Morning Prayer Notes for Friday, November 12, 2021

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Pastor Ken shared…

Good morning. Welcome everyone who is joining us today. We’re glad to have you with us.

I thought I would remind us of a verse that you might be familiar with. It’s Hebrews 11:6. It says, “But without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” I like that. I’m inclined to read the next verse: “By faith, Noah being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear,” or reverence, or awe, or respect. And it says, “He prepared an Ark.” How many of you know an ark is symbolic of a type of our relationship with God. And so in many ways, we’re preparing our ark each time we come together, whether it’s individually or as we come together collectively, we’re preparing our ark. Because God says so, because we know we need one. He goes on to say, “For Noah being divinely warned of things not yet seen moved with godly fear, prepared an Ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became the heir of the righteousness, which is according to faith.”

So as we go into this time this morning, let’s just be conscious of the fact that, first of all, as we saw in verse six, He’s a rewarder of those who passionately, diligently, and unrelentingly pursue Him. Go after Him with all their hearts. And by doing so, we’re building an ark. We’re preparing ourselves for what is yet to come, the good things God has in store for us, the things that we need to be protected from. We don’t necessarily know the time or the exact hour that the Lord will return and catch His body and His Church up with Him. But we do know we’re in that time and we’re in that season. So I think the words of Hebrews here and the reference to Noah is apropos for us that we as well should be preparing our ark. We as well should be pursuers of His presence, pursuers of God, to know Him. To continually build relationship with Him.

But I just was reminded here recently, my daughter is in middle school volleyball. She’s on the Maranatha Christian academy on the Varsity middle-school team. And they just had their first tournament game last night. But I’ve been talking to her about being a fighter. I’m always like, you know, my motive gift is teaching. So I’m just always like oozing, dripping thoughts and ideas and instruction, just because I just love the Word of God and I love wisdom. The Bible says with all your getting, get wisdom, seek it, mine it out, pursue it. Firstly in the narrative of scripture, but in other places as well. There’s God-inspired wisdom that fuels us, that guides us, that sets us up to succeed and be effective and reveal God to this world. And God is cheering us on. And His intent is that we would be 100% effective in prayer and know the abundance that is unlimited in His kingdom for our lives and for His purposes in this time. And it’s gaining and gathering and garnering and curating the wisdom of God in our hearts and in our actions and in our decisions that sets us up to express Jesus in all that we are and all that we do.

And so I’ve been sharing with my daughter about being a fighter and how important that is as an athlete to just continue to fight no matter what it looks like or what the time clock says or what the scoreboard says. Just keep fighting. And last night, they played their first round of this volleyball tournament against another school. The first match, they lost. And it was like tied, 24, 24. And it was right up to the end, but they lost by one in the last moments of the first game. But they kept fighting, including my daughter. And they kept fighting and they came back and worked as a team and won the next game. So they were tied. And so the third game, they won as well and won their first tournament game.

But I just loved how they fought and stuck in there. I was talking to my daughter and said, “Everybody made mistakes, some of them many mistakes, but they also make a lot of good plays and returns and hits and serves because they just didn’t give up. They stayed in there and kept their mind in there and they kept their focus in there.” I was just thinking about that in terms of faith and how the Bible says that… Let me just read it here. It says, “Fight the good fight of faith. Lay hold on eternal life to which you were summoned and for which you confessed a good confession of faith before many witnesses.” Fight! Not a fight against the enemy or other people, or even your circumstances. But the fight we’re called to fight as pray-ers, as believers, is a fight to believe, right? We’ve been called to live by believing, not by seeing. Fight to hold fast to the promises of God. And I jotted this down this morning. I’ve learned this from other great pray-ers and what I see in scripture. That is the great key to effective prayer is found in putting your confidence in God’s Word, believing that He is who He says He is and will fulfill every promise.

