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September 6, 2020 3:00 pm
Luke 321 says of Jesus, and as he was praying heaven was opened. If Jesus found it necessary to pray why do we think we can take one step without. This is living in the light with n-gram lunch and this week and challenges us in her message from the life of Abraham with the question, for whom are you desperately praying. Here's an I have to confess, prayer is the biggest fight of my life is the weakest of my spiritual disciplines I struggle with concentration. I struggle with consistency. I struggle with contents. Prayer is the front line of the battle and that's where the enemy attacks the hardest and the most vicious.
That's when were on our knees in prayer and sometimes he works just over time to even keep us from getting on our knees and and then once were there.
The struggle that takes place at spiritual warfare into one of the things I do from time to time to help motivate me to pray is not so much that I need to learn how to pray. I just need to pray and once in a while it just needs the motivation a fresh look at it and what things I do is detract through and take a glimpse of our Lord's prayer life. So I want you to just turn from moment to Luke chapter 3, beginning with verse 21 and you could have to move pretty quickly with me, and you can just mark the verses as I go because I'm going to pull out a verse from this chapter that another chapter in another chapter. Just just a tractor and look at his prayer life. It's really amazing very convicting study actually in Luke chapter 3 verse 21, when all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized to and as he was praying. Heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon and in chapter 5, verse 16 Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and praise chapter 6, verse 12 on one of those days Jesus went out into the hills to pray and he spent the night praying to God. Chapter 9 verse 18. Once when Jesus was praying in private. His disciples were with them. So in other words, he prayed alone. He prayed in public. He prayed all night, he prayed in private. Verse 28 of that same chapter. Eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray and as he was praying, the appearance of his face changed chapter 11 verse one. One day Jesus was praying in a certain place and when he finished one of his disciples said to him, Lord, teach us to pray and he did and I read through and see our Lord's prayer life and ask myself if Jesus found it necessary to pray while I neglected while I think I can take one step without it. And prayer is a necessity is not an option. Prayer is a necessity in the prayer of his now very familiar to us in Genesis chapter 18 and feel turn their this is an example and I think Jesus is still going to teach us to pray not using the Lord's prayer, but using Abraham's prayer, and it's an example of intercessory prayer and it gives us the basic principles and it teaches us the necessity and the privilege of interceding for those who are lost and you are in danger of falling under God's judgment and so as we open our Bibles were going to look at intercessory prayer but I want to go back before we begin where prayer starts and pick up the first part of chapter 18 and just put this in context, because in chapter 18 Abraham is sitting in the door of his tent, and this is about 15 years after the last time we saw God come to Abraham in chapter 15. When God came to Abraham and made the covenant with them, and said Abram you going to have a son from your own body and if you look at the stars of the heaven, your descendents are going to be as numerous as the stars in Abram believed God, and God counted to him for righteousness and entered into a covenant and he swore by himself. He's Abraham you can know I'll keep my promise to you because it's my promise and I back with the integrity of my character and entered into this covenant with you. I swear by myself and now 15 years later Abraham is sitting in the door of his tents is in the middle of the day at noon and I expect he sitting there trying to catch a breeze coming off of the desert and as he looks out in the desert. He sees the shimmering heat waves and little dust devils dancing in some of the three men there and he must've rubbed his eyes, because he was just looking out there was empty desert all of a sudden three men are white when it was empty before they had walked up income from anywhere they were just suddenly there and he jumps up and he runs to greet them and invites them to come into a stand and have some refreshment. He wants to give them a meal and these three men agree and Abraham brings them into his tent mother washing up and cooling off that he runs until Sarah. We have guests for lunch and I want to bake some bread and why she's doing that. He goes out and finds a fattest Kathy Cannon.
He slaughters it and he's imperiling the stakes and she's making the bread they bring it in and they feed these three visitors and after the beaten one of the visitors turns to Abraham and he says where is Sarah and Abram says she's in the next tents in the Bible tells us that Sarah was in the next tent behind the tent flap but she's got her ear pressed up against the tent flap she wants to hear what's being said because it's just so strange that these men would come in the heat of the day people to travel in the heat like that.
And all of a sudden, ever.
She's going be who they are and what that come for and you know something about the she's listening at the tent flap is about this man says I'm going to come back and visit you next year and this time next year.
