LIVING IN PURSUIT OF GOD IS LIVING ETERNAL NOW

Do you want to live in pursuit of God, or do you want to die not knowing God?”

In the beginning God created people to enjoy a relationship with Him, to rule over all creation, and to reflect and multiply His glory to the ends of the earth.

We know how devastating were the consequences of man’s sin, leading to the destruction of all mankind save eight people with Noah’s Flood.

We also know the enormous cost God, the Trinity, was prepared to make, to provide us with an opportunity to get back into a right relationship with our heavenly Father.

We all have sinned against God and we all deserve judgement for our sin. The only way any one of us can come before God is by trusting in the sacrifice of Jesus for our sin. That’s how a relationship with God begins. Fortunately, a relationship with God begins not with our pursuit of God, but with His pursuit of us. The God who pursued you out of love in the past has not stopped pursuing you out of love today.

God saves His people so that they might “seek His face in worship.” Remember we enter His gates with thanksgiving, we enter His courts with praise but we enter His presence with worship.

Many Christians struggle to pray because they don’t understand how their prayers fit with the purposes of a sovereign God.

Does prayer change God’s mind? And does prayer change anything, for that matter? If God is sovereign, if God’s in control of all things, and all of God’s promises will come to pass, then why pray?

To answer that question, one must know four things about God:

  1. The perfections of God are unchanging;
  2. The purposes of God are unchanging;
  3. God’s promises are unchanging,
  4. The plans of God are unfolding.

Image result for pictures of prayer verses

God has designed prayer to be a powerful means by which we participate in His plans in the world. God brings about a remarkable change in the world in response to the prayers of His people. When we pray, God acts. Read Exodus 8:13, “God did according to the word of Moses.” Read that again. What a testimony to prayer. Prayer is an invitation to join with God in effectively shaping the course of history. God has called you and me not to watch history, but to shape history for the glory of His great name. That should change the way you pray.

All of us have an assignment from God, but unless we pray, we may never know what it is, none of us can be who God has called us to be without prayer. This is the way it’s designed to be, it’s a massive moment when we realise we can’t do anything worthwhile without God’s help. This will drive us to pray.

When we fail to pray, we essentially say we’re content with a little knowledge of God’s glory. Reality is, we can’t help but become like what we behold.

Because God is holy, we must approach Him with a humble and contrite heart. Sin is no small thing in the sight of a Holy God, The propensity to sin is strong, and the Bible reveals that the punishment for sin is severe. For the severity of how God’s punishes sin, just look at the history of God’s nation Israel.

Our goal in prayer must be to know, love, and enjoy God,. Only then will it satisfy. Prayer will not be very satisfying if you just want things, prayer is the pursuit of God, not just His gifts.

As a result of prayer, we will walk away changed by God, We will come to know Him better as we experience His answers to our prayers. God wants to bless us, He wants to bless His people, He invites us to experience His blessing through prayer.

 

ROLE OF PRAYER IN MIRACULOUS HEALING

A new report from a peer-reviewed medical journal has put an end to the age-old debate: prayer really does work.

At just one week old, a baby boy was rushed to the hospital. He was vomiting forcefully and struggling to properly digest formula. Before long, doctors diagnosed him with gastroparesis, a rare disease in which the stomach cannot correctly empty itself of its contents.

Photo by Afar Ahmed/Unsplash

Surgeons performed on the baby both a pyloromyotomy, which loosens tightened muscles causing a blockage between the stomach and small intestine, and a jejunostomy, the creation of an opening through the skin at the front of the abdomen for a feeding tube.

He went on to live a relatively normal life, even playing sports.

The boy grew up in a Christian home; he had an active prayer life and participated in church activities every single week. He had safely assumed, though, his disease would just be part of his life — forever.

Things changed when he attended a prayer service

On Nov. 6, 2011, when he was 16 years old, the patient and his family attended a prayer service at a Pentecostal church led by a preacher the case study referred to as a “healing evangelist.”

