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Can Our Prayers Fall into the Wrong Hands?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
April 30, 2024 5:00 pm

Can Our Prayers Fall into the Wrong Hands?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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April 30, 2024 5:00 pm

Episode 1478 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

  1. Can the Holy Spirit leave a Christian? 2. Did sin exist before the Fall? 3. Can our prayers fall into the wrong hands? 4. How do I know if I'm hearing God's voice or the devil's?     Today’s Offer: Praying with Jesus   Want to partner with us in our work here at Core Christianity? Consider becoming a member of the Inner Core.   View our latest special offers here or call 1-833-THE-CORE (833-843-2673) to request them by phone.

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Can our prayers fall into the wrong hands? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Hi, it's Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. You can call us right now with your question at 833-THE-CORE. Our phone lines will be open for the next 25 minutes or so, so now's the time to call.

You can also post your question on one of our social media sites, and of course you can always email us anytime at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to Adrian calling in from St. Louis. Adrian, what's your question for Adriel?

Yes, Bill. Pastor Adrian, how are you guys doing today? We're doing well, Adrian. How are you, brother?

I'm doing awesome, doing awesome. Alright. Question, can the Holy Spirit leave a believer? I was looking at 1 Samuel 16. First time was 16, 13, and 14, and then I went to Psalms 51.

I think that's Psalms 51, yes. Adrian, this is a great question. You know what's funny, man?

There used to be this program on the radio years ago that I would listen to as a kid when I was 15, 16, and I asked the same—I called in and I asked the same question. It was kind of a Bible Q&A. It was kind of a Bible Q&A program because I was terrified. I read the same text you're talking about in 1 Samuel 16, in particular with regard to the Spirit of God departing from Saul and how devastating that was, how terrifying that was. And then you have David's prayer, and of course David was Saul's replacement, so you have King Saul who sins against the Lord, he ends up committing apostasy, basically turning away from God entirely, and it's clear that the Spirit of God departed from him. You have David in view of the sin that he committed with Bathsheba, this heinous act, finally coming to repentance after he's confronted by Nathan the prophet, and in Psalm 51 you have the words of his repentance, and he says to God in verse 11, And cast me not away from Your presence, and take not Your Holy Spirit from me. Right before that he's saying, God forgive my sins, hide Your face from my sins, blot out all my iniquities, but those words right there, take not Your Holy Spirit from me, does that mean that God will take His Spirit away from us as His people if we sin or when we sin? A couple of things. One, I think in the context here, especially when you contrast this with what happened with King Saul in the background, David is saying, don't let me suffer the same fate as my predecessor.

Don't remove me from my kingly office. I think that's a part of what's going on here in Psalm 51. It's not just the idea of God removing all of His grace, but more specifically, the Spirit of God having anointed him to serve in this particular role as a king in Israel, and David doesn't want that taken away from him, so he's crying out to God. And what he's praying for in particular are the blessings and the benefits of the new covenant that was promised in places like Jeremiah 31.

He's saying, God wash me, cleanse me, forget about all my sins, fill me with Your Holy Spirit, write Your law upon my heart. Well, that's what's happened to us through faith in Jesus Christ. We're the beneficiaries of these promises and these blessings that David's even praying for here in Psalm 51. And for the true believer, I don't believe that God will ever remove His Spirit, take away His Spirit entirely from us. Paul says in Ephesians chapter 1 verse 13, he's writing to a group of Christians, and he says, In Jesus you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory. And so as a Christian, when you trust in Jesus Christ, when you're believing in Him, immediately you're sealed by the Holy Spirit, the down payment, if you will, of the inheritance, that future glory that still awaits us. Now, does that mean that we're always going to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit?

No. There are times where you might really experience the presence of God's Spirit in your life, and there might be other days where you wake up, and not for any reason, you just feel like, man, I just feel spiritually dry and weak. That doesn't mean that God has abandoned you, and even when we sin, I don't think that God abandons us.

He's promised us, I'll never leave you or forsake you. But we can, as believers, grieve the Holy Spirit. So we can have a sense of God's displeasure, the conviction of sin, a sense of spiritual dryness because of our sins, and that's the result of having grieved the Holy Spirit. And Paul, in the same letter that he talked about being sealed by the Holy Spirit, talks about grieving the Holy Spirit. Just a little bit later, in Ephesians chapter 4, verses 29 and 30, listen to what Paul said, In other words, we can, as believers, grieve the Holy Spirit, but I don't think that that means that the Holy Spirit departs from us or that God abandons us, or that we've, in that moment, lost our salvation and then we need to regain it or something like that.

