Saturday, 31 August 2013

Stand To Your Post

Proverbs 21:16 The man that wanders out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.
         
        My son asked me about a married couple and their children that used to attend our church. He asked why they did not go to our assembly anymore, because he had met them in a store where he found them aloof and non-communicative. I said that they had found another church to their liking. My son asked if they were doing well, because they did not look happy to see him. 
      There was more to this story as to why they had left the church. Like many people in our polarised culture they had left with an offence against some of the pastors, and my thoughts were that it would be hard for them to be doing well at any other church because the wounds of offence would be festering. Prov. 18:19 A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle. 
        I am not saying the church I attend is the one all and be all. I am saying it will be hard to find peace at any church when you have lost your peace through offences; real or perceived. When living from a position of being offended, the raw feelings of hurt are so close to the surface of our emotions they can produce irrational anger and can be unleashed with little provocation. Matt. 24:10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 
      At this point, the spirit of offence will only let you see what is wrong in the church and the offended will not receive blessings or righteous instruction from any of their brothers and sisters in the Lord, because they will think there is an agenda against them. 
       I have been in ministry of various types and ministered in different countries since 1979. I have had many occasions to be offended by the heinous things that were done to me and said about me and my family. However, God said He would be my sufficiency and would guard my back. Isa. 58:8 Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. 
      During these difficult trials, the leading of the Lord was to grow where I was planted and to be a good soldier from the place where God had led me to stand to my post until He gave me new marching orders. 2 Tim. 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 
       There is a caveat here that we have to be aware of. There are those who cause offences for the sake of the destruction of the church. Rom. 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. I am not talking about this situation, but I am trying to bring peace to those who have been genuinely hurt and are looking for healing and their way back to their homebody.
      We will never find a perfect church on this side of heaven as long as there are people who need redemption in the building of the church. As members of Christ's body, we can create an atmosphere of grace that will help us repent and forgive one another of offences. 
      We can be the planting of the Lord, in His strength, ready to bring forth good fruit that produces grace for each other. Psalm 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he does shall prosper. 
      We, as Christians soldiers, can bring the Garden of the Lord to flourish within our assemblies so that the possibility of offences can be minimised and worked out before hard and sorrowful choices are made to desert our posts. Isa. 51:3 For the LORD shall comfort Zion: He will comfort all her waste places; and He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.  
        Help us Lord stand to our post in the kingdom of God and be good and effective righteous soldiers. Amen and amen!

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

My Mask Fits Well

Proverbs 20:6 Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?
       
       I had just expressed great anger at something I had done wrong when I heard the voice of the Lord from within me say, "Are you angry because you vexed the Holy Spirit, or are you angry because you just broke your own personal righteousness record?" 
      I could feel the heat of conviction from my shoulders up to my burning face. I could hear all the exit doors slamming shut with no way of escape, but to answer the Lord's question. I said, "The fact that you asked the question the way you did is plain to see that I didn't care-a-less how the Holy Spirit felt." Rom. 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 
        We are extremely skilled at playing the role of a Christian, and we do not see the faded line that we have crossed until we are mired in self-righteousness. Jer. 17: The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? On Oct 15th, 1987, I wrote this poem that clearly demonstrates to my heart, today, that I am still struggling with my self-made masks and cover-ups in order to display my own goodness. 

Masks I wear are many, hiding awful thoughts.
A mask that fades the odious me that others peeringly saw.
A mask to hide my appetite of lewd and shameful ways.
I hid my real self very well from others looking on.
Their idea of me, I come out as polished bronze.
I lie, I cheat, I stimulate the mask that covers me.
That no one know the frightened breath that breathes inside of me.
My hope is that one day in life these masks will tumble down.
But did I write this to mask the thought that I might be found?
There is One who knows me true He created me long ago,
No mask I use can stop the burn of His judgmental stare and glow.
Fig-leaf to smiles I've tried them all but none seem too fair,
His love for me is real you see and it keeps me standing bare.
       
       Thank God for the grace of His mercy that keeps us secure within His salvation, which He paid for with His blood and suffering. It was by His grace He drew us to Himself and it is His grace that keeps us with Him now, plus it will be His grace that will bring us into God's eternity. All my works amount to the fact that they are mine, not His. 
      My works cannot get beyond me because the Holy Spirit isn't promoting me, He is declaring Jesus Christ the Lord and His plan within me. Isa. 64:6a But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags.
       We are invited to come boldly and obtain mercy to carry out the Lord's agenda for us and others. Heb. 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. I have come to realise that my time of need is all the time. I need His grace and mercy working in me to overcome my constant drive to perform and gloat in my perceived Christian duty, rather than entering the rest that comes from trusting in His grace and wisdom. 
      Thank you, Lord, that you are not finished forming your nature within us. Yes, Lord, your grace is sufficient for us all, and we are to rely on God's grace so that we can remove our masks that fit so well. 1 Cor. 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Get Up

