Wednesday, April 25, 2018

SERIES ON PRAYER: "BE ALL IN, 24/7/365"

Have you ever asked God to give you a parking spot closer to the door of a packed mall or store?
Have you ever asked the Lord’s help in finding your car keys, when you’re in a hurry out the door?
Have you ever even ask the Lord if you should go down this or that street, after getting an easy feeling about something?

If you have, there is nothing wrong with any of this, and frankly, we all do it.

There is something very special about this Relationship with our Creator, Redeemer, and Friend – Abba Father, where we can just approach Him at any time, at any place, in any situation…and He hears us! The Lines of communication can only be buzzing with divine traffic if we are connected to the Source.  For this one of a kind relationship to work, we must only be free from sin and walk the talk. We have to be “ALL IN”.

It is easy for people to be “all in” for their sports team or non-profit organization, or even a political group. But for some reason, people in the church, sometimes consider that being “All In” for God is not just a bit too much to ask. Some even say this ministry of prayer is "those people on the prayer team” or the “pastoral staff” or….? I really do not know!

The good news for EVERY believer is the Lord’s offer is open to all. The only requirement is your availability and mine. 

How about you? How close are you to the flame? Have you even attempted to get close so close that when you walk down the aisle of a store, or get stuck in traffic, or feel overwhelmed at work, you can call out to Him? When turmoil and trouble reign, not just on the world stage, but in your office, home or church, do you have that shalom (peace) that passes ALL understanding? You could!

To achieve this level of heightened closeness with the Lord, there is no magic formula. There is only one way – you must be ALL IN.  Scripture does not call for strange eastern pagan meditation or new age idolatry. Here is the Truth of the Bible, directly from the Lord. He says "...The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5). Jesus repeated this same command in Matthew 22:37-40.

The common denominator in these great verses is the word "ALL". Please note:
- All your heart: Scripture tells us to "Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life." (Proverbs 4:23). The spiritual heart is the center and CORE of WHO we are as human beings. We are created in the Image and Likeness of Almighty God (Imago Dei). All the components of our inner person reside in the "heart". Dallas Baptist University calls the heart " primary faculty of thought, affection" This captures the first requirement of being completely all in and connected to the very Heart of our Creator. These springs of life which fuel us should make us diligent to communicate daily with Abba Father in prayer.

- All your soul: The soul is the integral part of us which is eternal and lives forever. God told a businessman in the Bible that "tonight, your soul will be required of you". Jesus said in Matthew 10:28 the following: "Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" Loving the Lord with this most important part of us which will live in Eternity with The Lord is a no-brainer. We love Him, so we talk to Him in prayer, period.

- All your might: The book of 2 Kings 23:25 recounts this telling account of the great King Josiah " Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the LORD with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him". Who is King Josiah and why did he love the Lord will ALL HIS MIGHT? Josiah became King of Judah at the early age of 8. Immediately the Hand of the Lord was upon Josiah. When the Scriptures were found in some ruins, after the previous pagan kings had hidden them, Josiah held public readings of the Word of God. This led to one of the biggest revivals ever recorded in the Bible. Josiah not only loved with his very core, but he did something practical about it. He tore down all the pagan idols and destroyed all the ungodly practices across the land and turned back to the Lord.  The verse here embodies a man who was completely committed to the Holy One of Israel - Yahweh, our God.

The whole person - physically, emotionally and spiritually - has to be in synced and aligned with the Word of God - the Bible. One cannot call oneself a Christian without acknowledging this fact, before God. Since our souls, if we are born again, are rejuvenated by the Holy Spirit and brought into the Kingdom of God as saved, we can access this wellspring of Life as much or as little as we wish. However, if you wish to have the life abundantly appointed, as Christ promised, we must follow the example of Scripture here, just like Josiah and plunged into the deep. We will never reach the depths of His blessings and divine treasures because He, Abba Father, will always open up Heaven to those of His children, who are all in for the long haul. Prayer is the only way to get there.
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