon God, tethered to God, and obedient to God must also have had a vibrant prayer life.

If the prayer of Abraham taught us to pray and intercede on behalf of the lost, the prayer of Moses, which we will be discussing al length, teaches us to pray for the household of faith and those who have strayed from the truth.

Both Abraham and Moses interceded on behalf of others, both men had tender hearts for their contemporaries, and both were considered mighty men of God. Perhaps there is a connection between having a tender heart toward those around you, and being a remarkable servant of God.

Certain truths become self-evident once we are able to establish a pattern. One such pattern is that all true men and women of God were men and women of prayer. Another such pattern is that they obeyed God even when it wasn’t in their flesh’s best interest to do so.

So here we have Moses, a man who was tried, tested and proven, having led the people of Israel out of bondage, out of Egypt, and we find them traveling through the desert toward the promised land.

Up to this point God had shown His strength and might to the people. It was not as though they were ignorant of what God could do, it was not as though they had not seen Him parting the sea or protecting them. And yet, as Moses went up Mount Sinai to receive the tablets of the Testimony, the people became impatient, and went to Aaron demanding he build them gods to go before them.

Every time I read this particular passage in the word of God, I am struck by how quickly men forget the goodness of the Lord, and how soon they forget all His benefits. It had not been so long since all the people had seen the army of Pharaoh decimated by the waters of the sea, it had not been so long since they themselves had crossed through the sea as if on dry land, but all of that was in the past, and they were looking toward the future, and Moses was nowhere to be found.

Moses was in fellowship with God. When you are in fellowship with God, you lose track of time. You come before Him, you get on your face and start pouring out your heart, and the next thing you know hours have gone by, and you’re in the same spot, still speaking to God and hearing Him speaking to your heart.

Such is the relationship Moses has with God. Moses did not come before God out of habit, or duty, or because it was his job, he came before God because he loved Him, and enjoyed spending time in His presence.

We do not serve God out of obligation. We do not spend time in prayer because if we do God will show us favor, or bless us. We spend time in prayer because it is our way of communing and fellowshipping with Him and it is something we look forward to doing each time we get a chance.

It didn’t take the people long to abandon the God who had been with them, who had saved them, who was for them a pillar of fire by night, and a pillar of cloud by day.

Thinking that their possessions meant more to them than the idol they wanted him to build, Aaron asked the people to break off their golden earrings, and bring them to him.

To what I am certain was his surprise, the people brought all their gold before Aaron, and with the gold he made a molded calf.

Sad and tragic as the following might sound, it is nevertheless true: men give up their gold for the promise of a false idol, far quicker and with more enthusiasm than they would to the one true God.

In serving their idols, it is assumed that men will have to pay a price. This is why no one complains when they’re charged to go see a sporting event, or a concert. When these same individuals are asked to be selfless, and do as Christ commanded, they bristle and begin accusing whoever happens to be standing behind the pulpit of money grubbing, and greed.

Thankfully I’ve never had to take an offering in my life. I have never, not once, stood before a group of people and uttered the words, ‘now we’re going to take an offering.’ Yes, when I travel and preach the pastor usually take up an offering for the ministry at the end of the service, but even then it is a muted and hurried affair.

Is it that I’m a secret millionaire? No, not even a secret thousandaire I’m afraid, but there has been so much negative implication concerning preachers and finances, that I would rather not have to deal with it at all.

Somehow, God still provides, and every moth the bills get paid, the children in our orphanage get fed, and we are able to continue doing the work to which we have been called.

So what’s the point of this little detour? Am I trying to defend the money grubbers, and the private-jet-having preachers? No, I’m not, but if you’re spending ten times more on your idols than you are sowing into the kingdom of God, perhaps you’re not the best person to be appointed judge over others.

Yes, I believe it is more blessed to give than to receive, and I live by this principle. But where you give, is as important as the giving itself. Do not give to have your name etched on a plaque, or to be honored by some prominent minister. Give because God stirs your heart to give, and give wherever He stirs you to give.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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