Proverbs 24:16 For a just man falls seven times, and rises up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

       The fear of failure is ingrained within us from the first day our loving parents said, "Be careful you don't fall." We might have interpreted these well-meaning words as, "Be careful you don't fail." The enemy of our soul is aware of our fear of failure and uses this fear against us regularly. 
      If we are walking circumspect with our Lord then the devil will accuse us of not doing enough for God, trying to get us to trust in our works rather than His grace. Satan points out that we should be just like brother Perfect who prays twelve hours a day and then ministers the other twelve hours without stumbling once. 
      If we are not walking close with the Lord, because of unrepentant sin, then Satan is accusing us of that sin we are struggling with. Hell is bringing pressure upon us to keep doing extra work for God or we are walking in defeat because of a perceived rejection. All this confusion on either side of our relationship is now motivated by fear. No matter what we do, we are being accused by the accuser of the brethren. Rev.12:10b For the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
       Thank God for the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ who has delivered us from all performance enhancing rituals to gain the Lord's love and favor. 2 Tim. 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. 
      How can we have victory without a battle to be victorious over? Why would God give us spiritual armour if we did not need it, or if we were going to leave all the spiritual fighting for our pastor to do? Eph. 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 
      Yes, we will fall, and yes, we will have to decide at that time if we are going to get up. Psalm 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delights in his way. 24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholds him with his hand. 
      Get up we will, because we have been given the power to destroy the works of the enemy. Luke 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
      We have been filled with the Holy Spirit to discern the deceptions of the devil. Whether we are being tricked into self-righteous works or falling into sin, the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth. John 16:13a Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth. 
      The Spirit of truth working in us is why we are able to get up when we fail and fall. Not if we fall, but when we do, we will be able to get up and overcome in the power of His might. Prov. 24:16a For a just man falls seven times, and rises up again. 
      God is not worried about our falls; He is enthusiastic about our rising up with His grace from the fall to take back that which the enemy of our soul has stolen. Jude 1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. 
      The wonder of the cross is that all our sins and failures have been forgiven in full past, present, and future, and that known fact will keep us getting back up to fight, by faith, from a position of righteousness. We do not have to war from a position of fearing failure, because our failures were paid for in full at the finished work of Calvary. John 19:30a When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished.
      What did I learn the last time I fell? I learnt that if I get up, God's grace and strength is there in full loving abundance to give me the ability to overcome the works of the devil. I learnt that if I get up God would speak to me. Eze. 2:1 And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee. 
      I learnt to get up and get ready for the next battle or test because, with Christ, I can do all things through Him for His glory and my blessed assurance. We shall overcome. Amen.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Arguments With God

Proverbs 21:30 There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.

       You cannot trick God into anything or out-smart Him on any thought and, yet, the heart of man will rise up and confront God on what we mortals perceive to be not right, not fair, and not just.
      I was talking with my good friend and pastor, Ed Berk, and he was having trouble with the justice involved in the story of the young prophet who was killed by a lion. 

      The young prophet went a different way after believing new instructions that came from an older prophet of God, but the older prophet had lied. 1 Kings 13:18 He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him. 
      After eating with the prophet who had lied, the word of the Lord comes through that same lying prophet and proclaims the young prophet's death. 1 Kings 13:21 And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the LORD, and hast not kept the commandment which the LORD thy God commanded thee, 22 But came back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of the which the LORD did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers.
      The harsh judgement on this newbie just getting started in the prophet business seemed to be too much for Pastor Ed to take into his soul. This was not right, where was the grace and mercy? Thank God Pastor Ed left all these feelings up to God to deal with because, in the end, God has our consolation ready to heal and deliver us from our self-righteous feelings. Isa. 1:18a Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD.
      One of the verses in the bible that brings out the self-righteousness in me and can cause an exchange with the Lord of "this is not fair" is the verse Prov. 28:21 To have respect of persons is not good: for for a piece of bread that man will transgress. My argument with God is with the no-win scenario that I think is in motion. 
      For a piece of bread, a man will transgress, yet that same man was created to need a piece of bread to live and survive on this planet so, therefore, transgression seems inevitable. Starvation and fear of it, can and has caused genocide against mankind on this fractured earth.
      Not everyone has a relationship or ability to trust that God will take care of them, thus creating a deeper hunger then bread. Is this the modus operandi God is using to bring us to him? Not a carrot, but a loaf of bread just ahead of our grasp? 

