Now that we have finally settled the issue of who is in charge, we have our first weapon against the devil’s lie that he is in charge – TRUTH.

Our immediate response to adversity should never be, “I am under attack.” Wrong focus! Our first response should be, “I am being tested.” Who is testing me? Definitely not the devil. He has no authority to do anything without Jesus’s permission.

Why am I being tested? To find out whose word I believe. Do I believe the TRUTH that Jesus is in charge, or do I believe the lie that Satan controls my life? Jesus will continue to test us in this area until our automatic response is confidence in the love, goodness and power of God, no matter what.

When we are finally secure in the conviction that Jesus is in charge, we can begin to explore the power given to us to respond positively to every test.

We have two resources at our disposal, God’s TRUTH which tells us what the real issues are in every situation, and God’s PROMISES which show us what He intends to do if we trust Him.

We also have two channels through which we access those promises, FAITH, our only connection with God in the unseen realm, and PRAYER, our direct access to God to tap into the resources He has made available.

We have already briefly commented on faith as the only thread that connects us to God. Without the confidence that God is who He says He is, loving, faithful, reliable and trustworthy, and that He will do what He says He will do, prayer would be a waste of time.

“For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.” 1 John 5:4-5 NLT

Today, we take a closer look at prayer because it is only through prayer that we have direct access to and contact with God.

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:19-22 NLT

“So, let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:16 NLT

From the many studies we have done on prayer, let me summarise the Bible’s perspective rather than what we have learned from others.

  1. Prayer is, firstly, changing our awareness. We deliberately turn our thoughts away from the earthly circumstances we are embroiled in to contemplate the glories of the one whose help we are seeking.
  1. We can only approach the Father on the authority of Jesus (in His name). He has given us power of attorney to use His name ONLY if our prayers meet the requirements of His character and will.

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.  You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.  Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it! John 14:12-14 NLT

“And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.” 1 John 5:14-15 NLT

  1. Our motive for asking for help is to protect our unity with Him and to glorify His name no matter what it costs us. Look at Jesus…

“Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But this is the very reason I came!  Father, bring glory to your name.” Then a voice spoke from heaven, saying, “I have already brought glory to my name, and I will do so again.” John 12:27-28 NLT

“He went on a little farther and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting him might pass him by. “Abba, Father,” he cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Mark 14:35-36 NLT

Whenever we effectively engage the power of God in any situation, the outcome reflects back on God.

“We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.” 2 Corinthians 4:7 NLT

  1. Having established that Jesus is in charge and that we have help available for every situation we face, now we turn to the Word and the Promises and ask for discernment to engage whatever resources are available in God’s realm (kingdom) to resolve the situation for our good and His glory.

The New Testament gives us many examples of the way Jesus went about dealing with seemingly impossible earthly situations by engaging the kingdom’s resources. Just one powerful example comes to mind, the feeding of the five thousand.

“Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?”  He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.” John 6:5-6 NLT

Jesus was already convinced of the Father’s character and will. He (the Father) would never send people in need away to seek help elsewhere.

Jesus showed His faith in the Father by giving thanks for the food available in His hand. He acted on that confidence without hesitation.

“Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted.” John 6:11 NLT

Please understand that I am not giving you a check list to tick off but rather showing you how to develop a mindset that responds to challenges rather than reacts in panic.

John wrote an absurd statement which is impossible to achieve UNLESS we do it by using the resources God has given us to overcome the world.

“We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So, we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence BECAUSE WE LIVE LIKE JESUS HERE IN THIS WORLD.” 1 John 4:16-17 NLT

How is this possible? We’ll discover how as we go along.

What I have done so far is to lay a foundation to enable us deal with the whole variety of challenges we face in our lives in this world. I have discovered that every challenge and every test has a specific resource that God has provided for us to overcome the world (the way the world thinks and reacts) in the problems we face and turn them into opportunities to shine the light on God.

In the next few weeks, we’ll explore every resource and find out how to apply them as situations arise. I would love you to add to the list as you recognise, in the Word, what God has provided for you to overcome the world.

Scripture  taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Categories: Christian Life Tags: , ,

Luella Campbell

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