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October 28, 2021 1:00 am
When God answers prayer in ways we don’t expect, we’re reminded that we need Him more than the answers. We must make sure our relationship with God is strong, realizing that knowing Him is more vital than getting what we want.Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)
Race is looking to Jesus.
When God answers prayer in ways we don't expect were reminded we really need the answers today making sure our relationships with God are strong, realizing that knowing him is getting what from the Moody Church in Chicago this running to win with Dr. Erwin Luzerne whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line as you teach us about what to do when the answer is disguised you're talking about the experiences of Moses and Abraham, I am because they illustrate for us the fact that they came to know God and realize that they needed him even more than they needed the answer to their prayers, and that is so critical here at running to win. We are absolutely committed to the centrality of the gospel like we frequently say helping people make it across the finish line. I want to thank the many of you who support this ministry. Perhaps some of you have prayed for us, but you have never been financially involved, and we understand that, but if you would consider becoming an endurance partner that someone who stands with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts. Here's what you can do. Go to RTW offer.com. Of course, RTW offers all one word. And when you're there, click on the endurance partner button or if you prefer, call us at 1-888-218-9337 and now we continue to remind ourselves that at the end of the day. We need God even more than we need the answer to some of our specific prayers I rented a moment ago but look at it very very quickly you'll notice it says in verse 24 Hebrews 11 by faith Moses when he was growing up refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God catch it now than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin, Moses says, of course, there is pleasure in sin, but for a season and these are fleeting pleasures. These pleasures always have a bad aftertaste, and so the way in which we do it is.
We discovered that in seeking God and seeking God. There is great reward.
God said to Abraham, Abraham, you don't have to fear because I love this.
I am your exceeding great reward. I'm here and when I'm here. There is a sense of rest and satisfaction and gladness. That's why the Psalms are so filled, so filled with exhortations to rejoice in God.
It is because God himself rewards those who seek him.
Well of course the $64 question is very very. That is, how do we seek God a generation that is not sought God was looked at. God is kind of a slot machine.
In other words, Lord, I want this. And this is what I want you to do for me and keep me from harm.
Keep me healthy. Help me no longer to have the problems that I do prevent me from accidents. All those may have their place, but to a generation where prayer is primarily that how do we stop in our tracks and say to ourselves. I want to see God. I mean if it is true that he generously rewards those who seek him. I want to be among those who take him up on it to you to want to take him up on it.
How do we do it well. Aren't you glad you asked me that such a good question. I need to commend you for asking what you notice in your bulletin this morning. There is a card that I prepared and this card and you can reach for it right now. This card is entitled the rewards of faith. Larry Crabb wrote a book entitled the pop-up prayer and this pop-up prayer really is a discussion of this mega shift that I'm talking about where prayer goes from asking to relationship, and that he in the book has a system outlined mine is different from his, but nonetheless I do commend to you what Larry Crabb has to say and actually have some quotes from his book, which I might give you if we had enough time so this is what I have prepared because this reflects actually where I am at in the journey of seeking God. You'll notice send them now with your card in front of you notice first of all how you do it you choose to agree with God you choose to agree with God that this has to begin with silence. I wait silently before the Lord.
The Psalms says because what you are doing now is exposing your life and all of the intents of the heart to a God who already sees you and what you're saying is God.
Not only do you see me but show me what you see, so that I can deal with it. The stone that have to be moved in my life in order to have a clear relationship with you. What is standing in the way this is known as confession. You heard many times that the word confess means to agree with God. It says God whatever you show me. I agree that bitterness is sin.
I agree that this relationship I'm in is sinful. I agree that the anxieties that I am bearing are sinful because I have things on my shoulders that you are supposed to carry and I'm carrying them and that is the time when we come and we really God I usually do this in silence when I pray this way as I try to do if not every day. That's the way I want to pray.
So it begins with silence. By the way I do pray every day but possibly not exactly in this order and I might say sometimes I don't follow the this is not some kind of a new formula all right were talking relationship here you choose to agree with God in honesty confession and surrender you choose to adore God, you begin to read the Psalms. Possibly you read about the blessings of God use a hymn or a chorus. Those of you who belong to the choir.
You have certainly a jump on us here because you know you're constantly singing those songs of glory.
I notice that the songs that we sing on this Sunday.