      I know better than to believe that, but it is a perception that squirms its way up from my heart when I read this verse. Of course, the enemy of my soul is trying to get me to say what he got Eve to say in her heart while in the garden of Eden and that is, did God say?
      No one wins an argument with God unless the Lord Himself lets you come to a place of recognition of His much larger view. Jonah can attest to this because of what he went through and how his bookends. Jonah 4:10 Then said the LORD, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither made it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night: 11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than six score thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle? 
      Jonah's book ends with God talking and making a statement of love and grace toward a people not deserving of it, just as we were not deserving when God found us. Rom. 5:8 But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Jonah's book finishes with the fact that God gets the last word and that is the reality of our relationship with Him. 
      Throughout our lifetime with Christ as our Lord and savior, we will have many questions and uncertainties about what the Lord is doing and how He is doing it. We will not always get the answers to every unknown. Eccl. 11:5 As thou knows not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knows not the works of God who makes all. We may not know the works of all and always get the answers to those works, but we know Him who is in complete control of all works and our eternity. 
      Prov. 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. EUREKA! It looks like the argument I thought I had with God is no argument at all. He is Lord and I am not, but I can take everything to Him and we can work it out His way. Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Words Heal

Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

       How often have you heard the right word at the right time and it was healing to your soul? Oh, how wonderful that blessed feeling is in our inner being. We have also experienced the opposite when we were hit right in the heart with a malicious statement that hurt to the very core of our humanity. 
      The power of words is significant enough to kill a person or heal a person right where they are standing. Prov. 12:18 There is that speaks like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health
      Yes, you have the power to bring life through words that will cause a merry heart of health to be activated within a person and the result is a medication that cannot be bought with a pharmaceutical prescription. Prov. 17:22 A merry heart does good like a medicine: but a broken spirit dries the bones.
     A few years ago I had heard of a Japanese experiment where the scientists were speaking joyfully and harshly to different clusters of rice and were getting interesting results as to the conditions and quality of the rice clusters. 
      Better still, I had spoken to my friend Romay who had used this experiment to teach her children how words, good or bad, could affect the inside of other children. This is Romay's account of how she used the rice experiment and what the results were.  
     We sanitized two glass jars by boiling them with their lids for 10 minutes. At the same time, we made one batch of plain white rice. Then we put the rice in the jars and closed them up and labeled one with 'love, thankful, and kind,' the other with 'hate, unthankful, and unkind'. 
      We then put the jars side by side and throughout the coming days, we would speak to the rice in the jars with words directed as to the label's instructions on each jar. To the love rice, we said love words (in the language and cadence of a preschool aged child ) like 'I want to play with you,' 'you're beautiful,' and so on. To the 'hate' rice we would say the opposite type of words. Periodically the jars were moved around separating them and repeating the rice experiment for the benefit of the children to see how words can have an affect in life. 
      After 3 weeks the hate rice started turning brown and slimy while the love rice stayed white. Eventually, the hate rice turned to sludgy black liquid and the white has always stayed fluffy, just like the first day. The amazing part of this word experiment is that after two and a half years the jars were found in the garage where they were forgotten and they were still the same! The hate jar of rancid rice had gotten worse and the love rice was still white and fluffy. Stunning how words can affect life. Prov. 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
      After I heard this story I thought of the verses in Romans that basically says that all of creation is waiting for man to get their act together so that healing can come to this earth. Rom. 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now. 
      Farmers, horse, and dog whisperers will give testimony as to the power of words in the recovery of wounded animals that have been beaten and screamed at with profanities. Prov. 12:10 A righteous man regards the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. We can change the very environment we live in by speaking God's words within that environment. 
      When I hear words delivered in sarcasm or malice I call it "shriking out." Shrikes are some of the smallest birds of prey in North America. The foods they eat include small rodents and other species of small birds. Shrikes are known for impaling their victims on thorn bushes and barbed wire fences, then tearing their prey apart piece by piece. 
      What a description of what we are doing to others when we use hurtful and sarcastic quips to make our all-important point. How many spouses, male or female, are eviscerated by the other's burning complaint or harsh dig?  Our raison d'être as Christians should be to bring life with our God-given ability to speak healing words to each other and everyone we meet. Prov. 15:23 A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it! 
     I want to be a healer in this world and if the starting point is my vocabulary with the right spirit behind it, then let my words be the words of kindness and peace for us all. Psalm 107:20 He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Get Out Of The Way

Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
   
      I was in a grocery store this week and I noticed an elderly gentleman pushing his shopping cart and leaving it in high traffic areas. He was always in someone's way. He would be reading the content on a food product and his cart was skewed to an angle that closed off the aisle. No matter where this man stopped, he was causing a shopping cart traffic jam. 
      The funny thing was that he had no idea he was doing it and did not notice all the angry people who were trying to maneuver around him. He and his cart was an obstruction, no matter where he went in the store. He was blocking the flow of traffic and, by the looks on people's faces, I reckon he was breaking shopping cart etiquette 101.
      I believe the Bible verse everyone was looking for was Isa.
 30:11a Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path. I doubt this scripture would have been given to the elderly gentlemen in love, but it was the one I was thinking of when, there he was - right in my way - blocking my access to the watermelons. 
     What have we allowed to get in the way of our progress and growth in the Lord? What way did we take, going forward with zeal, thinking it was the right way? How have we hindered the blessing of the Lord because we were in the way? What are the results in our lives because we blocked the way of the Lord? Isa. 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
      Sarai influenced Abram into hurrying up the promise God gave them for their lives by finding another way of fulfilling the promise of a newborn son. 
      Gen. 16:1 Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. 2 And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. Their troubles were compounded because of their way of working out God's promise toward themselves. 
      The sons of Aaron thought they could use any fire to minister at the altar of the Lord. Even though they thought it was the right way, the end thereof was death. Lev. 10:1
And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. 2 And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.
 
