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How to Pray for Believers - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
March 16, 2023 6:00 am

How to Pray for Believers - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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March 16, 2023 6:00 am

As Christians we are to pray for other Christians. And as Skip concludes his message "How to Pray for Believers," he looks at specific ways you can lift up your brothers and sisters in Christ in prayer.

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So when you pray for your Christian friends, pray that for them.

Pray for strength over the long haul in the midst of the onslaught of the enemies that they face, but also that they'll have joy as they do it. Today on Connect with Skip Heite, Skip concludes his message, How to Pray for Believers, and looks at specific and practical ways you can lift up your brothers and sisters in Christ in prayer. Now, here's a resource that'll help remove the mystery from discerning and pursuing God's will for your life. We want to tell you about a powerful resource that will help you understand and follow God's will. It's Pastor Skip's eight message package, Discovering God's Will. You have the Spirit of God living in you and He will guide you, He says, with His eye. And do you realize God is more interested in guiding you than you are in being guided?

So as soon as you say, Lord, I want to take and be ruled by your peace and rooted in scripture and I want to honor your name, He's right there to direct your steps. Skip Heitzig's Discovering God's Will package includes message titles such as Guardrails to Knowing God's Will and Navigating Another Year as part of eight full length teachings by Skip. We'll send you this powerful resource as thanks for your gift to expand Connect with Skip Heitzig to reach more people in major U.S. cities. So request your resource when you give and start to make your life count for God's kingdom. Just call 800-922-1888 or visit connectwithskip.com slash offer.

That's connectwithskip.com slash offer. Now let's go to Colossians 1 as we join Skip for today's teaching. Verse 10, that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God. Now I hope you know that whenever the word walk is used in the Bible, not whenever, but many times like here, it is a metaphor. It's a word picture and it's a picture, a word picture for a lifestyle. A walk is a lifestyle. It refers to your daily conduct. It's how you do life.

It's how you roll. Your walk. So you walked from your car to your seat. You will walk from your seat to the car.

Afterwards you'll walk into your house. You have a walk. Your soul also has a walk. It says in the Old Testament that Enoch and Noah walked with God. That simply means that they had a life that was conformed to the will of God.

They walked what they knew. You see, that's the connection. There's always a connection between growing, knowing things, and then growing in what we know, living what we know. There's always a connection between learning and living. So this is a mind controlled by the knowledge of God that produces a life that walks with God.

Always a connection between learning and living. Over the years I have met believers who have said, well, yeah, Bible study is okay, but I belong to a special study group. We're into the deeper truths of God.

It sounds very similar to the ancient Gnostics that Paul is writing against in this book. But many times these people want the deeper truths. They're rallying around somebody's book that a friend gave them, or a set of teachings from some guy who takes an obscure biblical text and uses it to make predictions about what's going on in the world or in the future. They're going so deep that they go off the deep end.

They're getting so smart they get dumb. Listen, you graduate from Bible knowledge when your life does what it says. When you walk, what you know is God's will and God's word. So we have a walk. Different people walk differently. Soldiers have a walk.

Cowboys have a walk. Think John Wayne. I was reading several articles this week, and they all said the same thing, that psychologists say that you can tell a lot about somebody's personality by the gate, their cadence, how they walk.

So I found that interesting, and some of the articles gave examples. So somebody who walks really fast, that's pretty fast, right? He's either a New Yorker or he has certain personality traits.

What do you think a fast walk tells about a person? Any ideas? What's that? Don't talk to me, somebody said. Don't talk to me.

That's New York right there. Don't talk to me. Okay, so any other guesses? Determined, focused. Better be focused if you're going to walk really fast. What they say is that somebody who walks fast is typically an extrovert, is outgoing, is open to new experiences, is a go-getter. That makes sense.

Okay, somebody with a slow pace. What does that tell you about them? They're what?

Reflective. What? Keep going? Easy going. Okay, patient.

Okay, okay. So what, timid, that's it. What psychologists will tell you is that somebody with a slow meandering kind of a walk is more cautious and usually an introvert. And there's all sorts of studies on this. Anxious people, when they walk, veer left. I don't know if that has any political ramifications or not.

I'm not saying it does. I just found that interesting. Okay, so how are we to walk?

It says in verse 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord. Whoa, wow. Wait, wait, wait. Paul, slow down. Slow your roll. Walk worthy of the Lord.

That sounds like an impossibly tall order. What could that possibly mean? That my lifestyle, my walk, would be worthy of the Lord. How could it ever be? So what does it mean to be worthy of the Lord?

Walk worthy. It could mean exactly what we might fear it means, that there are certain personality traits God has that He expects us to have. That's not too out of line. God said, be holy, for I am holy. Jesus said, love one another as I have loved you.

You've been forgiven by God, therefore you should forgive. So it could simply mean that. What you should know is the word worthy means equal in weight or to weigh as much. So walk in a way that weighs as much as something else. And here it says, walk worthy of the Lord. It could mean that our walk should weigh as much as our knowledge of God. In other words, what we know in our head and believe in our heart should be seen in our walk.

