Archive for August, 2019

(To those who might not know, I live in Costa Rica, yet at the present I am visiting in the States. As to why I am living primarily in Costa Rica, you can find an answer here However, when I am in the states, I always endeavor to attend a men’s fellowship, breakfast prayer meeting.The following is an admonition which was impressed upon my heart while in prayer midweek for my brothers.)

The Admonition

Brothers, this men’s breakfast prayer meeting, or for that matter, any corporate prayer meeting, will never be greater than the sum of the secret prayers of the individuals. For prayers, that is, public prayers, have no more merit with God than the ones spoken to Him in secret.

Please know, that I am assuming all the attendees here do in fact have true, personal, secret prayer time with the Lord.

But what I have learned, biblically and experientially, is that secret prayer, or private prayer, is often as James said, fervent prayer; which by definition of the original Greek means fiery prayer.

Thus, if one’s private prayer time is humdrum, passive, or tedious and weak, or little more than a religious duty being performed; from where then should that necessary honest desire and required sincerity come from which is to be the motivation of one’s public prayers?

Or what cause then is there, if our private prayers are not earnest, for any compulsion upon the holy God that He should acknowledge it?

Be not deceived, for the heart which truly desires to know God, and to please Him, will with earnest prayer be in persistent pursuit of God, and will labor to press into the holy of holies, and will then wait upon Him; seeking His face and His glory.

For when Jesus said for us to “Strive to enter in at the strait gate,” the word strive means “as if in agony pursue.” For is indeed a variant of the very same word which testifies to how Jesus prayed, when “being in an agony, He prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Is this not an example for us of how we too ought to pray; of how we might rightly strive so as to enter in at the strait gate?

But too often public prayer is done in a spirit of religiosity, and that by people praying what they think might sound good or upright, as what they ought to pray.

But in truth their prayers are not honest ventings from a burdened heart, or true yearnings for God and for His kingdom to come, nor are they true cries from a travailing heart for the lost souls of men.

If one’s private prayer is fervent and holy, then their public prayer will be the same. But if one’s private prayer is weak and lacks the fire of the Lord in their hearts, then their public prayers will be weak as well.

Did not John the Baptist say Jesus would baptize His people with both the Holy Spirit and fire? For it matters not how intensely or well-spoken one’s prayer might be, if the fire of His spirit does not rest within he who prays, such prayer will never move the heart of God, even if other men are thereby moved.

In truth, it would be better for one not to pray at all before men, than to pray in such a manner before God and men. For such prayers are but pharisaical, or hypocritical, spoken more for the ears of men than for the ears of God.

Note; I said all this with no intention to discourage one who might have difficulty praying, but nevertheless truly yearns to know how to pray in harmony with the unction of the Spirit. For prayer, like fasting or studying the word of God, are spiritual disciplines that are only learned and perfected by purposefully exercising oneself in them; which purpose must be to know God and glorify His Son Jesus Christ.

May we all never forget what Jesus said in His day, that the time had come, and now is, when they who would worship God must worship Him in spirit and in truth; for such who do are whom the Father truly seeks to worship Him.

Thus, perhaps the worst and most insincere form of prayer is that of prayer-preaching; when one misuses this blessed grace given to us that we might make our requests known before a holy God, as a thing for them to misuse.

For too often, many under the guise of prayer, are in truth preaching in their own wisdom to others around them. Such prayer is in truth nothing more than a gross display of false humility and is in reality an evil and dishonest abuse of the grace of prayer.

That does not mean that a fervent holy prayer would fail to preach volumes to other saints within ear shot, but what is spoken is still being directed to God and not towards men.

It is God’s own testimony that He dwells with those who are contrite and of a humble spirit. It is this sort that seek to pray as Jesus did, and thus in like agony will often cry out to Him with a sacrificial heart in secret prayer. Sincere prayers for the souls of men, that His kingdom would come and that His will be done; first in their own lives as well as in the lives of others, here on earth even as it is done in heaven.

And thus, it is in the strength and glory of His Spirit that they boldly and willingly stand up for Him in public, both in word and deed. For you need to know It is only the prayers of the righteous, the godly, His holy saints, whose prayers truly honor God and can move Him into action.

Brothers, we desperately need the glory of God in our lives. For Jesus prayed, “And the glory,” now get that, “the glory which You [Father] gave unto Me, I have given them…”

So I ask, do you truthfully know, and what I mean by “know” is experientially, do you experientially know that you have received this very glory from Jesus Christ, and are you persistently living in such a way so as to be cherishing and nurturing it by doing all you know you ought to do? Are you purposefully striving to perfect personal holiness in your life in the fear of God?

For if you are not, I must warn you then that I fear that perhaps you have received of His grace in vain, for His grace is given to us to enable us in our obedience to the Gospel and the law of faith.

Brothers, if you have truly received this glory, and are still daily receiving an increasing measure thereof, then indeed there is true holy communion and fellowship being had by you with your God and His Son Jesus Christ, as well as with your fellow saints.

