The Father Waits To Answer

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 30, 2010

“One of the greatest mistakes that a Christian can make, is to imagine that increased social or spiritual activity can be any compensation for the lack of secret communion with God. A prayerful life is always a powerful life; and a prayerless life is always a powerless life. If we cannot pray aright, we really can do nothing aright; but how slow we are to believe that. We find a spiritual law at work in the uniform experience that the more we pray, the more we need to, and want to; and the less we pray, the less is the desire to do so….

The simple fact is, we must find time for prayer, or we shall perish: we must regard it to be as essential to our souls as is our daily dinner to our bodies. For every child of God some time each day must be reserved for private communion with Him; and we can better afford to drop anything in the day’s programme than that.”

W. Graham Scroggie

How to Pray, 11, 13

~~~

“God is looking for prayers to answer. When He does so, it satisfies a part of His Fatherly nature. It allows Him to express His love as nothing else can do.

Your every prayer wafts like incense to heaven and elicits a response from a God who is hungry to move on your behalf.”

Nick Harrison

Magnificent Prayer, 339

~~~

You do not have, because you do not ask.

James 4:2 (ESV)





Posted in Prayer

Do You Watch With Him?

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 26, 2010

“These three [Peter, James and John] were appointed by our Lord for one purpose—to see His agony. ‘Tarry ye here, and watch with me.’ He did not put them there to go to sleep; He put them there to wait and watch. The twelve disciples were all He had; He knew that one had gone to betray Him, that Peter would shortly deny Him with oaths and curses, and that all of them would forsake Him and flee; but He took these three with him to see the unveiling of His heart—and they slept for their own sorrow.”

Oswald Chambers

If You Will Ask, 19-20

~~~

“In essence, there is only one thing God asks of us—that we be men and women of prayer, people for whom God is everything and for whom God is enough. That is the root of peace. We have that peace when the gracious God is all we seek. When we start seeking something besides Him, we lose it.”

Brennan Manning

The Ragamuffin Gospel, 46

~~~

Prayer was priority in the life of the Lord Jesus. Prayer was priority in the early church. Prayer was priority in the life of the apostles. Prayer was priority in Paul’s ministry. With Biblical commands like, “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), and “continue steadfastly in prayer” (Colossians 4:2), and “praying at all times in the Spirit with all prayer and supplication” (Ephesians 6:18), there comes a compelling question, “Does prayer hold that kind of priority in my life?” Do I watch with Him to see the unveiling of His heart, or do I sleep in my own selfishness?




Posted in Prayer

Do You Watch With Him?

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 26, 2010

“These three [Peter, James and John] were appointed by our Lord for one purpose—to see His agony. ‘Tarry ye here, and watch with me.’ He did not put them there to go to sleep; He put them there to wait and watch. The twelve disciples were all He had; He knew that one had gone to betray Him, that Peter would shortly deny Him with oaths and curses, and that all of them would forsake Him and flee; but He took these three with him to see the unveiling of His heart—and they slept for their own sorrow.”

Oswald Chambers

If You Will Ask, 19-20

~~~

“In essence, there is only one thing God asks of us—that we be men and women of prayer, people for whom God is everything and for whom God is enough. That is the root of peace. We have that peace when the gracious God is all we seek. When we start seeking something besides Him, we lose it.”

Brennan Manning

The Ragamuffin Gospel, 46

~~~

Prayer was priority in the life of the Lord Jesus. Prayer was priority in the early church. Prayer was priority in the life of the apostles. Prayer was priority in Paul’s ministry. With Biblical commands like, “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), and “continue steadfastly in prayer” (Colossians 4:2), and “praying at all times in the Spirit with all prayer and supplication” (Ephesians 6:18), there comes a compelling question, “Does prayer hold that kind of priority in my life?” Do I watch with Him to see the unveiling of His heart, or do I sleep in my own selfishness?




Posted in Prayer, Repentance

The Pleasure Of Worship

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 23, 2010

“We evangelicals do not know much about worship. Evangelism is our specialty, not worship. We have little sense of the greatness of Almighty God. We tend to be cocky, flippant, and proud. And our worship services are often ill-prepared, slovenly, mechanical, perfunctory, and dull…. Much of our public worship is ritual without reality, form without power, religion without God.”