There should always be that connection. Now, the key to doing that is found in the next phrase. You may walk worthy of the Lord fully pleasing Him. That's how you walk worthy. You want to walk worthy of the Lord? Live to please God. So it could be as simple as this.

Maybe it's as simple as filtering everything we do through a simple question. Does this please God? I'm contemplating a relationship. Will this relationship please God? I'm contemplating buying a certain thing. Will that please God?

I'm contemplating going to school or this career. Would that please God? If we filtered everything through the question, is this pleasing to God, I dare say we would probably live differently. You know, it's sort of like when I was single, I didn't filter my activities through anything other than, do I want to do that now? I do. Okay, then I will. When I got married, everything changed for the better. But now I filter everything. It's not through me anymore.

It's through we now. And so I would consider, will this be pleasing to my wife? Will this build her up? Will this be good for our marriage? Will this be pleasing to my wife? Will this build her up?

Will this be good for our marriage? And so that's the filter. Jesus had that filter, John chapter 8. I always do those things that please Him, He said. So much so that God the Father said of Jesus, this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. Now listen up.

Look up here. When you live to please God, God is pleased with how you live. When you live to please God, God is pleased with how you live. You may still be uncertain about the will of God. That's okay. Keep reading the Word of God and ask yourself, will this please God?

Make that your filter. When you do that, God will be pleased with you. Also, notice this in verse 10. When you do that, you're going to be more fruitful and you're going to know God better, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. So when you pray for your Christian friends, don't just pray for their sore toe or their financial benefit or their relationship with that person, but pray that they will have a hunger for God's Word, thereby knowing God's will, and pray that their lifestyle will be weighty and they'll want to please God. That's what Paul does, to know the will of God, to have a walk with God. Here's the third request, to be a warrior for God. Look at the 11th verse. It's his third item on the prayer list. Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy. Now, the Colossian Christians needed strength.

Why? For two reasons. They were being persecuted by the outside world and they were being infiltrated by false teachers that we talked about in our very first study. They became known as the Gnostic cult or heresy. So Paul is praying for power to stand against the barrage of attacks, both from the world and from the wackos that come into the church.

They need strength. How many of you discovered that the Christian life is a battleground sometimes? Anybody have discovered that? I'm not going to ask for a show of hands, but I ask how many, when you discovered the Christian life was a battleground, were a bit surprised? A lot of Christians are when they find that out.

It's like, whoa, wait a minute. I came forward on the altar call looking for peace, love, joy, and hope and forgiveness. Good, you got all that. But did you read the fine print? Jesus said, if they hated me, they're going to hate you.

And keep reading what the contract says. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Wiles means strategies, tricks, for we do not wrestle with flesh and blood but principalities and powers, etc. You guys remember The Bourne Identity?

Remember that movie? So the very first Bourne movie in the Bourne series, Jason Bourne doesn't know who he is. He is unaware that he's a warrior, but he discovers that. He discovers he knows languages.

He's got these incredible moves and that he's been trained for something, and that is to be a warrior. So when you and I are born again, sorry for the pun, you discover that you are born into a battleground, not a playground. You make that discovery at some point. And I have made a discovery that when I am in a battle zone, a battleground facing an enemy, that it's actually good for me. Not that I like to fight or I'm contentious because I'm not. But I find that when I'm in a battle, even spiritual warfare, it's very clarifying to me. My life gets honed.

I now focus on what's important, whereas before it was like, I'm being so distracted with superfluous stuff, now I know what it's all about. So Martin Lloyd-Jones gave a very good example of this. Martin Lloyd-Jones, who was a preacher many years ago in England, he was a medical doctor before that. Then he went on to say, a doctor before that.

Then he became a pastor. Martin Lloyd-Jones said that before the Spanish Civil War in Barcelona and Madrid, the psychiatric clinics had huge numbers of what he called neurotics, people with different neuroses dealing with personal problems, worries, anxieties. And then he said something happened that cured them instantly.

You know what it was? A war. The Spanish Civil War cured everybody.

He said, as soon as the Spanish Civil War happened, one of the most striking effects is that it emptied all of these clinics. Suddenly, people aren't worried about their little problems. They're worried about, will I have a house left standing? Will my husband get killed?

Will my son return from war? And Martin Lloyd-Jones says, that's an interesting observation. He said, greater anxieties cure lesser anxieties. So I find that when I am in battle mode and I'm in spiritual warfare, it's very clarifying, and my eyes are open.

It can be very, very good. Now, to be able to handle that, notice what he says in verse 11, strengthened with all might according to his glorious power. Boy, Paul just piles on the words here. Three words, strength, might, power. Strength, might, and power. And the first two words here, I don't want to give you a huge Greek lesson, but the first two words are basically the same in verse 11, strengthened with all might. Actually, the Greek renders it, having all might be strengthened. And the word that is used is the word dunamis, which sounds a lot like our word for dynamite. It's where we get our word dynamite, or dynamic, dunamis. So the wording directly from the Greek text is dunami, dunamumenoi.

