Sunday, October 26, 2008

Walking with God

His mercies are new every morning.

Something a lot of people seem to have trouble with is walking with God on a daily basis. Some things that you have probably heard and possible even felt.

I forget to do my devotions.

I don't like the books they have out there, and can't find anything I like and that makes it hard.

Even if you find a book you like doing devotions with it does not last forever.

I just run out of time in the morning.

It's just too hard.

I don't know what's wrong with me.

I don't know what to do.

I have personally thought all of them. I was wanting somehow to draw near to God, but feeling like the assistance I needed was not there, and that I did not have what it took to seek God until I found Him.

Then I realised something. When I was a young girl, and first saved I used to talk to God at any time of the day about anything, because Jesus was my friend and the Holy Spirit my guide. God taught me His wisdom, to fear Him, and His ways were burnt in my heart.

I did not find it hard to pray. I was praying all the time. I did not feel that I needed some book to guide me to have devotions, the Holy Spirit guided me towards God.

I didn't read my bible out of duty. I loathed the very thought of reading it religiously. But I read it regularly, and also every time I was in a church service were I didn't understand the preacher... or it was boring.

He wanted me. If He has my heart, He has all of me. As I learn to love, and lean on Him, He teaches me more, and I'm one of the happiest people on earth!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Answered Prayer Part 2 - Pushing for Breakthrough

I realised after posting my previous post that I had covered a fair amount of what was supposed to be a separate post to make things less complicated.

One thing that is taught to us a lot in our Western culture is something very dangerous. It is something that will destroy life, lose wars, bring hopelessness, promote apathy, and wreck havoc on society. What is this thing that is so deadly to us and will take away our hope and our future.

I will sum it up for you in two words:

Give up!

What words! Daniel prayed until something happened. In fact he prayed for 21 days. With prayers and fasting. (Whoops, did I say something wrong?) The truth is that you will have to pay a price for what you are asking for... How much are you willing to pay? 1 hour with God? 1 meal missed? 1 Day? What a great start! Did you know that Jesus prayed all through the night regularly? One day I was thinking about how I wanted to do all the things that Jesus did, and then I suddenly realised that Jesus' sacrifice was His sleep, and suddenly it was not as attractive... Now I'm not telling you to stay up all night tonight, so that in the morning you will be amazingly like Jesus. I'm just letting you know what sort of regular sacrifice He did that removed every hindrance from Him seeing the power of God.

My pastor was telling a story on Wednesday night of how he was praying for something and God called him in the morning getting him out of bed with the words, "Purpose your heart." So he eventually got out of bed. When he sat down to talk to God what do you think God said? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. He went back to bed 2 hours later disappointed. Then next night God woke Him again... Same story, for nine days!!! Finally God spoke to him, and he wrestled with obeying what God told him, because it was so hard, but eventually he did obey, and God blessed him because of it.

The point is though, that sometimes you will have to keep praying and you won't see any answers, and it won't make sense, and you have to push for a breakthrough.

Jesus told a story of a persistent widow in Luke 18:1-8

1 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart,
2 saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man.
3 Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’
4 And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man,
5 yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’”
6 Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said.
7 And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? 8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”

God wants us to seek Him until He does something. Too often we give up before our breakthrough comes.

I started writing this post a few weeks ago and as I was writing I felt convicted of all my half-hearted prayers, and decided to take one thing that I had been half-heartedly praying for and pray seriously. So I picked something and decided to write down my prayers for 21 days. So every evening before I turned out the light I did just that and I was amazed at how God changed my perspective on that situation.

At the end of the third week I didn't feel like stopping, I was starting to talk to God about other things too, and it was a really amazing. Now I tend to talk to God for a few minutes before I go anywhere in the morning too. It hasn't been any effort to do that, now I have made a habit of prayer. It's just getting easier and easier. I think of praying a lot and it is making my thoughts much more peaceful.

Now I still haven't seen the results of what I was originally praying for, but I have seen God change my heart and draw me closer to Him, which was indirectly what I was praying for. Just thinking about it now, I realise that God had previously told me that what I needed to see my answer was my heart changed. Well, He has been doing that and I didn't even realise what He was doing, I was just blown away by Him again.

As you push for your breakthrough it teaches you to trust Him, and He can work on your heart. I was/am praying for about 5 minutes in the evening, but it has become more extended. I remember Him when I arise. I remember Him through out my day. I feel His presence throughout my day, and it affects how I see the world. I speak to Him at odd moments, and it isn't like it is a hard push to make this relationship work.

I am seeing a restoration of the relationship I had with God before I first got distracted by the things of this world. (Don't get me wrong; it's not like I haven't spoken to God since, I have - heaps, but it hasn't been as close as it was when I was a child, and I have struggled with staying close off and on.) Isn't He amazing!?!

So believe me when I say to get on your knees and pray regularly. It will do you a world of good, and you will not be the same afterwards.

I personally think that the more time we spend with God the happier we will become!!