How do you come to God in prayer? Do you see Him as a distant being who probably has little or no personal interest in you, or perhaps as a stern boss you are reluctant to approach? The opening line of the Lord’s Prayer teaches us the correct view we must have of God. He is our loving Father, but He is also the holy God of heaven, and in that, we find both the comfort and the confidence we need to pray.
On the very day that Haman had planned the destruction of the Jews, the tables were turned and the Jews gained victory over their enemies. In much the same way, Satan plotted and planned the destruction of the Son of God, and all hell celebrated when He hung dying on the cross. But on that very day, the tables were turned and Christ triumphed over His enemies, bringing salvation to all who believe in Him.
Whenever Satan rules a city, or a family, or a heart… it is always filled with darkness, sorrow, brokenness and despair. But the moment God steps in, it is transformed into light and joy and wholeness and hope! God takes our ruins and restores them; He takes our rags and clothes us in His robes of righteousness. Have you ever experienced this amazing transformation in your life?
The king turns his favor toward Mordecai and Esther, and evil Haman is hanged on his own gallows. But was it really Esther’s cleverness that brought all this about? No, once again we see that God was lining these events up long before Esther spoke a single word. And the same is true in our lives. Even when God seems absent, He is actually at work behind the scenes, moving in ways we cannot see, and in this we take great comfort!
As you go through the mundane events of your daily life, are you aware that the providence of God is at work in you and around you in every circumstance, encounter and decision? God is working for you, or in spite of you, to bring about His ultimate will so that He may be glorified, and so that you will be conformed into the image of His Son. You can find rest in knowing that regardless of what you are going through, God is in control of it all.
King Ahasuerus was once the most powerful man on earth. He threw a party for six months to proudly display the vastness of his kingdom and wealth. But where is this great man now? He is dead and gone. Yet 2,500 years later, our God still sits enthroned in heaven, unmoved and unshaken by all the so-called great leaders who have come and gone. Don’t be impressed by earthly power. Put your trust in God alone!
Exactly who was that baby born in Bethlehem? Was He really sent from heaven, or was He just an ordinary man, and what difference does it make either way? The Bible calls Him the Mighty God. If that’s true, then the consequences for not believing in Him are enormous! What decision have you made about that baby in the manger?
What is the greatest resource the church has? Is it gifted preachers? Entertaining programs? Abundant finances? Best-selling books? No, it is none of those things. When the early church was facing threats from the powerful Jewish leaders and the mighty Roman empire, they used the only resource they had — prayer, and that one resource alone was more powerful than every tool the church uses today!
Throughout history, the great moves of God have always been preceded by earnest prayer. Immediately after the early church had spent ten days in prayer, they shook Jerusalem to its knees. D.L. Moody said that behind every move of God you will always find some kneeling form. Could it be that the reason we’re not seeing that kind of power in our churches in America today is because we’re not praying? What might God do through us if we understood the power of prayer?
Today the name of God has become a common curse word. Even Christians are guilty of treating God casually. The problem is, we have lost the fear of God because we have forgotten who it is we’re dealing with. God is not the old man in the sky. He is a consuming fire who dwells in unapproachable light. If we caught even the slightest glimpse His holiness, we would fall to the ground like dead men! How would our lives be different if we saw God for who He really is?
Obedience to God is evidence of our Love for Him. If we do not spend much time with Jesus, our relationship with him will be weak; our trust will be shallow; our love will not be easy; and our obedience will be limited. We will not entrust ourselves to a stranger, and the same is true in our relationship with Christ.
Jesus sent His followers on an urgent mission to take the gospel to the entire world. But before they were allowed to go, He told them to wait. Wait for what? If the mission was so important, what could possibly be more important than going? During the next ten days in the upper room, they discovered the power of prayer that would transform their lives and propel them into this mission with a supernatural boldness not their own. Have we discovered that same power?