Sunday afternoon took us to church at the unusual time of 4.30pm due to the NRL Grand Final coming on at 7. (Yay for a footy loving Pastor. LOL) There was a guest speaker (Andrew Stone) bringing a message and I went expectant. I was not disappointed !! I really wanted to share some points with you from that message as it really spoke to me.
The general topic was PRAYER… and that we should go before The Lord with a THANKFUL, or agreeing heart, for that which He has already blessed us with, as opposed to ASKING for this, that & the other. As I’ve done a fair bit of reading on the topic of prayer and intercession over the last few years, I was already very aware that our Heavenly Father already has all for us that we could ever need, He has already blessed us with all we will need, but so often we fail to CLAIM it.
There’s a story that I’ve heard a few times about a man going up to heaven. An angel shows him around, but seems to avoid a big white warehouse in the centre of heaven. The man insists on seeing inside, against the angels suggestion that he will not like what he sees. When the door is opened and the man sees what is inside, a look of amazement crosses his face, followed by a sad look of realisation. The angel says “Yes, this warehouse is full of those of God’s blessings that His children DID NOT claim.”
After doing the reading I have done, I’ve come to the realisation that I need to go before the Lord not to ask for such and such to be dealt with, fixed, altered, healed or whatever is needed for that particular situation, but with a thankful heart that is already HAS been handled. For example, in regards to my DH not having the personal relationship with God that I would like, I THANK Him that he DOES. Even though that isn’t the reality right now… I chose to CLAIM what will one day be. I’m EXPECTANT in all situations. Now, don’t get me wrong… that isn’t always easy… and sometimes I fail at this and revert to asking, pleading, begging etc etc… but I can usually pull myself out of the funk reasonably quickly.
OK… back to Sunday’s message.
Humanity cages what it cannot control. Man oh man.. how true is this !! If we can’t make it work for us, we ‘cage’ it into what we can control. Andrew used the parallel of a caged circus animal to a caged zoo animal in a conservation zoo. They are both ‘caged’ but with very different intent by the person in control of the lock & key. If we use the diagram with real people, Someone who is out of control will need lots of limitations placed on them, and under the wrong guidance, can become a bit of ‘entertainment’ to others. Whereas someone who cares for that person and wants nothing more than their healing, will make very different choices in their ‘confinement’. There was lots more to this but I’m not covering it in this post… as it really could make a separate post of it.
Matthew 17:20 –He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”[a]
I LOVED what he had to share about this verse.. and in particular, the mustard seed. Who has ever thought that compared to God’s power, we need just this tiny amount of faith in comparison, for Him to work in our lives? But Andrew suggest that maybe it more speaks to the enemy’s scheme and how just a small mustard seed of faith in God’s power can dismantle his schemes.
Mark 11:22-24 –And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. 23 Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received[a] it, and it will be yours. (What sea was he speaking of?? The Dead Sea…. where things cannot live.. and HOLD NO WEIGHT…. Cool right !! )
Isaiah 54:10 –For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
Ezekiel 37:26-27 I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land[a] and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore. 27 My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
This brought us into looking into Peace – “Peace is not the lack of problem but rather the superior state in the midst of it.”
LOVE is the motivation.. GRACE is the meditation… and PEACE is the manifestation.
Peace – Emptying ourselves so that God can FILL US. Shalom – Breaking your agreement with a lie.
I have always loved the word ‘Shalom’, and like most people, just think of Peace when I see it, say it etc, but it was fascinating to delve further into the word and see what is behind the word when looking at the original Hebrew.
SHALOM – Destroying the authority attached to Caos.
I wish I could have found the image he used as it described it a little better, but if you see the word secure you can see the parallel of attach. Also leader can easily be paralelled with authority (shepherds staff… the shepherd was the authority over the sheep.). It could read almost as well using the words in this image. Destroy the leader secured by caos.
OK peeps… Lots to ponder on as always. God’s word is awesome like that…. we can get a new thing from a scripture or even a word, that we haven’t previously seen.