Fresh Bread....One Word
It's almost 11:00 PM here in where I live. I should be sleeping as I have to work tomorrow like most folks. But you know, sometimes, God just won't wait.
When a king would deliver a message by one of His servants, the messenger was of little consequence, he simply went in obedience and delivered what the King had to say, either in writing or by speaking what the king said. The value of what was spoken was not ascribed to the messenger. Most of the time, the messenger was not even thanked for his obedience.
It's no different in the kingdom of God. As messengers, what we have to say means nothing, unless it is given to us to speak by God. When you stop and think about it, as messengers, we should not speak, unless God has spoken it to us, and has directed us to speak it.
As a messenger of God, it is with this heart and an awesome heart of worship that I joyfully come and share with you what God has been speaking to me to share with whosoeverwill.
Now, I know whose company I'm in here. I know there are probably those here who when they read this, will wonder why it's taken me so long to catch on to this. But for the sake of someone who maybe has not yet seen what I'm about to deliver, will you suffer me the place and time to edify their spirit as God has edified mine? Thank you in love.
Words are the most power spiritual tools that exist in the world as we know it, as we understand it. All words have spiritual impact on the hearer. Song lyrics, Gospel or not, have spiritual connections beyond our understanding, yet we have all experienced the truth and understanding of this fact for ourselves.
We can be flying one minute, and one harsh word can send our hearts tumbling down the mountain side in pain and agony. In the same way one word can take an old worn out tired spirit like mine, and change it forever. I have been forever changed by one word. That is why I'm writing to you, and it cannot wait for sleep.
Many years ago, I discovered the meaning of Grace, unmerited favor. It changed my life. It changed the way I read scripture. I even went so far as to say that it would be nice to issue a new version of the bible and everywhere grace was used and meant unmerited favor, that it would read unmerited favor and not the word grace.
Then God showed me that the word "baptism" is also a euphemistic term. It's one word definition is immerse or immersion. Somehow, to me, immersion means more to my spirit, has greater impact of meaning, than the word baptism. So now I need Rev 1 of the new bible version. Everywhere it says baptism, I'd write immersion, and so on.
Now I've come to a place where I have discovered an old word that can easily be replaced by its meaning and change lives, mine and yours. The old word is like baptism to me. The new word is bread and life to me. It has turned my spiritual world upside down. I will never be the same. If you will suffer me just a few minutes of your time, you may not be the same either.
This may take me a couple posts to get through it, so please stay with me. I'm just overflowing. I've been in a sustained state of worship since God has shown me this. I'll never be the same, nor do I ever want to be as before. God help me.
In modern church, prayer is quite common, literally, and figuratively. We pray before events. We pray over our food. We pray for the sick and infirmed. We pray for the salvation of others. We pray about an infinite variety of things and people with as many needs as there are people. That's good. Occasionally, we meet someone and when we hear them pray, we can sense the anointing on their life and the words that seem to flow from them so easily. It sometimes even causes a groan in our spirit. It is good. Other times, prayer seems to be more ritualistic, more religious. We often times repeat what we heard others say or write. That's not bad in itself, but does it touch God, and does it touch me and those around me? Maybe, .....maybe not. Why is that?
I'm told that most Christians average about 6 seconds in prayer each day. You may be an exception, and lets be generous and expand that 10 times and give it a minute. I'm also told that most pastors pray about 6 minutes per day. Now I don't know how much time you actually pray, and it's really none of my business, I don't even want to know. But it is important to you, your family, and your ministry. So please, let's take this just a litter farther, and I promise, if you have stayed with me this far, press on with me just a bit farther, and you just might catch fire as you go with me here.
We know from reading God's Word that the disciples of Jesus were being taught by Him one day and they asked Him to teach them how to pray. Most novice bible reader recognizes this leading takes us into the reply of Jesus and He gave them what we have come to call "the Our Father". But until just in the last few days, I had not taken a look at the Word "pray". It's a simple word. I think the Hebrew is "paga". What does it mean?
Well it means "meet". See, what the disciples were really asking Jesus was this, "Lord, teach us to meet with God." Oh Lord. For some reason, at least to me, "meet with God" has so much more impact on my spirit than the word "pray". Yes, I now need Rev 2 of the Onesimus Bible. This revised version will have the previous mentioned changes, with this new one. Everywhere the Bible says "pray", I'd like to change it to "meet with God". Now the term "pray", has a whole new impact on my life. It used to mean "get in the spirit and speak to God". Now, it simply means, meet with God. Simply Means????? I'll never be the same. I hope you won't either. Selah. Jesus told His disciples, "when you meet with God, this is how you speak to Him". The understood thing here is that they would meet with Him. But wait, there's more............
See, to pray, is to meet with God. When you call for a "prayer meeting", what you are really saying is "lets get together and meet with God". But since our hearts and experience have associated prayer with ritual and lifeless meaning, when we call for a prayer meeting, few if any show up. If fact, if the Pastor wasnt paid to be there, he probably wouldnt show up either. Some pastors don't. They pass the "blessing" along to someone else. The concept of prayer is all but dead, going through the motions of lifeless words to a throne with thick, stone doors. Is this because God is not there? Or is it because we don't really understand the meaning of prayer?
The Bible tells us that Jesus was ever leaving the others and going to be alone to pray. He was going to be alone, to meet with the Father. He plainly tells us this is so, and why He did what He did. He said, I do not say or do anything, unless my Father tells me. Where did the Father tell Him? When He would slip away alone to pray, to "meet" with the Father. Oh, my Lord, I do hope you are beginning to catch this.
