Joshua and Judges: The doctrine of leadership part 95 - Essential qualities of leadership: The filling of the Spirit; Overcoming the power and influence of Satan; Eph 6:10-18.
length: 64:31 - taught on May, 25 2016
Title: Joshua and Judges: The doctrine of leadership part 95 - Essential qualities of leadership: The filling of the Spirit; Overcoming the power and influence of Satan; EPH 6:10-18.
Announcements / opening prayer:
I want to begin tonight with a quote from Luther that I read this afternoon:
"Discipleship is not limited to what you can comprehend - it must transcend all comprehension. Plunge into the deep waters beyond your own comprehension, and I will help you to comprehend even as I do. Bewilderment is the true comprehension. Not to know where you are going is the true knowledge. My comprehension transcends yours. Thus Abraham went forth from his father and not knowing where he went. He trusted himself to My knowledge, and cared not for his own, and thus he took the right road and came to his journey's end. Behold, that is the way of the cross. You cannot find it yourself, so you must let Me lead you as though you were a blind man. Wherefore it is not you, no man, no living creature, but I Myself, who instruct you by My word and Spirit in the way you should go. Not the work which you choose, not the suffering you devise, but the road which is clean contrary to all that you choose or contrive or desire - that is the road you must take. To that I call you and in that you must be My disciple." [Martin Luther]
Prayer is a vital part of the Christian soldier since it is his constant communication with headquarters and his Commanding Officer.
EPH 6:18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,
All Christian prayer is directed to the Father through the Mediator Jesus Christ and in the power of the Spirit. Only through Christ and the filling of the Spirit can we find the Father in prayer.
It matters little what form of prayer we adopt or how many words we use, what matters is the faith which lays hold on God and touches the will of His heart.
We are privileged to know that He knows our needs before we ask Him. This is what gives Christian prayer its boundless confidence and its joyous certainty.
Genuine prayer is never "good works," an exercise or a pious attitude, but it is always that prayer of a child to a Father.
If God were ignorant of our needs, we should have to think out beforehand how we should tell Him about them, what we should tell Him, and whether we should tell Him or not. Thus faith, which is the mainspring of Christian prayer, excludes all reflection and premeditation.
Just like public prayer can sometimes degenerate into empty noise as those praying can find themselves thinking about how they sound and if the proper words are being said, and therefore turns into self display, so private prayer of the individual can do the same. If I turn myself into a spectator of my own prayer performance, if I am giving a show for my own benefit. If I'm at such a thing, I am listening to my own prayer as a spectator then I am actually the only one answering my prayer. By being very pleased with myself and my prayer performance, I have my reward in full.
MAT 6:5 "And when you pray, you are not to be as the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners, in order to be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
MAT 6:6 "But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will repay you.
Going into your inner room is not just isolating yourself from the public so that you may speak with your Father in secret, but also isolating yourself from yourself, meaning, your old self.
How can I stop my old self from intruding in my innermost chamber? By letting Christ alone reign in your heart, by surrendering you will completely to Him, and by living in fellowship with Him, following Him.
If Christ reigns in your heart then the old man will be securely locked out and the child of God may have an audience with his Father.
MAT 6:7 "And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition, as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.
MAT 6:8 "Therefore do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need, before you ask Him.
We are not to be spectators of our own prayer performance, but understand that the Father knows our needs and that of others.
I don't have to consider how to precisely word things. Pray as a child would to his father.
Also, I am convinced that God will at times answer us immediately as the Spirit puts the solution upon our heart right in the midst of prayer, but this is not always the case.
We must wait for Him to answer us in His own time and way.
The entreaty is to always be ready to pray for personal needs and wisdom and the same for others, especially those who are currently in close combat with the kingdom of darkness.
Prayer is attacked by Satan since he understands that of all the Christians he has attacked, the ones upon whom the attacked failed where those who consistently and alertly prayed.
The profile of the overcomer is well charted by Satan and prayer is one part of that profile.
Some of the distractions to prayer are: not enough time, being distracted with other thoughts, thinking it's useless, unbelief in the fact that God will do what you ask, not knowing God's will, thinking that the more emotional you are the more God listens, thinking that your choice of words is important, not praying in the Spirit but for selfish desires (grieving or quenching the Spirit), not enjoying prayer.
How many Christians enjoy prayer? I think it is few. I think many Christians see prayer as an obligation and a chore to be done and over with.
LUK 5:15 But the news about Him was spreading even farther, and great multitudes were gathering to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses.
LUK 5:16 But He Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.
LUK 6:12 And it was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.
LUK 6:13 And when day came, He called His disciples to Him; and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles: