Wednesday, 28 August 2013

And in that day you will ask Me nothing.

”And in that day you will ask Me nothing.
 Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask
 the Father in My name He will give you.”
John 16: 23

Eighth in a Series on Prayer—Oswald Chambers
            The disciples questioned Jesus about what he had meant when he had told them that He was going to His Father. And when ‘that day’ occurred Jesus would be omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient but to the disciples they were left alone. So prior to his ascension, Jesus breathed on the disciples and they received the Holy Spirit. When this occurred the disciples’ eyes were opened and they knew Him. Their understanding of Jesus was made clear and God revealed Jesus for who He is/was for them. ‘That day’ Jesus was referring to was the day we know as Pentecost when the Spirit of God descended amongst them and ‘that day’ extends to the day of our Lord’s return!
            ”That day” also refers to the time when we know that God is at work, the Holy Spirit has been revealed, and is taking and teaching us slowly. We will also be called to test all what we hear, all what we read and through God’s Spirit the truth of God is tested.  On ‘that day’ we receive the Spirit and through all matters God is with us and there is an undisturbed relationship. Jesus said that God will recognize our prayers because the Spirit is within us and we are in relationship with God.
            Have you experienced ‘that day’ when the Spirit came upon you and never left? Even though there might have been times which you felt alone or wondered about what was to happen, God’s Spirit was and remains with you. So when you receive God’s Spirit upon you, God recognizes you as His own and what you share with him is heard.  God knows you and loves you. “That day” could still happen for you if you have not looked to God’s Spirit for guidance and strength. All you need to do is ask for God to forgive your sins and receive you as you are. 
God of love, may your Spirit be upon me. Show me how to love and live for you Hear me as I seek your guidance and grace. In the name of Christ Jesus your Son I pray. Amen.

Quotes from  Oswald Chambers “If You Will Ask: ch 9 This Day is That Day

Have you experienced “That Day” when God’s Spirit came upon you and never left? How has your life changed? Are you enabling the changes in your life or are you holding back God’s Spirit in you?

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Sanctification—Separation from God?

”Sanctification—Separation from God?”
I Thessalonians 5:23-24

Seventh in a Series on Prayer—Oswald Chambers

            God separates people in the Bible stories and within those separated groups of people there are those who separate themselves to God’s service.—set apart to be set ourselves apart for God’s service, But what does this mean?
God calls people to Him and after responding to this call we have to separate our holiness to God. We are not made for ourselves but for God. But many of us do not follow Paul’s instructions to the church at Thessalonica, and be sin free—we are human and apt to sin against God. But because of God’s grace we can be forgiven.
What is the cost of this sanctification? It will cost an intense narrowing of all our interests on earth and an immense broadening of our interest in God. This means there is an intense concentration of God’s point of view- every power of spirit, soul and body for God’s purpose—becoming one with God.  
            Becoming one with God is a life-long journey of gained experiences guided by the Holy Spirit. God is filled with peace and to be separated by God/ for God means to have God giving to us his peace. And this takes time as we strive to pray through our struggles after sanctification takes place. These struggles include doubt, fear and wonder of what life focused on God is all about. As we grow with God this peace enters and enables us to truly feel God’s mercy and grace.
            Once we get calm before God and are willing to let Him do what He chooses, He gives us an outline of some of His massive truths. Most of us never even think about these truths but it is a wholly likeness to Christ which is mystical moral and material.
Mystical- in the work of the Holy Spirit where we cannot go but can imagine –Psalm 139.
Moral-letting the Spirit come into our spirit, our thinking and in our reasoning.; our rational selves -- Isaiah 60:19
Material-our body is preserved as we come into contact with all the different relationships of life.—I Corinthians 6:19
            Sanctification is a doctrine of faith and a relationship of separateness from others by God and with God.. It is instantaneous but also a continuous work of God.

God of love, you have called me to serve you in many ways. You call me to follow and in doing so I separate myself from those who do not see you as I do. Instill your peace within so I may know that I am yours. Enable me to come to you in peace.  Amen

Quotes from  Oswald Chambers “If You Will Ask: ch 8 Paul’s Prayer for Sanctification”

The doctrine of sanctification is a church teaching, biblically based and yet not always understood. God called His people and still calls people to be separate from others in the world. His people are those who live and love others as Jesus taught. Within these followers there is also another separation—of those who continue to grow closer to God and are intensely focused on who He is and what God does and continues to do in the world.
Would you describe yourself as ‘sanctified’= separated from others because of your faith in God? How do you seek to understand God in your life? What does it mean when Paul writes, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely?” Will one really ever be completely sanctified?

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Praying in the Holy Spirit

”Praying in the Holy Spirit”
Ephesians 6:18

Sixth in a Series on Prayer—Oswald Chambers
            When you pray are you ‘praying in the Holy Spirit’? What does this mean? It means using the power given to us by God to maintain a simple relationship to Jesus. It means that we are released from our petitions because God knows the things you have need of before we ask but the act of praying enables us to know God. Prayer is not an exercise, it is life.
            Why pray? Many people need to pray because there is a need within them which seeks to be filled. Often we come across people who try us, circumstances that are difficult, conditions that are perplexing and all these things awaken in us a sense of need. A sense of need is one of the greatest benedictions because it keeps our life rightly related to Jesus. Our prayers are heard because of our faith in Jesus and through this we must believe that God will answer prayer.
            When we pray in the Holy Spirit, we will have a more intimate concept of God. The Spirit brings all through us the sense of His resources. As human beings we would rather cling rather than to take another step. We might put one foot on God’s side and one on the side of human reasoning,. But it is God who widens the space until we either drop between or jump to one side. But we have to take a leap and if we truly have learned to rely on the Holy Spirit it will be a reckless leap to God. Many of us limit our praying because we are not as confident in God as we should be. Yet when we pray in the Holy Spirit, we will realize the resources of God, and that our relationship is of a parent to child yet with God it is because of Jesus.
            If you are praying in the Holy Spirit, it makes no difference what your work is or what your circumstances are. This Spirit will produce an atmosphere round you which will bring glory to God. Pray without ceasing and keep the childlike habit of continually exclaiming in yoru heart to God. Recognize and rely on the Holy Spirit all the time. As Jesus prayed so should we. And when we pray in the Holy Spirit, we bring to God the things that come quite naturally to our minds, and the Holy Spirit who “makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God” enables God to answer the prayer so that we may be the children of God. (Romans 8:27, Matthew 5:45) The Holy Spirit cannot delight in our wisdom; it is the wisdom of God the Spirit delights in.

Lord I still move and live in a dim world, feeling you near by faith, but I will not presume. I would hide in you in security and patience until I am as you would have me to be. Amen.

Quotes from  Oswald Chambers “If You Will Ask: ch 7 Praying in the Holy Spirit

Praying in the Holy Spirit is not something we often say we do. In fact many of our familiar prayers or personal prayers end with “In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.”  What does praying in the Holy Spirit mean to you? Does this ‘use’ of the third person of the Trinity enhance or take away your understanding of growing closer to God- Father, Son and Spirit? How or why?  Try praying in the Holy Spirit and see if this is a different experience or not and share your thoughts.