      Aaron's sons got in the way of how God wanted to do things. Maybe it was their familiarity with working the Tabernacle gig and they lost their sense of reverence before their God, or they might have thought they were above the law and did not need grace. Nonetheless, they paid for going their own way with their lives.
      I know of a family whose son came home hooked on drugs and the parents kept trying to tell this young man what God expected of him; this was not well received, because the boy was ill with the effects of the methadone cure. The loving parents were confused because they thought they were helping their son, God's way, by pronouncing what the scriptures said. The word of the Lord that kept coming to the praying parents over and over was GET OUT OF THE WAY! 

      Every time they felt they should say something they would hear these words in their spirit. Both parents prayed daily for what they thought was inappropriate behavior in their home because the addicted son had moved back in with all his bad habits and carelessness. 
      The miracles started in the first week of prayer. When they got out of God's way, the Lord would do something in this young man that was greater than what was asked for. Eph. 3:20 Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. 
      What God did week after week was always above what these parents had asked or thought possible. After four months their son was healthy enough to move out on his own. He worked hard at any job that came along and God continued to work His ways in healing the boy's life.
      I was talking with this young man a few weeks ago and he is completely cured of the drug addictions and healed of the terrible effects of the methadone cure. For the parents, It took a year and a half of praying and practicing getting out of God's way for them to learn that God's way is better. 

      Today this whole and healthy young man is employed at a great company working his dream job. He has declared to me that the Lord has done a great work within him. His love and respect for his parents have grown in leaps and bounds. All I could say was. "Praise the Lord for God is good."

Friday, 16 August 2013

No Call Waiting

Proverbs 8:34 Blessed is the man that hears me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.

        I have been waiting for years and still, this prayer has not been fulfilled to my expectation. Waiting on the Lord is all I ever do and still, I don't see my prayers answered. Maybe my request is not worth His attention. Maybe He is too busy with other important problems. I seem to be on constant hold and listening to a busy signal. 
      These are some of the biggest lies the devil will tell you as you wait on God, implying that you are not worth the Lord's time. Interesting, why is the devil so concerned about you getting through to God and being fulfilled? The devil is a liar from the beginning and the father of lies. He knows that your waiting on God is producing the patience of a Godly satisfaction. James 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience.
      One great thing about the Lord Jesus, He will never put you on call-waiting while many of His other sons and daughters are asking for His attention. He will never be too busy to hear your heart in prayer. You will always have His full attention. Isa 65:24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. 
      It might seem long to you, but you were heard by Him from the first thought you had about speaking with your God. Dan. 10:12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words
      Waiting on the Lord is not irksome when you know that He is waiting for you to come and let Him know everything that is going on in your mind and heart. Heb. 14:6 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. You will not shock the Lord with anything you say to Him because He knows you better than you know yourself. 
      He knows the "why" you are the way you are, and He has the answer to the difficulty you find yourself to be in. Jer. 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knows not. The best part of this is that God will also fix the reason you keep falling into that difficulty, if you let Him.
      Waiting is a state of being. Waiting on God is not a hanging around doing nothing verb. It is an action of faith in whom I am waiting on. I am at peace while waiting, because I know that the Lord heard me when I asked Him for help. 1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he hears us: 15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.  
      What if it was not His will as to what we are waiting and asking for. No matter, keep bringing your requests to the Lord so that you can find out how to ask within His will. Your teenagers did it with you as you were parenting them when they were growing up and waiting for their sixteenth birthday.
Dad, may I have the car tonight?
No, you do not have a driver's licence yet.
If I get a licence will I be able to drive the car? 
That depends on your maturity at that time. I know, that sounded so fatherly but you get my meaning.
      There are similarities here, as to when your maturity and ability to receive the answered prayer of the Lord is, in fact, a life building benefit. It is true that God gives us good things and other blessings for our lives. James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. That is the beauty of waiting on the Lord because you are being prepared for the responsibility of that answered prayer. 
      There is that old adage that says, "Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it." This truth has undone many a good person because they got so much, so fast, and suffered because they were not ready for the responsibility of what came with what they had wished for. 
       You might ask me if I've got this down in my life? No, not yet, but I am understanding it better and bringing everything to the Lord in prayer while waiting on Him. I can see its benefits to my growth in the Lord for His purpose and my well-being. 
      I find myself asking a lot of questions about this waiting for God's answers, but there seems to be a verse for that also. James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that gives to all men liberally, and upbraids not; and it shall be given him. 6-A But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. Help us Lord be at peace while we wait on your direction and supply for our lives. In Jesus name. Amen. 