No. The Spirit of God is with us, indwells us, we've been sealed by the Holy Spirit, and that's a promise that ensures the future inheritance that we look forward to through faith in Jesus Christ. Thanks, Adrian, for your question. God bless you, brother. You know, we read also about the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and I've heard some pastors say that when we grieve the Spirit, he may actually withhold some of that power from us.

What do you think? Yeah, so there is, again, with grieving the Holy Spirit, there is a sense of, it can be like, right, the heavy hand of the Lord is upon us. We experience the conviction of sin, that maybe sense of God's fatherly displeasure. Now, of course, when we talk about this, I think it's important to distinguish between conviction that comes from sin and as a result of the discipline of the Lord in our lives and condemnation. We, as believers in Jesus Christ, are not condemned by God to suffer the fate of unbelievers, but we are disciplined when we sin. And we do experience the conviction of the Holy Spirit. That's a sign of the Spirit of God in our lives, and so sometimes that can look like, right, spiritual weakness, physical weakness, even Paul talks about in 1 Corinthians 11. So there is something to that, Bill, and that's why I think some Christians think, oh well, God has abandoned me because of my sin.

Well, no. Again, sometimes we experience that discipline, and the result of that should be that we go to the Lord confessing our sins, humbling ourselves before Him, knowing that He's eager to forgive us and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness when we confess our sins. Amen.

Some great truth there. Thanks, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, doctrine, theology, or something in your church life perhaps you're confused about or concerned about, feel free to give us a call at 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Christopher in Kansas.

Christopher, what's your question for Adriel? Hey, good afternoon. Thank you for taking my call. I appreciate your ministry.

Sorry for any weird sounds. I'm a truck driver and I'm at the railroad. I've been going through Romans chapter 5678 this month, and I've had a question regarding sin in the world and coming into the world through the first sin of Eve, but wasn't sin already there when Satan was confronting her to sin, tempting her to sin, and when he had already fallen? And then the relationship to Romans is, I read something in chapter 5, I think it's 13-16, the young lady helped me find that, where it talked about sin was already present but before the law was there or something to that effect. I'm not expressing myself really well. It's a great question. God bless you, brother, keep you safe on the road.

Christopher, thanks for giving us a call. So the question is, what about the fall before the fall? It seems like Satan had already sinned against God and rebelled, that's why he's there in the garden trying to create problems for humanity, and so wasn't sin already there?

And I think we could say in one sense, yes, but distinctly, in humanity, certainly not. God created Adam and Eve good and upright, just like he made everything good and upright, and he called them to obey his word and his law, and he gave them this opportunity, this period of probation and testing, we might say, there in the garden, and that's where they succumbed to the deception of the evil one. And what Paul is talking about in Romans 5, verses 12 and following, let me just read it, and then I'll give an explanation. He says, Just as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned, for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, and there he's talking about the law of Moses in particular, but sin is not counted where there is no law, and yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who is to come. He's making an interesting argument here because he's saying, look, people continued to die even before the giving of the Mosaic covenant, which presupposes this idea of a kind of natural law that was given to Adam there in the garden that always existed. You know, people are sinning against their conscience even, and Paul seems to talk about this earlier in Romans chapter 2, and even before that, talking about God's invisible attributes known in all creation in Romans chapter 1. But he's highlighting the fact that this sin, the fall of mankind, came through Adam as our representative, as our covenant head.

And he does this in order to make a case for the gospel and the coming of the new Adam, our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have justification and the forgiveness of our sins, and so that's the focus of what's going on in Romans chapter 5. And we have to understand then that something unique was taking place there in the garden, that that is in the Bible the picture of the fall, or the fall of humanity. Typically it's not spoken of with regard to the angels and what happened before that, but God's creation, man, always called to inherit the world to come, and yet here rebelling against the Lord. And so, you know, we don't speculate too much about, well, what exactly did the fall of the angels look like? You know, there are some places in Isaiah that sometimes people go to to talk about Satan's pride and wanting to be like God.

But as far as the Bible is concerned, when Scripture talks about the fall of humanity and its effects upon the world, the starting point was right there with Adam in the garden. Thanks, Christopher, and again, God keep you safe on the road and continue to bless you, brother, and I love that you are studying this section of Scripture, Romans 5 through 8. Such a rich, rich section of Scripture, I think important for all of us as believers to dive deeply into.

