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June 14, 2019 1:00 am
I live just long enough to begin to see that some of the scourges of this unique to our generation at least. And from my point of view is how easily promises are made and how easily they are broken in days gone by. People thought long and hard before they made a promise because they knew once they made a promise. It is there that they have to keep it even at a personal sacrifice that are time when a man's promise was his bond. Somehow today we make a promise that the fleeting moment, and then was say well you know tomorrow bombs are just sorry couldn't do it and we get away with it and we think it's all right. Someone said that most politicians these days been half of their time making promises and the other half of the top making excuses reason their lawyer friend of mine said enough lawyers would have a hard time making a living of people behave themselves and get the promises factor when I was writing this I remember the story years ago that I have read about a pilot to the navigator who was shot and then there were down there adrift on the sea in a small lifeboat and after several days without food without water and was certain without any hope of being rescued departed began to pray and he said all God, you know that I haven't lived a very good life. I have been a miserable has been a terrible father and I cheated and lied and stolen on. I had no use for the church and in God is, he will save us from dying here.
I promise that I will never in the right of that point the navigator yelled and said stop. Don't say another word. I think I see land, but how I thank God that he does not make frivolous promises, frivolous promises that he does not keep God always keeps his promises. He privileged me to be around enough to experience him know how faithful he is and keeping of his promises. I know his word tells me that and I believe that that would be sufficient but I have experienced him and walked with him long enough to know that he is a faithful God. There is one thing that God cannot do and that is not keep his promise, his promises may be fulfilled not the way I want them and not what I want them, but he always fulfills his promise we open please. The word of God to first Kings chapter 18 beginning of verse 41 and here were going to see a larger clinging to the promises of God. Some of God's promises are conditional promises. By that I mean the fulfillment of these promises depend on something that I have to do you have to do.
But then there are the promises that are unconditional promises. Second, I want you to remember this son of God's promises are personal promises they limited to one person at a given time. But then there are other promises that for all believers all the time now. Have you found first Kings 18 and here immediately following that magnificent event that incredible supernatural event incredible intervention of God by a fire falling from heaven supernatural that looked everything inside stones and words and sacrifice of water right after that there in mind, Elijah tells King I have verse 41 is a get home quickly because the rain is in the forecast. If I would translated literally might not make sense.
But here's how it sounds I hear the feet of rain approaching has he seen it by faith here, headed by faithful here. Literally, it doesn't really matter goes down to eat and drink what is the man of God go. He goes up to Mount caramel in order to kneel on the promises that God has given him.
He went up to pray, listen carefully, please.
The promises of God plus prayer equals the fulfillment of the promises of God.
Let me put it another way, keeping the condition of the conditional promises of God. Plus, trusting that God will fulfill them equal the intervention and the fulfillment of God's promises. The promises of God are all were certain. All were certain of them are not mature 90 days. I have often said that when God makes a promise faith has to believe it anticipates it, and in patients awaits.
I'm gonna make a confession. I know the Bible to confess to one another and I really confessed you publicly when it comes to God's promises. I'm okay with that will even when it comes to believing it well. I'm okay with that too.
And even when it comes to hope anticipates it a little harder but I can go along with that, but I have the hardest time with the last one patients quietly awaits it. I want to tell you I have calluses on my hands for pounding on the doors of heaven. Back to that, but because I want to put I want to be faithful to the text I have to deal with what kind of a promise of God make to Elijah's revenue text can you find it. God made him a conditional promise.
Where is was the conditional promise.
He was there as fast with that widow and God said to him, go down, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send the rain that is a conditional promise. God is saying. Elijah, if you do that I will send the rain. Remember, it hasn't rained for 3 1/2 years, but Elijah's obedience was the condition of the fulfillment of God's promise and there are so many promises in the Scripture that are conditional promises I find myself frustrated when I see Christians are confused about this issue running around claiming the promises of God. Listening to those many of them claiming it blabbing at them grabbing it. Preachers and doesn't happen again devastated say what is happening what is happening is that you have not understood the biblical principle here, you have not understood how God works.
Most Christians today love to play in the promises of God, but they want to escape the conditions but God must be true to his word. God sent those things in motion and he is not going to change the Bible said you saw and you reap and what you saw is what you reap in kind by the Bible said here and will be given unto you. Now, of course, is a period of waiting between the time you show them the time you read. I'm noticing a farmer going out there and digging the seed to see how is doing. To be sure there is a time and sometimes there are setbacks but I would tell you they are as true as God's own word that if you so you will read the kind of things that you will so you will read and if you so caulking I've never seen the Formosa clock and reap wheat or corn.