Often times are in my mind during the week and so what you do is you use the Bible you use a hymnal. I love to be able to just look into the face of God and say Jesus the very thought of the with sweet spills my breast but sweeter fire thy face to see, and in thy presence, rest, what you are doing is reminding yourself of God you're reminding him yes on yourself actually of his attributes, but you're also reminding yourself of his relationship with you in your building that relationship.
This is a relationship that is going to be built in confidence and so you come into God's presence and you do that. Third, choose to assure yourself choose to assure yourself.
By that I mean there's some of you who really aren't willing to let God love you because you know right well that you are so unlovable that he really should is not true of all of there anyone here not shaking his head affirmatively and I'm all alone up here but the better we know ourselves the more likely we are to say God you really shouldn't love me and we all agree that NaturallySpeaking he shouldn't good news is he does eat does love you and you are the object of his affection and your number one on his list of things to take care of in this befuddled universe.
Indeed, the very hair of your head is numbered and as I look over the congregation today. I can see that for some of you that might not be a big deal. You might have your own hair numbered and some of us are getting that way. Imagine the particular interest that God takes that not even a sparrow falls to the ground but that the heavenly father notices it and sees that sparrow both of the ground so there is a time in this praying when you assure yourself. This is a time when you worship God, and you give him glory, because of the fact that he exalts over you with praise that says in the Old Testament, and so you're spending time thinking about what God has said, and his promises in relationship to you that you actually are valuable to God deed that Jesus made the statement. He said that if your heavenly father takes care of the birds of the air there here today in the grasses here today and it's gone tomorrow, will he not much more do so to you. Oh ye of little faith, for you are of more value than any sparrow. God cares, he cares about whom you should marry and he also cares about whom you should not marry and he cares equally. Isn't it better to seek him out.
I think so now we hurry on you choose to assure yourself you choose to ask of God.
Now this is where the requests come in.
The Bible says this very clearly.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Now notice Paul does not give the same promise is Jesus the promises of Jesus have sort of certain conditions certainly and Paul has certain conditions but listen to this again. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving very important because you don't have faith unless you offer thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God and the peace of God which passes all understanding, will keep your heart and mind through Jesus Christ. This has to do with commitment. This has to do with so surrendering our concerns. In fact I'm toying with the idea of breaching an entire message on. This means that we so give ourselves in our situation to God that we no longer fret about it because we see it as completely in God's hand so we do make our requests but we bring those requests and we leave them submitted to the will and the plan of God. We think of Jesus in Gethsemane. Father, if it be that I will let this cup pass from me, but not as I will but it's so make the request you submitted to God. Finally choose to affirm your relationship, you affirm your relationship through taking a verse of Scripture with you throughout the day.
You see when you read I know it is often said, you know that a chapter a day keeps the devil.
Well, not really. Not if you Remember what you read. The moment you finish reading it. What you do is you read it to look for a promise to look for an affirmation and so that actually is put into your mind for the rest of the day and you savor it for the rest of the day. That's the that's the verse that's the promise that you camp on and when this time is over. You leave I say on good terms with God.
By that I mean you leave in such a way that you say father you know I have to go to work. I have to catch the L you know I have to go to the bank or the office or the hospital or whatever and so just know though that I'm not breaking fellowship with you were going to keep in touch all day. That's the way you begin to seek God.
So how much time does it take what I'm not going to tell you how much time it's going to take because if I gave you a time. It would be one more legalistic thing to do to fill your half-hour or your 20 minutes or whatever let you and God to figure that out. You ask God how much time should this take. It is amazing how a heavenly father can sometimes convey his will to a child who is willing to listen and to respond. Now here's what you do you take this ex-wife separate from the bulletin don't put it on your refrigerator unless you pray an awful lot before he opened the door and that might not be entirely bad. This is for your reading room. This is for the wall where you pray this might go into your Bible.
If this is what you need. Each time as you begin, that might be a good place for it. But one thing is sure this is considered very important as a guide and it is only a guide. Sometimes these steps might be interspersed.
They might be different but here is your guy and it'll introduce you to seeking God because remember what the Bible says he rewards those who really do seek him out takes time, take surrender can be painful, but there's no way to compare the reward. Bottom line, no incomes before asking no incomes before asking this is life eternal, that they might know they the only true God, then Jesus Christ to thou hast sent no incomes before asking, and God's will, comes before our will. That is essential God's will, comes before hours whole shift in the purpose of prayer you still pastor Luther you know this message has just blown right past me because I don't think I even know God well enough you know to suddenly show up and say here I am and now I'm supposed to submit an and I you know how you even connect with a God like that. I mean, what's the first step how to get injured. Well, so glad you asked. Once again you're really thinking. Thank you, thank you so much for your thoughts. Here's a verse says in the book of Hebrews that we have boldness to enter into the most holy place that was known in the Old Testament is the holy of holies we have boldness to enter into the most holy Place by the blood of Jesus. That's the way you get to God.
