MY MEDITATION and MY FOCUS – Part Three…


Spiritual Blog - Kingdom

Matthew 6:9-15 – “Pray, then, in this way:  

‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.  10′ Your kingdom come.  Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  11′ Give us this day our daily bread.  12’And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13’And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]

14 ” For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  15 “But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” NASU

 

What is the will of God, in heaven?  What are the conditions existing in heaven?  God does not want to make robots out of His children.  We are not pawns of His purpose but co-laborers together with Him.  He has given us the ability to choose, and in that choice, we demonstrate obedience, trust, and faith.  The Original sin is and was Disobedience or Rebellion.  We focus on the acts we call sin and develop a mentality of performance rather than relationship.  I am not suggesting that the things we call ‘sin’ are to be overlooked, excused, or justified, they are not.  They should break our hearts and we should avoid them and resist them.  However, far more impactful is our disobedience and distrust that we demonstrate when we turn to the arm of flesh, our ability, our knowledge, our talents, etc.

When we relegate God’s Promises to some other era and deny both His Power and Willingness to be, “the same yesterday, today, and forever” we hurt God’s heart.  I am sure He is grieved when we fail to trust Him, take Him at His word, and seek to implement His promises and purposes in our lives.  Jesus said in Matthew 19:26, “…but with God all things are possible.”  Then in Mark 9:23 He declared, “All things are possible to him who believes.”  He gave His disciples and all believers, as is revealed in what we call the Great Commission, both Authority and Power over all the power of the devil.  If the directive or command to take the Gospel to the entire world in every generation is true, then the entire directive is valid and applicable today.  Refuse to be short-changed and refuse to allow the devil to steal a part of God’s Covenant, Promise, and Kingdom, from you today!

If we learn to live in a conscious state of awareness of Who God Is and learn to pray without ceasing and to maintain a praise in our hearts toward Him our world will be altered dramatically.  If we recognize and come to believe that it is both possible and the desire of the Father for His Kingdom (rule and reign) to be manifest and experience on earth we will view life, people, prayer, and even God differently.  No challenge will be insurmountable, and we will begin to view problems as possibilities and opportunities for God to demonstrate Who He Is to the world.  What an evangelism tool!

In that atmosphere when we ask, “Give us this day our daily bread.” We ask more than just our food and financial blessings but WHATEVER WE NEED to pursue the purposes of God.  Jesus said, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”  (Matthew 4:4) Jesus told the disciples in John 4:34, “My meat (food) is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work.”  Lord, what do I need today to fulfill your purpose for my life today?  That’s what I ask for.  I don’t ask for riches to consume upon myself.  I don’t ask for ease so I will have no opposition.  I ask for faith to believe, boldness to do, the courage to dare, and the ability to bring your presence into the lives of those I meet.

Then He addresses what many would put at the top of the list, FORGIVENESS.  I believe that one of the reasons He placed this toward the end of the prayer not at the beginning is that God wants us to learn to live with the mindset of “Being Forgiven.”  His pardon is complete, and you do not have to keep begging God to forgive what He has forgiven.  If we, believers, could learn to live with the Peace that comes with Pardon so completely that we view ourselves as He views us we would have a far greater impact on our world.  We cannot see others through God’s eyes until we see ourselves through His eyes and the grid of forgiveness.

Forgiveness, as is revealed in this prayer, is two-fold.  It is forgiveness from God, something we receive and forgiveness from us, something we give.  Give and you shall receive. Forgiveness and the awareness of that condition make the next request even more powerful to me.  “And do not lead us into temptation…”  First, God does not tempt us, but He may allow temptation to tempt us.  However, if temptation is overpowering then He provides an avenue to escape that and an open door to run to Him.  That’s where “deliver us from evil” comes into focus.  We live with a confidence that God has provided a way of deliverance and a life of victory “In His Kingdom” for us.  Don’t make that heaven or you will live a miserable life on earth.  Heaven will be victorious but the victory that we are to win and enforce is lived out here on earth, manifesting Him and doing “the works that He did.”  It is being who He says we are!

The sentence in brackets ties it all together, [For Yours is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory forever. Amen] Then in verse 14, He reminds us of the power of forgiveness and the danger of unforgiveness.