John Stott, quoted by Oswald Sanders

Enjoying Intimacy With God, 20

~~~

“The blessed and inviting truth is that God is the most winsome of all beings, and in our worship of Him we should find unspeakable pleasure.

The living God has been willing to reveal Himself to our seeking hearts. He would have us know and understand that He is all love and that those who trust Him need never know anything but that love.

God would have us know that He is just, indeed, and He will not condone sin. He has tried to make it overwhelmingly plain to us that through the blood of the everlasting covenant He is able to act toward us exactly as if we had never sinned.

Unbeknown to the understanding of a Pharisee, God communes with His redeemed ones in an easy, uninhibited fellowship that is restful and healing to the soul.

The God who has redeemed us in love, through the merits of the Eternal Son, is not unreasonable. He is not selfish. Neither is He temperamental. What He is today we shall find Him tomorrow and the next day and next year.”

A. W. Tozer

Whatever Happened to Worship? 28-29

Compiled and Edited by Gerald B. Smith

~~~

The twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever.

Revelation 4:10 (ESV)




Posted in Worship

Simple Short Prayers

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 18, 2010

And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Matthew 6:7-8 (ESV)

~~~

“Short prayers are long enough. There were but three words in the petition which Peter gasped our, but they were sufficient for his purpose. [Beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord save me, Matthew 14:30] Not length but strength is desirable. A sense of need is a mighty teacher of brevity. If our prayers had less of the tail feathers of pride and more wing they would be all the better. Verbiage is to devotion as chaff to the wheat. Precious things lie in small compass, and all that is real prayer in many a long address might have been uttered in a petition as short as that of Peter.”

Charles H. Spurgeon

Morning and Evening, January 14, P.M.

~~~

“ Many words in our prayer come from our flesh. Our prayer may be long-draw-out with many words which are not real or effective. Frequently, in our time of prayer we circle around the world several times, using up time and energy without obtaining any answer to real prayer. Though you have prayed much, your prayer will not be answered nor will it be effective. You simply expend your time and strength ill-advisedly. Prayer need not be too long. There is no necessity to insert many speeches into it. Be careful lest you have too much argument in your prayer. We need only to present our heart desire before God. That alone is enough.”

Watchman Nee quoted by Nick Harrison

Magnificent Prayer, 156

~~~

Note the model prayer the Lord Jesus taught. It was simple, brief, intimate and trusting.




Posted in Prayer

The Rest Of God

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 16, 2010

“There is a rest of God. That rest, through the ministry of our High Priest, we are invited to share. Cleansed and empowered within, we can live within the Holiest of all in the Presence of God where there is rest.

Some have lived in the atmosphere of the Divine Serenity. The son of the scholarly and saintly Bishop Wescott said concerning his father, ‘In his later life my Father obviously lived in two worlds at once. While his feet were set in the world, his spirit was in the presence of God. Everything that came to him was met in that presence. Nothing could ever surprise him from that attitude.’

That is what life in the Holiest means—and it is always restful.

The inspired writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews speaks of it as a life anchored within the veil, kept steady and secure in times of storm.”

G. H. Morling

The Quest for Serenity, 42

~~~

It is possible to live on two levels at once. It was the way of the Lord Jesus when He walked the earth. Sometimes His inner conversation with His Father broke forth in voiced prayer for others to hear. Saints down through the ages discovered that one is able to live in both the inner sanctuary of the soul while outwardly attending to the necessary responsibilities that come with every day life. Brother Lawrence is an example. He wrote the letters we know as The Practice of the Presence of God. While doing his duties in the kitchen, he enjoyed the Lord’s presence and fellowshipped with Him. This is a practice we must learn to do, but it can be learned. As we learn how to do this, we enter into the Lord’s rest and we are not so distracted by our external demands. Our inner man can rule our outer man rather than our outer man overruling our inner man. As this occurs, His peace reigns.

~~~

So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.

Hebrews 4:9-10 (ESV)




The Indefinable Mystery

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 12, 2010

The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms.

Deuteronomy 33:27 (ESV)

This mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Colossians 1:27 (ESV)

Your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Colossians 3:3 (ESV)

~~~

“I obtained an enlarged, more accurate and more experimental view of the Third Person of the blessed Trinity. From the first I had been moved to wonder at the ineffable mystery of the Trinity which reaches its climax in the fact of the Holy Spirit. It is much that God the Father is above me, it is more that God the Son is for me, it is still more that God the Holy Spirit is within me. It has been well said that no one can understand the doctrine of the Incarnation of God in Christ who does not first find it incredible. But the mystery that the believer in Christ becomes an ‘incarnation’ of God is still greater.”