The evangelist recounted his own miraculous healing after having his intestines severed in a serious accident when a massive truck fell on his abdomen.

While listening to the speaker’s testimony, the teenager recalled his own strange feelings. Here’s how he described his experience:

During the prayer, I felt an electric shock that started from my right shoulder travelling down through my stomach. That was the moment that I knew I had been touched by the Holy Spirit. Since I have been healed of my illness, I have had more energy than ever before, and have thoroughly enjoyed the new adventure of trying all different types of foods. I have entered into the medical field in search to help the sick and needy, and to give back the great care I received as a patient.

In the prior 16 years, the boy was dependent on feeding tubes and could not handle any form of oral feeding. But after that prayer service, everything changed for him.

“His intolerance to oral feedings was completely resolved” after the service, the case study reported.

The boy’s primary care physician described the incredible shift as “difficult to explain” and recommended removing the feeding tubes as long as he was still having no issues after three months.

Even doctors are dumbfounded by his healing

Now 23 years old, the patient’s tubes were taken out and he has had no recurring symptoms since the November 2011 prayer service.

Most interesting, perhaps, is the fact that before the teenager’s miraculous healing, both he and his parents were cessationists, meaning, while they believe God performed miracles in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, they were not convinced he did the same in this modern era. It’s safe to say their perspectives have changed.

Though they can’t rule it out completely, doctors just couldn’t chalk the kid’s healing up to the so-called “placebo effect,” which was defined in the study as “the physical change that occurs as a result of what we believe a pill or a procedure will do.”

“The complete resolution of severe gastroparesis symptoms (i.e., dependence on feeding tubes) is not known to spontaneously occur, and studies of placebos have shown only partial resolution of symptoms at best,” the study’s authors explained.

This case study has left a lot of questions unanswered. It’s even presented new questions. But it has made one thing clear: prayer really does work.

“A noteworthy observation,” the researchers explained, “is that studies showing positive effects of prayer have typically involved intercessors who either professed … being ‘born again’ Christians (with a commitment to daily devotional prayer and active fellowship with their local church) or … faith in healing.”

ANOTHER POWERFUL ANSWER TO PRAYER – AB2943

California’s controversial AB 2943 has been withdrawn by its author, Assembly member Evan Low.

This is an answer to much prayer. The consequences of this Bill becoming law would have been catastrophic for Christian leaders as I pointed out in recent posts, particularly the post that included this video of Dr Michael Brown addressing the issues raised by Senator Ricardo Lara in support of the Bill.

Assembly Bill 2943 would have made it illegal to sell any service intended to change an individual’s sexuality or gender identity.

“I knew this was an emotionally charged issue, so I spent the past few months traveling up and down the state meeting with a wide variety of faith leaders,” Low said in a statement released on his website. “I was heartened by the conversations.”

Luis Javier Ruiz, a survivor of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando in June 2016 and a former member of the LGBT community, has served as a staunch opponent of AB2943 in recent months.

“This allows people to become aware that change is possible,” says Ruiz, now a spirit-filled Christian. “All the false narratives about conversion therapy camps and their horror stories are not who we are. For me, nothing was forced. I can speak for many that it was a love story. It has allowed our voices to be heard and prayers to be answered. It’s time to come out of silence for what we believe in. We know that the battle is already won.

“I just want to thank Evan Low. We are praying for him and we know how big of an impact this will have and the backlash he might get. We want him to know that we are by his side on this.”

Bethel Church in Redding, California, released this statement, praising Low for his change of heart:

“We are grateful for Assemblyman Low’s courage and humility in his willingness to dialogue with California pastors and once-gay people these past months. He took time to hear how AB2943 would impact people of faith and particularly once-gay people, and has shown commitment to creating opportunities for further dialogue.”

After meeting personally with pastors, professional counsellors, and former homosexuals who lead ministries to others in the LGBT community, Low decided to continue the dialogue beyond this legislative session.