Grace supersedes all rules and conventions, period. Our Heavenly Father is NOT bound by our getting the words right in our prayers and conversations with Him. His desire is to usher, (not pound!) us into the likeness of His dear Son, Jesus. The Father judges (not in the sense of judgment (punishment) but in the sense of looking at and seeing the Truth) the hearts of men, not the end result, or the perfection thereof. Do not be concerned that I am about to tell you where you fail. I WILL NOT!!! There is no judgment contained here, yet an explanation of how the human heart and mind operate, and how that is manipulated by our enemy to keep us in the LACK mentality is imperative.
We have been discussing the roots, the foundations for a more vibrant approach to Communion and with this in mind, we are going to explore prayer to find a much needed answer to our enduring questions, where is the Power? Where are the signs and wonders?
Before we embark, please remember that all humans are the same, we operate and think the same way, with the exception of Jesus. This is of paramount importance to understanding the Grace of Our Lord Jesus and the tools He forged for our benefit.
Isa 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Jas 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
Mat 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
These 3 verses would appear at the surface not to have much on common, however, they are the basis for the next leap of understanding we will make.
James, is the brother of Jesus, according to the scholars. He is the writer of this epistle and well acquainted with the subjects he talks about in his letter.
You ask amiss is the key, but not quite what you think. I sincerely did not understand my forgiveness in the Blood and Body of Jesus. I sincerely was only and always sorry for the person I had been and all my actions. I was unable to move from the position of sorrow and remorse. Why, you might ask?, because I had no understanding of the finished work of Jesus. You could and did tell me a thousand times, a thousand ways, and yet I had no root of it in me. I was ashamed. I felt condemned. My guilt was always face front and forward. I woke up with it, I slept with it. It was my center.
I was like the woman at the well…
Joh 4:29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?
I loved this story when I first heard it and wasn’t sure why, except the parts of her life discussed with Jesus resembled my own. What always struck me as odd was her statement to the townspeople that Jesus had told her everything she had done.
He had not done this, at all, but she was so consumed with her guilt and shame it was all she could focus on. It was her everything, it was her center and her reason for being so late in the day coming to the well in the first place. She was ashamed and feared judgment by the others at the well. Yet this day she found One who did not accuse, did not harass, did not judge, yet spoke Truth of her and her sins.
Jesus, ever so softly, kindly, lovingly, uncovered the thing that was covered, the thing that grew because there was no Light, no Truth shed abroad in her heart. How free she must have felt, the proof of this is she ran to the people whose judgment she was afraid of and said to them “He told me everything I have done”! Can’t you just see her, smiling with excitement and joy. She was free and no longer had any thought of her tormentors except that they too should be free. This is the True freedom paid for by Christ. Not that just I am free but I am so changed, so Blessed, I can’t wait to share it with everyone else.
Oh how I love the Word of God that sets us free. They are my most cherished verses in the Bible. I was under heavy burden, many chains and much bondage. Yet as I have been set free, by His hand I have found (been given) Peace, Joy and understanding.
I was under the delusion that I had to help God fix me. That I had to beat myself, a square peg into this round hole of obedience. As I attempted to be what I was told I should be, act this way, do this thing, say these things, pray this way, I found I no longer wanted to be anywhere near God. I found ways to avoid the closeness, the contact He so dearly loves and I was totally unaware of how desperately I need this as well.
I stopped reading my Bible, I stopped going to church regularly. I could not handle any more YOU MUST DO, because I was failing at them all. I could no more have fixed me than been the man in the moon. Oh, but I wanted to be fixed, I wanted desperately to be different. I was certain that because of all I had done and all I had failed to do God would not, could not and much less want to fix me.
As we read this next scripture we should remember that as Paul wrote it he did not use separating punctuation nor verses, so we are good to remember that all of this I have quoted is one thought.
1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
1Ti 4:2 speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
1Ti 4:3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
1Ti 4:4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
1Ti 4:5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
Paul is speaking in verse 1 and 2 of people and how they shall be deceived and their consciences seared.
Shame and condemnation are 2 of the most powerful, natural thought processes of man. Our enemy would have us continue to believe that the Blood of the Son of God has less power than the sin I have committed. What a shocking revelation! Here I was truly sad and repentant, sincerely wanting to turn from my sin and in that sincerity I was holding my sin as greater than the Sacrifice and Finished work of Jesus at the Cross!
What, you may ask was wrong with me? Especially after hearing such a blunt statement as I was holding my sin in higher regard than the Blood of Christ. It is what I think James was trying to tell his readers. He was saying to them that they had themselves and what they feared or thought they needed, on their minds.