Friday, August 29, 2014
"Persistent" - 08/21/14 - Jeremiah 41-45
Whether we like it or not, we'll do it. We'll obey whatever our God tells us. (42:6)
Last night in group, we studied the parable about the unjust judge and the persistent Widow. Through it, Christ is teaching us about persistent prayer. In ABBA's own way, He has made sure I am getting His message. Sunday's sermon was on this exact parable and one of my Monday morning devotionals was......yep. You guessed it - on prayer.
I have been asking myself what prayer do I offer up persistently? At first, I couldn't really think of anything. You see, I am a "drive by" prayer warrior. When someone or something is brought into my focus, I lift them or that up. Curt on the other hand is the persistent prayer warrior. He is very consistent to offer up the same issues every night. What relief in casting aside any quilt or shame when recognizing this is how ABBA created me.
His requirement is I pray from my heart. To be completely transparent and genuine in my conversations with Him.
He desires - desires - the whole of me.
And my time.
On my knees this morning though, He gave me a smile.
As I was praying to Him, He had me realize my persistent prayer - not only in the morning hours, but those throughout the day and at times in the middle of the nights.
I am a woman after God's own heart. Growing and becoming all He has created me to be. I am also a woman who struggles in giving up "self" to obey Him - no matter what. What a blessing He gives me in seeing He is cleansing me and how far He has brought me to override guilt and shame.
In Him I am redeemed. I am covered in His Grace and Mercy.
Getting there - my persistent prayer......
"Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; 24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way." (Psalm 139:23-24)
Search Me O God
by Matt Slick
These are perhaps some of the most poignant words in the entire Bible. In these two verses there is so much. We see the Psalmist asking God to search him--to look to the deepest part of what he is--his own heart. Why would the Psalmist ask this? And, why would any of us ask it? The reason is simple. We cannot know our own hearts as well as God can. He indwells us, knows every thought, is aware of every feeling, and He understands us better than we do. If we ever needed anyone to reach down in the depths of our hearts to find out what is unholy so that it can be removed, it is God.
David is the psalmist. David is asking God to prove, to test his loyalty because he is not like the wicked men spoken of earlier in the Psalm. David desired God and God's Holiness.
When God asked Solomon what he wanted, Solomon asked for wisdom; and because he did not ask for money, and power, or fame, God blessed him with all of them. Wisdom was a great thing to have. Nevertheless, Solomon fell into idolatry in his later years; and his wisdom did not help him in the end.
By contrast, David said, "One thing I have asked from The Lord, that I shall seek: that I may dwell in the house of The Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of The Lord, and to meditate in His Temple." (Psalm 27:4). Even though David committed adultery, murdered Bathsheba's husband, and used deception to cover his great sins, God, who knew this would happen, said of him through Samuel, "The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over His People..........(1 Samuel 13:14). There was a quality in David that pleased God. What was that quality? It was David's heartfelt desire for The Lord.
You need to know this because it will help you to understand the intimacy that David sought with God which ultimately led him to ask God, "know my heart." David seeks God in the most intimate place and asks Him to examine him there. David asks God to see if there is any hurtful way in him--in the deepest part of his being. David was being vulnerable.
Is there any hurtful way in your heart? Would you be able to ask God to search your heart down to the deepest levels and reveal to you the secrets that not even you know are there? Would you trust God enough to ask Him to expose and root out of you that which is displeasing to Him? Do you have the courage to bow your knees, to lower your head, to lay prostrate before God, and to become as vulnerable as you can to Him as you ask Him to look into your heart to see if there's anything bad in there and to deal with it accordingly? Such a request grows out of humility as well as increases humility. It is the ultimate trust in God. It can be scary. But it is definitely good.
-He asked to be led by God in the everlasting way. This means to be corrected and sanctified by God's loving hands.
David did not know The Messiah since Jesus was far distant in the future. But David knew The Messiah would come. You, on the other hand, know the everlasting way--if you know Christ as your Savior. Jesus, who is God in flesh, who died on The Cross and rose from the dead bodily, is The Everlasting Way. Therefore, for you to be led by God in The Everlasting Way is to be led to Christ.