When Others Prosper

Proverbs 6:34 For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.

      When others prosper, do you get Jealous? 
      Years ago, my nine years old son and I were watching a TV sports report about a basketball player who had just landed a very big and lucrative contract. My son turned to me and said, "Wow dad Isn't that just wonderful for him getting that deal?" I had just received a lesson from God through my son. My son was rejoicing in the prosperity of others. There was no jealousy or envy in his statement, it was a genuine joy for the blessing that another person was receiving.
     I heard Gloria Copeland say that we should be happy when others are being blessed because that means the blessing line is moving and your turn is coming up. Eze. 34:26 And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.
     Cain would not deal with his jealousy and envy toward his brother Abel. Prov. 14:30 A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones. The jealousy and envy within Cain caused him to strike out and kill his brother. Gen. 4:8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. 
      The fact was that Cain could not rejoice in the blessing his brother was receiving from God. He would not humble himself and learn from God and his brother what was acceptable as a sacrifice to God.
     You might say that I am using an extreme example, but I say not at all. The news is awash in articles every day of people overreacting to jealousy, envy, and malice to the point of committing robbery and homicide. 
     We read in the book of Ester how Haman, because of his jealousy toward Mordecai, caused incomprehensible decisions that eventually got himself hung on a gallows because of an envy he could not deal with. Ester 3:5 And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath. 
      Not only did his jealousy get himself killed, but he also got his ten sons killed. Ester 9:14 And the king commanded it so to be done: and the decree was given at Shushan; and they hanged Haman's ten sons. Talk about wrecking havoc on your family over a jealous and envious spirit.
      God asks us to rejoice in the blessings of others. Deut. 26:11 And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the LORD thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou, and the Levite, and the stranger that is among you. We are created in the image of God and He rejoices over us and knows the true peace that comes from seeing us blessed. Zeph. 3:17 The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. 
      The Lord's agenda from Genesis to Revelation is to bring us to a place of pure righteousness and blessing. He speaks blessing and prosperity over us and we, therefore, as His children should bless and rejoice in the prosperity of others because we are imitating our heavenly Father whose nature it is to rejoice in His love for us. 
      The next time you see someone getting something you have always wanted, just say, "Isn't that wonderful" and realise the blessing line is moving and you might be next. Bless you much!

Monday, 12 August 2013

Wise Guys

Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that wins souls is wise.

      The fruit of righteousness is a tree of life. Jesus said, "He is the life." Life is what God is always trying to give us. Rev. 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. Everything that God gives us and does for us is to bring life to our hearts and souls, that we may be at peace with our God here and throughout eternity.
      God is also working to equip us with a mandate of winning souls for His glory and purposes. 2 Pet. 3:9b But God is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. The key is to recognise that God invites everyone to come to know Himself by His provision of salvation through Jesus Christ. Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. 
      Some will say, surely there are other ways to God. Within man's realm of ideas there are, but within God's choice of righteous sacrifice, there is only Jesus. We read in Gen. 2:9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The tree of knowledge of good and evil is what man ate from. The problem with this tree is that good and evil are of the same tree.
      That is why no matter how much good you do, it cannot equal God's righteousness. We must eat from the other tree that was in the garden and that is the tree of life. A different tree entirely. A tree of righteousness. Shall we all stop doing good? God forbid! However, trusting in the good that we do will lead to erroneous beliefs.
      The Apostle Paul wrestled with this as he learnt to understand the grace that overcame our desire to trust in our own goodness. Rom. 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. When we accept Christ as Lord, the good that we do is for Christ Himself because we have His righteousness within us. I am not saved by the good that I do, but rather I am saved to do Him good. Col. 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men. Eph. 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
    Now that I have Jesus as Lord in my life, I am ready to be equipped to win souls. 1 Pet. 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.
      There are many books and instructions on how to win souls for Christ, but when I fell in love with my wife I did not need a manual for me to express my heart's love to her. The expression of love that came out of me was evident to all my friends and family. They knew that there had been a change in me and I had been smitten.
      I like to think that sharing Christ will come from a similar heart. Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” In another place, he said, “It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.”  
      The marching orders that Christ gave us should not be feared. Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. The Lord will not ask us to do what we cannot do without His help. Matt. 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
      The Lord will teach us how to win souls within our own personality that He created. We do not have to fear messing up a technique, or a rehearsed spiel that is supposed to compel men to accept Christ. No! He will guide you through His voice from within. John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.  John 16:13a Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth.
      We are admonished to be wise in Him, and through Christ introduce everyone we meet to the only holy and loving God who truly loves us all. If God's plan for mankind is to redeem us for Himself, will He not lead us into this endeavor with His direction in order to accomplish His dream?  Hush, listen! He is saying this to you. Isa. 30:21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Need A Pharisectomy?

