28 May, 2013
I went from someone who knows nothing about prayer, embarrass to open my mouth in front of people to a life of total commitment to prayer where when I am addressing my father, I do not care if my English is right, I do not care about my grammar, and basically do not care at all about who is standing next to me. Your rank, status, style, education or what have you do not matter to me because when I am praying, even if the room if full with people, it is personal and it is about me and my dad. This is not something you develop overnight. Through practice it took me almost a decade. It is a life where God takes us gradually by the hand and teach us in the way we should go. Psalm 109:4 says “….But I am a man of prayer." Some versions say: “…but I give myself unto prayer” -- or “…But I continue to pray.” The Psalmist did not mean by that he prayed when he had a problem or when they attacked him. It is a life totally committed and given up to Him
While God expects all of us to be given up to prayer exactly like Jesus Christ did when He walked the earth, but it is not a life for everyone. This does not mean you are off the hook because it is not for everyone. It does not mean that you are not going to have to answer to God for not having cultivated this life. It does not mean you will be off the hook for all the people that could have been blessed through your prayers. You will not be off the hook for having trodden the sacrifice He made on the Cross to bring us the freedom to approach Him at any time. While this life is not for everyone, but it is certainly for those who love Him with reverence, fear and gratefulness in their heart, so, in this sense, yes you will have to answer for your lack of love and fear. The prerequisite for this life of prayer is: love and gratitude in the soul.
The frequency we turn our eyes and heart to Him is very important. You might say well, I do not have the time. Well, I say to you, if you have time to surf the internet for your own entertainment you made a choice between God, eternal things and wasting fifteen minutes of your life that you will never get back. I am not being harsh, but it is about prioritizing. While you are walking toward the washroom, pay attention to what occupy your mind. While you are washing dishes, cooking etc., the time you spent thinking about the cares of this world could have been given to God.
I know I like mentioning the washrooms and there is a reason behind it. I was working for a Bank where I used to give them at least twelve hours per day, plus about three hours travel time to and from fighting the traffic. Plus most of the time I had to go in on Saturday just so I could catch up. I was constantly tired. One day, I knew I had to make a decision to learn to cultivate a prayer life at least something that seemingly resemble to Christ’s. Until then my prayer time was like a duty. My problem was the fact that there was not enough time in the day for me to pray. I also felt I needed every waking moment at work to keep in mind what needed to be done. I started my prayer life by accepting the fact that my job needed all my attention, yes, but the time that I was taking to walk toward the washroom was mine. So at least three times a day, I would go to the washrooms just to turn my mind to Jesus. All of it was done in my heart. It was hard at first but before I know it I started going to the washrooms just to be with Him. As time went by, I learned to take away from my sleeping time and shared it with Him. That too was extremely hard but God knows when we make sacrifices just to be with Him, and He does uphold and blesses us. The point is, you need to do whatever it takes to acquire this prayer life.
Suffice to say this verse that Oswald Chambers expounded in today’s devotional, is a deep verse. It is one of those verses where it will take God years to develop it in your life. Even after He develops it in your life, there will still be a bigger part of it that He can only show you on the last day. But, for Him to develop it in your life, it requires a life of abandonment at His feet. It is a life that takes your all, yet you do not have to worry about how to get there, but just start where you are and with the little time you have to offer. While you might be constrained by time and it is understandable to some extend, but do not be stingy in your attitude toward Him. Do not be stingy in your yieldedness either. God really makes provision for us to reach the point where we need nothing else because we have such great spiritual light and knowledge of Him. This does not mean that we know everything, but it will certainly mean that we know everything we need to know to rest secure in His bosom in this life. It is not a fake rest where we muster in our own strength, but one that comes directly from the oneness we share with Him.
When His Salvation touches your soul, you can never go back to the meagre and useless life you knew before. When you truly know Him, it is actually depressive to live your ordinary life on this earth, yet you are propelled forward because you know too much to settle for what you can see today. In a way, there is no rest for you until you see Him again. Make no mistake, the more you experience God, the more difficult it is to live out this life on earth, because you have tasted the sweet nectar of the heavenly life. Life down here is depressive because there is nothing that could ever satisfy what your soul is longing for which is living an uninterrupted, passionate, majestic and all around a wonder of heaven kind of oneness with Him. Yet, while you are longing for the life to come, in a paradox, you find rest in Him. This rest comes from an attitude of the heart.
This attitude of the heart comes from having been led up to the heart of God the Father Himself. The journey of finding the heart of the Father starts with Salvation yes, but if there is one lesson I learned in the wilderness with God, Oswald says it best in the May 27 devotion “…Our waiting is not dependent on the providence of God, but on our own spiritual fitness. It is not the baptism of the Holy Spirit that changes people, but the power of the ascended Christ coming into their lives through the Holy Spirit. We all too often separate things that the New Testament never separates. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is not an experience apart from Jesus Christ— it is the evidence of the ascended Christ.” The evidence of the ascended Christ in us is never invisible to us or people around us.
Being able to submit and start a prayer life right now with God that after a while become bigger than life, is the evidence of the ascended Christ in you. Cultivating a life of prayer is not a life apart from your Salvation, it is Salvation in your soul being worked out with fear and trembling. Sure, there will be pruning through it and the vinedresser will appear to be harsh sometimes. But, it is a path that only you can take and you have to meet with Him alone. I guarantee you that you will stumble and fall and He will help you get right back on your feet, you dust your bottom and continue. He will break you and you will carry the invisible scars, but through the pain you will find daddy’s heart. If you think knowing Christ bring joy to your heart and soul, wait till you find the heart of God the Father, it is a joy simply out of this world. Would you submit to it? Would you let Him show you? Or, are you too busy finding your thrills for this life in the care of this world? Make the right decision!
When is “that day”? It is when the ascended Lord makes you one with the Father. “In that day” you will be one with the Father just as Jesus is, and He said, “In that day you will ask Me nothing.” Until the resurrection life of Jesus is fully exhibited in you, you have questions about many things. Then after a while you find that all your questions are gone— you don’t seem to have any left to ask. You have come to the point of total reliance on the resurrection life of Jesus, which brings you into complete oneness with the purpose of God. Are you living that life now? If not, why aren’t you?
“In that day” there may be any number of things still hidden to your understanding, but they will not come between your heart and God. “In that day you will ask Me nothing”— you will not need to ask, because you will be certain that God will reveal things in accordance with His will. The faith and peace of John 14:1 has become the real attitude of your heart, and there are no more questions to be asked. If anything is a mystery to you and is coming between you and God, never look for the explanation in your mind, but look for it in your spirit, your true inner nature— that is where the problem is. Once your inner spiritual nature is willing to submit to the life of Jesus, your understanding will be perfectly clear, and you will come to the place where there is no distance between the Father and you, His child, because the Lord has made you one. “In that day you will ask Me nothing.”
Courtesy of: http://utmost.org/