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"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Matthew 6:5-8
Jesus did not say, “Dream about your Father who is in the secret place,” but He said, “. . . pray to your Father who is in the secret place. . . .” Prayer is an effort of the will. After we have entered our secret place and shut the door, the most difficult thing to do is to pray. We cannot seem to get our minds into good working order, and the first thing we have to fight is wandering thoughts. The great battle in private prayer is overcoming this problem of our idle and wandering thinking. We have to learn to discipline our minds and concentrate on willful, deliberate prayer.
We must have a specially selected place for prayer, but once we get there this plague of wandering thoughts begins, as we begin to think to ourselves, “This needs to be done, and I have to do that today.” Jesus says to “shut your door.” Having a secret stillness before God means deliberately shutting the door on our emotions and remembering Him. God is in secret, and He sees us from “the secret place”— He does not see us as other people do, or as we see ourselves. When we truly live in “the secret place,” it becomes impossible for us to doubt God. We become more sure of Him than of anyone or anything else. Enter into “the secret place,” and you will find that God was right in the middle of your everyday circumstances all the time. Get into the habit of dealing with God about everything. Unless you learn to open the door of your life completely and let God in from your first waking moment of each new day, you will be working on the wrong level throughout the day. But if you will swing the door of your life fully open and “pray to your Father who is in the secret place,” every public thing in your life will be marked with the lasting imprint of the presence of God. ~ Oswald Chambers
your kingdom come, your will be done, Matthew 6:10
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33
how do we seek first the Kingdom of God? how do we see His Kingdom come, His will done?
how do we make this real in our lives?
how do we walk with God?
1/ practice the presence of God
2/ pursue His priorities
3/ pour out for His people
1. practice the presence of God
be God conscious, throughout the day turn your heart and mind towards God. think about Him as often as possible.
2. pursue His priorities
the interesting thing is that often His priorities are different to ours. eg we would choose bitterness and slander over His ways – forgiveness and love
the plans for our lives look like they bring life but they bring death, but the plans God has may look like death but bring life.
HIS ways, HIS will, not our ways and our will. if we want His Kingdom, we need to be prepared, and surrendered to do HIS will.
Matthew 6:33 But seek first HIS kingdom and HIS righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
3. pour out for His people
we dont hide away to walk with God but we live our lives in our real world. we are called to be the light of the world, demonstrating the love and grace and reality of God as the light of a city on a hill can seen from afar.
how do you walk with God in the places you walk the most aka work, home, school???
You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its strength, its quality), how can its saltness be restored? It is not good for anything any longer but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a peck measure, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven. Matthew 5:12-16
"My life is my ministry and my ministry is my life. I am called to live out of my own authentic life in Christ. This speaks volumes as to who I am called to be before Christ and the world.
I am not called to live a transformed life because it looks good on my resume or because it makes a difference in the quality of my preaching/teaching. I am not interested in spiritual transformation because this seems to be the thing to do if I am going to stay current. The point of a transformed life is not to get me somewhere in my work with a church.
The reality? Every man and woman in Christ is called to live out of an authentic life in Christ. This life is my ministry. My ministry is my life. This morning as you are at home with your family, your ministry is already happening. As you go to work, your ministry is already being lived out. Your ministry is happening wherever and whenever you live and are present in another’s life." Your Life Is Your Ministry is a post at the wonderful blog The God Hungry which i read frequently!
i totally believe that as we live our lives we are called to be demonstrations of the love of God to those around us. we are demonstrating His love in the ordinary events of life as well as the extraordinary. ministry can be defined so narrowly – as preaching, or worship leading or something like that, but our whole life is ministry – ministering God’s love and grace to those around us. serving our friends and family and strangers.
practically this can be making a meal for a family with sick kids, or mowing your neighbours lawn because they’ve broken their leg… or because the grass is long. it can be sending a "thinking of you, how you doing?" email to a friend you haven’t seen in a while, or even a smile to the check out chick at the supermarket you shop at. or learning her name. simple things.
“People were Jesus One Thing. And they still are. People who are sick. People who are lonely. People who are wandering, depressed and hopeless. People who have gotten themselves tangled up in suffocating habits and destructive relationships.” Bill Hybels from Just Walk Across The Room
we need to remember that God doesn’t use us on Sunday from 10-12 only. but every day and every moment. with our children. with our workmates. with our families. with our friends. be a demonstration. be a minister. serve God!
Jesus is THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD, but here, he says WE are the light of the world – that we are to shine Him to those around us, unashamed and bright, bold and vibrant.
Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous–with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favour and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the poor in spirit (the humble, who rate themselves insignificant), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!
Blessed and fortunate and happy and spiritually prosperous (in that state in which the born-again child of God enjoys His favour and salvation) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God), for they shall be completely satisfied!
Blessed (happy, enviably fortunate, and spiritually prosperous–possessing the happiness produced by the experience of God’s favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His grace, regardless of their outward conditions) are the pure in heart, for they shall see God! Matthew 5:3, 6
how upside down is that.
blessed are the hungry, the poor, the pure.
in our world we exalt those who have, who are rich, who have prestige, who get the most toys, who are popular, who achieve success. those who are satisfied are those who are esteemed and “have it all.”
but God says those who hunger for Him, those who seek first the Kingdom of God, those who long to see Him, who intentionally pursue Him will find Him.
when you’re hungry you look for food, you look for something to fill the gap and ease the discomfort.
when we’re spiritually hungry we do things to fill that spiritual longing.
in the spiritual realm, only those who are hungry can get fed. One of the worst things that can happen to us is spiritual complacency. Being hungry for the things of God is one of the best things that can happen to us. Most people don’t feel that way. They would rather have the feeling of being full. But Jesus promised us that fullness would follow hunger. No hunger, no fullness. Therefore, what many people hate is actually a sign of spiritual health. Longing for more of God is a healthy sign. No one hungers for God on their own. That is not the nature of man. No man hungers for God unless the Spirit of God is drawing him (Jn. 6:44).
Hungering for God doesn’t cause God to move in our lives, but it is a sign that God is already at work in us. We should praise God for spiritual hunger and be encouraged. He doesn’t make us hungry and then let us starve. He does so in order to fill us with His blessings and love. We need a hunger that will never be satisfied until the marriage supper of the Lamb. youversion note