If he says we think it's wheat if you so Scott gets gotten this picking and choosing. While I believe this and I'll believe this, but I'm not gonna believe this, and I'm like I'm really going to ignore this because somehow foghorn is going to go away as a cafeteria Christians I'm in a pick and choose understood no longer covered under pick this year like this, not a like this model like this. I despise yellow like dispensing God's word is one word for you about this is out of the three sisters who went to waiting for the first on their little bit the wedding before when they come home from the wedding.
They decided to play a waiting game. One was going to be the bride. Yellow is going to be the groom and others can be diminished as a bride and the groom, role-playing here so standing next to each other. The minister wasn't playing the role of the minister. She said to the bride and she said would you take this man, for richer or for poorer little dresses for richer, how like adults, we pick and choose one to believe that part don't believe that part Proverbs 3516 is a conditional promise. The Bible said that if you commit your ways to the Lord. He will bring it to pass. If you want to pilot your own ship your own way and then when you get into trouble you cry out to the Lord Lord while you not blessing my plan when I have violated the condition of the promise.
I should not expect the fulfillment of it. First John 19 is often rattled by carnal Christians, almost like just dialing 911 irregular trouble. Just dial 190. Since I didn't realize at first John one not. I just noticed gonna Christians don't have any which way they want to live. And then he just gets my first John one is as if you confess your sins sure it's a conditional promise. If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Is there but I confess all the time. Now you don't let confessions without determination to change is a cheap repentance that does not obligate God to forgive confession must include a decision to forsake some of God's promises are not only conditional but they are personal promises.
There are personal promises under our universal promises.
This promise here for Elijah was a personal promise made for a specific person for a specific period of time, you will make a mistake you get into trouble when you try to make a personal promise to be a universal promise. Now you understand the principle you see how God works in you say will now Lord, I want you to speak to me in this way you can learn from that.
And that's what we doing this whole series, see understanding how God works.
We often think that we somehow have to spend hours in prayer convincing God that he should bless what you're trying to accomplish. Instead of spending hours in prayer, trying to discern what is God's purpose and what is God's will in my life.
I want to tell you most assuredly that when ever you bring your efforts into alignment with God's purpose for your life you will be blessed of God's word on a large understood that when ever prayer aligned with obedience, together with the promises of God. He was going to see an answer to his prayer. Whenever you fulfill the condition of the promise. I want to tell you this is the true naming of them claiming whenever you fulfill the condition of the promise. You can safely claim the promise of God and give it God cannot lie. He cannot deny himself. Now, if you're spending many a night on the side of your bed instead of sleeping in it. I want to tell you. Listen to me. I'm going to tell you from the heart of experience instead of sitting on the side of your bed asking God for what you want, save the time. Save the energy and begin to ask him what does he want. I have went down to eat and drink, but Elijah went up to leave you on the promises of God. Both men saw the hand of God working mightily. Both men saw the power of God manifested, together with the thousands upon thousands of people, both men experience the greatest supernatural intervention since exit 1 went down in a brutish and animalistic way to eat and drink in the other went up in humility before God, clinging to the promises of God in all your people say oh we just see more miracles in our day, people will believe I'd tell you they will not submit to you that there are miracles happening all around us every day, but the spiritually blind will not believe in will not see even if it is done in the most magnificent way to remember Jesus telling the story of Lazarus and the rich man that is not a parable that is a true story. Jesus Christ who preexisted with the father before the foundation of the world telling us a true happening this man referred to as a rich man was Amanda self-centered. He didn't have a thought of God you never thought of God's kingdom. He thought only of himself. His successes discomfort and Jesus said there was a man by the name of Lazarus who trusted God he didn't have a thing in the world, but he believed God.
He put his trust in God and both died one went to heaven in one went to hell and after a few moments, and hello want to tell you some encouragement and not to be a great evangelist. After a few moments of torment yelled out, the father Abraham his father Abraham.
He said he thought that his ethnicity he felt that his Jewishness was going to get into heaven.
So he called out to Abraham, the father of the Jewish studies that father Abraham, when he finally realize that it is too late.
