“…rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer…” ~ROM. 12:12
One thing that I have noticed in my own faith walk and processes is that sometimes, when time and patience seem to stretch, and trials seem to mount, my rejoicing has the propensity to draw into silence as I fill my time with distractions…and prayer about my situation goes silent.
Yes, I am still praying about other things, but praying about that purpose or point of passion that burns in my heart but seems oh so far away, I at times grow quite, fatigued. I begin to think, “Well, I’ve prayed enough times about this, and the Lord knows.”
But the problem with this attitude and posture is that when we cease to rejoice in our hope when we lose patience in the process when we grow quite in our pointed prayers, we inadvertently fall out of line with the purpose that God has for us.
We allow the passing of time to push us off course, thusly becoming distracted with things that will not strengthen us for our next level nor prepare our hearts for what is to come. We fall asleep on the battlefield and foolishly think the enemy will not cut us down even in our slumber.
THE SPIRIT IS WILLING…THE FLESH IS WEAK
“Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” ~MATTHEW 26:41
Peter and the other disciples on the night our Lord was betrayed know all about this. Here they were walking with the Lord in the Garden at night and as He prayed, preparing for the trial at hand that would be the birthing place for the Body of Christ, they…slept.
I am going to cut these young men some slack. They had been at a Passover Seder meal and drank several cups of wine during the ceremony after all. They had a reason to be sleepy and so it became easy, at night especially, in a quiet garden to fall asleep when they were supposed to be praying.
What would have been the outcome had the three sons of thunder, Peter, James, and John, prayed instead of sleeping? Would they have scattered? Would Peter have denied knowing the Lord three times, would ears have been cut off?
We will never know, but what we do know is that the Lord used this Passion story to bless us to keep in mind what we are capable of when we pray and what we are not when we don’t.
When we forgo prayer for whatever reason, we are making room for the flesh to overrule the spirit and for our baser inclinations to lead.
Going under pressure without prayer leads to poor behavior.
RECIPE FOR SUCCESS: REJOICE, RENEW, RELEASE!
REJOICE: We are instructed to ‘rejoice in hope’. The Word of God says in Romans 5:5, “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (See ROM 5:1-5)
We have the privilege to rejoice in what we are hoping for in Christ because we have been assured that what He has said He will do and we will not be disappointed.
Our Heavenly Father is faithful to honor His Word and to bring it to pass (ISA. 55:10-11).
What this means is that we need to maintain an attitude of expectation, which will produce joy and rejoicing as a result.
Think about it. When you have scheduled a vacation, or have a date planned with someone special, even if the day of the outing isn’t for a little while, each time you think about it, you tend to get excited and dare I say dance a little with joy and rejoicing.
The promises of God are so much more powerful than this. His Word will accomplish its goal. His promises will be fulfilled!
Rejoice in what He has said to you!
RENEW: In order for us to be patient in our tribulations as we walk through the process is to have our minds continuously renewed.
Romans 12:2, “ And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Our minds are renewed by the washing of His word, meditating on His word, and the Rhema word, He has specifically spoken to our hearts.
When we continuously remind ourselves what the Lord has said, we are able to rest in patience even as we walk through our trials.
To renew is to repeat an action. We need to continue to speak His words over and to ourselves and allow the roots of our faith and expectation to grow deep and strong.
RELEASE: To continue steadfastly in prayer is to continue to come into alignment with what God has spoken to you even as you wait for its manifestation.
When we pray continuously, we are keeping our hearts and minds in tune with His. We are openly expressing our cares and casting them on Him in exchange for His comfort and truth while we wait on Him.
We find a new level of rest when we release our burdens into the able hands of our Savior, and when we know He is actively moving on our behalf through the power of prayer, we are able to reign over our troubles in triumph!
We are made ready to possess the promises we are hoping and waiting for!
~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!