The Puritans and Quakers and early evangelicals of our nation would sometimes erect buildings for the saints to meet in. They were not called "churches". They were called meeting houses. Sadly, many of them only understood this as a place for them to meet with each other, not with God. The real purpose of our "churches", our "sanctuaries" should be to meet with God. God wants to meet with us!!!!!!! God....who created us and the heavens and the earth, wants to meet with us, not just in the meeting house, but any and everywhere. We go to the meeting house to meet with each other. We go to be entertained, and often God is left to sit by the wayside, while man takes center stage. We are men meeting with men, instead of men meeting to meet with God. Huge difference.
The bible says "draw nigh unto God, and God will draw nigh unto us". I don't think I'm changing the Word one bit when I tell you that you could better say this as "come near God to meet with Him, and He will come near us to meet with us. Alleluia!!!!
Paul told us to "pray without ceasing". I'm sure you have wondered about that as I have. "How can you pray without ceasing"? Does this mean that you live as the monks do and walk through stone buildings with stained glass windows all day long singing latin chants? Maybe. But if this is so, Paul has giving us a challenge that is impractical to say the least. But if you change how that is written to "meet with God without ceasing", then it takes on a whole new light. God is everywhere, and God is in me. I can meet with God wherever I am. The problem is not with God. The problem is with me. I simply have not seen until now, the revelation of this truth, to pray is to meet with God.
For example, lets say that God gets on Fox news and tells Shepherd Smith that He wants to meet with anyone who wants to meet with Him. He will be in the Rose Bowl next Saturday at 10 am on the 50 yard line. All are welcome. Lets say that God opened every ear to hear this announcement, and gave them faith to believe it was God and this opportunity was open to all. What do you think would happen?
People would jam the phone lines trying to get a plane ticket into L.A. The interstates would be clogged well back into Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon, with people trying to get into L.A. People would abandon their cars and try to run alongside the interstates, hoping to somehow make it and get in to personally get a glimpse of God, much less speak with Him. There would nothing else on TV but news media covering this unprecedented event. Oh to just get to the Rose Bowl, much less get inside. I'm sure your minds can entertain this thought to even greater depth. But you get the picture. It's a meeting with God.
Saints, by the blood of Jesus, this opportunity is open to us 24/7. We get front row seating!!!. God is waiting, even at this very moment!!!! He wants to meet with us, right now, yes now! Yes, I know David Letterman is on now, but God wants and invites us to meet with Him. THIS IS WHAT PRAYER IS ALL ABOUT!!!!! To pray, is to meet with God. It's not just empty religious rhetoric. It's intimate personal time with God, and God with us. We share with Him, He shares with us. We can meet with God anywhere, at any time. He is not limited to places. He lives at our place, in our house, our very body. That means we don't have to go anywhere. If we do go somewhere, He goes with us. So He is always here, and always ready to meet with us. Why is it, we spend so little time meeting with Him?
I believe in part that it is because the impact of the meaning of this one word "pray" is not at all understood by the body, nor by the leadership. Praying is simply meeting with God. Involving God in all we say and do. Yes it can be formal, but it can also be as simple as two lovers holding hands and just being together. Paul was not speaking of religious ritual when he told the Thessalonians to pray without ceasing. He meant for us to continually meet with God, be with God, talk to God, and shut up and let God talk to us. Oh my, how He longs to do that. How much? Well, He created us for that purpose. When we lost this privilege, He sent His Son to die in our place so we could once again meet with Him in the Holy of Holies, our very own personal temple, His dwelling place. Isnt it totally amazing then, that we spend so little time in prayer, and rarely a prayer meeting sparks any passionate interest in our hearts?
We have just not understood, that God wants us to meet with Him. We are Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God!!!!!! How can we re-present His kingdom, if we never speak to Him, never meet with Him, never give Him opportunity to speak with us? Is it any wonder that most of what we do, in church and out are dead lifeless works? Why? We simply do not take the time, to meet with God. We are left to ourselves, our wisdom, our folly, our foolishness, to what seems good, but it's end is no fruit that remains. Brothers and sisters, it's not God's fault. God has not shut up heaven, we simply don't take time to meet with Him.
I believe, that if we begin to cross out the words prayer and pray from our bibles, and write in "meet" and "meeting", our lives and His Word will take on a whole new fire. We could be drawn into the Spirit so much, that prayer would no longer be a burden, but a glorious privilege. We would be anxious about every minute we could steal away, to be with God, to meet with God, and best yet, for God to meet with us. Selah, Selah, Selah.
I could preach a week on this. But it's past midnight and I do have to get some sleep. But I just could not let this fresh bread get cold in my heart without first offering it to you. I hope you will take these few lines, and let God begin to minister a whole new dimension in your life, and His love for each of us, and the privilege that is afforded to us to pray, to meet with God, and God meet with us. Alleluia!!!!! Am I the only one here? If so, why hasn't someone mentioned it long before now so that I could enjoy this privilege. If I'm not the only one, will you join with me and worship and glorify God? Will you open your bibles with a whole new fire, and enrich the meaning of a simple word and let it turn your world upside down as it has mine? Every time you see or hear the word pray, or prayer, think meet, or meeting...with God. There is no greater privilege known to man, and yet we who pride ourselves as being His children only spend 1 minute a day in real meaningful prayer, and that with us doing 100% of the talking. How sad is that. Repent with me as I repent. Open your hearts with me as I have unto God, and let us enter into the Holy of Holies....and meet with God. God will meet with us. We will never be the same. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness
..To God be the glory, now and forever amen.