Christopher, thanks so much for your call, and as we said, stay safe on the road. Appreciate all the truck drivers who listen to core Christianity. By the way, if you have a question for Adriel about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, or theology, you can call us right now.

Our phone lines will be open for the next ten minutes or so at 833-THE-CORE. You might not know this, but in addition to being a pastor and the host of this program, Adriel is also a published author, and he has a brand new book out on the Lord's Prayer. Yeah, I'm so grateful to be able to share this book with you. It's called Praying with Jesus, Getting to the Heart of the Lord's Prayer, and I wrote this book to encourage people. Wherever you are in your Christian walk, whether you're someone who's known Jesus for many years and you've studied the Bible, or you're just beginning to grow in your relationship with God and in prayer, I want this to be something that's accessible for everyone and helps everyone to grow in a deeper understanding of prayer, and in particular of the Lord's Prayer. If you're curious about those petitions that Jesus taught us to pray, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, what's behind that?

Help me understand that. We dive deeply into each of those petitions. Again, the book is called Praying with Jesus, Getting to the Heart of the Lord's Prayer, and I hope that you get a hold of it. And you can get Praying with Jesus for a donation of $25 or more by going to corechristianity.com forward slash offers.

It'd be a great book for a small group Bible study, or maybe you teach a Sunday school class. Again, it's called Praying with Jesus, and you can find it at corechristianity.com. Well, we do get voicemails here at the Core, and you can call us 24 hours a day. Leave your question on our voicemail system. If you do, let us know your name and where you're calling from. Here's a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners named Sharon.

Hi. My question is, I have seen a post where someone said that the devil can hear our prayers if we pray them out loud, and we shouldn't be praying them out loud. Now, the devil is an omniscient.

He's not omnipotent, if I've got those words right. But I do pray out loud, and quite often I think when I do, that the thing I've prayed for goes the other way, if that makes sense. So my question is, is this something we need to think about, whether we pray out loud or not, and where we pray? So things like when we pray in our houses, we have devices like Alexa, or our phones could be picking up what we say, we know that happens.

Is this something we need to think about, or was this just someone doing a post that was maybe slightly paranoid? Thank you so much. I love your show. Listen to it all the time. Sharon, thank you so much for your encouragement and for that question.

I don't think that this is something you need to be worried about at all. It's the heart behind prayer. It's coming before the Lord in faith sincerely. Whether we pray out loud or whether we pray in our heart, God hears us and knows. Now there are times, you asked, should we be worried about where we pray?

Only if we're praying in order to be seen by others. Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount, he rebukes the religious leaders because they love to pray on street corners and whatnot. Jesus says, look, you go to your closet. And he didn't say go to your closet so that way the devil won't hear you.

You're right on, Sharon. The devil is not omniscient. He's not able to steal your prayers, your heartfelt prayers away from the Lord. It's not like you're praying to God sincerely, but you prayed out loud, and so that prayer didn't really make it to the Lord because some demon was able to hold it down. That's not true.

You shouldn't be concerned about that at all. But when Jesus talks about the importance of where you pray, it's not so much to say there are some places that are more holy than others. It's just to say pray to your Father.

Focus on him, your Father who is in secret. Don't let the devil distract you and don't let other people distract you. That doesn't mean that we can't pray in public or around others as well.

No, nothing wrong with that. In church when we gather together, part of what we do is we pray as a body together. It's interesting, going to the second part of your question where you asked, does it matter where you pray? One of the benefits and blessings of the new covenant is that we can meet with God anywhere. Under the old covenant in the Old Testament, people would go to the house of God in Jerusalem in order to pray and to seek the face of the Lord because that's where God had promised to dwell. That temple was a type of our Lord Jesus Christ.

When Jesus died on the cross, the veil in the holy place was torn in two, signifying that we have direct access to God. Whether you're in San Diego or China or wherever you are, you can come directly to the Father through Jesus Christ. When you pray in faith, coming before the Lord, you may not be able to pray in old King James English.

That's okay. You don't have to. It's just coming before the Lord sincerely and through Christ. When you do, no matter where you are, God hears you. God bless you, Sharon, as you seek the Lord. May you be encouraged to do that wherever you are, whether you're praying out loud or quietly in your heart. God bless. I do wonder about Alexa, though, because we don't really know where she's at spiritually.