Please send Lazarus let them rise from the dead, so that my family would believe and not come to this place of development. Remember what Jesus said Abraham told him he said if they don't believe the Bible even if somebody would rise from the dead, they will not believe there were miracles right before I but it did not scratch his heart.
The spiritual blindness was there miracle made no difference.
The something else here that I want to tell you about the largest prayer when a larger went up to prayer Mount caramel. He prayed specifically right can you find it. There is no prayer recorded here is not recorded in this passage listen, the Holy Spirit, who is the author of the Bible from beginning to end, does not recorded in first Kings 18 but he records it in James chapter 5 verse 17 listen to it. Elijah was a man just like us and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for 3 1/2 years, and again he pried in heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. That's where you find it when you think Elijah was praying all God bless everybody everywhere. Go to sleep, so most Christians do. I am convincing my heart.
She was praying all the more you promised me that if I start before I you will send the rain.
I know you going to keep your promise.
Lord, you know why prayer is such a burden to so many Christians I want tell you why, because of the ambiguity of our prayer. The so many Christians will look upon prayer as a task all the hard work of prayer we feel the tasks to heavy wind up praying that prayer. God bless everyone everywhere in men us think about this and then I thought of myself. You know I'm not telling you these things, but I hope God uses the somehow but I'm going to forget some things and those who work with because we know that it's a standard joke but that's all right I just wanted to know that I know if I said to a person and it happens many times I'll be talking somebody is what's your phone number as well. Just a second and and also will. I think it's 879629 somewhat somewhere about their just try them all and you'll get me and I tell you the truth is unconsciously confusing. The street address of the church with strands of my house so I for numbers not get the more model than somebody who asked me the other day on the phone as it was your street address and is a well it's I think 95 8485 buildings 35 Vanessa Whitman is assisting and then I can yell at the my secular farm home with my wife is a once a street address of a mirror sounds funny to you but I want to tell you occasionally happens with me. You say wait a minute. Normal people don't give information in this way and that same sense I have never seen any of the grip prayers in the Bible being ambiguous prayers there always prayers that come to God with specifics. Another some Christians out of false sense of reverence. See how there are afraid to be specific with God. I hope I put an end to this fallacy because when Jesus said in Matthew chapter 10 verse 30 that the hairs on your head accounted it does not mean that he simply knows how many he knows that.
But when you said there are numbered, meaning that he knows which hair that fell in the brush when you brush your hair this morning that he has chronological records of every one of your hair and if God is not specific in details with you need to be that specific and detailed with him as much as I'm not big on details. I want to tell you when it comes to prayer. You better find a different Michael because I pray specifically and in details. My wife and I have experienced the power of prayer of agreement. Many a time when we come together in total agreement, not just well you know that's what you want agree with you know I mean in total agreement and we know that it is the will of God. And we know that is consistent with Scripture and we know that it is an obedient we have seen the hand of God. Incredible answers to prayer again and again and when answers come bold all was clear Bill was specific. Elijah prayed specifically but he also prayed obediently. He also prayed clinging to the promises of God and then he prayed persistently is a part is a challenge for me.
Jesus taught that it is not the length of prayer is not the language of prayer is not the posture of prayer, whether you kneeling or standing on your head or whatever, but it is a persistence in prayer that he taught again and again in the Scripture. I confess to you, I don't understand everything about persistence in prayer, but I know that it is the word of God, and I told him to get back to the subject of my greatest challenge patient's perseverance. Persistence is always too conflicting for me, but I seldom bring your message before God has already penetrated deep into the will of my soul and this is no exception to the Jesus said in Luke chapter 18 when he told about the woman who persisted with the unjust judge because that woman was breathing on his door and beating on his door finally said well I might not be a godly person but I will answer her because of her persistence, Jesus himself in Gethsemane. He persisted in prayer regarding the will of the father. This outer Phoenician woman who came to the Lord Jesus Christ on behalf of her daughter.
She persisted in prayer until Jesus answered don't know everything about persistence in prayer. I really don't.
But everywhere in the Scripture where you encounter the biblical teaching about persistence in prayer. It is there is something I see in the Scripture somehow that persistence in prayer and the promises of God belong together, talk about personal desires or wants. I'm talking about God's promises. How did Elijah persist in prayer.
Look at it there in marketing your Bible verse 43 foot persistence mixed with adverse he sent his servants to look for cloud and he didn't send him once he didn't send them twice. He didn't send and three times he didn't send them four times.
