Jan 17, 2013
As we pray
Written by Walker Beach of Gateway Worship
Jan 17, 2013
As we pray
Written by Walker Beach of Gateway Worship
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. Colossians 3:23
The high school I attended required 4 years of Latin instruction. I appreciate the value of that discipline now, but back then it was a grind. Our teacher believed in drill and repetition. “Repetitio est mater studiorum,” she intoned over us several times a day, which simply means, “Repetition is the mother of learning.” “Repetitio est absurdum,” we muttered under our breath. “Repetition is absurd.”
I realize now that most of life is simply that: repetition—a round of dull, uninspiring, lackluster things we must do again and again. “Repetition is both as ordinary and necessary as bread,” said Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard. But he went on to say, “It is the bread that satisfies with benediction.”
Even the smallest tasks are done for God.
It’s a matter of taking up each duty, no matter how mundane, humble, or trivial, and asking God to bless it and put it to His intended purposes. In that way we take the drudgeries of life and turn them into holy work, filled with unseen, eternal consequence.
The poet Gerard Manley Hopkins said, “To lift up the hands in prayer gives God glory, but a man with a [pitchfork] in his hand, a woman with a slop pail, give Him glory, too. God is so great that all things give Him glory if you mean that they should.”
If whatever we do is done for Christ, we’ll be amazed at the joy and meaning we’ll find in even the most ordinary tasks.
Remind us today, Lord, that You are in the dull and ordinary tasks of life in a most extraordinary way. Let us not forget that we do even the smallest tasks for You.
A willing spirit changes the drudgery of duty into a labor of love.
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me… —Galatians 2:20
These words mean the breaking and collapse of my independence brought about by my own hands, and the surrendering of my life to the supremacy of the Lord Jesus. No one can do this for me, I must do it myself. God may bring me up to this point three hundred and sixty-five times a year, but He cannot push me through it. It means breaking the hard outer layer of my individual independence from God, and the liberating of myself and my nature into oneness with Him; not following my own ideas, but choosing absolute loyalty to Jesus. Once I am at that point, there is no possibility of misunderstanding. Very few of us know anything about loyalty to Christ or understand what He meant when He said, “…for My sake” (Matthew 5:11). That is what makes a strong saint.
Has that breaking of my independence come? All the rest is religious fraud. The one point to decide is— will I give up? Will I surrender to Jesus Christ, placing no conditions whatsoever as to how the brokenness will come? I must be broken from my own understanding of myself. When I reach that point, immediately the reality of the supernatural identification with Jesus Christ takes place. And the witness of the Spirit of God is unmistakable— “I have been crucified with Christ….”
The passion of Christianity comes from deliberately signing away my own rights and becoming a bondservant of Jesus Christ. Until I do that, I will not begin to be a saint.
One student a year who hears God’s call would be sufficient for God to have called the Bible Training College into existence. This college has no value as an organization, not even academically. Its sole value for existence is for God to help Himself to lives. Will we allow Him to help Himself to us, or are we more concerned with our own ideas of what we are going to be?
We are not to preach the doing of good things; good deeds are not to be preached, they are to be performed. So Send I You, 1330 L
John 14:1, 15-17
Yesterday as we studied the necessity of increasing our trust in God, we were challenged to make waiting on Him a part of our daily lives. Today, we will look at three additional steps that are essential for the obedient life.
Meditate. If we want to know the mind of God, we must meditate upon His
Word. We do not need to pick the “right” verses in order to know God’s will. He has the power to direct us from any portion of the Bible. Our part is to pursue wisdom through Scripture over a sustained period of time.
Listen. Learn to listen to the quiet prompting of the Holy Spirit, who is our Helper. The Word of God is the primary resource through which the Spirit works. If we are studying a passage of Scripture, He will illuminate our minds so that we can understand how God is directing us. Or He will bring to remembrance a passage we have learned and reveal how it applies to our situation.
Walk. Our final lesson to learn regarding obedience is that sometimes we must walk, even when the way is unclear. Abraham is a good example. God told Him to move out of his homeland but did not specify the destination. Abraham complied by faith (Heb. 11:8). We, too, can obey without a total understanding because God makes Himself responsible for the consequences. We are accountable only for obeying. This is good news!
As our class ends, consider the importance of obedience in the life of faith. Then ask God what He wants you to work on first—trusting, waiting, meditating, listening, or walking with Him?