I am on a quest for “More of God!”  I am learning after fifty years of serving and loving Him just how Good He Is and How much He wants to bless His children.  I am learning that He not only desires but expects us to Trust and Obey Him and seek Him first and pray for His Kingdom and the manifestation of Heaven’s Atmosphere to be realized here on earth.  God is the God of the miraculous and miracles are not only benefit and blessing they are powerful tools of evangelism and weapons to ‘destroy the works of the devil.’  I want all of the devil’s works destroyed!

God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him! 

 

MY MEDITATION and MY FOCUS – Part Two…


Spiritual Blog - Prayer.jpg

Matthew 6:9-15 – “Pray, then, in this way:  

‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.  10′ Your kingdom come.  Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  11′ Give us this day our daily bread.  12’And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13’And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]

14 ” For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  15 “But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” NASU

 

Yesterday we began to dive into the waters of God’s Life and I shared some of those things that have been birthed in my heart as I study this prayer.  I want to state, up front, I do not know it all, and the more I learn the more I realize I don’t know much at all.  However, I have a heart to Know Him and the more I pursue Him, the more He reveals Himself to me.  I’m sure you have realized the same thing and therefore, it is my desire to learn to live in His presence and to encourage you to do the same.

Having opened my heart to the first sentence of the prayer, “Our Father, who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name” I am brought to a sense of humility.  How could this God, the One True and Living God, the Creator of all things, care enough about me to invite me to come into His presence?  How could He be willing to give us His Son to redeem us?  How could He be so loving, compassionate, kind, longsuffering, forgiving, and good that He would invite us to ‘Call Upon Him?’  That is Amazing, to me!  That’s who our God Is!

Once we have recognized and revered Who He is in our prayers and engaged in the directive and patter of David and Israel in Psalm 100:4-5 we can move to petition.  I dare not just mention that Psalm without quoting it in its entirety.  “Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. 5 For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations.”  As I type I am in Awe of His Goodness and His Infinite Love, Mercy, and Grace!  He is Mighty, Sovereign and yet He loves us and enjoys our Praise!  The Bible says in Psalm 22:3 that God “Inhabits or is enthroned on the Praises of His People.”  What can I say but Hallelujah?

The petition begins both a recognition and a request.  “Your kingdom come.”  Three words linked together that reveal something incredible for mankind.  Jesus is instructing those who heard Him and all who read His directive and pattern to both recognize there is a reality called “God’s Kingdom” and that reality can be realized on earth.  Some will reject that and insist that the Kingdom is future and when we get to heaven.  If that is the case, then why would Jesus offer the next sentence?

I believe He was instructing us to pray for God’s Kingdom to come to help us understand the Will of God on earth and heaven.  I believe it is the desire of the LORD that we walk in the fullness of God’s will and purpose and that would also include His power on earth.  Jesus came, according to I John 3 to “destroy the works of the devil.”   Destroy the works of the devil regarding sin, sickness, bondage, etc.  He can to destroy the works of the devil and set man free!

What is the atmosphere of heaven?  We have sung ‘Camping in Canaan’s Land’ for decades and many have made Canaan a type of heaven, but I have long contended that is inaccurate or incomplete.  In Canaan, they had to dispossess the enemies that were occupying the Land or the Place of Promise.  In heaven, there are no enemies possessing anything.  I believe that crossing the Jordan was not talking about physical death but death to the flesh and entering Canaan was not heaven but entering into the Place of Promise.  It represents life on earth for the believer.  It represents a land flowing with milk and honey now.  It represents victorious life on earth.  It represents manifesting God’s presence in our present world.  It represents bringing the atmosphere of heaven into our surroundings and enjoying the fullness of God’s Life, Love, and Purpose.

He said, following the directive to pray for God’s Kingdom to come to pray, “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”  That means involvement and co-laboring with God as well as discovering His will individually and collectively and obeying.  God’s will is not mysterious and something He hides from us and makes difficult for us to discover or discern.  What purpose would that serve Him or us?  If you tell your children or a subordinate, “I have a plan and desire for you, but I will not tell you what it is and I’m going to make it a mystery but if you don’t discover it and do it, I will punish you” what purpose would that serve?  No, you want them to know what you want and even want to share in their fulfillment of that will.  So, does the Father!

I want to stop here and discuss this more tomorrow.  I pray that the Holy Spirit will begin to give life to the seed that I’m trying to sow into your lives and in mine.  “LORD, help us to see and believe that You truly want us to experience your Kingdom on earth and want us to both know and fulfill your will and plan for our lives.”

 God bless you as you enjoy this beautiful day in Him!