Developing A Proper Prayer Life, Part III

Immediately after we conclude with our praise and worship, then come the supplications. And with that, the very first item that we should begin with is the entrance of His kingdom, the kingdom of God, here on the earth. If we are to go back in time to the first advent of Christ, it was to Israel that He offered the kingdom, but was rejected by His people, and, because of their rejection, we have been succumbed to the time of the Gentiles for the past 2,000 years and will continue in that vein until the second advent of Christ.

I think it would be quite obvious to see that this present world in which we live needs a complete overhaul. Everywhere we look and every time we turn on the television or Internet, we are plagued with wars, famine, political and social unrest, as well as sickness, disease, and death. Every item just mentioned causes so much heartache and pain, along with hurt and much iniquity, that it feels as if we are surrounded by nothing but bad news.

From a biblical perspective on what I stated above, we need to look no further than Christ’s discourse from His Sermon on the Mount, found in Matthew, Chapter 24. To paraphrase, Christ spoke of a time that describes the time in which we live, where we see much deception, many wars and troubles, false prophets, and the like. It should be noticed, that we are living in the last of the last days, which means that things are only going to get worse before they get better.

But there will come a time—a time we should pray for—that Christ will come back, and this earth will be made right again. Paul writes, “this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory” (I Cor. 15:54).

Everything mentioned earlier was brought on by the fall. When God originally created the earth, He did so with perfection, which means that no sin resided on the earth. Sin was brought about by the fall of Adam and Eve. Since we all come from Adam, we are born with a sin nature, which brings forth sickness, disease, wars, unrest, and death.

This is the reason that we are to seek His kingdom to once and for all rest upon this earth, and when His kingdom comes, the world will know peace and prosperity as it has never known in its entirety. There will be no more wars or rumors of wars, for the Prince of Peace will be here. There will be no more sickness or disease because the healer and Great Physician will be here. Satan, along with his fallen angels, will be locked away, and the world will be free from his reign of terror, and Jesus will personally rule and reign from Jerusalem, the capital of the world. What a day that will be!

As we are to seek for the actual appearing of the kingdom of God, which has not be realized as of yet, we also should understand that in the spiritual, the kingdom of God is presently living inside of every believer. This is done through the means of the finished work of Christ, which allows the Holy Spirit the ability to work in our lives in the way that He so desires. This means that we are to surrender everything we have and that we are to possess God, and all that He desires for us, as God demands all or nothing.

In Matthew 13:45-46, Jesus gives a parable about a man who sells everything he owns to purchase one pearl. This man of which Jesus spoke was already a wealthy man, but he sought something more, something much better than what he could already attain. He was hungry for something greater, and he was athirst for something that could not be slaked in the natural.

As an aside, man is always seeking something, and if that person begins to hunger after the things of God, he will always find it, for anyone who hungers and thirsts for righteousness, as the Scripture says, shall be filled (Matt. 5:6).

This man found what he was looking for in one pearl, and this pearl was so special and great to him that he sold all of his earthly belongings just to own this one pearl. Too many times, men (and I use this term to speak of all mankind), try to satisfy the longing of the soul through the means of alcohol, drugs, illicit sex, pornography, wealth, money, power, fame, or a million other devices. However, let it be known that the only way to find peace of mind and satisfy the longing of the soul is to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

In essence, this is what this parable represents: a man looking and searching for something to satisfy his soul, and he found it in this pearl, which was a type of Christ. He gladly gave up everything to have this pearl—Christ. Likewise, we must be willing give up everything we have to have Christ. Once we come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, the kingdom of God then resides in our hearts and lives and does so forever.

This particular section should be of great interest to every believer, and the reason is that as children of God, we should automatically want to find out what the will of God is for our lives. Yet most Christians fail to do this. Failing to seek the will of God in all things is a recipe for disaster.

