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Prayer is Where the Action Is

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
September 6, 2023 12:00 am

Prayer is Where the Action Is

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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September 6, 2023 12:00 am

Prayer is the place where we win or lose our fights, and God intends for us to have victory.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Wednesday, September 6th.

Are you facing a complicated situation? Today, we'll hear the key to walking through difficult circumstances with peace and confidence. Would you turn, please, to Exodus chapter 17. I want us to read verses 8 through 13.

And the title of this message, Prayer is Where the Action Is. Chapter 17 of Exodus, beginning in verse 8. And this is the story of the conflict between Israel and the Amalekites.

And there's a principle here that is so very, very important to us in the area of prayer. So beginning in verse 8, then came Amalek and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek.

Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed. And when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses' hands were heavy, and they took a stone and put it under him. And he sat thereon, and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side and the other on the other side. And his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of a sword. Now you say, Well, what does that have to do with prayer?

And I want you to listen very, very carefully. The nation of Israel had come out of Egyptian bondage by Moses' leadership across the Red Sea, into the wilderness, down to Sinai, and then on their way to the Promised Land. And he says in Deuteronomy 25, referring to this very incident, that many of those who were weak were straggling along behind. And so the nation of Israel was stretched out of a long geographical location. And so Amalek, who desired to attack the nation of Israel, used the strategy of attacking those who were lingering behind.

And so they were just picking them off left and right. So they had to go to war, recognizing that the Amalekites were more prepared for war. They'd been used to it. They'd been fighting for a long time.

They were a heathen nation. And now Israel, though wealthy they are, coming out of Egyptian bondage, having taken gold and silver and many of the animals out of Egypt, they were prepared wealth-wise, but they weren't prepared to fight. And so God said to Moses, He said, You tell Joshua, put him in command of the army. You get him out there ready to fight.

But the key is this. I want you and Aaron and her to go to the top of the hill. Take the rod with you, the same rod that you used in Egypt to show Pharaoh that your God I am is God. He said, What I want you to do is I want you to hold that rod. I want you to hold your hands to heaven. And he says, As you hold your hands to heaven, that will be the determining factor in this conflict tomorrow with Amalek.

So that's exactly what they did. Aaron and her went with Moses up on the top of the hill where they could see the battle. And here are two armies coming to fight one another in mortal combat. And so the scripture says that Moses lifted up his hands and the rod of God in his hand. But he noticed that as long as he held up his hands and held up the rod of God, Israel prevailed. When he began to get weak and after a while he just dropped his hands, the Amalekites began to prevail. So finally, her and Aaron made him a seat out of stone, sat him down, and then they held up both of his hands. As long as they held his hands up, the scripture says that Israel prevailed in the battle. And so they won the battle that day, but the battle was not won on the field of conflict.

The battle was won on the hill as Aaron and her held up the hands of Moses. Now let me tell you something. Don't you dare miss what I'm going to tell you. Three things I want you to get out of this passage.

You'll get yourself a pencil and a piece of paper and jot down these three things. Many of you have walked through many of life's battles and you've come out bloody and torn and beaten and defeated. You've faced financial problems. You've gone through battles in your home. You've gone through battles in your vocation. You've gone through battles in your relationships with other people.

All kind of battles. I want to show you something here that is a principle. It works.

It works over and over and over if you and I will apply the simple principle found in the scriptures. So there are three things I want you to jot down, and the first one is this. That our life's battles are won or lost in the place of prayer. Now just stay with me for a moment. Our life's battles are won or lost in the place of prayer.

You say, well, but suppose I don't have a place. And that's the reason you're being defeated over and over and over again in your life. Our life's battles, and all of us have them, are lost or won in the place of prayer. Now let me show you something here. If you ask the average person where they think the success prevails, let's take a church for example.

If you think that what goes on in a church is the result of what happens to the pulpit and the pastors preaching and the musicians singing the choir and all of that, that this is the criteria of success or failure, you're wrong. You see, the world looks at the outward part. The world looks at men. The world praises man.

The world praises organization and plan and all of this. God doesn't win his battles on platforms. God doesn't win his battles on the field of conflict. God wins his battles when men are willing to get on their face before God and seek his face. That's where the battle is won.

Now let me show you why. When a man or a woman gets upon their face before God alone, what do they do? First of all, God turns their eyes towards themselves and begins to examine their heart.

And so the sifting, cleansing process goes on. A man is able to see himself on his knees as he'll never see himself any other way. Number two, he begins to look upon God and he sees God in a whole different light. God clears his eyesight. God begins to clear his mind and on his face before God in preparation for conflict, he's able to see himself from a whole different perspective.

