As I'm sitting here in Istanbul waiting for my connecting flight to Bishkek it is impossible to miss observing the many here in this part of the world that hold fast to the submission to Islam. It dawns on me that Islam, as with any other sincere religion on this earth, has no power to Sanctify the soul and to rescue it from the perils of sin, guilt, and shame. Only the Precious Blood of Christ can be that effective cleansing and make right the erring heart that the sons of Ishmael seek.
(From The Preface of my book "The Drawing into Prayer" available here: http://amzn.to/1sRhhfR). Before we approach the subject of prayer in this small book, it is important for us to consider that the natural state of every human being is spiritually unregenerate, dead, and impotent. A man that has been seeded from the earth and born of the flesh, is merely flesh. As a result, he is blind to the things that are of the Heavenlies, and is in need of a new "genesis" or beginning in the deepest part of himself. Our spiritual "genesis" differs from our biological beginnings because it has an entirely different source. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." - John 3:6. This source afore mentioned is rooted in the Heavenlies and shares nothing with the soil we stand on now. Our Source comes from The Spirit of God Himself. As you begin your journey through this book, you will discover that the drawing into prayer involves a spiritual exchange or communion between the spirit in you and the Spirit of God.
Therefore, mankind needs a total rebirth, an absolute rejuvenation that is sourced in God, from that Heavenly sphere from which springs up a new creature. Mankind cannot be remade, remodeled, or refashioned. You and I need a new genesis - a creation that is not made from the materials of ourselves, or this world.
God created this universe not out of mandate but out of love, and because of love, God sends His only Son into it to rescue us. Jesus's love and mission to this world has been met with the ingratitude and sin of man (including you and me). When God became a man and dwelt among us, He was put to death on the cross. Yet it was the Love of the Spirit of God for humankind that raised Jesus from the dead and burst Him from the sullied grave.
Thus, we may be reborn by this "Love from Above." Anyone that allows the Love of the Spirit of the Father to enter and believes on His Son that He sent, will be a recipient of a supernatural miracle - a rebirth sourced from the Spirit of God. Something, or better stated--Someone, will be born inside that is born from Above, that is sourced from Above, and speaks the language of Above.
This is the new creation that the Bible speaks so much about. This new creation refers to the person who by choice, receives Christ and is born of the Spirit. This regenerated person, spiritually born again, cannot sin, fail, or be destroyed. His new birth is sourced from the Seed of the Gospel of Grace. Just as a newborn babe cries out for its mother's breast and her caress, so this new creation hungers and thirsts for God: His Word, His Love, and His Communication to the inner most parts of his being.
If you have not received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, do so now. Believe on Him today as your Forgiver from sin and your Guarantor of Eternal Salvation. The peace of God will flood your soul as you trust Him in surrender. You will witness the genesis of a brand new miracle--YOU!
So stirred this evening late as I read this prayer of AW Tozer when he was ordained. After the elders and ministers laid hands upon him and prayed, Tozer withdrew and composed the following as a declaration and prayer to his Lord and King.
"O Lord, I have heard Thy voice and was afraid. Thou has called me to an awesome task in a grave and perilous hour. Thou art about to shake all nations and the earth and also heaven, that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. O Lord, our Lord, Thou hast stopped to honor me to be Thy servant. No man taketh this honor upon himself save he that is called of God as was Aaron. Thou has ordained me Thy messenger to them that are stubborn of heart and heard of hearing. They have rejected Thee, the Master, and it is not to be expected that they will receive me, the servant.
My God, I shall not waste time deploring my weakness nor my unfittedness for the work. The responsibility is not mine, but thine. Thou has said, “I knew thee – I ordained thee – I sanctified thee,” and Thou hast also said, “Thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command all that I shalt speak.” Who am I to argue with Thee or to call into question Thy sovereign choice? The decision is not mine, but Thine. So be it, Lord. Thy will, not mine, be done.
Well do I know, Thou God of the prophets and the apostles, that as long as I honor Thee Thou wilt honor me. Help me therefore to take this solemn vow to honor Thee in all my future life and labors, whether by gain or by loss, by life or by death, and then to keep that vow unbroken while I live.