“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” (Colossians 3:1)
The twice-born have been raised with Christ and the “new man” is effectively positioned with Christ in glory. We have been made alive “together with Christ” (Ephesians 2:5) and in the eternal reality of our Creator, who “made us sit together in heavenly places” (Ephesians 2:6).
Thus, the command to seek the “above” realities is not merely a theological idea but rather a profound order to embrace the reality of our new empowerment to walk with Christ in a new life (Romans 6:4). Indeed, we have been newly created by the Creator in “righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). Therefore, since we are God’s workmanship, it is not possible that God could create His children for any other purpose than “good works” (Ephesians 2:10).
Obviously, our Lord knows that we are still in “earthen vessels” (2 Corinthians 4:7). That is precisely why He promised to provide all of our earthly needs if we would but “seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33)—including our necessary “patient continuance in well doing” (Romans 2:7). Remember, “God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
The environment of the world constantly opposes the reality of “above.” Even the wisdom of above seems counterintuitive; it is “first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy” (James 3:17). Yet we are still expected to seek to live like we are above because “the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). HMM III
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all,
to stand. —Ephesians 6:13
Now I do not think that Satan much cares to destroy us Christians physically. The soldier dead in battle who died performing some deed of heroism is not a great loss to the army but may rather be an object of pride to his country. On the other hand the soldier who cannot or will not fight but runs away at the sound of the first enemy gun is a shame to his family and a disgrace to his nation. So a Christian who dies in the faith represents no irreparable loss to the forces of righteousness on earth and certainly no victory for the devil. But when whole regiments of professed believers are too timid to fight and too smug to be ashamed, surely it must bring an astringent smile to the face of the enemy; and it should bring a blush to the cheeks of the whole Church of Christ.
The devil’s master strategy for us Christians then is not to kill us physically (though there may be some special situations where physical death fits into his plan better), but to destroy our power to wage spiritual warfare. And how well he has succeeded. The average Christian these days is a harmless enough thing. God knows. He is a child wearing with considerable self-consciousness the harness of the warrior; he is a sick eaglet that can never mount up with wings; he is a spent pilgrim who has given up the journey and sits with a waxy smile trying to get what pleasure he can from sniffing the wilted flowers he has plucked by the way.
Oh, God, give me grace to fight valiantly. Amen.
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised. Hebrews 10:23
At first thought it may sound strange to you—but I cannot recommend that we have faith in “faith.”
There is a good deal of preaching that is devoted only to faith. As a result, people have faith in “faith”—and are inclined to forget that our confidence is not in the power of faith but in the person and work of the Saviour, Jesus Christ.
We have full confidence in Jesus Christ—and that is the origin and source and foundation and resting place for all of our faith. In the kingdom of faith, we are dealing with Him, with God Almighty, the One whose essential nature is holiness, the One who cannot lie.
Our confidence rises as the character of God becomes greater and more beautiful and more trustworthy to our spiritual comprehension. The One with whom we deal is the One before whom goes faithfulness and truth.
Actually there is a great difference between believing God and having confidence in Him because of His character, instead of believing that the things of God can be proven and grasped by human reason.
So, this is the confidence we have in Him. Faith mounts up on its long heavenly boots—up the mountain top, up toward the shining peaks, and says in satisfaction: “If God says it, I know it is so!”
It is the character of God Himself—the One who cannot lie—that gives us this confidence!
In this the children of God are manifest. 1 JOHN 3:10
As Christian believers, we stand together in the evangelical faith—the historical faith of our fathers. Yet, we must confess that many congregations seem bogged down with moral boredom and life weariness.
The church is tired, discouraged and unastonished—Christ seems to belong to yesterday.
The prophetic teachers have projected everything into the dim future where it is beyond our reach—unavailable! They have dispensationalized us into a state of spiritual poverty—and they have left us there!
But regardless of such teachers, the course of spiritual victory is clear; let us trust what the Word of God continues to say to us!
The Scriptures are open and plain. Jesus Christ is our Savior and Lord. He is our great High Priest, alive and ministering for us today. His person, His power and His grace are the same—without change, yesterday, today and forever!
Lord, Your Church is the only hope for this world. My prayer is that the Church will continue to aggressively pursue the fight against evil in this present age.