Category Archives: Intimacy with Christ

Confidently Yours, Me

How’s your prayer life?

Could it use some tweaking?

Some CPR?

Perhaps some believing?

Consider Professor Torrey’s key insight that could transform your prayer life and give you confidence with God whose promises to you never, ever, fail.

If we listen to all God’s commands to us, He will listen to all our requests of Him. If, on the other hand, we ignore His instructions, He will likely ignore our prayers. We find here the secret of much unanswered prayer. We are not listening to God’s Word, and therefore He is not listening to our petitions.

I was once speaking to a woman who had been a professed Christian but had given it all up. I asked her why she was not still a Christian. She replied she did not believe the Bible and said, “I have tried its promises and found them untrue.”

“Which promises?”

“Does it not say in the Bible, ‘Whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith’?” she asked me (Matt. 21:22).

“It says something nearly like that.”

“Well, I asked fully expecting to get and did not receive, so the promise failed.”

“Was the promise made to you?”

“Certainly, it is made to all Christians, is it not?”

“No, God carefully defines whose believing prayers He agrees to answer.” I then turned her to 1 John 3:22 and read the description of those whose prayers had power with God.

“Were you keeping His commandments,” I asked, “and doing those things pleasing in His sight?”

She frankly confessed that she was not, and she soon came to see that the real difficulty was not with God’s promises, but with herself.

That is the difficulty with many unanswered prayers today: the one who makes the request is not obedient. If we want power in prayer, we must be earnest students of His Word to find out His will, and then having found it, do it. One act of disobedience not confessed on our part will shut the ear of God against many petitions.

R.A. Torrey, How To Pray (1900)

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Glossalalia

For those who come down on the side of cessation, meaning the miraculous gifts – particularly (for this post) the gifts of praying or speaking in tongues – died with the last apostle, they might want to reconsider using the example of our Lord not speaking in a heavenly language. Sorry, but He did. He even said He did.*

The Rabbi from Heaven said “I do not come using My own words, but the Words of My Father Who is in heaven.” He declared that He never said anything unless the Father told Him what words to use.

Such was the revolutionary impact of this aspect of Jesus’ ministry that when He spoke, the people marvelled. They were astonished. Blown away. Left scratching their heads.

Who is this Man?

What are these words?

Rabbis in Jesus’ day – and in preceding and succeeding centuries – never spoke truth directly from God the Father. They only quoted from the patriarchs and their ancient rock star priests and respected lineage of famous rabbis. To deviate was heresy, so all church leaders played it safe and, well, predictable.

Their sermons may as well have been in quotation marks because they were deaf and dumb to what God was saying and wouldn’t know an original thought if one hit them in the mouth. So they quoted the old guys. They held to tradition. They stuck to the party line. And the people yawned.

Along comes a dusty-sandaled preacher who expounds to the people,

“You’ve all heard it before, many times over, ad nauseum, but those teachers and priests of the Law do not know the Lawgiver. I know Him. Indeed, I have been sent by I AM to declare these things to you. These are the words of My Father, not My own. If you have ears to hear, then you will understand and find Life everlasting. Those who refuse to hear will only hear gibberish and will die in their sins.”

Did you hear what He just said?

We’ve never heard such language!

He’s a drunk and a glutton! He spends his time with publicans and sinners! It’s just slurred speech from wine and spirits!

But He told me everything about my life!

He just spoke a word and thousands of demons released me! I’m free!

Then he’s working for the devil!

What?!?!

But it wasn’t only Jesus who spoke the words of His Father, His followers could blurt out a phrase of heavenly language here and there on occasion. SCENE: Early First century. Mountain. Northern Galilee. An array of men are gathered with their spiritual Leader. They are standing in the middle of an outdoor temple of pagan gods and the Leader – Who is God enfleshed – quizzes His men: am I one of many gods? Am I an important historical figure? Am I a prophet risen from the dead? Who am I?

Then an unglazed, unfazed, purely lucid Peter moves with an “I’ll take this” bravado.

“YOU ARE THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD.”

Glossalalia.

Jesus breaks into an impossibly large and gleaming smile. I recognize that language, He says to Himself, I speak it all the time.

He blesses Peter for yielding to the God of Heaven and speaking Kingdom truth, previously unlearned. “You didn’t learn those words at your daddy’s knee, Simon. You just spoke the words the Father gave you, from Truth He showed you!”

Then our Lord probably added: “That’s what I’m talkin’ about!” (but only if the Father told Him to say it)

Quoting Kingdom truth from other heroes of the faith is not this glossalalia. This only comes from personally spending time with the Author of our faith, not some best-selling author who’s the hottest name in the Christian market.

Where is the conversation that is fraught with downloaded revelation? But way too often we quote from Chan or Giglio or Beth Moore or Keller or Piper or Murray, Lewis, Calvin, Tozer and Chambers. These servants of the Most High are great and holy and, because we quote them, clearly download(ed) Kingdom truth for themselves…from the Source.

We do a lot of quoting because we have forgotten the words, or are too lazy or prideful to learn them.

I think glossalalia – whichever side you fall down on – has to also be understood in the light of Kingdom Truth learned FIRST-HAND, not acquired through the natural means of our eyes or ears. The mysteries of the Kingdom can only be known spiritually, that is, when it is deposited into a man or woman’s spirit first, not one’s natural mind. There are so many more words! There are many undiscovered-as-yet mysteries! If we think we’ve exhausted the alphabet of the Alpha and Omega, we are deceived!

It is the glory of God to conceal things…but the glory of kings is to search things out.
(Proverbs 25:2)

This requires spending time, not with devotional books and other helps, but with the open Scriptures, an accessible heart and a teachable will. Do this and you’ll be speaking in a heavenly language in no time.

Now, my reader, where have I missed it?
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*John 5:19,20; 14:10
**John 5:38,39

Divine Healing

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In the 17th century, Brother Lawrence, a weak-though-strong monk, sent an ailing friend some healthy advice on what to do with his burden. The good Brother was well-acquainted with suffering; lame in one leg and saddled with illness, the simple, experiential devotional life of this humble monastery cook became an inspiration to many.

His own discovery into the precious joy of the abiding life is found in the small volume, The Practise of the Presence of God, which I vociferously recommend to you. Brother Lawrence’s sage advice to his sick friend includes this:

  • I do not pray that you may be delivered from your pains, but I pray God earnestly that He would give you strength and patience to bear them as long as he pleases…
  • I wish you could convince yourself that God is often (in some sense) nearer to us, and more effectually present with us, in sickness than in health…
  • He often sends diseases of the body to cure those of the soul…
  • I have been often near expiring, but I never was so much satisfied as then. Accordingly, I did not pray for any relief, but I prayed for strength to suffer with courage, humility and love. Ah, how sweet it is to suffer with God!

Brother Lawrence discovered a strength that could re-cast pain as something good. ‘Such prayers,’ he admitted, ‘are a little hard to nature, but most acceptable to God and sweet to those who love Him… I beseech you; comfort yourself with Him, who is the only Physician for our maladies.’

Do you have a sick friend?

These trustworthy words might do them some bit of good in this their hour of opportunity.

I actually post this while my body is battling infection, and I look to my Rapha with joy, and praise God for my “exhaustless Savior” (just read today) who is always nigh.

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