Sarah will have a son and Sarah who's listening behind the tent flap. She may be shooting you crack a smile, but she laughs and sat herself and she's thinking I'm 90 years of age. Even when I could have chosen. I couldn't have drawn them as he think I would've a baby at Miami and she thinks it's really funny is just but she's laughing was sort of enough you really knew, or maybe thought Abram a younger wife or maybe saw Hagar and Pottinger Hagar was the wife and but Naomi is a she's laughing and sort of derision and the man who couldn't see her. She had made no expression. She had not made an outward sound. The man says why did Sarah laugh in the here must've stood straight up on the back of her neck and so she's been trained well she live and she said she said I did not laugh and the man said oh yes you did laugh and I'm going to come back next year and you're going to have a son, and Abraham and Sarah knew that this was more than just the main, and because it appeared Abram several times, nothing Abram would've recognized his voice.
He knew this was the Lord. And so after they finished the meal after the Lord and told him that the three men get up and they're on their way to Sodom and Abraham a lesson. He's just been told that he's going to have the promised seed, the desire of his whole lifetime is going become the very thing that God used to motivate them to leave everything behind and let everything go and trust everything completely, this baby is coming what you think Abraham would run to see her and put his arms are okay you believe you were going to be parent you're going to have a baby fix up the nursery and we need to get tent ready and he would've been so preoccupied what you think with the fact that God was finally going to fulfill his promise. He was going to have a desire of his heart instead Abraham gets and he leaves Sarah and he walks with these three men, and you have the distinct impression he would rather be with the lore they need to even stay and discuss and dream and plan about this wonderful answer prayer. He was receiving entries, walking with these men toward Sodom and that's for intercessory prayer begin. It begins with our walk and Abraham is walking with God's wanting more to be with God that he is to even receive what God has to give them and what does it mean to walk with God and am just going to put it in these terms when I'm home that exercise I get every day when it's pretty and is not raining ends up that when it snowed and of the freezing cold, but it's just not what is pouring rain.
I walk with 3 miles with two friends. We have two rules or we don't walk together in one rule is that we have to walk at the same pace and the others that we have to walk in the same direction we don't walk together. And when you walk with God. The same two rules apply.
It means you walk in his pace which is step-by-step obedience to his word. Listen to me. How can you be obedient to his word if you're not reading it you have to read it in a plot that you might obey it step by step-by-step and to walk in his direction means to surrender your will to his.
You can go off in a direction of your own. You've got to surrender to his and he doesn't adjusted space or changes direction for you. You have to adjust your pace and change your direction to sodium and what you make the time to walk every day with God reading his word applying at your life that you could be moment by moment obedient and surrender your will and the direction of your life and your goals in your dreams, your ambitions, you just surrendered to him. That's for intercessory prayer starts is important you walk you and it started snowing with you walk. It starts with his word in verse 17 then the Lord said then plan when Abram was walking with him and that's when God begins.
He's talking out loud, you know, just saying what's on his mind, out loud. Her face thinking within himself, but he is revealing his word, because the Lord is speaking and we need to be in the word in our prayer time because the word reveals four things to us. And if you're not in the words are not going to know these things. One is the word reveals what's on God's mind and how are you and I got to know what's on God's mind if we don't read the word even suggest you don't even know what I'm thinking unless I tell you how could you and I know what God is thinking unless he would tell us. And so you have to be in the word to know what's on his mind, and it's as Abram is walking that God says this is what's on his mind shall have from Abram, when I'm about to do. He wants to reveal to Abraham what his plan is what his purpose is what's on his mind what he's thinking about and he says, for I have chosen him and God's chosen you and I believe he's chosen your unique way to know him and to make him known. Therefore, he's going to reveal things to you, he will give you insights into his word.
He will give you an understanding he is not going to hide things from you but you have to be in his word. That's where he reveals it to us and he wants to reveal this to Abram who is Abraham.
Abraham is one who has embraced the magnificent Obsession and he's going to raise his family to do the same thing.