It is time, O God, for Thee to work, for the enemy has entered into Thy pastures and the sheep are torn and scattered. And false shepherds abound who deny the danger and laugh at the perils which surround Thy flock. The sheep are deceived by these hirelings and follow them with touching loyalty while the wolf closes in to kill and destroy. I beseech Thee, give me sharp eyes to detect the presence of the enemy; give me understanding to distinguish the false friend from the true. Give me vision to see and courage to report what I see faithfully. Make my voice so like Thine own that even the sick sheep will recognize it and follow Thee.
Lord Jesus, I come to Thee for spiritual preparation. Lay Thy hand upon me. Anoint me with the oil of the New Testament prophet. Forbid that I should become a religious scribe and thus lose my prophetic calling. Save me from the curse that lies dark across the face of the modern clergy, the curse of compromise, of imitation, of professionalism. Save me from the error of judging a church by its size, its popularity or the amount of its yearly offering. Help me to remember that I am a prophet; not a promoter, not a religious manager – but a prophet. Let me never become a slave to crowds. Heal my soul of carnal ambitions and deliver me from the itch of publicity.
Save me from bondage to things. Let me not waste my days puttering around the house. Lay Thy terror upon me, O God, and drive me to the place of prayer where I may wrestle with principalities and powers and the rulers of the darkness of this world. Deliver me from overeating and late sleeping. Teach me self-discipline that I may be a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
I accept hard work and small rewards in this life. I ask for no easy place. I shall try to be blind to the little ways that could make my life easier. If others seek the smoother path I shall try to take the hard way without judging them too harshly. I shall expect opposition and try to take it quietly when it comes. Or if, as sometimes it falleth out to Thy servants, I should have grateful gifts pressed upon me by Thy kindly people, stand by me then and save me from the blight that often follows. Teach me to use whatever I receive in such manner that it will not injure my soul nor diminish my spiritual power. And if in Thy permissive providence honor should come to me from Thy church, let me not forget in that hour that I am unworthy of the least of Thy mercies, and that if men knew me as intimately as I know myself they would withhold their honors or bestow them upon others more worthy to receive them.
And now, O Lord of heaven and earth, I consecrate my remaining days to Thee; let them be many or few, as Thou wilt. Let me stand before the great or minister to the poor and lowly; that choice is not mine, and I would not influence it if I could. I am Thy servant to do Thy will, and that will is sweeter to me than position or riches or fame and I choose it above all things on earth or in heaven.
Though I am chosen of Thee and honored by a high and holy calling, let me never forget that I am but a man of dust and ashes, a man with all the natural faults and passions that plague the race of men. I pray Thee, therefore, my Lord and Redeemer, save me from myself and from all the injuries I may do myself while trying to be a blessing to others. Fill me with Thy power by the Holy Spirit, and I will go in Thy strength and tell of Thy righteousness, even Thine only. I will spread abroad the message of redeeming love while my normal powers endure.
Then, dear Lord, when I am old and weary and too tired to go on, have a place ready for me above and make me to be numbered with Thy saints in glory everlasting. Amen."
*(Taken from A.W. Tozer, as quoted in America is Too Young To Die: A Call to Revival, by Leonard Ravenhill. Originally published in The Alliance Witness.)
Each one of us is a leader in some way or another. We influence people most of the time unknowingly either in a good or bad way by our decisions.
> The question of growth as a leader is often overlooked by people because of laziness and passivity. 2 Tim 4.5
> The question is not how to grow my church or expand my influence, but how to grow personally as a leader. Ministry growth follows naturally. Ex 33.11
1. Honesty and transparency: You're either walking with God and there's power & anointing in your life or you are; not thus you're plagued with weakness. Ps 45.7
2. Growth in your personal relationship in the Word of God and grace convictions. How's your relationship with your Bible and reading? 1 Tim 4.13
3. Personally being a part of a small team where your tools are being sharpened as well as yourself challenged. 1 Thes 5.11
4. Selflessly develop leaders around you into their calling. Help leaders above you, beside you and below you grow in all they are to be in their Calling. Acts 14.32 & 20.17
5. Others followed Christ because He was moving in God's Plan. People will follow you as you follow Him. 1 Cor 11.1
> When you stop growing, those that are around you stop growing and the laws of deterioration begin. Jn 21.3