When the Line is Blocked

Do you ever have times when it seems that your prayers go no higher than the ceiling? Probably we all do. Sometimes, it may be just a “feeling” and your prayer is, in fact, heard. Other times, our prayers are not heard. Of course, the most common cause of not being heard is when we don’t know Jesus as Lord and Savior. God may sometimes hear the prayer of an unsaved person, if it would move them toward the cross. (He has guaranteed to hear the sincere prayer to receive Jesus). However, there are times when He will not listen to His children. The Psalmist reveals one cause of the “prayer line” being blocked: “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear (me). ” (Psalm 66:18). James offers another reason: “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume (it) upon your lusts” (James 4:3). What does a child of God do when the line of communication with God is blocked? He believes what I John 1:9 says and he does what it tells Him to do. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us (our) sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” It is true that all sin(s) is/are forgiven at salvation. This has to do with relationship. When a child of God sins, the fellowship ceases, the line is blocked! Confess (admit), stop, and fellowship is restored and the line is unblocked. Charles Albert Tindley’s hymn “Nothing Between,” offers what every Christian needs to determine not to allow to happen. His commitment is that there will be: “Nothing between my soul and my Savior, naught of this world’s delusive dream; I have renounced all sinful pleasure; Jesus is mine, there’s nothing between. Nothing between my soul and my Savior, so that His blessed face may be seen; nothing preventing the least of His favor; keep the way clear! Let nothing between.” Selah! Holy lives keep the line available for instant contact.  Ron​

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

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Prayer is Not a Blank Check!

Some of God’s prayer promises seem to be unconditional. For example: “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you.” (From Luke 9:9). But this is only part of the picture. I john 5:14-15 adds to the picture: “….if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us: and if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.” God will not honor prayers that conflict with His will. So, it comes down to this: our Heavenly Father knows best! Jesus makes a very important point in Luke 11:11-12. This is how He put it: “If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if (he ask) a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?” God, Who perfectly knows best, will not give what will hurt us (except sometimes to teach us a lesson and ultimately help us). “Away with Doubt, Away with Fear,” a hymn by C. Austin Miles includes these stanzas that give us a balanced perspective on prayer: “Away with doubt, away with fear, I know that God is always near; I lay on Him my ev’ry care, for He answers ev’ry pray’r. The billows high around me roll, in His own hand He keeps my soul; in Him I trust, no matter where, for He answers ev’ry pray’r. Let storm-clouds roll above my head, they’re filled with blessings He will shed; I’ll have for these no anxious care, for He answers ev’ry pray’r. He answers ev’ry pray’r, to some He says “Yes,” to others “No,” to some He says “Stay,” to others “Go,” in His own time and way, I know He answers ev’ry pray’r.” Selah! For those who know Jesus as Lord and Savior, God sometimes says no, sometimes yes, and sometimes wait. For those who do not know Him, the one prayer He guarantees to answer “Yes!” is the sincere prayer to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior.   Ron

 Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

The Highest Purpose of Prayer

The highest purpose of prayer is not to have our needs and desires met. Make no mistake, God often responds to our desires and He knows what we need. One of the highest purposes of prayer is to trust God no matter how He responds. Jesus is the greatest example of this kind of prayer. In Matthew 26:39, Jesus prayed: “….O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou (wilt).” For Himself, He neither needed nor desired this cup; for Himself, He desired the “cup” to pass from Him. However, God’s will was to salvage all who would receive Jesus as Lord and Savior. This required death on the cross and Jesus’ response of trust was stated in these words: “nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou (wilt).” We on the other hand  often want what we want more than we want what His will is. So, again, aligning ourselves with His will is the highest purpose of prayer and the critical question is: do we trust His will? No matter how difficult, dangerous or hard to accept what His will might entail, will we trust His will over trusting ours? Mull over carefully this stanza from, “Sweet Will of God,” – by Mrs. C. H. Morris: “My stubborn will at last hath yielded; I would be Thine, and Thine alone; and this the prayer my lips are bringing, Lord, let in me Thy will be done.” Selah! When we ungrudgingly trust His will over ours, we will discover that we have a very loving Father Who doeth all things well. We will enjoy the blessings and security that come from His storehouse of wisdom.   Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

What Should We Expect from Prayer?

Let’s think first what prayer isn’t. It isn’t a “remote control” which we can use to make God do what we want Him to do. It isn’t a magic lamp that we can rub to release the genie to grant three wishes. God is not our servant! Neither can we move God by using a strong emotional appeal to persuade Him to do what we long for Him to do. He will do what is best, or will not do what is not best. One possible exception to this is to teach us the folly of wanting our own way. Psalm 106:15 speaks to this: “And He gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.” If we know Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, God is our Father in Heaven. He is going to do what He knows is best! Children often beg parents for something they want badly or something they want to do badly. What would happen if their parent(s) granted their every request? When they are denied, they get upset and claim that refusal is cruel. They say that the parent(s) don’t love them or care what they want. Do we do that with God? There are times when children do not trust their parents to know what is best. There is no excuse for a child of God not to trust his Heavenly Father! He has only perfect understanding. Let’s truly trust Him, no matter what we can’t understand. How many times do children look back in later years and say a father or a mother was right in what they refused us or about what they tried to tell us? How many times do we look back and say, “I’m glad God did it His way? He knew best!  “Day by Day,” a hymn by Carolina Sandell testifies to God’s wisdom and love: “Day by day and with each passing moment, strength I find to meet my trials here; trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment, I’ve no cause for worry or for fear. He whose heart is kind beyond all measure gives unto each day what He deems best – lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure, mingling toil with peace and rest.” Selah! True trust relaxes in God’s love and wisdom; emotional turmoil destroys the “peace of God, which passeth all understanding.” (Excerpted from Philippians 4:7).        Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

 

Chewing on Scripture-Guest Article -By Dr. A. W Tozer

Guest Article-By A. W. Tozer  

Chewing on Scripture

But his delight (is) in the law of the LORD; and in His law doth he meditate day and night.”
 

