HOPE AND FAITHFULNESS
“I had fainted,
unless I had believed to see the goodness
of the Lord in the land of the living”
The living hope of seeing Him in this life is the source from which faithfulness draws its strength. A living hope is one that produces life within the hearts of those who are held in its grasp. While many hold to a hope after death, a living hope is found in those who are alive in Christ; from its well flows faithfulness and purity of heart (1John 3:3). We see Him in proportion to the purity in which we walk. A living hope facilitates a life of growth and stability. It speaks of holding fast, of feeding others when we are hungry, giving water to others while walking in desert places, of rising up when we are close to fainting and of worshiping Him even when “…the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls.”
Our Faith is revealed in these times. We hold our course and we faint not in a “dry and weary land, where there is no water”. It is in times of loneliness and separation that we are most tempted to yield to despair. These are the times we look to our forefathers who endured great hardships and we see the faithfulness of God meeting them in the “land of the living”.
We read of Moses who endured “as seeing Him who is invisible”; Sarah “receiving strength” to conceive being well past the age of child bearing” because she judged “Him faithful who had promised”. We read of the “endurance of Job and the end of the Lord”. All these things are written for us that we may overcome as they did to the Glory of our God.
“Thou therefore endure hardness,
as a good soldier of Jesus Christ”
“For in Jesus Christ
neither circumcision availeth any thing,
but faith which worketh by love”
The Greek word translated here as “worketh” is best translated “to put forth power, to effect or make effectual and to come to the aid of one”. The fire and power of a prayer is the revelation of the LOVE that births it. Cold and empty prayer is the result of cold and tepid hearts. Prayers without power, prayers without unction and prayers without the energy of heaven are the fruit of a generation that “…err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God”. (Mark 12:24)
Love is the great fire of faith that brings intensity, motive and power to those who live in Him. Our prayers must have the fire of God to ignite the incense into that pleasing aroma that ascends unto the very Throne of God. A Faith that is empowered by LOVE will cause the one praying to send forth FERVENT PRAYERS that accomplish much.
“The effectual fervent prayer
of a righteous man availeth much”
The expression of love is revealed in the common course of life. Men and women who are energized by love will demonstrate that in the prayers and requests offered unto our God. Solomon was faced with a difficult decision as two women were claiming to be the mother of a child. As they stood before him he commanded that the child be divided in half so that each woman would receive a half of the child. The one woman who was not the mother responded with a cold hearted expression while the other (the real mother) pleaded with Solomon to give the child to another in order to spare its life. The pleading of the true mother was fervent and filled with the very emotion of love. It was a love that CARED for the child and was prepared to suffer loss that the child may live. Such is the attitude of those whose prayers are empowered by love. Selfish prayers will avail little but men and women who are gripped by the very love of God pray according to His Will; they are not encumbered with selfish and self-serving prayers. The love of God produces sacrificial expressions that desire His Will regardless of the cost.
“Charity…seeketh not her own”
(1 Corinthians 13:4-5)
Prayers that are birthed from the love of God are not only filled with the fire and the compassion of the Holy Spirit they are also void of self-seeking. Love is not only the goal of the New Testament but it is the only way for the fulfillment of the call of God in every life.
James tells us we ask and we do not receive because…
“Ye ask, and receive not,
because ye ask amiss,
that ye may consume it upon your lusts”
Prayers empowered by the Love of God do not have such issues.
Love is the key to fervent and fiery prayers. Love is the cause and the heart of a life of prayer.
Those who love much pray much.
Effectual Prayers – Part One – Incense
Effectual Prayers Part Two – Love
Effectual Prayers Part Three – Righteousness
Effectual Prayers Part Four – Humility and Repentance
Effectual Prayers Part Five – Wisdom
Effectual Prayers Part Six – Asking Largely
Effectual Prayers – Part Seven – Elisha and Jericho
Effectual Prayers – Part Eight – Ruth and Boaz
Effectual Prayers – Part Nine – Discipleship
Effectual Prayers – Part Ten – Knowing Jesus
Effectual Prayers – Part Eleven – The Fragrance of Prayer
“And Simon answering said unto him, Master,
we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing:
nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net”
True living faith will never be conditioned by experience. Faith, to be faith, must always find its dependence in God not ourselves. Though experience says one thing the cry and purpose of faith must remain undaunted. “Nevertheless” is the word of a man who sets aside his own resources, strengths and abilities and believes God in the moment. This faith must birth a doing in the now. “Nevertheless” is a word that gives way to the doing of a thing regardless of our past experience. It is a word that comes to those who believe, and by that believing there is a response in the now of our life. It is not the “faith” of Mary who said Lord I know “… in that day…” something will happen, for the Christ stands in our midst speaking “I AM the resurrection and the life…”
Let this word “nevertheless” speak to us of better things than what our experience would teach us; for those who listen and regard their experience cease to walk and live by faith. “Today if ye will hear HIS voice…” is the creed by which we must live. Men who don’t do won’t hear. The Word is to those who “have ears to hear” for with every hearing there must be a corresponding act of doing and obeying HIS WORD.
The Spirit of God is HERE to press us beyond our circumstances, our former experiences, and our own resources into the glorious provisions of a God who is constantly calling us to deeper waters, a higher vision and a greater dependency upon HIM. How good is our God! How gracious are HIS ways; the thing we are confronted with is HIS doorway into greater things in HIM!
Faith, to be faith, must always be fresh, living and beating within our hearts. Faith IN a teaching or an idea will eventually become stagnant and dead; the faith of the living Son is active and real! It is never static for it is always moving from one faith into a greater. Every living thing grows and everything static and stagnant remains the same.
“So David went on his way,
and Saul returned to his place”
1 SAMUEL 26:25
Two men; one ever moving on in the WAY of God the other set in ways of stagnancy, disobedience and compromise.
“Belief is truth held in the mind;
faith is fire in the heart”
Joseph Fort Newton (1880–1950)