Proverbs 9:6 Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

      Do you need a Pharisectomy? Will the Pharisectomy hurt? Only if you judge and criticise others.
      Pastor Peter Haas wrote a book, Pharisectomy: How to Joyfully Remove Your Inner Pharisee and other Religiously Transmitted Diseases.
      I heard a minister of the Gospel say, "The more that he turned toward grace and lived in its peaceful place, the more his Pharisaical attitude within him was cut away." He determined that he had received a Pharisectomy. Of course, I laughed when I heard him say it, but realised that I could give witness to the same thing. 

      The closer to grace that I live and believe, the Pharisee within me is cut off and my hypocrisy is actively dealt with. Matt. 23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. 
      When I started to extend grace to everyone around me, I found it easier to acknowledge my own sin and shortcomings; therefore, I could joyfully repent of being judgemental. Rom. 14:13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way. 
      I find that when I offer grace from a non-criticising position, there is a liberty and joy in my heart toward my brothers in the Lord. Even better is the closeness I feel in my relationship with Christ. Psalms 73:28 But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.  
      It is the Pharisee and his traditions within us that stop the Word of God from having an effective result in our spiritual lives. Mark 7:13a Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition. We are unwilling to change our hearts toward God's leading, because we have been taught a tradition that is no longer working for us. Yet, we fight to keep this tradition because it is how we have always done it in the past. 
      I am not talking about a doctrinal principle of truth but rather when we say, "We have always done it that way in this church!" These traditions can become an Ishmael to us and hinder the move of God within us, because God is trying to get an Isaac born of vision into our hearts. Gen. 17:18 And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! 19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. 
     When I lived in Queensland, Australia, there was a particular grass that I loved the smell of. The sun's heat would cause this grass to give off a sweet curry scent. The locals call it Molasses-Grass. The dairy farmers hate it, because if their cows eat this grass, the milk will take on a spoiled taste. 
      The farmers are vigilant in keeping this grass out of their paddocks. We should be just as vigilant, through grace, in keeping the Pharisee out of our souls because, if we do not evict this Pharisaical attitude, our religion will produce a spoiled taste for everyone in our lives. We need to cut the Pharisee right out of us. 
      We want the grace of our Lord to perfume and flow from our hearts, that we may represent Christ's salvation in the beauty of His love and truth. Will this transformation from the heart of a Pharisee hurt? Will we be able to forsake the foolishness in our lives? I thank my God that He is not finished with us. He is working to bring us into His fullness. Jude 1:24 Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. Amen and amen!

Thursday, 8 August 2013

The Favor Is Mine

Proverbs 14:9 Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favor.
       
       Why do they get all the breaks? Why does that good stuff never happens to me? Why don't I ever get what I want?  Maybe you have caught yourself saying something like this and yet, the Word of God says that you are favored with God and men. Prov. 3:3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: 4 So shalt thou find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man. 
      The caveat, of course, is that you are not a fool making a mockery of righteousness by promoting sin. Eccl. 2:14a The wise man's eyes are in his head; but the fool walks in darkness. 
      The favor of the Lord was on Joseph in his time of trouble. Gen. 39:21 But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 
      The favor was also on the children of Israel in their slavery. Ex. 11:3 And the LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh's servants, and in the sight of the people. 
      More favor was on Esther for her position in life. Ester 2:15 And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all them that looked upon her. Most important is the favor that is in Christ, because that same favor dwells within us. Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. Jesus the Lord, who lives in us, has manifested His favor in us by grace. 
      This favor will bring blessings into our lives. Prov. 10:22 The blessing of the LORD, it makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it. When we have the favor of the Lord, we become confident in the love that God has for us. 1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him. 
      The Apostle John was aware of this favor that brought God's love to his soul, because he could confidently write about himself that he was the disciple whom Jesus loved. John 21:7-A Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Is not this what we ourselves get caught up striving for in our walk with God? To know that we know that we are favored with God's love. Sgs. 2:4 He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.
      How are we to believe, and receive this favor? We get favor by giving favor. Prov. 25:21 If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: 22 For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee. Matt.5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45a That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven. 
      That is how the favor from God will grow in our lives. Like Christ, we give favor because the grace of the Lord is in us and on us. Therefore, the favor is in us to be given by His grace. Look at the favor and the blessing we have because we were born on this side of the cross. This is an amazing favor that has been given to us from birth. All we have to do is accept it through Jesus Christ our Lord. What an awesome and loving favor we have in Jesus. Yes! Among the righteous there is favor.

Be Do Have

Proverbs 22:19 That thy trust may be in the LORD.

