In Matthew 6:9-10 we hear how Jesus encouraged His disciples, and indeed all of us to pray.
This, then, is how you should pray:
Our Father in Heaven,
Hallowed be Your Name,
Your Kingdom come,
Your will be done,
On Earth as it is in Heaven ...
Our assignment then, is to bring Heaven to Earth. But we can only do that — if we live as He calls us to live.
Over the years I’ve met a number of Christians who want to be fed on the word or the meat of the word. By that, they mean they want Bible study that gives them information, that gives them greater knowledge.
In fact I’ve heard some folk say they won’t even turn up to Life Group or attend a meeting if they feel it doesn’t contain enough meat, or sufficient information to expand their thirst for more knowledge.
Now as one who teaches, let me be quite clear that we do need ...
... to learn the truths of Scripture, and yes that will require a basic foundation of information. But let me be equally clear that information, or knowledge, or simply knowing facts, however insightful, is not being fed on the word.
1 Corinthians 8:1b-3 tells us that knowledge can puff people up — it’s a loving relationship with God that’s needed, not merely knowing ‘things’.
If you read John 4:34-35 the original language for the word translated here as food is meat. What's my point — the meat or food that nourishes Jesus is this; to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work.
Why did Jesus come?
That's doing God’s will, that's ...
... eating the meat of the word — it's not solely listening to a Bible teacher, however great they may be. The only reason for listening is if you're going to respond and be transformed in some way. To actually do something that points to God, that gives glory to King Jesus, that ushers in His presence. For when He comes there is a release of freedom, power, healing, salvation etc.
Let's Do It!
James writes the following;
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves (James 1:22).
There can surely be only so much talk before someone jumps up and says; Let’s do it!.
Whenever we meet for worship we need to be telling stories of how God has used us to heal the sick, drive out demons and prophecy to the lost — drawing out from the individuals we have met by Divine Appointment, the gold that’s within them and setting them free to live as God intended.
In short what we will have revealed to them, is what it’s like to live in the Kingdom.
Now you may be reading this and be thinking I just can’t do that. Not me!
But let me assure you. You have been given the ability to succeed. Dare to speak it out loud I have the ability to succeed.
How God views You
I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fulness of God.
The word know, is probably better translated as experience.
Love cannot truly be head only — it has to be heart — it’s our intimacy with Jesus that gives us all we need. We are “filled with all the fullness of God” how better to be equipped!
Ephesians 1:18: I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the Saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of His mighty strength, which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms.
How You view Yourself
Hopefully you understand how God sees you. But what you may need to address is how you describe yourself? This is vital. Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV) says For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. As we think, or what we believe about ourselves, will be the case. To keep saying 'I’m a failure' will eventually become true — it’s just the same as Job in the Old Covenant who lived in fear. He opened the way for the enemy to get in.
In other words if you think you can’t then you won’t, and if you think you can then you will. It isn’t as simple as that, but you get my drift.
John, who had a special relationship with Jesus records this in his first letter (1 John 4:17); as He is, so are we in this world. In other words just as Jesus is the resurrected ascended glorified King — full of all power and authority — so we are to be in this world as His representatives or His ambassadors.