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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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PRAYING ACCORDING TO HIS WILL

14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of him. (1 John 5:14-15 ESV)

If you have put all of your trust in Jesus, you are a son or daughter of God. In Christ, we have confidence when we come into the presence of God. We know that God will hear our prayers. Notice, however, the qualifying phrase – “if we ask anything according to his will”. In other words, if we pray according to God’s Will, He will hear us and grant our petitions.

This is wonderful news but how do we know God’s Will? We must read the Scriptures and pray for wisdom. Prayer is not just a verbal recital of your wish list. Prayer requires two-way communication. You are not speaking to empty air; the God of the universe is listening to you and He wants you to listen to Him.

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THE EXCELLENCE OF HIS MIGHT

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. (2 Peter 1:3-4 ESV)

Sometimes a Christian will surprise me when it becomes evident that he or she has no true understanding of the great power of God. In the life of such Christians (if they are Christians at all), God is used primarily like a 911 call. Maybe they do not put it into words, but their attitudes reflect the belief that God doesn’t involve Himself in day to day life. Note, in the verse above, that by this power He has given us all we need concerning life and godliness. This is accomplished daily by His grace and the work of the Holy Spirit.

The knowledge of God is eternal life. (John 17:3 ESV) The Christian should desire, above everything else, to know God through Jesus Christ. If we glory in anything, let us glory in understanding and knowing God. (Jeremiah 9:23) He called us into His kingdom to become “partakers of the divine nature”.

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KNOWING GOD

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2 ESV)

FindingDoingWillOfGodA primary desire of every Christian should be to know God and His Will. Without this knowledge it is impossible to live a holy life. Nevertheless, too few of us actually give the attention we should to knowing God intimately. Many tend to rely on some ethereal feeling as a reliable indicator of God’s Will, but bumps and chills running down the back of your neck and arms are a poor substitute for the Word of God.

The true knowledge of God transforms us into the image of Christ. We must discipline our minds to read, study, meditate on, and pray for our understanding of the Word of God. God has called us to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever. How are we to do this without knowing Him?

A HUMBLE DESIRE

Charles H. SpurgeonCharles H. Spurgeon:

“A humble desire is one which leaves everything in God’s hands. The man who has it, says, ‘Now, though I desire this, it may be it is not a right desire. Lord, I desire only to desire what I ought to desire! My desire is that Your desire should be written on my heart, that I may desire what You desire.’ Your will be done in my soul, in my body, in my circumstances and in me, in all respects.” (1894, Sermon #2342)

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