A commentary, as everyone knows, is a book written by a commentator, and a commentator is one who comments on what God has said, hoping thereby to make us understand what God meant.

The commentary may be good if we know how to use it, harmful if we do not. Its usefulness lies in this, that it provides background material which the average Christian is not able to gather for himself and thus often proves a real aid in the study of the Bible.

But it is not an unmixed blessing. It has at least three serious weaknesses. One is that it soon becomes known as an “authority.” Let a man be quoted often enough and be dead long enough and he is likely to be canonized by his grateful readers and his writings given oracular standing before the Christian public. The pronouncement of a revered commentator often exercises over the mind of a Protestant a sway as tyrannical as that of a papal bull over the conscience of a Catholic.

Another disadvantage of a commentary is that it tends to destroy the art of meditation. We find it easier to turn to the commentary than to brood long and lovingly over a difficult passage, waiting for the light to break. This habit of taking the quick and painless way to knowledge is particularly bad for the minister, for it often sends him into the pulpit with borrowed armor. Even if what he learned is true, he got it by consultation instead of by meditation and the quality is sure to be impaired.

A third weakness of the commentary, or at least of the commentary habit, is that it makes for a uniformity of belief not only on major theological tenets, which is desirable, but on minor ones, which is not. Let a hundred preachers lean on Matthew Henry or Adam Clarke. Then let each preacher be heard by 500 parishioners each Sunday for a year. Result: you have thousands of Christians accepting as divine truth the religious opinions of two good and wise men, opinions which may in the first place have been nothing more than educated guesses. And yet, in spite of these drawbacks, a commentary is a good and useful tool for any Christian to own

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

Receptive?

The Word of God (The Bible) has touched the lives of a huge amount of people. In one way or another Scripture has been heard, read, quoted, etc. If all who were touched were receptive, we would have an unprecedented Spiritual awakening! The sad truth is that the majority of people on earth are not receptive. In Mark 4:4-9, Jesus taught, “Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: and it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: but when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.” Some fell by the wayside and was devoured by birds. It never touched a life! Some fell on stony ground with little receptive soil. It started to spring up, but when the heat was on, it had no root and withered. Some showed promise but, surrounded by “thorns,” any spark of life was snuffed out and the brief bit of life yielded no fruit. Some fell on “good ground” and produced various amounts of fruit. We have to decide if we are going to be “receptive” soil! We can be receptive soil, if we will. The writer of Hebrews quoted these words: “To day if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.” (From Hebrews 3:15). Jesus put it this way: “and He said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” (Verse 9). Let’s be receptive soil! Gerhard Tersteegen’s hymn, “God Calling Yet! Shall I Not Hear?” asks a question. How we answer shows what kind of soil we are. Consider: “God calling yet; shall I not hear? Earth’s pleasures shall I still hold dear? Shall life’s swift passing years all fly, and still my soul in slumber lie? God calling yet; shall I not rise?  Can I His loving voice despise, and basely His kind care repay?  He calls me still; can I delay? God calling yet; and shall He knock, and I my heart the closer lock?  He still is waiting to receive, and shall I dare His Spirit grieve? Ah, yield Him all; in Him confide; where but with Him doth peace abide? Break loose, let earthly bonds be riven, and let the spirit rise to Heaven. God calling yet; I cannot stay; my heart I yield without delay; vain world, farewell! from thee I part; the voice of God hath reached my heart.” Selah! A receptive heart receives Jesus as Lord and Savior. A saved person’s heart learns to yield to Him as Lord. This is the good soil!   Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

Sincerity in Song – 4

Today, let’s look at a problem with some hymns and how we should deal with this problem.  Some hymns have theologically incorrect content. What can we do with those? Cut them out of the hymnbook? Refuse to sing them? Cover the error with a black marker? Badmouth the author? It’s a difficult problem. We don’t want to compromise with error. What can we do? Here is a possible way to deal with this: First, speak with those who are responsible for the local church’s music. If possible, don’t use the hymns with error. If people ask why a certain hymn is no longer sung, take some time and explain why. A possible alternative approach would be a Bible study group or Sunday School class devoted to seeing if those present can detect the error. If they can, ask them to explain why it’s an error. If not explain to them. Let it be a learning and defining experience. Pick out, identify, what is Scripturally correct. If it’s deemed wise to keep using the hymn in a regular service, take a few moments to explain where it’s off and what is good in it. Keep in mind that some authors simply didn’t know that they wrote some unbiblical lyrics. They probably wrote that which is right in most of the lyrics. You may not have to throw out the baby with the bath water. “….whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” (Excerpted from I Corinthians 10:31). In any event, don’t let error be assumed to be right. One way or another, warn about what is error. This stanza from, “Lord, Thy Word Abideth,” by H. W. Baker, somewhat speaks to this problem: “Lord, Thy Word abideth,  and our footsteps guideth; who its truth believeth light and joy receiveth.” Selah! The more of God’s Truth we know, the quicker we’ll spot error. Take in the Truth, don’t be a victim of the error.   Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com