My daughter is in eighth grade. And so she sees life in very short segments. But I, on the other hand, am a few years older. And so you kind of know the scope of life that it’s okay if yesterday wasn’t what you wanted it to be. Tomorrow’s a new day. Amen? And even when you experience loss or a failure or mess up that we can leverage that. We can keep going. That we can stand on that and keep fighting and know that even the failure is a setup for something even greater in the future. And so our fight of faith is a fight to believe, to keep going after God, to not relent in your praying, in your believing, in your journey, because the enemy is waging a war of attrition. In other words, he tries to distract us, wear us down, discourage us, hinder us. Derail us in different ways. So that eventually we just give up and go quietly into the night or something. But we don’t have to do that. The Bible over and over calls us to seek Him. Amen? In fact, in Isaiah 64:7, it says, “And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee.” In other words, in Isaiah’s time, nobody was doing that. So that’s a reminder of us that we’re to do that. Stir ourselves up to take hold of more of God.

There’s another verse I wanted to read to you in Ephesians chapter five, it says, “Therefore he says Awake you who sleep, arise from the dead and Christ will give you light. See that you walk circumspectly.” That means prudently, intentionally, purposefully. I believe one translation says, “not as fools, but as wise redeeming the time.” That means buy it back, take every opportunity to buy it back. I was talking to my daughter last night and she’s going to be going into club season in about two weeks, which is another six-month volleyball season workout playing in another club off season, developing her skills. And we’ve been talking about discipline and keeping up with her homework and I say, “Hey, Katie. We’re in the car 45 to 60 minutes a day. You can get 45 to 60 minutes of homework done every day, just in the car, five hours a week, just right there. What a great opportunity to redeem your time so that you can continue to pursue your sport.”

So think about that. Even just little moments here and there in our spiritual or our daily journey, you can redeem 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes of just sowing to your spirit, praying in your heavenly prayer language, going after God. It all matters. It all adds up… here a little there a little, right? Isn’t that what the scripture reads? It builds momentum. It fills you.

Ephesians goes on to say, “See that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise redeeming the time, because the days are evil; therefore, do not be unwise but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, which is a dissipation (or you could say uncontrolled living, or you can even say rebellion; some translations translate dissipation as rebellion) but be filled with the spirit.” Be filled with the Spirit! I mean, even just pausing just to kind of look to Him, set your affections. Say “Lord, I love you. Thank you for your presence in my life.” Or take a moment just to pray in your heavenly prayer language or lift up holy hands in worship, just to adore Him and magnify Him and set your attention on Him. That is allowing God to fill you. Even if you don’t have like a solid hour, just a few moments here and there fills you and produces momentum and draws you closer to Him in that heavenly arena, and closer to you with each moment.

I’ll finish reading that, but I’m sharing this because I just sense God saying, “Wake up, Church. Keep coming after Me.” He waits for us to want Him. He waits for us oftentimes to pursue Him, to seek Him. He’s a rewarder. He said it already of those as we read in Hebrews who diligently, passionately pursue and go after Him, go after His Word and His wisdom found in the Word … go after His Spirit by welcoming His Holy Spirit as you’re driving down the road. Go after Him by words of worship or song. Go after Him by just patiently and quietly waiting before Him. Oh He loves that. He’s drawn to that. Angels come to you when you just wait before Him.  And it’s not doing nothing. It’s doing the most important something I’m convinced that you can do in this lifetime and with the time that you can redeem. Because it gives you the ability to draw and receive and download from heaven. Once again, God did not intend for us to do life alone all by our lonesome, on our own and our own intellect and our own experiences with what we have just through a five physical senses. He intended that we would do life connected with Him, with God the Holy Spirit.

And in that there is such a bigger expression of God. There is such a greater power of God. There is such great wisdom and favor. I think I said it last week, that favor is found in working and cooperating and co-laboring with God. Favor isn’t just like this Hocus Pocus, you know, wave a wand and I’m favored thing. Yes, you’re favored as a child of God. But favor grows. And favor expands. And favor works on your behalf. And favor rests heavy and saturates every aspect of your life as you walk with Him, as you work with Him, as you yield your life to Him, as you go with Him and keep going with Him. And you find that His favor and His goodness tracks you down, will start to hunt you down and overtake you. And the more you work with Him and align with Him and sync up with Him, you don’t have to do anything to experience His favor. It just shows up organically and effortlessly. That’s a good word this morning. So keep going after Him. I feel like He’s saying that: “Wake up and just keep coming after Me.” Redeem those moments and use them to your advantage. Lean, rest, and trust in Him. Hallelujah.

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