Friday, October 17, 2008

Devotional 171008

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. How beautiful it is to see trees begin to change color in autumn. I guess this is the most beautiful transition of seasons before winter arrives, when everything turns pale and lifeless. Of course, during the winter season, most plants go into a ‘Sabbath’ mode – to reserve resources and build roots for the arrival of spring. Similar to seasons of life, ministry will also have different modes. There are times when our ministry is blooming like spring. We see new works begin everywhere. Pretty soon, we find ourselves busy like summer in keeping up with the growth. And after a season of vibrant growth, ministry arrives to a brilliant stage of maturity –a colorful season of autumn. At this stage, ministry will gradually slow down and refocus on deepening roots in Him but not in human wisdom and plans.
Nature does not have a choice in seasons. Nature only accommodates or adapts herself to the change of seasons her Creator designs. In the same way we adapt ourselves from time to time to the changes that God has designed for our lives. Throughout different transitions in life, prayer plays a very significant part to empower or enable us to be the kind of person that God wants us to become, and to do the things that He has intended for us to do in that season.
Prayer does not fit us for the greater works; prayer is the greater work. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (John 14:12-14). We think of prayer as a common-sense exercise of our higher powers in order to prepare us for God's work. In the teaching of Jesus Christ prayer is the working of the miracle of Redemption in me, which produces the miracle of Redemption in others by the power of God. The way fruit remains is by prayer, but remember it is prayer based on the agony of Redemption, not on my agony. Only a child gets prayer answered; a wise man does not.
Prayer is the battle; it is a matter of indifference where you are. Whichever circumstances that God may put you in, your duty is to pray. Never allow the thought - "I am of no use where I am;" because you certainly can be of no use where you are not. Wherever God has dumped you down in circumstances you pray, go to Him in prayer all the time. "And I will do whatever you ask in my name." We usually won't pray unless we get thrills, that is the most intense form of spiritual selfishness. We have to labor along the line of God's direction, and He says pray. "Pray you therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest."
There is nothing thrilling about a laboring man's work, but it is the laboring man who makes the conceptions of the brilliant plan of God possible; and it is the laboring saint who makes the conceptions of his Master possible. You labor at prayer and results happen all the time from His standpoint. What an astonishment it will be to find, when the veil is lifted, the souls that have been reaped by you, simply because you had been in the habit of taking your orders from Jesus Christ faithfully in prayer.
I can’t think of a better way to experience God than to surrender myself to His will through prayer. By surrendering myself to His salvation plan I was saved. By surrendering myself to His salvation plan I was called into full time ministry. By surrendering myself to His salvation plan I was re-assigned to serve in GO international. In prayer I learned to focus not on what I want from Him but what He wants from me. In prayer I learn to surrender myself willfully to His words and His wishes for mankind. You may experience Him in a similar way through prayer. Let’s pause and pray in this way…
Love you in accordance to His will,

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