A Believer Has the Power of Prayer, NOT Control
This is the continuation of a series of Podcasts started in Episode #585.
Believers are given the power of prayer, but not control. God alone is on the throne. What a work of surrender it is to relinquish our desire for control!
(Martha) You going to February 7th? Oh good! Rebekah read this, quoted this to me this morning and I really begged her to find it in Oswald Chambers.
(Rebekah) It’s the February 7th, “The Discipline of Dejection” (My Utmost for His Highest) and the framing of it is the disciples. “But we trusted…and beside all this, today is the third day…” (Luke 24:21). Basically they were all together going, “Well, it’s three days. Where is He?” So Oswald says, that “Every fact the disciples stated was right; but the inferences they drew from those facts were wrong.” They were in their thinking, their own thinking. And they were wrong. And he says, “Anything that savors of dejection spiritually is always wrong. If oppression and depression visit me, I am to blame; God is not, nor is anyone else. Dejection springs from one of two sources—I have either satisfied a lust or I have not. Spiritual lust makes me demand an answer from God, instead of seeking God Who gives the answer.” And he has “God Who gives the answer” capitalized, meaning another one of His names. “What have I been trusting God would do? And today – the immediate present – is the third day and He has not done it; therefore I imagine I am justified in being dejected and blaming Him.” And he says, he reminds us as he often does, that “The meaning of prayer is that we get hold of God, not of the answer.”
(John) Oooo, that’s beautiful. Hmm.
(Martha) We’ve been somewhat lately on the issue of thanksgiving. And we’ve talked about it and I got back into Merlin Carothers’ book, Prison to Praise. But what I saw in it was not so much about the effects of praising God, though that was there. It was answered prayer. What he practiced and what he taught the soldiers under him was that prayer is answered. And so he had them thank God for bad situations and pray. It was much more about answered prayer than it was about even giving thanks. Giving thanks was the beginning of it but they saw amazing answers to prayer after saying “Thank You” and then going to ask God to solve things. It’s just I’m seeing how very much anxiety and resistance are because we have no control. So the issue is not what we’re anxious about; the issue is we want control. And the, it’s a huge issue in every born-again believer to relinquish control over everything. And that’s what God wants us to do. To depend on Him and have no control, no desire for control, no delusions that we have any control. But to ask Him and He will have the control we want to happen, but it will be Him who does it and not me. And therefore no one will glory in His presence but Him. He did it all. We can say, we can’t say, “I did it. I changed that person. I saved that person. I helped that person.” We can’t say that. Ever. It is God or nothing. And so the whole of His life, the ways of God are to bring us to the place of surrender to His sovereignty. And it’s a wonderful place to be. And the other thing is that if our, if our role in Christianity, in life and with each other, if our role is prayer, then He gives, it’s like He gives the prayer that we’re to pray. Romans 8 says, “We don’t know how to pray as we should.” We don’t. But the Holy Spirit intervenes with the prayer that comes from God. And so prayer is, the prayer is given to us. To pray what God wants to be done. He can give us the prayer from the Holy Spirit to do it. And many times I will end up in a scripture prayer or in a promise to pray.
(Rebekah) God’s deliverance, I don’t know if it’s every time I, but often, requires some obedience on our part before He will move. It requires an obedience on our part. He gives a command and until we are obedient to His command He does not move. He waits.
(Martha) Yeah. Even if He’s absolutely sovereign, very much depends on us to cooperate with that.
(Rebekah) Even in this. “Adonai will do battle for you, but you’ve got to calm yourselves down. And then you’re gonna have to walk into the sea.” And then He’ll save you.
(Martha) Wow. Good point, Rebekah.
(Rebekah) They had, I mean, they had to be obedient and walk into the parted sea and trust that…
(Martha) …they wouldn’t fall in. They wouldn’t drown. Good point.
(Rebekah) To bring it back to your point, I guess the way you could bring it full circle is He waits for us to stop resisting and to accept.
