GOD HAS GIVEN ALL THAT YOU NEED FOR LIFE AND GODLINESS: SO WHY PRAY? PART 2
(PRAYER TO EFECT A CHANGE contd.)
This is a continuation of Capsule 39, 'praying to effect a change', I say this so that you can appreciate the train of thought and discussion. One of the things I stress all the time is that you cannot take a capsule in isolation from the others, everything and everything is joined up. In capsule 38, we found out that there are basically three 'dramatis personae' when praying to effect a change, God, who is loving and always faithful (James 1:17), You, that wants the change manifested (Matthew 7:7), and the Devil, your adversary, that is out to kill, steal or destroy (John 10:10). Whether you experience the desired result is largely dependent on you! It does not matter if it's healing, deliverance from demonic oppression or poverty that you are after, the principle is the same. God has given it to you, you desire it and the devil will fight you every which way he can (1 Peter 5:8).
In capsule 38 we looked at Luke 4:36 and Mark 4:39-41, to establish some basic principles. Firstly, you must approach things from the position of who you are in Christ, you have the authority and power (Philemon 1:6, Acts 3:6), God has fulfilled His own part of the deal. He has made you an ambassador for Christ and given you the Holy Spirit. Secondly, it is in bad taste to ask God to do for you what He asked you to do. In other words it is your responsibility to speak to whatever it is, it does not matter whether it's sickness or disease or poverty. Do not ask God to talk to the situation for you. This is so important, it is the reason why there are a lot of prayer failures. This is a dividing line between the OT and NT. God has given you the authority and power, until you realise this your prayer will be beggarly, weak, feebly and ineffective. (These are strong words but true, I have been guilty of the same in past so it's really not a criticism of anyone but myself). I will like to show you an interplay of all we've learnt and take it further.
“And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”
Mark 11:21-25 KJV
Mark 11:21-25 is a classic example, in the preceding verses Christ had pronounced judgement on a fig tree and within 24 hours it was dead. In verse 21, Peter, one of the disciples that was present the day before, when Christ cursed the fig tree was shocked to find out that it had died hence the expression 'Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away'. To make matters more relevant to you, he could have said 'Master, see the sickness or disease or poverty etc that you cursed.......' I hope you follow my reasoning, it just happens to be the fig tree it could have been something else. What Peter actually wanted to know was how Christ effected the change. 'Master, how did you effect this change , you spoke to the fig tree and it withered'? The response that Christ gave was shocking, illuminating and comforting. This is a master class, I hope you get it (so we will approach it methodically, it might take 2 or 3 capsules but it will be worth it).
The first statement Christ made was 'Have faith in God' or 'Have the God kind of faith. In short, this is an admonition to have confidence in God, believe that He is faithful. Believe that He is able and willing to back up everything He has promised. If He says that you have the power and authority, agree with Him, trust that He has anticipated the problem before it ever happened and made more than enough provision for it in your born again spirit (1John4:4, Mark 9:23). The problem might have taken you by surprise, but not God. Subsequently, Christ explained the dynamics of what has happened, how He managed to effect the change.
Before ending this capsule I would like us to consider two things that are often ignored. The phrase 'verily I say unto you' and 'whosoever ', these two are pivotal. It was necessary for Him to prefix what He was about to teach with 'Verily or assuredly or of a truth or truly' because the dynamics was so 'mind blowing ' in it's simplicity such that they might dismiss it. It's like saying ' although it sound so simple, it is important you believe and pay attention '. Unfortunately, despite this admonition the vast majority has managed to complicate things. Secondly, when I try to teach this principle of how to effect a change by using biblical examples the response I get is, 'it was simple because it was Christ who did it'. To counter this Christ Himself said, 'whosoever shall say...' meaning it is not exclusive to Christ, you too can as long as you are born again (2 Corinthians 5:17, 1John 4:17). So in essence Christ said, 'what I am about to say is simple and straightforward, but it's the truth and anybody (born again Christian) can do it !! This is absolutely mind blowing, if it's simple then it can be easily understood and as long as you are in Christ, you qualify. To be continued......
ITS SIMPLE, BUT ITS THE TRUTH AND YOU QUALIFY, IF CHRIST BE IN YOU.
In my experience as a Christian, I have come to realise that because something is simple does not mean it is easy (2Timothy 2:15). If it's easy everybody will be doing it.