G. H. Morling

The Quest for Serenity, 38

~~~

Is it real to you that as a believer you are in Christ and the Spirit of Christ is in you?

It is good to see this truth in God’s Word, but it only becomes life changing when it is in your soul by the Spirit’s revelation. This is why the Apostle Paul prayed like he did for the Ephesians (Ephesians 1:15-23). With all his brilliance, and seminary training by the Lord Himself, he could not write the truth in such a convincing way that the Ephesians would know it experimentally in their heart. Heart revelation only comes by the Holy Spirit, and He works in response to prayerful asking and seeking. Knowing the truth by the Spirit’s revelation affects the way we think and therefore how we live. There seems to be a whole lot of teaching in our day but little with heart revelation by the Spirit. Meditation on the truth, plus the Spirit’s revelation in answer to prayer, brings heart transformation. What is in your heart is what you live out in your life.




Delight In God

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 9, 2010

“When we speak of delight in God as our duty we must realize it is not a simple thing. One vigorous inclination in the human heart always must include others. Delight in the glory of God includes, for example,

hatred for sin,

fear of displeasing God,

hope in the promises of God,

contentment in the fellowship of God,

desire for the final revelation of the Son of God,

exultation in the redemption he accomplished,

grief and contrition for failures of love,

gratitude for underserved benefits,

zeal for the purposes of God, and

hunger for righteousness.

Our duty toward God is that all our affections respond properly to his reality

and so reflect his glory.”

John Piper

The Supremacy of God In Preaching, 78

~~~

Delight yourself in the Lord.

Psalm 37:4 (ESV)

~~~

Let me seek Thee in longing,

Let me long for Thee in seeking;

Let me find Thee in love,

And love Thee in finding.

Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)




Posted in Love for God

Awesome, Beautiful Worship

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 4, 2010

“What are we going to do about this awesome, beautiful worship that God calls for? I would rather worship God than do any other thing I know of in all this wide world.

I would not even attempt to tell you how many hymnbooks are piled up in my study. I cannot sing a lick, but that is nobody’s business. God thinks I am an opera star.

God listens while I sing to Him the old French hymns in translation, the old Latin hymns in translation. God listens while I sing the old Greek hymns from the Eastern church as well as the beautiful psalms done in meter and some of the simpler songs of Watts and Wesley and the rest.

I mean it when I say that I would rather worship God than to do anything else. You may reply, ‘If you worship God you do nothing else.’ But that only reveals that you have not done your homework. The beautiful part of worship is that it prepares you and enables you to zero in on the important things that must be done for God.

Listen to me! Practically every great deed done in the church of Christ all the way back to the apostle Paul was done by people blazing with the radiant worship of their God.

A survey of church history will prove that it was those who were the yearning worshipers who also became the great workers. Those great saints whose hymns we so tenderly sing were active in their faith to the point that we must wonder how they ever did it all.

The great hospitals have grown out of the hearts of worshiping men. The mental institutions grew out of the hearts of worshiping and compassionate men and women. We should say, too, that wherever the church has come out of her lethargy, rising from her sleep and into the tides of revival and spiritual renewal, always the worshipers were back of it.”

A. W. Tozer

Whatever Happened To Worship?, 18-19

~~~

This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

Matthew 15:8 (ESV)

~~~

A heart near the Lord Jesus cannot help but worship Him out of the overflow of wonder.




Posted in Worship

Who Am I?

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 2, 2010

“There is, therefore, a great need for discernment in our self-understanding. Who am I? What is my ‘self’? The answer is that I am a Jekyll and Hyde, a mixed-up kid, having both dignity, because I was created and have been re-created in the image of God, and depravity, because I still have a fallen and rebellious nature. I am both noble and ignoble, beautiful and ugly, good and bad, upright and twisted, image and child of God, and yet sometimes yielding obsequious [slavish] homage to the devil from whose clutches Christ has rescued me. My true self is what I am by creation, which Christ came to redeem, and by calling. My false self is what I am by the Fall, which Christ came to destroy.

Only when we have discerned which is which with us, shall we know what attitude to adopt towards each. We must be true to our true self and false to our false self. We must be fearless in affirming all that we are by creation, redemption and calling, and ruthless in disowning all that we are by the Fall.

Moreover, the cross of Christ teaches us both attitudes. On the one hand, the cross is the God-given measure of the value of our true self, since Christ loved us and died for us. On the other hand, it is the God-given model for the denial of our false self, since we are to nail it to the cross and to put it to death. Or, more simply, standing before the cross we see simultaneously our worth and our unworthiness, since we perceive both the greatness of his love in dying, and the greatness our sin in causing him to die.”

John R. W. Stott

The Cross Of Christ, 285

~~~

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.

Romans 7:21 (ESV)

For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

Romans 6:14 (ESV)




Posted in Inward Conflict