Jun 7, 2009
I am a Friend of God! Phillips Craig & Dean Lyrics
Jun 7, 2009
I am a Friend of God! Phillips Craig & Dean Lyrics
Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing…? —Genesis 18:17
The Delights of His Friendship. Genesis 18 brings out the delight of true friendship with God, as compared with simply feeling His presence occasionally in prayer. This friendship means being so intimately in touch with God that you never even need to ask Him to show you His will. It is evidence of a level of intimacy which confirms that you are nearing the final stage of your discipline in the life of faith.
When you have a right-standing relationship with God, you have a life of freedom, liberty, and delight; you are God’s will. And all of your commonsense decisions are actually His will for you, unless you sense a feeling of restraint brought on by a check in your spirit. You are free to make decisions in the light of a perfect and delightful friendship with God, knowing that if your decisions are wrong He will lovingly produce that sense of restraint. Once he does, you must stop immediately.
The Difficulties of His Friendship. Why did Abraham stop praying when he did? He stopped because he still was lacking the level of intimacy in his relationship with God, which would enable him boldly to continue on with the Lord in prayer until his desire was granted. Whenever we stop short of our true desire in prayer and say, “Well, I don’t know, maybe this is not God’s will,” then we still have another level to go. It shows that we are not as intimately acquainted with God as Jesus was, and as Jesus would have us to be— “…that they may be one just as We are one…” (John 17:22).
Think of the last thing you prayed about— were you devoted to your desire or to God? Was your determination to get some gift of the Spirit for yourself or to get to God? “For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him” (Matthew 6:8). The reason for asking is so you may get to know God better. “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). We should keep praying to get a perfect understanding of God Himself.
by Oswald Chambers
1 Samuel 13:1-14
Pride is a condition that’s common to all mankind. Poverty won’t protect us from it. Neither will age, ability, or experience.
Consider Saul, whom the prophet Samuel revealed was God’s chosen leader for the nation of Israel. Scripture describes Saul as an impressive and handsome young man without equal among the Israelites (1 Sam. 9:2). This description seems fitting for the nation’s first royal leader. In his new position, Saul was to follow the Lord’s instructions for that role. He was promised that the Holy Spirit would come upon him and powerfully provide help (10:6-7).
Our Father treats us in a similar way. He’s chosen us to belong to His family, and He has a plan for our lives, with special work for each of us to do (Eph. 2:10). The Holy Spirit dwells within us so He can guide and empower us to carry out divine plans. Our part is to obey.
To be successful, Saul needed to remember several things. First, any authority he had came from God. In addition, his responsibilities included executing the Lord’s plan, leading the people by example, and obeying divine commands. Like so many of us today, Saul acted as if he were in charge rather than the Lord. He allowed the pressure of the situation to take precedence over obedience. Because of pride, he broke God’s law and exercised priestly responsibilities that were not rightly his.
Our Father wants us to deal with our pride by humbling ourselves before Him, confessing our sin, and seeking His help in overcoming it.
“And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.” (Luke 4:5)
It is interesting that there are just three “moments” mentioned in the New Testament and that there are three different Greek words so translated, each used one time only in the Bible. Furthermore, each of these three “moments” is used in a context which is anticipatory of the future.
First of all, Satan tempted Jesus by flashing before His eyes a vision of the whole world, offering it to Him immediately without His having to endure the cross, if He would rule it for the devil. Here the Greek word for “moment” is stigme, meaning a “point,” like a period after a sentence. In an infinite “time line,” it would be just a dot on the line, a “point” in time. Satan’s apparent dominion over this world, though it lasts six thousand years or so, is only a moment compared to eternity, and Jesus knew this was a poor bargain.
One day, in fact, He will return to reclaim the world from Satan. At that great day, “we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). In this passage, the unique word is atomos, meaning an indivisible particle. That is, in an “atom of time,” too instantaneous to measure, we shall be changed to be like Him in “his glorious body” (Philippians 3:21).
Right now, however, our bodies are weak and easily beset with pain and sickness. Nevertheless, we are assured that “our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17). The word here is parautika, referring specifically to the present moment. What we must endure “here and now” is so brief compared to the eternity “then and there” that it is not even “worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). HMM
And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred. —1 Chronicles 12:32
A prophet is one who knows his times and what God is trying to say to the people of his times….
Today we need prophetic preachers—not preachers of prophecy merely, but preachers with a gift of prophecy. The word of wisdom is missing. We need the gift of discernment again in our pulpits. It is not ability to predict that we need, but the anointed eye, the power of spiritual penetration and interpretation, the ability to appraise the religious scene as viewed from God’s position, and to tell us what is actually going on….
What is needed desperately today is prophetic insight. Scholars can interpret the past; it takes prophets to interpret the present. Learning will enable a man to pass judgment on our yesterdays, but it requires a gift of clear seeing to pass sentence on our own day….
Another kind of religious leader must arise among us. He must be of the old prophet type, a man who has seen visions of God and has heard a voice from the Throne.
Lord, I pray for that gift of prophetic insight. Move me beyond the knowledge You’ve enabled me to gain through education, reading and study. I pray that I might lead as one “who has seen visions of God and has heard a voice from the throne.” Amen.
Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous; and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart. Psalm 32:11
I must agree with the psalmist, even in our modern day, that the joy of the Lord is still the strength of His people. I do believe that the sad world around us is attracted to spiritual sunshine—the genuine thing, that is!
Some churches train their greeters and ushers to smile, showing as many teeth as possible. But I can sense that kind of display—and when I am greeted by a man who is smiling because he has been trained to smile, I know I am shaking the flipper of a trained seal!
But when the warmth and delight and joy of the Holy Spirit are in a congregation and the folks are just spontaneously joyful and unable to hide the happy grin, the result is a wonderful influence upon others. Conversely, the reason we have to search for so many things to cheer us up is the fact that we are not really joyful and contentedly happy within!
I admit that we live in a gloomy world and that international affairs, nuclear rumors and threats, earthquakes and riots cause people to shake their heads in despair and say, “What’s the use?”
But we are Christians and Christians have every right to be the happiest people in the world! We do not have to look to other sources—for we look to the Word of God and discover how we can know the faithful God above and draw from His resources.
Why should the children of the King hang their heads and tote their own burdens, missing the mark about Christian victory? All this time the Holy Spirit has been wanting to make Jesus Christ our chief joy and delight!
In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began. TITUS 1:2
It is sad indeed to know that there are Christian leaders among us who are too timid to tell the people all the truth. They are now asking men and women to give to God only that which costs them nothing!
The contemporary moral climate does not favor a faith as tough and fibrous as that taught by our Lord and His apostles.
Christ calls men to carry His cross; we call them to have fun in His name! He calls them to suffer; we call them to enjoy all the bourgeois comforts modern civilization affords!
He calls them to holiness; we call them to a cheap and tawdry happiness that would have been rejected with scorn by the least of the Stoic philosophers!
When will believers learn that to love righteousness it is necessary to hate sin? That to accept Christ it is necessary to reject self? That a friend of the world is an enemy of God? Let us not be shocked by the suggestion that there are disadvantages to the life in Christ!
O Lord, it is so hard for the human spirit to deny or reject itself. I pray that Your Spirit will take hold of the steering wheel of my will today.
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