The key to having your prayers answered is to pray -- according to God's good pleasure.
Priority: not the carnal things of the flesh; but the spiritual things of the heart: Not earthly; but heavenly.
Luke 12.22 And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. 23 The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. 24 Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? 25 And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? 26 If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? 27 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? 29 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. 30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. 31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. 32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Which of us hasn't prayed for the very things that are written above. Most of our prayer life can be taken up with petitionary prayer to God to: give something, soothe an ache, give a healing, find a mate etc. Is it wrong to ask God for these items; or to ask for help when times are rough? Not at all. What the point above is about concerns focus. What is it that you as a Christian are focusing on? Are you looking for Wealth and Health or something even more important, spiritual growth.
The Lord points out to us that there are two main avenues that you can walk down in regards to prayer. The earthly which comprises of food, clothing, shelter and such items. The other is in regard to the kingdom. We who have been born again have been blessed with all spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus. All the spiritual blessing! That is what the kingdom of God is about. The ability and power to bless. The ability and power to destroy the works of the devil. To extend life and life abundantly to others. This comes from the spirit and not the flesh. Or rather I should say, from the Spirit.
The Father already knows what you need in regards to the flesh and how to sustain, how to improve, your standard of living. He will give you all that you need. What we should be seeking is His kingdom. We already have it if we are born again. What we don't have is a knowledge of what that kingdom is about and how to move in its power and grace.
It is God's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Priority: Pray for that... and it starts with the seed.
Luke 11.9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? 12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
In the scriptures above we have the encouraging words spoken by Jesus. Our heavenly Father who watches over us, takes care of us and provides for us all that we need. As mentioned previously our physical needs will be met by Him. The point of these scriptures at this time was to show to those who followed Jesus that the Father will also give what is necessary for their spiritual health, growth and life. What is necessary is the person of "The Holy Spirit" to reside within you. This is the central point of the new testament blessing. It is the Spirit within you who is the one who enables all the spiritual blessings. Walking with the Spirit will bring about all the spiritual blessings that God has for you.
This is how one is born again into the kingdom of God. Without this Seed within, we cannot see the kingdom for what it truly is and neither can we walk in its power and grace. When it comes to the spiritual blessings; seek, knock, ask... pray with a believing heart... and all the riches of the kingdom will become yours. It is His good pleasure to do that.
Priority: God's purposes must be fulfilled. The goal must and will be reached.
1/ adoption for us
Ephesians 1.3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
There are two general ways in which the believer and follower of Jesus is referred. One is as the future bride of Christ. Another is as the future adopted children of God. The passage above uses the image of adopted children. We can see several tense references in the above passage as well.
vs. 4- That a select group of individuals were chosen before the foundation of this world for the purpose of being His children, His bride, and standing in holiness and having no stain upon them or within them. Within each of those people will be a love for God that reflects the love that God has for them.
vs. 3- Those who are His at the reading of this page are blessed with all spiritual blessing in heavenly places. They have the Spirit within them and all the potential is there waiting to be drawn now.
vs. 5- In that future time when the adoption, the changing of our bodies to one like His own, will occur. In that time when Jesus will take His bride to Himself.
These three points and events in time are the plan, the empowering and the goal for the giving of the Holy Spirit during this dispensation. This to show to the heavens and the earth and those who dwell within them the grace of God. You are the proof of God's character and good will. That is why Jesus died for your sins, why the Holy Spirit is given, why He wants you to be His children, His bride; you are the evidence of God's love: to the world, to the angels, to the devil and his demons.
Priority: To show the wisdom, power, love of God... that rests on grace.
2/ praise for His grace for Him
Ephesians 1. 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
It is the grace that God has called forth, shown, and evidenced in our lives that causes praise to jump from our lips because of His goodness. We are redeemed and forgiven so that we can be accepted in Jesus. Not for what we have done but according to God's purpose. According to His good pleasure. That is why you can ask with confidence for the Holy Spirit (within) and the Holy Spirit (upon). If we can understand God's good pleasure and ask according to that, we can ask for anything He wants to give and it will be given. No good thing will He withhold from you.
Priority: Will you respond?
Phillipians 2. 12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
You have the Holy Spirit within you. At times you walk in the power of the Holy Spirit upon you. You are in the kingdom. You have arrived. Yet...
Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Here we are again. The constant reminder. You have prayed for the Holy Spirit to be within you and upon you. God has answered your prayers; after all, it is His good pleasure to do so; but now comes the work.
"Whoa!" you say, "I am saved by grace, not by works." Very good and amen to that. So what is Paul referring to in this passage? That one must continue to abide in the vine- who is Jesus. That you must continue to allow the life giving sap of the vine- the Holy Spirit, to flow into you- the branch. That where you- the branch, need to be pruned, the Father will do it and you will submit. That you will follow the path being laid out for you- by the Father, so that you can become all that He wants you to be. A branch filled with the fruit of the Spirit; love, peace, joy, patience, etc.
Priority: To glorify Jesus in us!
2 Thessalonians 1. 11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: 12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Will God count you worthy of this calling? To be His adopted children and bride of Jesus?
Will your life reflect the fullness, the goodness, of God's good pleasure toward you?
Will your actions be the work of faith with power?
Will the name of Jesus be glorified in you and you in Him?
All according to God's grace?
If you pray with all of your heart, according to God's good pleasure, then all of your prayers will be answered. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Author: Joseph Raymond
Friday, June 15, 2001
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