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Theological, Doctrinal, and Spiritual Musing - and whatever other else is on my mind when I notice that I haven't posted in a while.
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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
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Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Wednesday Prayer Encouragement -II-
When the wayward sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, took the ark of the covenant into battle against the Philistines, they were expecting victory. The Israelites had been slaughtered days earlier - four thousand of their brothers fell in that battle - and they were wondering why it was that the Lord had allowed his enemies to beat them so. The plan? Take the ark of the covenant down into battle with them... In that battle 30,000 Israelites died and the ark was lost to the Philistines - and both Hophni and Phinehas died - establishing God's word to Eli that he had rejected Eli's household...

What does that have to do with prayer?

The ark of the covenant was the gold box that held the physical tablets with the commandments that were associated with the Mosaic covenant. The lid of that box was called the mercy seat; above the cherubim of the mercy seat God's presence was understood to be manifested above the Cherubim.

The mistake the Israelites made was that they thought that God was a tool they could use to make their own will happen. They believed that since the Philistines were God's enemies, they could bring God down, and God would smite them good and proper. They misunderstood much.

You see, they missed the relationship between God's presence and his covenant. They didn't understand that God is present with the covenenant keepers, and absent from those who break his covenant, and because they disregarded God's covenant and sought to use Him as a means to their own ends, they not only didn't benefit, they were sorely rebuked.

There is a spiritual lesson here, and I hope I can articulate it well enough for it to be understood - or at least well enough to give God's spirit something to work with by way of getting you thinking on it. We in the new covenant must act and do all our spiritual endeavors (including prayer) according to the way the covenant works, or God isn't going to be a part of our effort.

The new covenant is not like the old - not a set of rules that we must abide by - it is the trust that God has done in Christ was we could never do - and the turning away from all our own efforts to please God, and resting entirely in the finished work of Christ.

You see, bearing your cross daily doesn't mean dragging a cross around with you all day long - it means that you, Like Christ - begin in the morning - and take your life to Calvary - and spend all day dying there - that is what bearing your cross means - it means the you that is trying to please God must die, and the Christ that is living in you must live.

When you pray, pray according to Christ's worth and not your own. Pray according to Christ's finished work and not your own. Pray as one who understands what the throne of grace is - it is the place where Christ sits at the right hand of God interceding for you. Pray not as a beggar with your hat in your hand hoping that maybe God might do such and such - no, pray boldly in Christ. But don't be as Hophni and Phinehas - don't drag God's promise around and think it is going to do your bidding - that is not the way - no, you need God to help you do His bidding, then the promises will have teeth.

Think on this.


posted by Daniel @ 7:36 AM  
  • At 9:57 AM, August 01, 2007, Blogger Jim said…

    Amen brother, a refreshing drink amidst a sea of compromise...but how hard it is to truly deny ourselves.

    There is no alternative however!

    Grace & Peace!

  • At 2:15 PM, August 02, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    May the Lord indeed change the hearts of your praying readers to be conformed to His will - and not that of our own.

    Thank you for the encouragement and the admonishment. It does not fall on deaf ears.

  • At 3:09 PM, August 05, 2007, Blogger Even So... said…

    Keep swinging the axe, friend...

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