      If only I could have that new car, then I would be able to do this work, then I would be happy. If only I could have that money, then I would buy this thing, then I would be happy. If only, If only, If only I could have!
      This world is rotating on an axis of dissatisfaction as we are listening to a constant tune of, "If only I could have, then I would do, then I would be!" We have this totally backward.
      We were created as human-beings and not human-doings.
 If I be in Christ, then I will know what to do, then I will have His peace that I am looking for and will not be looking at all the things that are offered as replacements for God Himself." John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 
      Clarke's Commentary 1. Be united to Christ - if ye abide in me. 2. That in order to be preserved in this union, we must have our lives regulated by the doctrine of Christ - and my words abide in you. 
      If I be united to Christ through the finished work of the cross I will do His will and have His life ever abounding in me. Prov. 3 26 For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.
      I was created to be a son of God in order to do His will so that I could have a relationship with Him eternally. The enemy's agenda for our soul is to sow dissatisfaction and yearning for anything other than a pure relationship with Christ our Lord. John 10:10  The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 
      If I just be in Christ, then my soul's compass will always point to His will and I will have His guidance to get there. 

Monday, 5 August 2013

A Real Trust

Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man brings a snare: but whoso puts his trust in the Lord shall be safe.
     
     The fear of man will confuse the promised vision of God. We read all through the book of Exodus that God, without doubt, is leading the children of Israel to the promise land in order to possess it and move in, fully. God's intention was not to bring them to the border of the promised land and say, sorry we just can't go in. Something happened to stop the conquering agenda that God had for His chosen people. 
      Right at the appointed time for the promise to be fulfilled, the Israelites chose to believe the lies of ten of the twelve spies. Num. 13:32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eats up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. Yet, in Verse 30 And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. 
      The rebellion began to take root because of the fear of man. Num.13:33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight. It seemed that it was easier for the Israelites to believe in the misery of ten fearful men, then to have hope in the God-given battle cry of the two brave soldiers of God. The fear of man will stop you from moving forward in the vision of the Lord, and life.
      How often have we not entered the promise of God that was clearly given to our hearts? We came to a place of doubt, because it was taking longer then what we thought it should. So we started replacing the vision with one of our own. We see this in the story of Saul who had been commanded by God, through Samuel, to utterly destroy every Amalekite, their animals, and every possession they owned. Totally rid them from off the earth. 
      The judgment of God toward the Amalikites was pronounced and it was to be carried out by the army of Israel. 1 Sam. 15:3a Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have. Saul did not do what God said, but did it his way. 1 Sam:15:9-A But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good. 
      Partial obedience is not obedience, and this heart attitude caused Saul to lose his kingdom. 1 Sam. 13:26 And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel. The fear of man stopped the destiny of Saul's kingdom. 1 Sam. 15:24 And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice. What have we sacrificed in life because of the fear of man or the fear of what THEY might think? 
      The fear of man will cause shame to manifest in our hearts and we will lose our strength toward a God-given vision. Peter, who earlier in the week had declared his unwavering love for Christ, was ashamed and fearful days later. This resulted in Peter denying he even knew Christ. Mark 14:67 And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth. Mark 14:71 But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak. 
      The fear of man will keep us in a place of uncertain apprehension and bitterness. Once this bitterness takes root, shame will grow in strength. Mark 14:72b Thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept. Thank God there is forgiveness on this side of the cross. Rev. 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.
     The fear of man comes when we have something to hide and we are unrepentant of our sin. Eph. 4:27 Neither give place to the devil. My son gave this response to his friends when they asked him why he got along so well with his parents. This happened at a party so he had all their attention when he said, "I get along with my parents because I have nothing to hide from them." I thought his statement was profound for a young man in high school.   
      Why can we put our total trust in this salvation of the Lord? Num. 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? That is a real blessed assurance because this truth will cause us to believe the love God has for us. 1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him. 
      Fear crushes the spirit of man, but trust in the Lord keeps our souls safely grounded in Him who first loved us. I trust my Lord Jesus.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

A Good Reward

Proverbs 17:13 Whoso rewards evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house.

