[Calvary Chapel] 2000-04-08 - Discerning God's Will

What Hinders Your Prayers, Part 4

We need to pray in accord with what the Word of God teaches us. In order to do that we need to seek for and pray God's will. We have a general understanding of what that will is when we submit to "reasonable service". We have a deeper understanding when we clearly see the truth in the Word and act upon it.

Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service. And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, and ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Unfortunately we live in a day when people will teach you to love yourself. They will teach you this is OK. Some will teach you this right from a pulpit. My philosophy is simple -- forget about yourself. Jesus, Jude and Paul talked about this "self thing". Let us see what they have to say.

II Timothy 3:1-2 But know this, that in the last days grievous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, railers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

Jude 12 These are they who are hidden rocks in your love-feasts when they feast with you, shepherds that without fear feed themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn leaves without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots...

Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Our reasonable service is not to live for ourselves but to love God (do what His Word says) and sacrificially serve others. We need to die to ourselves, pick up our cross, trust the Word of God and pray in accordance with what that Word teaches.

Our reasonable service is very important because it teaches us to be about God's promises and God's desires and to deny ourselves our flesh and its evil desires. Being in the will of the Lord will greatly help your prayer life. Which means being out of the influence of "worldly wisdom".

Exodus 34:6-7 And Jehovah passed by before him, and proclaimed, Jehovah, Jehovah, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness and truth, keeping lovingkindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin; and that will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation.

This verse reveals the very character of God. He has mercy on countless numbers of people, people who repent! Without repentance there is no forgiveness. The Bible has countless examples of how great the Lord's mercy and love is for those who turn away from their sins, repent and turn to him. Again, to have an effective prayer life we need to discern God's will, to be born again and experience His mercy and forgiveness as we abide in Him. To live contrary to God's will is to live out our lives in the flesh. The following verses reveal this is not a road we want to travel on.

Romans 8:5-8 For they that are after the flesh mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For the mind of the flesh is death; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace: because the mind of the flesh is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be: and they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

We need to surrender our lives to God. Agree with God right now, forget about your will and surrender to Him for your life. Make it your goal to cooperate with God.

We need to walk in faith moment to moment with our Lord Jesus through the Holy Spirit who indwells each and every believer. We need a transformed mind washed by the Word and a willingness to adhere and do what it says for many reasons; one of which is to have a deep and rich prayer life. If we are all caught up in something else, realize that is not what God wants for His children. God gives us great insight into why we need to abide in Him. John chapter 15 speaks all about it. If you have time please read that chapter you will be blessed as you see how abiding in the Lord brings the fruit you want in your journey with the Lord Jesus.

There are many who will tell you it is all right to mingle the wisdom of this world with that of the Kingdom. Jesus said this:

John 18:36a Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world.

So how is it "OK" to mix the wisdom of this world with the Kingdom if the Kingdom is not of this world? The answer is that it is not "OK." Let's take a look at what Paul had to say about the wisdom of this world.

I Corinthians 3:19-20 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in Gods sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”; and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.

God said mans' wisdom is foolish. There are many psychological theoreticians who have intrigued the church in our day. Yet before God, they are foolish because they did not learn from God, but rather from their own vain imaginations. He knows all about the theories of those who possess special measures of human genius, like Freud, Adler, Jung, Maslow, Fromm, Rogers and on and on. God says their thoughts are futile. That word means this: useless, vain, empty. They are of no value to God in developing the kingdom and building up the lives of His people. We need to be watching out for anything, we are taught that it is not according to Christ. Only Jesus Christ, His ways and His truth are to be guiding and shaping our lives. With these words in mind we need to be proclaiming only the Word of God. Jesus said He is the way and the truth and the life, that His Kingdom was not of this world. It is important to realize faith comes by hearing the Word of God. It does not come believing I am "OK" and you are "OK" too. Because the truth is that all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God and turned aside to their own way.

We pray your time with God in His Word would be ever deepening the faith you hold fast. The Word of God should have final say on all matters of importance.

II Timothy 4:2-4 Preach the word; be urgent in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables.

I Timothy 6: 20-21 O Timothy, guard that which is committed unto thee, turning away from the profane babblings and oppositions of the knowledge which is falsely so called; which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with you.

II Timothy 1:13-14 Hold the pattern of sound words which thou hast heard from me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee guard through the Holy Spirit which dwelleth in us.

Next week we will conclude our series with "Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem"

In His Service,
Rick & Sandy