Let us discuss this first and try and answer the question, what is the will of God? In my humble opinion, I think we can say that the will of God is the Word of God, which means that everything we do must line up exclusively with the Word of God. If the Word is not consulted and abided by, then the results that we experience will not be what God’s desires for us.

Too many Christians fail to seek out what the Bible says. As believers, the answer to every question that we will ever have is found in the Word of God. I believe that. Now, I know that most will say, “Pastor Gabe, the Bible does not say anything about smoking, or drugs, or things like that.” But the Bible does say that, as Christians, we are the “temple of the God, and that the Spirit of God dwells within you” (I Cor. 3:16). That should answer the question right there. As a believer, the Holy Spirit dwells within us, and He will guide our paths and show us what’s right and wrong.

Secondly, the will of God is currently being done in heaven, but not here on earth. What is being done here on Planet Earth, regarding what is taking place in the church, one could say that it’s not the will of God. When you look around as to what is being preached and proclaimed in many churches around the country, or even around the world, it is not the Cross of Christ. As a result, it is not the will of God.

I firmly believe that it is the will of God for every church to preach the Message of the Cross, not only for salvation, but also for sanctification. It is imperative that we do so, for as the apostle Paul said, “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the Cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the Cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (I Cor. 1:17-18). That should sum it up right there, that the will of God for the church is to preach the Message of the Cross, and to preach it under the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

What does it mean to preach the Message of the Cross? To put it very plain and simple, it means that whatever we preach, the prominence must always be on the Cross of Christ. Now, we must explain, as we constantly do, that when we refer to the Cross of Christ, we are never speaking of a wooden beam, for there is no power in a wooden beam. Rather we refer to what Christ accomplished on the Cross, which was to pay the sin debt that hung over mankind and to break the grip of sin over the life of the believer.

Sometime back, I was watching television, and it was on one of the programs that I generally like to watch. The host of the program is a legitimate archaeologist and travels around the world in search for answers regarding famous past events that have taken place. On this particular program, the archaeologist went in search of the actual Cross of Christ, the one that He hung upon. After flying to Jerusalem, and looking at several resources that were given to him, he found himself in a monastery of sorts, where it is claimed that the priesthood has an actual piece of the Cross that Jesus Christ died upon. They showed it, and all it is is a piece of wood. Now, whether or not it was truly an actual part of the Cross is left for debate, but the fact is that no power can come from that wooden beam, for no one has ever been saved through a wooden beam, neither has anyone been delivered from a wooden beam. All it is is a wooden beam—nothing more and nothing less.

So, getting back to the question, what does it means to preach the Cross? It means that Jesus Christ is the source of all blessings, and that the Cross of Christ is the means by which we receive those blessings. Faith is the key that unlocks the door, and the Holy Spirit oversees everything. That’s the Message of the Cross in a nutshell.

As a pastor, it is my job and responsibility to teach the Message of the Cross to my congregation, whether they be young or old; the Cross of Christ must be taught. In their heart of hearts, they must know that the Message of the Cross is not just a one-time deal for salvation and then move on to something else. Rather, it is a one-stop shop for everything that we will ever have need of as believers.
Most preachers of the gospel have some knowledge regarding the Cross for salvation, and we thank God for that. But the sad reality is that the majority of Christian pastors have no understanding regarding the Cross of Christ for sanctification. And it’s a shame considering that the Holy Spirit gave this message to the apostle Paul so that he could give it to us a believers—especially to pastors—to proclaim it to their congregants so that they can have life, and life more abundant (John 10:10). The Message of the Cross is more than just a mantra, or even a declaration; it is a way of life.

Our focus should be on Jesus Christ, and Christ alone. Second, our object of faith must be the Cross of Christ. The power source is the Holy Spirit, which will always produce a positive result, which is victory. That’s why I say that it is the will of God for the Message of the Cross to be proclaimed, for this message will bring victory over the world, the flesh, and the Devil in the hearts and lives of all believers who simply accept it and believe it.

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