You acknowledge your sinfulness, you realize that you need redemption and forgiveness and Jesus Christ. Blood was shed specifically for the purpose to take away the sin of sinners and I know that on that point. You are eminently qualified. Whoever you are, because were all in the same boat when it comes to sin. Born with it, but that's the way you come you, I say I come through the blood of Christ, I come to be forgiven. I come to be cleansed.
I come to agree with God and then you begin your journey of knowing him and you look back in a year's time and I think I can say this is true of me.
This is little dangerous to say that I really do believe that I know God better this year than I did last.
I certainly want to know God better in a years time that I do now. Think of this, not the wise man boast in his wisdom, but not the mighty man boast of his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches but he who boasts, let him boast in this study know me and understand of me, for I execute loving kindness judgment and righteousness on the earth. When these things I delight, says the Lord. Jeremiah chapter 9. Let us be people whose joy is God, and let us pray father. This congregation of Moody church with all of its abilities and gifts and diversity.
May we move together as one person coming to know you better. We ask the Lord God, that you might use this message as a beginning point for us to to be taught how to CQ your word assures us that if we seek we find in your word. Also, Lord gives us the assurance that you reward those who seek you out. Make it our passion and may we be able to say with sincerity, knowing you, Jesus knowing you. There is no greater thing you're my all. You're the best you're my joy, my righteousness and I love you Lord pray in Jesus name. This is pastor of the two have to ask you, are you blessed as a result of the ministry of running to win. Are there times when you hear a message and you say I wish that could have heard it. I want to thank the many of you who support this ministry so that we can continue to speak to thousands upon thousands of people every single day.
As a result of running to win. Would you consider helping us.
Here's what you can do to become an endurance partner you can go to RTW offer.com. Of course, RTW offers all one word RTW offer.com and when you're there, click on the endurance partner button it'll give you the info you need to become one of our endurance partners or if you prefer you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 I'm going to be giving you that contact info again because we believe it is so crucial that we give you the opportunity to hold our hands and to say we are partners together and sharing God's word. Here's what you can do. Go to RTW offer.com RTW offer.com. Click on the endurance partner button or if you prefer, call us at 1-888-218-9337. Let me give you that phone number again 1-888-218-9337 it's time once again for you to ask pastor looks her question about the Bible or the Christian life. Today's question comes from Ted in North Carolina. I believe it's a question many people would like the answer to your rights. There are some passages in the Bible but seem to teach that we can be physically healed through faith. Yet we see very few genuine healings today. How do you account for this. Well Ted I want you to know that indeed that is a question as Dave mentioned that many people ask the bottom line is this, there is no promise in the Bible that we can be healed physically when ever we want to be old is true that when Jesus died on the cross that death included us body soul and spirit, but we will not have the privilege of entering into our inheritance fully until the day of resurrection. In fact, Jesus died to abolish death and yet we die even faith healers die so we need to understand that sometimes those promises that are referred to are misapplied and misunderstood now.
Secondly, the question of why we don't find a whole lot of healings today. It is true that that in certain periods of biblical history. God did many miracles under other times when there were fewer, but here's my question to you Ted, can you and I go on trusting God, even if he doesn't heal you. Member Shadrach me shack and the Bendigo. Our Lord is able to deliver us from the furnace, but if he doesn't we will continue to trust him before Dr. James Montgomery Boyce died he gave a marvelous speech to his church.
He said if the Lord wants to heal me. He could heal me.
Sure, go ahead and pray for my healing. But he says I'd not seen a lot of healings in my life. But he says I'm dying. Trusting God and trusting his providence that kind of faith honors the Lord our God, thank you Dr. Luther if you'd like to hear your questions answered. Go to RTW offer.com and click on ask pastor lutes or or you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337.
You can write to us at running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 our nation seems to be heading toward more government control and less freedom. So what should Christians do when things are bad and getting worse. Next time I'm going to win a minor prophet named Habakkuk takes aim at the world, not unlike our own. Don't miss how to handle those times when the answer is disaster for Dr. Erwin lutes or this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the teacher