He sent him seven times after the first time he could've given up after the second time he could have said or God is not going to answer me. After the third time he could've said well you know I have enough victory for one day after the fourth time he could've said all I must have misunderstood God's promises after the fifth time you go to began to doubt God after the sixth time. People become angry with God as so many of your but he was persistent in prayer. Even to the service time so we prayed specifically prayed obediently. He prayed clinging to the promises of God.
He prayed persistently and then he also prayed expectantly. He believed with all of his heart that God is going to keep his word and that's why he kept sending his servant seven times he really did he believe that God is going to do it and if you would have been shocked if God didn't and you know why he was expecting that you can tell because as soon as the servant came back and he said well is appease a cloud in the sky as big as a man's hand and literally can also mean as a heel of the foot of a man is the same thing. It's a tiny cloud you know what Elijah was doing that's expected in prayer. He was handing out umbrellas know if you look at this passage real closely been the notice of Elijah would've been absolutely surprised his wits got the nicest prayer. Many of us were pray and pray and pray and go to answer prayer with which are so surprised, not Elijah and that is why we are reading about Elijah. Why because he persisted in prayer because he was not surprised when God answered his prayer phone that I wanted to notice one thing here when God fulfilled his promise. Elijah stayed humble before God. I have seen it in the Christian community. The some Christians who don't know how to handle victory can handle a crisis but somehow they can handle victory can handle blessings I've seen others win when victory and blessing come they begin to take credit for. Well, it was my hard work. It was so and so and it was there so that was that nothing others who are after victory in a blessing come we put natural face on it. It would have happened anyway.
Please listen carefully you do not need to be a great theologian to know that this kind of attitude does not honor God.
Elijah after the victory. He tucked his cloak and he ran before King. I have now. You might've missed it because you got understand this is an act of humility is an act of submission in the Middle East.
When you run before the king is a form of subordinating yourself to the king as a servant. Hey listen a logical said I got.
I have exactly what I wanted. I got a menorah it into Tigger said listen, I have you around. And amen. But he didn't know why because Elijah was adamant that everybody must know that this great act is God's act, not Elijah's master. This what are you doing with the conditional promises of God are you refusing to keep your end of the bargain rationalizing why are you refusing to keep the condition of the promise or have you simply just given up the other Christians don't know how to appropriate the promises of God. They remind me of Crawford's great chief Indian chief of the Blackfoot Confederacy in South Alberta in Canada when the Canadian Railway Pacific Railway wanted a permission from him to cross the Blackfoot from Medicine Hat to Calgary in order to get the train run in a straight line and he give them that permission.
They wanted to do something in return.
So they gave him a Railway pass, that he could ride on the Canadian Pacific Railway anywhere. The train goes anytime he can live on that if you wanted to so what does the big cheese do you put the ticket the past and the leather binder and then he wrapped it around his neck. He wore on his chest for the rest of his life, but there was no record anywhere whatsoever that he's ever availed himself to the right to travel anywhere on the Canadian Pacific trailer I read this and I thought tragically, this is the way so many Christians treat the promises of God. They may hang them on the wall, they may believe them in their heads and they know this to be true, but they'd never appropriated. If you would give me a check and I'll take the check and I'll put it in my pocket now told her that often gets some things and forget the check for a long time. What have I done of never appropriated the gift of the Holy Spirit has given each of us gifts the Holy Spirit has given us promises and I know some of you have received personal promises from the Lord.
What you do with these promises, how to appropriate these promises is dependent on you. You want to be blessed financially. I want you to examine your pocketbook and see how much seed have discovered likely you want to be blessed spiritually and have victory over certain area.
I want you to examine your calendar and see how much time have you spent before God specifically seeking that victim you want your family to be blessed.
Take a good hard look at the time you spend with them, instructing them teaching your mama talk about folder sitting there just let them see you your heart love for Jesus Christ. God is true to his laws that he has set in motion and he said when you so you reap when you keep the condition of the promise the fulfillment of it will take place.
Please examine your heart. I asked the Lord to take away any hindrance that you might have for the enemy way raise up to the voice, his voice, not mine and said, Lord, I have not been faithful to the condition of the promise. Forgive me make a determination today. You will keep on the personal promises the condition of those of us were inclined to give up not persist in prayer and in the waiting period between sowing and reaping get a little lethargic and discouraged.
God empower me to give.
Thank you father to answer our prayers because with vitamin D system.
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