For His Name’s Sake:
Personal thoughts on prayer, fasting and faith from a sister in Christ.
Reading God’s Word aligns me with what He wants to do in my life. He has told us that His word is a...
Mirror: (James 1:23-25)
Therefore I need to read to see myself as I really am in the light of what the text is saying.
Seed: (Luke 8:5-11), especially v11.
I permit the Word to be implanted deep in my heart and then envision what the fruit will be if I water and nurture it with care.
Sword: (Hebrews 4:12)
The two-edged kind that pierces through all the externals and reveals the deepest secrets and motives. In this metaphor it is essential to let the Word cut where it will and to honestly admit and submit to its surgery.
Lamp: (Psalms 119:105)
It gives guidance and direction in the darkness of life.
Bread: (Matthew 4:4)
For my soul: In this sense I need to let the Word of God nourish my soul through reading it to feed me, not just to inform me. When your soul is touched by a truth, encouragement, comfort, reproof, or insight from God’s Word, it is a moment of feeding.
I find it helpful to share with a trusted friend what God has given me from His Word for the day. This is especially productive if the friend is someone on the same spiritual wavelength as you. Sharing life-related insights can be a powerful tool in bonding not only with God but also with friends, your spouse, and your children and especially with the Body of Christ, as “iron sharpens iron”.
Prayer has a wonderful way of getting us to see all of life from God’s point of view. Praying God’s Word back to Him is a wonderful exercise in meaningful prayer. It not only helps us process His Word personally, but it lets God know that we have been paying attention and that we really do get it after all. HalleluYah!
Fasting with prayer is truly dynamic – a spiritual atomic bomb – in its potential. No other Christian discipline meets the conditions of 2 Chronicles 7:14 as does fasting. There is something about God’s Holy Spirit wooing us and blessing us into the great heart of God Himself as we seek His face with broken and contrite spirits.
2 Chronicles. 7:14 – "If My people, which are called by My Name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn (repent) from their wicked ways (any way that is not God’s); then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." KJV (see also James 4:10)
Psalms 19:1 - “The heavens are telling the glory of God….”. Look at the sky filled with stars and think of Christ the Creator. Bask in the reality that the One who formed this vast expanse that is known as our universe by the Word of His mouth is our Creator and friend. Contemplate the sun rising in the morning, which gives us just enough heat to sustain us – not so much that it burns us up, and not so little that we freeze to death. As we see Christ the source, we get in touch with Him and appreciate afresh His power and wisdom.
Psalms 22:3 says that the LORD inhabits the praises of His people. That’s a very good thing for us to know. Too often fellowships of believers are a community of grumpy, murmuring and complaining “Christians”… is it any wonder that God seems far away? When we praise Him, however, with grateful, humble, adoring hearts, we connect. In fact, worship is more than singing – it is serving in ways that express His worth to us. The writer of the book of Hebrews exhorts us, “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a SACRIFICE of PRAISE to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His NAME. And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” (Hebrews 13:15-16) Lives that worship like this are lives that position themselves to be in touch with God.
James 1:2 says that when trouble comes we should count it all joy. God will use that problem to shape, mold and frame us to knock off the rough edges of our lives. We need to be still in times like that and allow the Divine Surgeon to work in our lives. We need to be steadfast in times of crisis and by faith connect with His grace and feel His sustaining power. It’s during these times that we may experience the fullness of His grace.
Do you think that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were more intimately connected with God before or after their furnace experience? When they went through the crisis of the furnace, because of their firm faith and resolution to obey Him no matter the consequences, God met them there in the person of His Son. They became intimately connected to Him in the midst of the fire, and they never forgot it. That is why James says that when troubles come we shouldn’t resist them as enemies, but instead welcome them as friends. We meet God in unusual and powerful ways in the midst of a crisis. In fact, one of the reasons He permits trouble in our lives is to give us an opportunity to go more deeply with Him to experience Him more fully. If you want to know God more intimately, look for Him in the furnace experiences of your life… He is the refiner after all… purifying all the wrong things from our character in order that we may become more Christ-like – He who was acquainted with suffering and is now our Intercessor.
The powerful teaching of Jesus on the vine and the branches in John 15 tells us that we have the privilege of becoming intimately entwined with Him. The branches are not just stuck on the vine; they are intimately infused into it. The concept of abiding involves my finally, fully, yielding myself to Him as my source. He will sustain, satisfy, and secure my life, as an extension of His life, which is the vine.
Every time we obey, we put ourselves on a track where God will meet us, commune with us, and manage the environment around us to reveal Himself and His ways (which are not like our ways). When we obey without condition or qualification, we position ourselves to experience Him in His ways.
In giving, we experience His provision.
In righteous living, we experience His peace and presence.
In sacrifice and suffering, we experience His grace and enablement. As we obey, He satisfies, secures, and sustains. HalleluYah!!! What an awesome God we serve.
Many people struggle with bitterness and then wonder why God is not close. God walks paths of forgiveness. If we are greedy instead of generous, angry instead of patient, complacent instead of compassionate, self-centered instead of serving, we will not know the joy of nearness to Him. He walks in unusual places, and intimacy is about being obediently found in the way with Him. Amos says, “Can two walk together unless they are in agreement?”
I don’t know about you, but I agree that He is all-wise and is Love, so I know He is smarter than I because He created all things and He loves me because He sent His precious and most obedient Son to die in my place, and so I choose to trust Him with all the details of my life and so will seek Him daily in all of these ways above to daily guide me in paths of righteousness …why?.... for His Name’s sake…