Monday, May 28, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 82

Answered Prayers continued...

John 15:5-7, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire and it shall be done for you.”

When we have the boldness to pray in the name of Jesus, it signifies and confirms that we have a vital relationship with Him. If Christ is the vine and we are the branches, it is Christ who is the sustainer of life. It is Christ who is vital to our existence, and not the other way around.

In our prayers, as well as our lives in general we often act as though God needs us more than we need Him. We come before Him with an air of entitlement and superiority, as though our mere presence ought to honor God to no end. He is the vine, we are the branches. It is the vine that sustains the branch. It is the vine that gives life to the branch, and once the branch is removed from the vine it withers, and is good for nothing more than being thrown into the fire and burned.

We must acknowledge our dependence upon Christ, and allow this knowledge to keep us humble and tethered to Him.

The only way by which we can ask what we desire and see it done for us is if we abide in Christ and if His words abide in us. It is common knowledge that the word ‘if’ denotes conditionality.

If I eat less and exercise more, I will lose weight. My weight loss is conditional upon my eating less and exercising more, and without doing these two things consistently, I will not lose the weight I desire to lose.

If we abide in Christ and His words abide in us then we can ask what we desire and it shall be done for us. If we do not abide in Him and His words do not abide in us, what we desire will not be done for us.

We have life in Christ. When we abide in Christ and His words abide in us, we no longer pray selfish prayers, we no longer desire worthless things, but we will pray for and desire the eternal things of the kingdom of God.

When we know the fullness of Christ, when we abide in Him, we realize how precious and priceless the things of the kingdom of God truly are, how indispensable the guidance, gifts, and unction of the Holy Spirit is, and we will desire them above the treasures of this earth.

When we pray for temporal things, when we pray for earthly things, all we are doing is displaying our spiritual immaturity, and our lack of understanding in regards to the fullness of Christ.

1 John 3:22, “And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.”

Because we keep His commandments, because we do those things that are pleasing in His sight, whatever we ask we receive from Him. Once more we see the conditionality placed upon us as followers of Christ to keep His commandments, and do what is pleasing in His sight.

The ‘I did all that is required of me to do when I raised my hand in church’ mentality just doesn’t hold up to the scrutiny of scripture. I’m sorry for having to come back to this point – and by now it seems like I’m beating a dead horse even to me – but this is a major issue that we must clarify if we desire to have our prayers answered when we pray in the name of Jesus.

There are countless scriptures that don’t just hint or intimate, but outright tell us we must live lives worthy of Christ, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight, yet a great majority of the church today seems to ignore and disregard them, because they revel in the duplicitous lives a libertine gospel affords them.

Being obedient to the word of God is not legalism – it is obedience.

We are quick to label any scripture that inconveniences us ‘legalistic’, because in our heart of hearts we do not desire to serve God, we do not desire to worship Him, but to use the privileges of being one of His children toward our own benefit.

If you think I was exaggerating in my previous statement, I would urge you to study the prosperity gospel, discover its roots, and you will see that if anything I was understating the issue, and not exaggerating it.

Whole mega churches and entire ministries are based solely on the foundation of hedonism, selfishness, greed, and entitlement, wherein God is there to serve us, to do as we command, to stand at attention each time we ring the bell, and give us everything we’ve ever wanted.

Strangely, those who have surrendered their hearts to this perverted doctrine never seem to pray and ask God for more power, for more of His presence, or for more of the Holy Spirit, but for cars and boats and homes and trinkets which are wholly worthless and valueless.

God has established conditions for when we enter the Holiest. He has established prerequisites to which we must submit, and He will not go back on His word just because this present generation disagrees with Him in their rebellion. Nor will He nullify His commandments because certain individuals find them inconvenient.

He is the vine, we are the branches, and it is incumbent upon us not to be cast out, where we will wither, be gathered up, and thrown into the fire. Without Him we can do nothing!

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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