Not as one out in the battle of conflict and being outnumbered, but one standing upon the rock surrounded by the angelic host of God and under the canopy of God's protection and standing upon the rock from which all the resources he'll ever need will always be present. So he sees himself different. He's able to see the conflict for what it is and not what it appears to be. He's able to see the heart of his enemy as it is, not as it appears to be. He's able to foresee the snares and the temptations of Satan. He's able to spot the traps that Satan lays before him. He's able to understand the reality of the circumstances in which he finds himself regardless of how they may appear to be to others. So that when a man gets upon his face before God and he battles out his own relationship to the Lord and God sifting process takes place, he focuses his eyes upon God, his faith is set, his sense of direction is settled in his mind, and he knows what he must do and the way he must do it. He can face anybody anywhere under any circumstance fearlessly and boldly and courageously and never bet an eye, not because he won't get bloody, not because he won't be knocked down, not because he won't be scarred, but because he's battling it all out with God in prophecy. Now here's the principle. God wants you and me to fight our battles in the prayer room, not in public.

Now let me tell you why. There will be public confrontations in our lives at times. But listen, it's one thing to have a public confrontation. It's something else to walk into that confrontation with the decision already made of defeat or failure.

When you walk into a conflict and you and God have settled it in privacy, you can face anything anywhere under any circumstance with perfect peace in your heart that God has already determined the outcome of the situation. Doesn't mean you won't suffer. Doesn't mean you won't have pain. Doesn't mean you won't hurt. But it's the outcome. Who's going to be the victim?

Now here's the reason. Because what appears to be the enemy sometime is not the enemy at all. The enemy is Satan and his forces. The reason he attacked God's people in this particular situation is because he knew the nation of Israel was to be the messianic nation through whom the Messiah would come, through whom all the nations of the earth would be blessed. So he used Amalek as a tool to defeat the people of God. If you and I don't get our direction from God off our knees, we're going to think this is the enemy, that's the enemy, he's the enemy, she's the enemy.

Well that may not be true and it's not true. The enemy is Satan. The enemy is the demonic forces of evil that attack and seek to ensnare and thwart the purpose of God in life. And oftentimes believers are in conflict with each other. Believers and non-believers in conflict with each other because they believe the other is the enemy. Satan is the enemy sowing seeds of this unity throughout the world. God wants us to recognize we're in a spiritual battle.

How do you do spiritual battle with spiritual things? What is the mightiest force under God's heaven in time of battle? It is the word of God in the heart and it is a man upon his knees calling out of the supernatural power of God. When you and I focused upon him, our heart is clean, we are lifting our hands and our hearts before him, what is almighty God doing? Almighty God hears the prayers of his children and he releases his supernatural, sovereign, divine omnipotence into the life of that individual or that circumstance, whatever it may be. That's God's way. Man's way is what?

It is effort, eloquence, preparations, plans, programs, do this, do that, we must do so much of this and we must do so much of that. When God says my way is to fight the battle on your knees and then let's see what God is going to do. Doesn't mean we do nothing but it means, listen, we either walk into the battle from the basis of victory or we walk into that from the basis of defeat. God wants his people thinking right, believing right and when we think right and believe right, we will respond and act properly.

The battle was won that day on the hillside, not down in the field. And as you think about whatever battle you may be facing, whatever valley you may be going through, listen, don't look around to blame someone else. Don't wring your hands, get on your face before God and battle it out with him.

The cleansing process that takes place, the clearing of the mind, the clearing of the heart, the clearing of the eyes, a perception like you have never known before. And you see, every area of life is applicable to what I'm talking about. We come up to decisions that oftentimes we don't know how to make a decision.

That's the place to get it made. Don't call her him, this person, that person, all of these folks. Why don't you talk to the person who has the answer? You see, God wants to teach us, now watch this carefully unless you misunderstand me. God doesn't want us absolutely independent of everything and everybody but him. But he does want to teach us to depend upon him, trust him and to see him as the source of all that we need. Because there is an interdependence, there is an interrelationship that he wants to build into our life as his children.

The second thing I want you to notice here is this. When we face life's battles, we will grow faint-hearted at times. When we do face life's battles, we will grow faint-hearted.

Now for example, here's Moses, God's greatest statesman, the greatest statesman that has ever lived on the face of this earth. And here he is holding the rod of God in the symbol of intercession before God in the scenic for his help and his dependence in this particular battle. But after a while, his hands get heavier. And they just get so heavy that after a while, he just drops them. And when they're down by his side, all of a sudden he notices there's the change in the battle. And Amalek and his forces begin to defeat the people of God, so up his hands go again, but they get tired. Up they go again, but they get tired. Up they go again, but they get tired. And finally, Aaron and Hur, set him on a rock, hold up his hands. And they hold up his hands until the battle is finished and one and Amalek and his forces are conquered once and for all.

Now here's what I want you to see. You and I, in spite of what Jesus said, he said men are always to pray and faint not. But we do faint.

