Thursday, May 28, 2020
What is said is more important than what We say.
Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart. Jeremiah 15:16
If you were to receive a note from the leader of your country or someone famous, you would probably save it as a keepsake. How much more precious is a message from Almighty God! Sometimes we find ourselves in circumstances that are beyond our control. This was the case for Mary and Martha as they were grieving the death of their brother Lazarus. At these times a word from Jesus can bring much rejoicing (John 11:41–45). Other times when Jesus speaks, His words bring correction. “Get behind Me, Satan!” (Matt. 16:23) and “O you of little faith” (Matt. 14:31) do not seem to bring joy. Yet Jeremiah said that God's Word brought him joy. It is overwhelming to consider that holy, Almighty God would speak directly to us! What a privilege that He would care enough to challenge our destructive thoughts or practices. No matter whether His words are praising us or chastising us, we ought to consider it joy to receive life-changing words from our Master! Every time we prepare to worship the Lord, we ought to do so with anticipation that Almighty God may have something to say to us. Whenever we open our Bibles, we should expect that God has something to tell us in our time with Him. We ought to be far more concerned with what God will say to us during our prayer times than with what we intend to tell Him. When you receive a word from your Lord, whether it be of praise or of correction, consider it joy that Almighty God would speak to you. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day
As often as our hearts are grieved, as often as sorrow swirls around us, as often as life often doesn't go the way we think it should, there's comfort to be heard from Jesus.
Like an upset child, we often are constantly, endlessly talking in prayer about our plight, our situation, never remembering that He already knows.
Being silent in prayer is often the right way to be. We who are in Christ are His sheep. Jesus tells us as His sheep we hear His voice and follow Him. Doesn't say we know Him, we follow Him. It takes time with Jesus to get to know Him.
Sorrow grips our hearts in ways we don't think others understand. Pain is often hidden. Prayer is our answer to that but my friend it must be honest prayer. A public official and a priest prayed at the Temple at the same time. One prayed honestly, from his heart, the other, the priest, did not. One left justified the other did nothing but talk to God about himself.
Daniel prayed from an honest heart while in captivity. Remembering the words of King Solomon that should someone be as he, taken away captive to live elsewhere, to turn towards Jerusalem to pray that he would be heard. That faith in God's promise was kept. Jesus showed up.
Many times our prayers are our lists. Please, people, He knows our lists. Pray what's on your heart. He knows our needs before we speak them. It's our heart that gets changed by our time with Jesus. Nobody ever spent time with Jesus without being changed. Even Judas.
The world tells you that to be a somebody you need to follow along with them. God says to die to yourself and live for Jesus.
One is self-centered the other is to live for Christ. But for a sheep to know it's Master requires time with it's Master. Requires shutting up to be able to hear. As someone once said...there's a reason why you have two ears and one mouth.
It's hard to shut up sometimes. It's like we feel the need to always be the one to talk to Jesus. Mary sat at Jesus's feet. He was doing the talking, she, the listening. Martha was agitated by all the preparations she thought needed to be done and was missing the opportunity. Did stuff need done? Obviously yes. Jesus didn't deny that. He simply said there was time. The time was now to sit and just be with Him.
Do you pray? Do you really pray? Does your sin weigh upon you? It does me. I have lost track of how many times Jesus took me by the arm to help me get back on my feet. Thing is it wasn't always that way. I had to learn to hear HIS voice. I was hearing a voice alright, a voice that battered my ears and mind to believe that because of my sin I should stay down. Don't bother getting up again. I would just fail again.
Learning to listen to my Shepherd takes time. It takes effort. I am reminded of some special needs people. Often misunderstood. It takes a special kind of person to realize their need. Once a thread of trust is formed they won't easily let go of it. I am a special needs Christian. We all are. There's nobody who has come to Christ who isn't. We all like sheep have gone astray. Scripture tells us that.
As the Good Shepherd Jesus goes in search of every single sheep that is His and is intentional on building a relationship.
Simply opening the door to your heart is the beginning. Once inside. He installs a lock on the once one way door. He is now the door to your heart. He holds the key.
He is your key. He comes in to live with you, to teach you all things. To be taught means to listen. To learn means to listen.
Prayer, like Salvation, was never meant to be complicated. Really. Look at what we are called. Sheep. To train sheep means keeping it simple.
There is no perfect prayer. No magical set of words to get your way with God. The Lord's Prayer was a guide. Not a set of absolutes. The prayer of Jabez was a guide. Not an absolute. The prayer of the servant of Isaac was a guide not an absolute. The same goes for Daniel, Samson and Paul even. Guides not absolutes. Read again what Jesus says about prayer and you will see constant repetition in prayer is nothing that He wants to hear. He wants a relationship with you. Not to become your Butler.
So think about your prayer life. Think about how honest you are being with Him.
When was the last time you really told Him how you feel? Not what you think He wants to hear, but how you feel. Frustrated? Angry? Sorrow? Pain? Joy? Happiness? Get real with Him.
That's your thoughts for today. Get real with yourself and God. People will always disappoint you. Jesus promised He never would.