Isn't it interesting that even though he was our week is an older man, Jacob, so manipulative and impulsive. Both of them embrace the magnificent Obsession for themselves and God and you he would raise his family in the same way and so forth on God's mind you, those of you who embrace the magnificent Obsession and your families and not just those within your home, but those in your Bible studies in your Sunday school class is the one that you're imparting the truth to he's chosen you, because they know the ministry that is called you to. He's going to give you special insights and so is through the word that we know what's on God's mind, and I don't walk as closely with God as I should. Or as I want to. As our prayer will next year as I grow in my walk with him, but I walk with him enough and I've been in his word enough to know at least two things are on his mind and I'm convinced of this and the two things on God's mind one is salvation and to his judgments. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever would believe in him would not perish. That's the salvation, but if you don't believe you will perish. That's the judgment. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. The wages of sin is death. That's the judgment, but the gift of God is eternal life. That's the salvation and I know as God looks on the world the day, those two things are on his mind, and I think is is walking with Abraham and talking with Abraham. He is imparting to Abraham a burden that he is giving Abraham the same burden for the loss. Those who are coming under judgment and who need to be saved. Would you walk with God so he could open up his mind for you and so that you might know what he's thinking about and they'll be some other specifics, and I know you're on his mind, and I know your family is on his mind, and I know your class is on his mind, but I know the salvation of the lost is on his mind because he knows the coming under judgment. If they don't place their faith in Jesus. He's chosen you and he has is a wonderful thing when we receive Christ we think we choose them, but we turn around we found he's chosen as he has chosen us to know him and to make him known. He's chosen you uniquely to impart him to other people and he will reveal special things to you and you see how could you pray for the lost.
How could you pray for the unless you were in the word and if you're not walking with me not going to know what's on God's not that self vitally important it is that you and I maintain our daily walk so you walk with him every day you in his word every day and through his word he opens up his mind. He opens up his ears and he says he listens to cry. Then the Lord said verse 20 there's another then then Abram still walking with him answer right then God said, the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great this and so grievous I'm going to go down and see now want to ask who is crying out the right was it the spirit of God. We know there really none righteous in Sodom know maybe lot cried out once in a while, and if it was somebody like Melchizedek, somebody one of these other cities or towns are living outside of Sodom, who knew the wickedness that was there and was crying out to God because of the wickedness that was in Sodom when you cry out to God for our nation and cry out because of the wickedness that we see amongst our friends and our family members, and our neighbors and God opens his ears to cross. Psalm 34 says the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry. The righteous cry out in the Lord hears someone was crying and got her words and when I watch the evening news. When I read my newspaper and Odyssey was taking place in our nation and as he was taking place in the world today have to repress something not to cry, and these are the some of the things that have made me cry out when the worship of other gods is called multiculturalism. When the rejection of the authoritative truth of God's word is called moral pluralism. When that which is an abomination before God is endorsed as a legitimate lifestyle when the killing of the unborn is as accepted as tooth extraction.
When the killing of the elderly and the infirm is promoted as an act of mercy when immorality is not just accepted but applauded and glorified when profanity, obscenity and pornography are called freedom of expression when the family unit is destroyed and marriages redefined, and God is stripped from the school when reliable standards of right and wrong in the time-honored values of our forefathers are mock ignored the five rejected all in the name of tolerance when the discipline of children is neglected in the name of self-esteem when shown are immersed in television, movies, music, magazines, Internet games that glorify sex and violence.
I'm telling you I cry out and you got to have a heart of stone not to cry out to and we look around us in our nation and we see these saying and we cry out to God have mercy on we wouldn't even know all of what I just read was an abomination to God. If we didn't know the word so don't point your finger at the world they don't know any better.
Do they just living comfortably in their old nature and I guess my greatest concern is the sin within the church people who know better, and we know the truth and where merging with the world so you almost can't tell the difference between the world and those who know Christ, but we get into God's word and God's Word, the Bible says is like a schoolmaster. It's our plumb line and we hold up the plumb line and that reveals to us the sin in our lives because if we use the plumb line of the world you know they compare themselves to each other and if we're not careful, were going to compare ourselves of our neighbors or the people that are in our church and were going to think I'm a little better than that person. I'm not as bad as that person's wrong okay and we need the plumb line of God's word, don't we. Because the standards haven't Lord in our world is lowered the standards so far down that when we compare ourselves with them after there's a big difference between that and God stand and we need to know the word so that there is a sense of outrage over what we say. The way the world is living and that becomes a motive for prayer doesn't not to shake our finger in the world space and cluck our tongues and condemn them.
