After you pray, by all means stop and listen

After you pray, by all means stop and listen

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I was driving to the next island north of us one day on my way to do a wedding. It’s a perfect time to pray, or in another words “to have a chat with God.” The most exciting thing is when we stop and listen, He shares His heart. You know, praying should never be just one-sided, but so many times that’s the way we do it. Let me share an experience to suggest trying something different.

I remember one day several years ago I climbed Munakata’s Mt. Jou (see above photo of 城山) to pray. In my prayers I looked toward the Shinto shrine that has culturally dominated this city for centuries with the worship of nature’s rocks, trees, seas, and even mountains. I knew the names of the evil spirits that are devoutly worshipped there by the people. I directed my commands to the demons swirling around in the air above me and told them to take this message to the three evil spirits that are worshipped in the shrine . . .  “Let the people go . . . so that they might rightfully worship their Creator, the LORD God.” I yelled at them, commanded them and let ’em know to tell those three evil spirits where to go, and that this land is God Almighty’s, not theirs . . . and that He was the One who had called us to this city to establish Munakata’s Bethel Christian Center.

Afterward, I turned toward the Lord and said, “Okay, God. I’m done. Now I’m going to close my mouth and listen to whatever YOU want to say.” I shut my mouth and listened. What a surprise to almost immediately hear His answer in my thoughts: “They (the demons swirling above) have taken your message.” That was all He said, but it set me to doing a jig and dancing a patch all over the top of that mountain. Yes, those three evil spirits know we are here in the city!

Anyway, while I was driving to the next island that day praying on my way to do the wedding, the Holy Spirit spoke to me some pretty wonderful thoughts. Those thoughts are the crux of this little article.

— Jesus was tempted in every way we are. There is not one temptation, hurt, abuse, sin, or experience of the sin nature of man that He has not already experienced.

— He knows your heart . . .

— He knows the deepest part of you . . .

— He knows everything . . .

— He understands and wants to heal, restore, rebuild, and re-establish YOU!

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

Let’s put it another way.

Almighty God,                                                                                                                                                       the One who created you in your mother’s womb,                                                                                               the One who created heaven and earth and all that is in them (the fish, birds, insects, animals, plants, rocks, electricity, the whole gamut)                                                                                                                               made His Son, Jesus (whose birth we celebrate at Christmas),                                                                       who knew no temptation, hurt, abuse, sin, or experience of the sin nature of man                                             to take our place on the cross, die, and descend into the realm of darkness (hell as it were)                               so that because of Jesus death, burial and resurrection our relationship with God might re-established. 

Man, why not think deeply about that . . . and, if you haven’t made a decision to REALLY become friends with God, talk to Him about it. By all means when you’re done talking, close your mouth and LISTEN. He just might surprise you real good!

 

 

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