That's how it reads. And so I'm going to give you that in the NSV, the new Skip version, that you would have the dynamic of God's dynamite, that you would have the dynamic of God's dynamite, that you would have the strength that comes directly from the strength that God Himself has. And you need it over the long haul because look at this, strength, might, power, for all patience and long suffering. So you might be in this battle for more than a day or a week or a month or more. It might actually be protracted, so you need the kind of strength, let's call it timex strength, where you take a licking but keep on ticking. You don't give up, you don't throw in the towel, you stay at the front lines.

But notice something about this. He didn't say, boy, I hope you get through it. I hope you get long suffering, I hope you get patience, I hope you get strength, I hope you make it. He says, what's the last word in that sentence? What is it? Joy.

Wait a minute, wait a minute, he's talking about a battle. Joy, strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for patience and long suffering with joy. Yeah, there's a big difference between enduring life and enjoying life. You can make it through or you can make it through joyfully.

Anybody can sing when the sun's out and the air temperature's perfect, the AC's on, everything's good in life, prosperity, God's blessing us, the economy's good, my political things are happening good, the way I like it, my world's good. What about when it's not? Joy. Joy.

Joy. I put it this way, a little faith will bring your soul to heaven. A lot of faith will bring heaven to your soul. And that's the joy of the Lord in the midst of the battle. And to have the joy of the Lord in the midst of the battle over the long haul that requires patience and long suffering, it takes God's strength and might and power. And that's what Paul prays for. So when you pray for your Christian friends, pray that for them.

Pray for strength over the long haul in the midst of the onslaught of the enemies that they face, but also that they'll have joy as they do it. And then fourth and finally, we close with this one, and that is to render worship to God. Verse 12, giving thanks to the Father.

Paul is not talking about Him giving thanks to the Father, but them giving thanks to the Father. Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

In a nutshell, he's saying, Colossians, my prayer is that you will thank God, praise God, worship God for saving you. Don't ever forget that you have been saved. We should always be thankful for salvation. This is why we take communion. It's why Jesus said, do it often in remembrance of me. Remember what it cost me to buy you. So to render worship to God for our thanksgiving. Look, I understand life gets busy, we get distracted, things take over our thought life, things happen in life, and we can forget the basic vital truth, I'm forgiven.

I'm forgiven. Listen, no matter how bad life gets here, no matter how hot the battle is, earth is not your final destination, you're just passing through. In 100 years, whatever hardship you are facing today will not matter. 100 years from now, whatever struggle you're going through, whatever battle you face, whatever uphill struggle you're looking at, it won't matter. Also, 100 years from now, none of the material blessings that you're after will matter. Your home won't matter, your status or education won't matter, your investments won't matter.

In 100 years, only one thing will matter. Are you saved? Are you saved?

So Paul says, look, I'm so thankful for you guys, I keep praying for you guys, pray that you'll know the will of God, that you'll walk in the ways of God, increase in the knowledge of God, be strengthened with all God's might, and to always praise and worship and thank Him for your salvation, that you are in the kingdom of the Son of His love. So let me close with this. I was reading an article in the Huffington Post, and after that, I want to close.

What a way to close. So Huffington Post had an article, and the title was, Your Attitude Sets Your Altitude. Your attitude sets your altitude. And the article, from a secular perspective, was, be careful what friends you have and who you hang out with, because they are going to influence you, and they're going to create in you a good or a bad attitude. They're going to be good or bad for your attitude. That's the Huffington Post.

Here's something better than that. Gratitude is the attitude that sets the altitude for your Christian life. Gratitude is the attitude that sets the altitude for your Christian life. As Paul the apostle said, in everything, give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Thankfulness, thankfulness. And so Paul prayed for these believers. And it comes down to this question. Are you saved? If you're saved, thank Him for that. If you're not saved, what? Get saved. Get saved. Get with it. Surrender to Him. Surrender to His will. You say, I don't know if I want to do that.

You don't have to do that. But how's it been going for you? How's you taking over everything in your life, being atlas, having the world on your shoulders? How's that going for you? I have a better suggestion. Get on the other side of the street where Jesus says, I can handle that with my left hand.

It's so easy for me. Place your life in His hands. That's Skip Hyten with a message from the series, Always Only Jesus. Find the full message as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. Now, here's Skip to share how you can keep these messages coming your way to connect you and many others around the world with God's Word. Did you know that Christianity is all about redemption? God redeemed us. He bought us out of slavery.

He took us from our sins, and He sent Jesus to pay for those sins on the cross. Now, that's good news, and we want to share that with as many people as possible. And you can be a part of letting others know about this abounding love of God. Here's how you can give today to reach others with a gospel. Visit connectwithskip.com slash donate to give a gift. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate, or call 800-922-1888.

800-922-1888. Thank you for your generosity. We hope you'll come back tomorrow for a powerful message from Skip about why Jesus Christ is supreme above everything else and what it looks like to place Him first in your life. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross. Cast all burdens on His Word. Make a connection, a connection. Connect with Skip Hyton is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-16 06:49:55 / 2023-03-16 06:58:45 / 9

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