Why do we faint? That means we sort of lose heart. We lose heart oftentimes when we face battles because we look at the circumstances and the longer we look, Satan takes our viewpoint of the circumstances, puts his interpretation upon them, and what is a little old ant?

He'll begins to grow larger and larger and larger. We think, oh God, what in the world am I going to do? When if we looked at it from God's perspective, we'd have said, hmm, there's nothing to that. But you see, Satan interprets and brings out of reality and into an illusion what is not there.

And we begin to see these tremendous barriers. We say, what in the world am I going to do? God knows that you and I are going to grow up faint hearted at times.

We're going to get weird. There are going to be some times when you ought to pray when you don't even feel like praying. You know you ought to pray, but you say, God, I just don't even want to pray. I'm tired of praying.

I don't see any result. And you see, you're going to pray about some things over and over and over again. You think, Lord, you're not doing anything. So why should I keep on praying when nothing is happening?

And Satan just jumps up and down with glee when you say that. Listen, I've discovered a long time ago there's some things you have to pray through like you tunnel through a mountain. You just have to keep hanging in there and telling God about it and trusting him and believing him and thanking him and praising him, though everything your eyesight behold says defeat, defeat, defeat, defeat, defeat. With deed done inside, if you listen to God, God says, but victory is on the way. And you see, it's when we turn tail and run, when everything looks like we're going to be defeated, we say, well, I knew it was going to happen that way anyway. We hinder our relationship with him. We hinder other people's spiritual growth. We are going to have periods of faint heartedness, which brings me to number three, which is the most important thing in the whole area.

And that's this. The third thing is our greatest asset when we're going through spiritual battles is to have an Aaron and a her. That is somebody who can hold up your arms when they've drooped, when you get discouraged, when you lose heart, when you think, oh God, I just can't hold them up there any longer. And you've got somebody to hold up both your arms and to assist you in your intercession before God. Jesus said, men ought always to pray and faith not. And yet we do lose heart. What do we need when we lose heart? Not someone to say, well, I told you so.

Not when someone said, man, you just got to put yourself up by your own bootstraps. An Aaron and a her does not argue. They do not use the world's ways.

You know what they do? An Aaron gets on one side, a her gets on the other side and began to intercede with you, for you, in your behalf, before God, the situation which you face. And what does God do?

A threefold cord is not easily broken. You and I can talk to God the Father. Two of us can talk to God the Father. There's something about three men or three women on their face before God lifting up each other. Now watch this.

He said, you have not because you ask not. God has so arranged that He's willing to release His power when you and I are willing to come to Him. But if we come to Him alone oftentimes, we get discouraged. But Aaron on this side, her on this side, lifting you up and encouraging you.

And what happens? That faint hardness begins to dwindle and the supernatural power of God becomes a reality because you have two encouraging forces, one on the one side, one on the other. That's the way God wants the battles fought. What does He want? He wants us to join together. He wants that threefold cord, uneasily broken, the three of them encouraging each other, building up one another, lifting up each other.

And you see, there is no way for three people to bind themselves together in Christ Jesus to pray for one another without them growing and becoming stronger and deepening in their faith and more and more Christ right. That's where the battles are fought. That's where God intends for you and me to fight our battles on our face before Him somewhere. And all of us are going to go through this period of getting tired and weary. But I'll tell you, there's nothing in the world like somebody getting on your side and saying, that's okay. We're going to call your name before God. We're going to tell Him what you feel.

If you don't feel like telling Him, we are telling Him in your behalf. And the only way somebody can do that is to love you and know you. And the only way somebody is going to be able to love you and know you and stand by your side is for you to take all the plastic off, open up your heart and say, look, here's what I am. Here's my problem. Here's my difficulty. Here's my bondage. Here's my conflict.

Here's my decision. I need you to pray for me. I am not adequate within myself.

I am absolutely helpless at this point. Oh God, I need you and I need my brothers to bear me up. And I want to tell you something. God will do something in your life and the life of your Aaron, your her. And then when He puts you in the side of Aaron over here and He makes you a her over here and you have the same privilege of doing something for somebody else, you're going to find out what praying is all about. That is the heart and the core of intercession.

Being willing to get under somebody else's burden and lift them up. What in the world would happen in families if they became each other's Aaron and her? What among the children in your family, in the church house, in your business, two other people that you can trust who will lift you before God and you know in your heart you never have to worry about them ever telling anybody but God and God has never told anybody secrets. And I want to ask you one simple question.

Which of these describe you? Are you like Moses today walking through a valley and facing a tremendous battle? Then you need an Aaron and a her and I want to pray that God will send you the truth. Maybe you are not in a battle right now and you're saying God I want to be somebody's Aaron.

I want to be somebody's her. And I wonder if you're willing to commit yourself to forget yourself and commit yourself to be somebody's intercessor before God. Thank you for listening to Prayer is Where the Action Is. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-06 04:04:10 / 2023-09-06 04:12:29 / 8

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