Sunday, October 22, 2017

From Trouble to Greatness: Need to Partner with God

A ten-year old boy is terrified and deeply troubled when he overhears his mom and dad screaming crude expletives of hate toward each other.  A teenage girl doubts whether she is worth anything after being ridiculed for being fat, ugly, and dumb by her peers.  A business man, who crossed the line in drinking too much, blows an important account and loses his job.  A mother of three is served divorce papers, because her husband is involved with another woman, and now she faces having to provide for and raise the children by herself.  An old man, lonely and distraught in a nursing home feeling like his life was a total failure, is at the mercy of high school dropouts who work there because it was the only job available to them and who have no regard for the needs of the clientele.  What do these people and their situations have in common?

God has called them to "reign as kings in life" (Romans 5:17 AMP).  WHAT?

Yes it is true, everyone has life situations that seem overwhelming and defeating; the last thing we would call them is winning or reigning.   It is so easy to get depressed and feel sorry for ourselves, especially if we compare ourselves to others who seem to "have it made."  However, you are you and not someone else, so the question is "how are you going to face your problems?"

The good news is that God's plan for you hasn't changed, He has a way to rule as kings in your every situation by becoming a partner with God. There are three steps in our partnership with God.  First, God initiates what He wants by declaring it in His Word and having the Holy Spirit stir our hearts to believe it.  Second, we respond in obedience with prayer, fasting, or whatever He has called.  Third, God honors our response by releasing His power in that situation for which we have cried out. 

God will not do our part and we cannot do His part.  If we do not do our part, some of the help and blessing that God would have given us are withheld.  Our part includes making quality decisions to deny ourselves (say no to sin and pride); to feed our spirit on the Word, to ask for Divine help and intervention through prayer and fasting; and to embrace godly activities (service to others) and relationships.  There are many things that God will not give us individually until we pursue them in faith and obedience.

God's part includes releasing supernatural influences on our hearts (power, wisdom, desires); on our bodies (healing, strength); on our circumstances (provision, protection, direction); and on our relationships (favor).  God governs the universe in intimate partnership with His people through intercession. He has chosen to give His people a dynamic role in determining some of our quality of life, based on our response to the grace of God, particularly in prayer, fasting, obedience and meekness.  God opens doors of blessing and closes doors of oppression in response to prayer.  There are blessings that He has chosen to give, but only if His people rise up in the partnership of prayer to ask for them.  James said that we do not have because we do not ask (James 4:2).  Jesus spoke of demons that would not stop tormenting people until driven out by prayer and fasting (Matt. 17:21).  Our prayers matter greatly, even when we do not feel their power.

God has given us the blueprint, His Word.  Prayer causes us to internalize God's Word as we speak His ideas back to Him.  Each time we say back to God what He has declared to us, it marks our spirit, illuminates our mind and tenderizes our heart.  Our character is transformed.  God's requirement that we pray reflects His desire for intimate partnership and connection with us.

In the world we have trouble (Scripture calls them tribulations.), but God says to be of good cheer, He has overcome the world.  He calls us to give all those cares to Him, declare His promises, and walk forward in simple obedience to God and the truth He has given.  Then, the eternal law of sowing and reaping allows Him to multiply our efforts with His response.  God is faithful and will never overlook our labor of love.  The very problems that the enemy meant to destroy us are the same stuff God uses to allow us to partner with Him and reign in life.  You can choose to partner with God and reign as kings.

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