Of course, we know there can be no such holy fellowship between the righteous and the unrighteous, between the obedient and the disobedient, or fellowship between light and darkness.

However, too many self-professing believers nowadays seem to be quite at home with both disobedient believers and worldly associates.

But this “glory” is given only to His own. It is given so that they might be an effectual witness of God to the lost who are hell bound in a corrupt and fallen world; as well as a testimony against those who profess that they know God, but in their works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and reprobate in all their good works.

So, as the Apostle Paul would say, I beseech you brethren to please do yourselves a favor and honestly ask yourselves, or rather, honestly ask God, what is the truth of your standing before God in all of this?

Do you ever ask, like I often do, “God, where is this oneness, this unity of the saints that Jesus earnestly prayed for?”

For I tell you, that Jesus having so prayed, He fully expects there to be a holy unity among His people. A unity which brings them into the same oneness which He shared with the Father. But now a oneness with all His people together, with the Father and Jesus in us, and we in them, dwelling in a blessed state of holy unity.

As the Psalmist said, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is for the brethren to dwell together in unity.”

Because, again, it is the very glory which the Father gave Him that He has given to His own.

Too often I look at the churches and too many believers and am compelled to ask, “Where is this “glory” that Jesus Christ has given to His saints; that glory that is supposed to be brilliantly shining within and out from their lives?”

Can you detect it, or recognize its presence? Do you at least perceive its growth within you? For if by Jesus own words we understand that the world is supposed to undeniably see it, certainly then the enlightened children of God should be able to behold it.

For the Apostle Paul said, “But we all, [not some, but all], with open face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image,” that is Christ’s image, the image of the invisible God, and are being transformed “from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

What evidence then do you see, or might others see that persuades you it is a reality in your life, or in those you fellowship with, or those where you attend church? For Jesus said “By their fruits you will know them.” Not fruits of good deeds, but the fruit of holiness which has its end in eternal life.

This is enormously important, so please do not fail to grasp the gravity of this exhortation I believe the Lord has laid on my heart for you all. For it is this glory given to His saints that alone creates and serves to empower us as we endeavor to maintain a holy unity among the brethren.

I pray you understand the reality and truth of this matter, how the divine purpose of this glory is to enable each of us to mirror the very unity of Jesus Christ and the Father in unbroken and unhindered love; for that was His prayer to the Father.

This glory alone can be the believer’s shining light, and in truth it ought to be shining brightly in and through each of us who are called by His name in this dark and lost world. For once again, this glory is no less than that same glory which the Father gave to His only begotten Son, and His Son to His followers.

This “glory” of the love and holy unity of the Father and Son laboring sacrificially together for the redemption of the lost, this glory, alone can convince the world that God did indeed send His only begotten Son into the world. This is the Gospel and it must both shine in and through us.

Yet many preach the gospel, or perhaps a beggarly version of it, but only they who truly live in this glory can truly witness to and preach the gospel effectually under the power of the Spirit.

Do not fail to realize, that somebody has been, and they still are, actively proselytizing and making converts, many converts, in Jesus’s name. And these, by compromising the Gospel and removing the offense of the cross which all true saints must pick up daily,  they have filled the churches with such who will one day be saying, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name? and in Your name have cast out devils? and in Your name done many wonderful works?”

But Jesus will say to them, “I never knew you. Depart from me, you that worked iniquity.”

Hence, we both need and must have this glory, for this “Glory” reflects and brings into an undeniable light the holy love of God, which He has for His own Son, and reveals this very love through His saints to this lost world.

Without this love you are nothing, and that is a biblical truth and thus a spiritual reality.

Theology alone, even perfect theology, will not save anyone. Christianity without living in the Spirit is a false hope. You need this Glory in your life. Christ in you is the hope of glory. That is why it was the earnest prayer of Jesus Christ, and why it is therefore also the promise of the Father to those who would by faith lay hold of it.

John 17:22,23 – And the glory which You gave Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one. I in them, and You in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that You did send Me, and has loved them, even as You loved Me.

2 Corinthians 3:18 – But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass [mirror] the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image [of Jesus Christ] from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Brothers, my prayer and desire for you is that you all would individually be earnest and press into God, and seek His grace whereby you might truly become His living sacrifices, burnt offerings who are indeed a sweet-smelling savor unto God. But remember, you cannot have a burnt sacrifice without fire.

Second, I pray you all would come into a holy fervency of prayer and unity of the spirit, that you might as one man together humble yourselves before God and pray as true watchmen and holy priests over this community and your families and friends.

As the Lord said to His servant Joel, “Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, ‘Have pity on Your people, O LORD, and give not Your inheritance to shame, for a proverb among those of the nations. Why should they say among the people, Where is their God?’ For then the LORD will be jealous for His land and pity His people.”

Moreover, I pray this so that Jesus, the Lamb of God, might receive His full reward, and that His name might be glorified in you all. For they who go forth weeping bearing precious seeds have a precious promise that they shall doubtless come again rejoicing bring in the sheaves with them.

Come forth you men of God. In the name of Jesus Christ, come forth.