When God asks us to trust Him, seldom is it ever convenient for us to do so. As human beings we like things to be smooth and pain-free; we don’t cope too well with being inconvenienced. “So long as what’s being asked of me doesn't threaten my comfort, then I’m happy to consider it”. But when God comes asking in a matter requiring my obedience, nine times out of ten it will come at a personal inconvenience to me. You say, Pastor, why does it have to be on this wise? Why can’t God make it easier for us? My simple answer is...God wants us to trust Him!!!
One day there shall be a new heaven and earth, where the sea shall be no more. One day there shall come down from God out of heaven, a new Jerusalem prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. One day a great voice shall be heard out of heaven saying, “...Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God” (Rev. 21:3). One day God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes and there shall be no more crying or sorrow! One day there shall be no more death, neither shall there be any more pain for these former things/earthly things shall pass away. Oh Brothers and Sisters, what precious things shall be ours one day!!
It’s been rightly said, the devil makes work for idle hands, but did you know the devil can be just as much in business as he is in idleness? If he can’t get you one way, he’ll get you another way, and one of his most disguised weapons is placing upon the backs of well-meaning Christians, the burden of false guilt! A true burden from the Lord is a burden to be given back to God in prayer. It has an outflow/release value through which the pressure can be eased. By way of contrast; a false burden has no outflow, it’s a pressure cooker if you like without the release valve!! It is a counterfeit — it’s not a genuine article. It sometimes feels like the real, but alas, it soon reveals itself to be a fraud. The pressure is seemingly there, but upon inspection, instead of a pure conviction, the pressure/burden is tainted with accusatory blame and wave after wave of false guilt. One quickly realises, this is not the life-giving conviction of God the Holy Ghost but rather the life-sucking condemnation of the devil!!
May this sermon be of help to those weighed down with false guilt.
The question posed by the title of this sermon is one of great importance. There are many questions a man can be asked and understandably, there’s an order of importance to each one. “What do you want to eat for dinner?” is a valid question, and whilst it is meaningful, i.e. we do have some feelings about how we answer, we wouldn’t consider the question to be critical. Compare that with other questions, like, “Who do you want to marry?”, or “Who do you want to include in your will”, and I think you get the point I’m trying to make. In enquiring of the Lord, what it was that He would have me to bring to share with you, I have not been able to shake from my thinking a question that has gone round and round in my mind. You say, what’s the question? In six words I give it to you; “Who Is on the LORD’S side?”.
1 Peter 3:7
One of the chief reasons why prayer has been abandoned en masse amongst the assembly of God is because of unbelief. God’s people, whether they want to admit it or not, do not believe in a God who answers prayer; and because of this the prayer closets are empty and the corporate prayer meetings have long been forsaken!! As one looks at the weekly calendar of Church activities, one will find every sort of meeting going, from Zumba through to tiny tots, but to see any serious coming together for the purpose of prayer, one will generally look in vain to find even the slightest whiff.
This sermon is not aimed at the prayerless but at the praying. In it, I ask the question; “Why do the prayers of God’s people largely go unanswered?” In answer to it, I present five Biblical reasons, hindrances to answered prayer.