God doesn't give us insight for that reason he wants us to pray and to cry out to him and he hears the cry of the righteous, and so he opens his mind to us through the word he opens his ears to us. He opens his heart. He says there sin is so grievous it was a grievous to go and grief is a love word is young green for someone you don't love and God. In looking at Sodom and Gomorrah, and hearing the cry of the righteous. His heart was broken, and as he looks.
Our world today.
I believe his heart is broken over what he see.
Would you allow him to break your heart with the things that break his heart. If we don't read our Bibles. We won't even know what breaks his heart. We won't even know what grieves you have to be in the word and it says we're in the word, we discover also that he opens his very life to a sudden exactly know how to label this, but when he comes down to see any didn't send the Angels and he didn't send profits and he just came himself an answer that outcry and he wanted to go down as though there is nothing else going on in the universe, except What Was Taking Pl. in Sodom and Gomorrah and you think about it from his perspective. He had just under Abram's hand is Abram going to have a son that God had been waiting a long time to send that baby and all of his promises. And he knew that was the embryo of the nation of Israel, and through the nation of Israel, he would give his law and he will give the revelation of himself and all the sacrifices and the ceremonies that would point to Jesus in one day he would send his own son through that fleshly line.
All this was a momentous day in God's life we can put it that way. And yet he goes down the seas, and they have his full attention as though he has nothing else to attend all of the universe, except the wickedness is taking place in the city and he goes down in response to the cry of the righteous. Whoever they might've been and God comes down to see our world. If you went down to see Sodom and Gomorrah. Do you think he cares about our world less usually does need to watch CNN.
He doesn't need a grand jury reports he does need an FBI investigation he sees. He sees the deals behind the closed doors in the whispers behind the backs and the agendas hidden political posturing and the abuse of power.
That's called political savvy.
The destruction of the environment. Spin doctors that misinform the public, preoccupation with perverted pleasure. The exportation of the human body.
Abuse of innocent children spoiled goods sold. This fresh dangerous chemicals labeled safe covenants broken by swim truth exchange for a lie.
Laura given to them noxious honor given to the blasphemous legalized acceptance of abomination and he saved all God is come down and you know he didn't have to go down the Sodom and Gomorrah to see it. You know that he went down, I think so.
In the light of who he is, we would see what Sodom and Gomorrah was like. Otherwise, we might've thought his judgment was too severe, but it says those angels walk through and we see the way the town reacted that was or what calls is the contrast between their purity and their holiness in the wickedness of the city that it is in the contrast we see the wickedness in the sin and is like Isaiah, the year that King Uzziah died when in a sense God came down into his life. He saw the Lord, high and lifted up in the light of his holiness. Isaiah who I think you been in ministry at least two years. So woe is me saying I'm ruling them a man of unclean lips to live amongst the people of unclean, as he saw his sin, no hears and with this final word. I wonder if you ever been like Abraham or me after prayer. Have you seen what you thought was God's answer has it been much less or even contrary to what you've prayed heavy also thought that all was lost. Are you so defeated in prayer that you're tempted to quit. Are you reasoning that since prayer doesn't seem to make any difference anyway. Why bother.
Could it be that your view is only touched the surface and that the God who loves you and listens to you is moving in ways that you cannot see sometimes outward circumstantial evidence can give a false reading on what God's doing and answered Abraham's prayer all of Sodom was not saved, but God remembered Abraham and the one Abraham cared about most lot was saved twice lata chosen to live in Sodom.
He did not heed the warning got it given him when he had been taken captive by the Eastern kings. He didn't deserve to be saved to been superficial, selfish and sinful, but the Angels had dragged lot out of the city for no other reason than God remembered Abraham praise God he saved lot for the sake of one righteous man who cared enough to pray. I wonder who would be say if you cared enough to pray you're listening to living in the light with and ground lots.
If today's program is challenged you and your prayer life and has provided free resources for your encouragement and Graham Watts.org and while you're there, you can also find out more about Abraham's magnificent Obsession plan to join us here again next week for living in the light