Monday, August 20, 2012

Almost Didn't Go to Church Yesterday

... and I can't imagine having missed the lesson God had for me!!

Have you ever had that feeling, "So what if I miss church today!" Well, I had it yesterday. And come 15 minutes before it would start, I reasoned in my feeble mind, "Might as well, what else do I have to do?"

So I got there just as the first song was being played (we have canned music, more about that later), and it was another one I hadn't heard before. I used to hate it: when I first started back to church, most all songs were ones I hadn't heard before ... hard to enter into an attitude of worship. And then the woman behind me was clapping way too loud. Yea, I had troubles ruling my mind, as I did all week long.

The sermon was about prayer and our power and authority that God has given us through Jesus. Dr. Steven Boate started by discussing prayer, and how important it is. Yea, I know, I've been trying to pray more - catch myself "not" a lot, and feel guilty, but what is there to pray about, anyway????

A Five Finger Model of Prayer
From Creative Prayer - GO THERE, good prayer stuff!
Pray ... when you awake, tell God you're happy to be alive.
Pray ... giving thanks for your breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Pray ... when you're facing a decision. God may show you something you hadn't considered.
Pray ... that God watches over your loved ones as they go to school, to work, to a ball game.
Pray ... asking God to help you with your walk with the Lord.
Pray ... Holy Spirit, work in me and through me.

And I said a prayer as I started writing this.

"Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up," Luke 18:1. 'Prayer is the way to get God involved' (started taking notes). Then Steven stated something rather questionable, "Did you know that God doesn't do anything here on earth?" The place became totally quiet. "That's right, God doesn't do anything here on earth. He uses people like you and me to accomplish His works. God and Jesus are NOT relying on the earth, YOU ARE! Without you, carrying forth good works, nothing would be done. And it's so simple to do His work"

"Have you ever noticed when you're shopping at Walmart or the grocery store, that people are passing you by with a sour look on their face? Yea, you see it all the time. Know what you can do? Smile. That's all you have to do. And you know what will happen? They'll smile back. You just did the work of God."

'God gave us dominion - dominion = to govern, to control, to direct' (from notes). Psalm 8:4-6, "... Thou madest him to have dominion ..."

Ephesians 1:15-23, "... that you may know Him better ... know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe ... His incomparably great power for us ..." And from The Message translation, "God raised Him from death and set Him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe ... At the center of all this, Christ rules the church. The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ's body, in which He speaks and acts, by which He fills everything with his presence."

Ephesians 3:14-12, "... And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people ... according to His power that is at work within us ..."

Yes, it's true, we have the SAME POWER that God has established, that God uses. And we need to USE IT!!

"I get calls sometimes late at night, and often from someone who isn't a member of our church. They ask me to pray for them. So OK, I pray for them. But rather than pray for their need, I pray that they will use this same power, and take their God given right to command their world." Steven continues, "After all, who knows their situation better than they do? It's not like I have some super ordinary access to God, no more than they do, no more than you do." And then I remembered when I asked for Steven to come over and help me get rid of the demon in my computer. Yup, he told me the same thing. Yup, I exercised my "in the name of Jesus" power, and the devil HAD TO GO!

Luke 10:17, "The seventy-two returned with joy and said, 'Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.'"

Yes, I was guilty. I wasn't commanding my world. I wasn't praying for God to work in me and through me. And I wasn't getting new clients for my web development business. But there was more involved. God was hitting me where it hurts most - in the wallet. He was trying to get my attention, and He succeeded. Then, about midnight I found out what He wanted me to do. God wanted me to appreciate my home, and to take care of it. I told my wife, Glenda. And Glenda said, "No way, I had just been praying about that."

So in closing, I leave you with yet another verse that confirms it all. 1 John 5:14, 15, "And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us: And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him."

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