How we come to God
I am the Interim Pastor at Northwest Baptist in Gainesville, FL at the time of this blog. We are blessed that God is using us here. Elaine and I love the privilege of encouraging and working with the church. One of the things God has laid on my heart to do is to put a focus on prayer. That is why I am currently in a series on "The Model Prayer". We are using Matthew 6:9-13 for our primary text of this prayer. There are times when we will look for example at how Luke is used in communicating the prayer.
It maybe needless to say, but the idea of prayer and its intregal part of the believers life is very much on my mind each day. For good reason, as prayer is not only about seeing His will done but I am finding that prayer keeps me more focused and thus able to sense and know God's leading. This is true for all of us and also for His church and specifically I mean Northwest. So if you are a part of the Northwest family, you will see this maybe in a way that someone who is not a part will see it.
In Paul’s letter to the Ephesian believers in chapter 3,He has challenged them as to the need for unity in the body in verses 1-16. Then in verse 17 he talks about the new life we have
and then in verses 20 and 21 he prays for them-
20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,
21 to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
J. Vernon McGee: “We are not to come to Him with mistrust or in a begging attitude, but we are to come with boldness to ask that God’s will be done.”
When I think of what has just been said I am encouraged and yet challenged. That is not just me but I hope it is all of you who are reading this post today. When the writer in Hebrews 4:16 says-
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Listen, the writer is not messing around and simply making a statement. He is led of the Holy Spirit of God predicated on what he has learned of God. The Spirit is saying come on, you have access to the Father and there is no reason for you to shy away or feel like you are unable to speak to Him in prayer.
There is an important difference to note as to the opportunity to come boldly to the Father. Asking of God is what we do when we understand His direction to call upon Him. Demanding of God is what we do when His direction is replaced by our selfishness.
In James 4:3 we read-
You ask and don't receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your evil desires.
This is a sobering comment because so many wonder why God doesn't answer their prayers. Well, actually He does but it is always in His will not ours. There can be a myriad of reasons God doesn't answer a prayer. I remember in last Sunday's message speaking to this point. You may pray for a million dollars. God doesn't give it to you and the reason could simply be if He did He knows you would not know how to be a good steward of it.
Trusting God is not something to do today, it is something you must do every day. The Psalmist says in Psalm 40:4-
Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!
I don't know about you but I find it very interesting that people will seek the thoughts of others but will not seek the heart of God. There is too much happening in the world and in our lives that we need direction and assurance which can only come from God.
I wish everyone would seek Him. That all would desire to know and respond to His will. I know that will not happen because when man decides to go his own way it leads away from God. Not only does it lead away, but there is also a pulling from the evil one. A drawing away toward destruction and chaos. Just look around and you see it in every place and thing in the world.
We need to be honest and admit that this world is an evil place. The world in spiraling out of control. I don't need to list examples. We all know what they are and why they are happening. That doesn't make it any easier to understand or accept, but it does reinforce the truth that this world is in trouble. How much longer can this go on? Only God knows and He, as of this moment, has not told His Son Jesus to go and get His bride the church.
If I could give you some advice and counsel right now, it is really very simple. First, know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Secondly, ask God for direction in your life and then follow His direction. Finally, live life the way the Bible tells you to live. When you do these things you are doing everything God expects of you.
In God's Grace,