       One of the best examples of rewarding evil for good in our lifetime was during the 2009 stock market crash. The subprime and liar loans had accelerated a housing crisis that is still gasping for recovery to this day. The housing crash almost brought the US and world economies to ruin. Some say that the economy is still ruined, but we refuse to accept the verdict. 
      News headlines in bold print were regularly flashing on the fraudulent activity of ABCPs Asset-Backed Commercial Paper that had been advertised as solid investments, turned out to be fluff. Banks were caught up in illegal housing foreclosures. The nightly news was awash in scandal and accusations of hubris corruption that went right to the top floors of our trusted financial system. 
      People had trusted in their golden idols and the cost was great. Psalm 12:1 Help, LORD; for the godly man ceases; for the faithful fail from among the children of men. 2 They speak vanity everyone with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak. 
      The economic crash of 2009 taught us that anything was acceptable as long as it made big money, and the truth was irrelevant as long as no one got caught in the scheme that was falsified as honest. The moral compass of these financial leaders had become corrupt and broken. Judges 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes. 
      When we allow this type of avarice to rule, then there is a danger that, as a society, we will start to rationalize this behavior as normal. Eccl. 8:11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. 
      When we start voting by opinion, referendum, or board room majorities on whether or not we are going to obey the instruction of God, well, we have positioned ourselves on a precarious and crumbling ledge.
      I had occasion this week to see the difference between the two choices. Between a choice of honesty, and one of corruption. A young man had found out by error that an email had been sent to his boss. The message had described this young man's addictions and personal failings from his past. By providence or mistake, the accusatory email had come to him first and not to the owner of the company. 
      The young man was upset with what he had read about himself because he had overcome these addictions and problems. He felt that he was being slandered. However, he did not delete the email but he forwarded it to his employer because it was the honest thing to do.
      The following day they talked and everything was put out on the table. Management was grateful for his honesty and said that the complete story was not necessary, but the young man insisted on telling it so that there would never be a doubt in the future. Within a week the honest confessor received a raise in pay and has been given greater responsibility in the company. Luke
 19:9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house. 
      The second event was different. I was talking with a company owner who had fired an employee that morning. The man fired had been caught in a major lie. The subterfuges and duplicity came down to this. The sales rep had been out on his boat enjoying a cruise on the lake during his work day. However, at the same time, he was texting the office that he was hard at work in another town writing up quotes on location. Num. 32:23b Be sure your sin will find you out. 
      The problem for the employee was that the owner of the company was also out on the same lake in his boat and saw him clearly. Nothing was said until the following week. The owner asked a few innocent questions and the employee continued to elaborate his made-up story of hard work out of town. The end of a good job came tumbling down for the liar. Two choices, two different outcomes. 
      We can rationalize anything we want. Jer. 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? No matter what our difficulties are, we cannot overcome them without the Lord's help. Luke 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy the faith fail not. As Timothy Keller says in his book, Counterfeit Gods, "You cannot get rid of an idol that is on the throne of your heart, you must replace the idol with Christ."  
      An idol is anything that causes us to disregard the direction God has set out for our honest lives. Our idols are causing us to make extraordinary absurd statements of belief. We save whales but kill babies. We speak peace and ransack poor countries for their commodities. Isa. 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!     
      What is the answer to this continual madness? True peace and honesty can only come from the Lord of peace. John 14:27a Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. There must be a new way. 2 Cor. 5: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. New, as in start all over. A new beginning with the Lord leading us into real blessing. This is our hope and joy. 
      Jesus has your best interest at heart and will not sell you short. He will not swindle your soul into an unrighteous contract. Jer. 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Let us take our eyes off of our idols that cause us to reward evil for good, and let us focus our eyes upon God who is good. Amen and amen!

Friday, 2 August 2013

What Do You Want?

Proverbs 17:27 He that hath knowledge spares his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.

      Knowing when to speak, and better yet, what to say at the appropriate time in order to bring healing to any soul, is a gift. We read in the book of Daniel that he was such a man. When Daniel was summoned before the greatest king on earth at that time, Daniel did not jabber. He answered all questions with clarity and accuracy so that no one was in doubt as to what Daniel had said by the Spirit of God. Dan. 6:3 Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him.  
      Our lives are inundated with a constant barrage of words all day long. In all this daily noise, was anything said that gave us life? Job 6:24 Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred. Is it possible to even have our words count for something of value within this present day flood of social media extravaganza? 
      1 Sam. 3:19 And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground. Samuel had acquired by the Spirit of God the skill of having his words count, and we need this today.
       Even when many of us are in prayer, our words are all over the map with a lot of humm, ahem, yeaaah, haah, and so on.  We don't seem to know what we want when approaching our God for our lives. Yet the Word has said that if we ask, we will have our requests heard. 1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He hears us: 15 And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him. 
      With this kind of grace favouring us, why then are we mumbling our way through prayer? The Lord is constantly encouraging us to ask, and be clear about it. Matt. 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened. 
      Some of you might be saying at this point, now come on "BROTHER" it is not that simple. I think it can be, because when we read the story of blind Bartimaeus in Mark 10: 46-52, we read that after Bartimaeus had the Lord's attention and is standing before Jesus, this account is recorded. Mark 10:51 So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.” 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road. 
      Jesus said, "WHAT DO YOU WANT?" The blind man said, "I WANT TO SEE!" There was no preamble or religious posturing. It was said by faith "I want to see", and that was that. At no time did the blind man mumble, jabber, and complain about how hard it had been being blind. He did not tell the Lord all the things he did not want. His prayer was clear as to what he wanted, and that was his sight. 
      No wonder the Scriptures say he followed Jesus after his miracle, because the first glorious sight that entered his eyes was the creator Himself. Wow! I am inspired by this Scripture. It has calmed my heart to pray with peace and to ask what I want in Him. Job 6:8 Oh that I might have my request; and that God would grant me the thing that I long for! 
      The Lord is not asking us to perform the prayer. He is asking us to believe in Him through prayer. Prov. 17:27 He that hath knowledge spares his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. A few words of faith prayed to our Heavenly Father avails much, in Jesus name!