(Martha) I was just about to talk about acceptance and how crucial it is to accept a situation. To accept… I’ve had, I’ve had a terrific injustice recently. And I know, and I know that there are things going on that are lies and I have to say and do nothing. I have to not resist whatever anybody could do, say, damage. There’s absolutely nothing I should do but give it all to God. So it’s going to be interesting to see how it plays out. And forgive! I have to forgive. But there’s, I’m totally powerless in the situation. And I have to do the work of accepting that or I’m resisting the evil men do to me. And so I’ve chosen it and I’ve prayed it and I’m at great peace. It’s not my problem. It’s God’s problem. I was telling, as we were sharing about this today, I told Rebekah about some years ago, I was doing some speaking in Atlanta. And I felt like the Lord said this phrase, “Everything on earth is exactly as it should be or God would change it.” And I spoke it in Atlanta and they said, “Is that true?” And I really wanted to say, “I don’t know.” (laughs) I’m, I’m blown away by it too. But I do believe it now. That God is that sovereign. That situations, we think they need to be changed and if God ordains that they are to be changed, they will be. But it’s, He leaves a lot of things to puzzle us, doesn’t He? A lot of things we disapprove of and make us doubt Him, but He is… Everything is in His hands. That’s got to be a rock of security for us. It’s meant to be the rock of our confidence. That He’s in control because there doesn’t seem, no one else— It means no one else has control except Him. It’s not that everything in the world is in order or in the right place, but God will change what needs to be changed sovereignly. He will. A prayer I have for this day and age, for this, these last days and for the revival. The prayer I have is this, and I’ve handed it out to a number of intercessors. “When the enemy comes in like a flood the Lord will raise up the standard against him.” And a pastor friend of mine said, “The comma has to be in the right place. ‘When the enemy comes in – comma – like a flood the Lord will raise up a standard against him.” And the enemy’s coming in this world like, seemingly like a flood, but the flood is the Lord. The sovereign end of it will be what He declares. He, the enemy, also has a boundary of God.
(Rebekah) We talked about Jesus and Judas and how it’s something I struggle with regularly. In my life, the people that I sometimes have to endure, I’d rather not. And somehow God took me to the relationship of Jesus and Judas and there’s no evidence that Jesus was ever affected by the fact that – and He knew! He knew that Judas was going to betray Him. He knew that that was Judas’ role and yet Judas had a position. He was the treasurer, he was responsible for the money. At no point did Jesus indicate any concern about who Judas was, what Judas might do to Him. He spent no energy on it whatsoever because that’s not where God was. And He accepted what God had ordained. So He modeled out for us the way to accept who people are that God puts in our lives. And we spend an awful lot of time, I feel like I spend an awful lot of time and energy worrying about who people are, what they might do to me, how can I protect myself, is this person a good person or a bad person, are they going to hurt me? And it’s right there that Jesus’ example is, “They might. It doesn’t matter.” If they are in your life, if God has ordained for them to be in your life, that’s not where your concern is to be. Your focus has to be on what the Lord has for us.
(Martha) His will is the protection. And in, Jesus never told it, He never exposed him. He never abused him. He never tried to change him. Your point is awesome. The degree of acceptance because it was God’s will. That’s all. He accepted Judas in the context of God’s will and there was no other consideration. I’m sure when He knew that it was Judas, He knew God’s will. And it’s amazing that He didn’t expose him. And nor was He troubled by it apparently.
(Rebekah) There’s no evidence of it anyway.
(Martha) There isn’t. The Scripture doesn’t, leaves it as a matter of complete acceptance.
(John) And then says at the end, you know, “Go do what you have to do.”
(Martha) Yes. Yes, that’s right.
(Rebekah) Other than He, He made it clear to Judas that He knew who Judas was and what he was going to do. But then again, again didn’t try to stop him…
(Martha) No resistance.
(Rebekah) …wasn’t concerned about it, no resistance.
(Martha) Umhmm. The ultimate evil.
(Rebekah) The entire road to Calvary is filled with Jesus’ lack of resistance. I just, I, in every step He’s being falsely accused, He’s being unjustly beaten and mocked and tortured and all manner of… And He doesn’t resist. He doesn’t try to stop it. He doesn’t… And even, I mean, crucifixion was a long and painful way to die. And even in that He gave up His spirit. He did not go through… Because He surrendered, He didn’t go through as much of the, because crucifixion could take, I mean, a much longer time than it took Jesus to die.
(Rebekah) But because He gave up…
(Martha) And that’s why He in me can obey that – “Resist not the men” – but I cannot. It’s not possible for my old man. It’s only possible for the new creation to not resist.
A Believer Has the Power of Prayer, NOT Control – Episode #588 – Shulamite Podcast
“The issue is not what we’re anxious about; the issue is we want control.” Born-again believers are given the power of prayer, but not control. God alone is in control and on the throne. And what a work of surrender it is to relinquish our desire for control!