Maybe our prayers can help her and encourage her. Just kidding. Jesus didn't die for robots.

That's true. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Steven calling in from Arizona. Steven, what's your question for Adriel? How are you doing, guys? God bless you both.

Thank you for doing the work that you do. My question is regarding spiritual growth and discerning between hearing God's voice or the enemy's voice as I pray and fast during this significant trial that I'm undergoing in my life right now. And when I think I hear a word from God, it makes me second guess at thinking it could be the enemy.

How would I approach that? Well, again, here I think we can get really caught up with maybe our feelings or the idea of a still, small voice. God, what are you leading me to?

What are you directing me to? This is why, Steven, it's so important for us to be grounded in the Word of God. So I think it depends on the specific kind of direction we're looking for. God has given us, in His Word, His revealed will for our lives. And then beyond that, we're faced with the decision and we need God's guidance for something that maybe isn't spelled out in Scripture. It's not like this path leads to sin and that path doesn't. In that situation, it's very clear. I'm called to follow the Lord, I'm called not to sin. God has revealed this in His Word.

But when we're faced with options that aren't a matter of sin, they're more a question of wisdom, I think this is where it's important for us to be prayerful, to be patient, to have a multitude of counselors around us, as Proverbs talks about, people who can encourage us and give us godly wisdom as well, so we're not making decisions, especially these really big decisions, just in total isolation, but prayerfully, with patience, with the encouragement of others, and with our minds shaped by the Word of God, even though the Word of God doesn't tell us exactly like in every situation. You go to this college or that college or go here for dinner or there for dinner, that type of a thing. That example is kind of a silly example. But I think Chipotle is the answer, right? That's what Bill says.

I mean, if you're in San Diego, we got a lot of good Mexican food, so I might have other suggestions. But what I would say is being someone who's in the Word and who's shaped, your mind is shaped by Scripture, meditation upon Scripture, I think that gives us the wisdom that we need for the various decisions that we're trying to make in our day-to-day lives. And so some of it is an issue of wisdom. Now, Stephen, I'll go back to you really quickly, just because with something like this, are you looking for direction with regard to something really specific, or is it more one of these broad issues?

No, it is specific. I'm undergoing divorce. I've been married for nine and a half years, and we have three children together. And I understand my faults, and I believe in my heart that this is a disciplinary action from God, that He allowed it to pass, but to be used for good, as it did renew my faith in Christ. And I walk intimately with Him and pray and fast often, and I feel like a brand new transformed person, but at the same time, I want my family back.

Yeah. Well, Stephen, as you continue to seek the Lord and pray, God uses sometimes really heartbreaking situations like this to bring us closer to Him, and it sounds like that's what's happened for you. And so we can't choose the consequences to our sinful behavior, but we can seek the Lord and pray for healing and pray for restoration. And so I don't know what God has in store, but I think right now for you, continuing to seek Him and to grow in your relationship with the Lord and where you have sinned, confessing your sins to the Lord, but also to your family, where it's been against them, and expressing your longing and your love for them, while also recognizing that you can't force anything, and so this is going to be in the Lord's hands. And so let's pray.

I want to pray for you right now and for your family, and just ask for God's continued guidance and His grace to be poured out upon your life, that He would bring healing in this situation. Our Father in Heaven, we come before You. Lord, we lift Stephen up to You. God, thank You for the work that You've been doing in his life.

But often we think about things we've done, choices we've made, sins we've committed, Lord, and we see how they hurt others and how they lead to consequences or results, Lord, that we wish we never experienced, Lord. Yeah, Lord, we know that You are the God who is able to restore that which is broken. I don't know all the details of my brother's situation, but I pray for his family, Lord Jesus. I pray that You would be with them. I pray for Your peace and Your healing in their lives. I pray, Lord God, for Your continued work in his life and healing. And we do ask, Lord, that miraculously, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, You would bring healing and restoration, that all of these things would be worked together for the good of Stephen, of his family, his children, and that they would grow together in You and a love for You, Lord, and a renewed commitment to You, we pray in Jesus' name. Amen. Brothers and sisters, that is one of the hopes that we have through Jesus Christ. We don't always know why things happen the way they happen in our lives, but we know that God is able to work everything together for the good of those who are called according to His purpose, as Paul says in Romans 8, and so we have hope. and the truth of God's Word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-30 19:10:39 / 2024-04-30 19:20:37 / 10

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