Morning Prayer Summary for  Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Morning Chapel Prayer Playlist

Worship leader…

Good morning. Welcome to morning prayer. Thank you for joining us online. Of course, we’re ready to worship in this place. Amen. Let’s praise Him in this place.

Father, we welcome you into this place. Holy Spirit, pour out your love, pour out your presence in this place.

Pastor Heather…

I just want to read something and then we’ll go back into worship. I thought this was a good exhortation, talking about heart, talking about worship.

Bill Johnson excerpt from “On the Heart”…

In 2019, Bill Johnson taught a message called “On the Heart.” And I loved it so much that I literally transcribed the whole message and saved it because it ministered to me so much. But I just want to share a little excerpt of that today. And then we’ll flow right into prayer. He said…

Excerpt begins…

“The heart is the seat of affection. It’s the place from which values are revealed. I heard a statement by Richard Roberts that has marked my life. He said, ‘You cannot change your heart. He will not change your mind. But if you change your thoughts, He’ll change your heart.’ Proverbs 4:23 says, ‘Watch over your heart with all diligence, because from it flow the issues of life.’

“Throughout the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus deals with the heart quite a bit. He deals with the heart because the heart is that place where genuine worship comes from. It’s the place where faith comes from. Anyone who wants to please God can only do so in the realm of faith. Any external service that is not connected to a heart of faith is illegitimate service. It’s always to be connected to this heart of faith.

“Everything he does is to build in us an awareness of His perception of reality. And oftentimes we dip our finger in the stream of what God is saying and doing. But it doesn’t have a full impact on our perception. And what He’s working on is to get us so immersed in the reality of His Word that we think from His perspective towards life. If we don’t do that, if we don’t think from His perspective toward life, we will think from our perspective toward Him.

“Is it evil? No, it’s not. But you’ll be constantly asking Him to invade a situation to fix it instead of partnering with Him to fix the situation in His name.

“We have options in life. Either I stand in the middle of a conflict, a difficulty, and I cry out to God to come and fix it, which is where everyone starts. But the breakthroughs are to teach us His heart so that we learn to stand with Him in heavenly places and address the problems.

Sometimes the Lord would rather do something through us than do something for us. And it’s part of the renewed mind. It’s learning to think and to see as He does. That’s what He’s looking for. He’s looking for a people who can consistently, effectively demonstrate who He is. And faith does that. And only faith can do that.

“So this whole concept and process of faith is something that’s developed as in our journey we learn to yield. We learn to surrender. It is natural for you to believe. Christianity is called ‘the faith.’ It’s not called ‘the understanding.’ Understanding is vital. He commands us elsewhere. It’s just the issue of priority. It’s heart first, mind second. You can’t perceive with your mind anything that will effectively change your life that your heart hasn’t yielded to. Your heart can take you places your head can’t fit.

“So learning to think and to see from divine perspective is what enables and equips us to administrate the reality of the kingdom into this world. The center of it all is the heart. It’s the heart that yields. It’s the heart that worships. You can’t multitask in worship. You either have worship or you have a divided heart that feeds on distraction. What the Lord is trying to do, He’s actually discipling us as caregivers or pastors over our own heart.

“In Psalms, I believe it’s Psalms 84, he says, ‘The psalmist says, in our heart is the highway to Zion.’ Just think about this. What is a highway? It’s a place of quick access. Easy access. In the heart. In worship. In biblical meditation on the Word. I’m actually taking that which is a path through a jungle and through a lifestyle of worship I create a highway. So that no matter where I am in circumstances of life, I’ve got quick access into the presence. I’ve got quick access into that place of affectionate response.

“Paul actually taught the Corinthian church that we are restricted by our affections. What holds us back is the issue of affection. We were designed to believe. We were designed to worship. When in doubt, worship. It’s not just a corporate gathering, which I think is so incredibly important and wonderful and beautiful. But it’s possible for us to do everything appropriately, but never actually have face-to-face encounter.”

Pastor Heather’s comment…

That’s really sad. That we could be doing everything right and check off all the boxes, but we’d never have that face-to-face encounter. And that’s really the ambition and goal, he says.

Excerpt again…

“It’s not to shame anyone. It’s how we learn. We learn in the process of it.”

Pastor Heather’s comment…

And this is what the story that I really wanted to get into. This is the heart that moved me to share this today.

Excerpt again…

“Imagine you have been invited by the wealthiest person on the planet to a party at his house. And this person is the kindest, most gentle, most generous person you have ever seen in your life. His countenance is one that’s filled with absolute perfect joy. And you come into this house that is a palace and yet it’s not gaudy. It’s not to impress you with wealth. It’s just excellence everywhere you turn.

“There’s a group of musicians over here that are playing and the music is so incredible. But it’s not overpowering. You’re able to have a conversation with people and yet admire the excellence and the beauty of the music. The food is the finest food you’ve ever seen in your life.

“You come in and everything you eat gives you a revelation of God. It’s the natural testifies to the spiritual. Imagine this entire event and over here in the corner, you see the owner of the house. You go through the party and you enjoy the party. And every once in a while, you catch his eye and you wave. And you go through. And you enjoy the people you’re with, enjoying the music, enjoying the food, enjoying the beauty and excellence of the house.

“But it’s possible to go through the whole evening in that home and never have a face to face with the owner of the house. And he’s not mad. It’s the reason we’re there. We gather and we do what we do, but the reason we’re here is because the scripture describes the destiny of every person as face to face. It’s what you’re born for. It’s what we were born for. We’re designed for it.

“It’s the craziest thing. Everything about us was actually designed for presence. We hear this great scripture about marriage and the wife will be a helpmate for the husband. And we think different than what the scripture says. We think in terms of a subservient role, and it’s just so not that. In the Bible, that word, if I could describe it in this way, that word basically means ‘one who is fully qualified to stand face to face with their partner, making up for everything they lack.’ It’s such a profound revelation of that role that when God uses that word. I think it’s three times in scripture, He uses it to refer to marriage. Thirteen times, I think it is, He uses that word to describe Himself in His relationship with Israel. He is not the servant of Israel. He is that which is fully qualified to stand face to face with the nation and make up for everything that is lacking. This relationship that we have with the Lord, He, once again, identifies Himself as the helpmate. The one who is fully qualified to stand face to face in that affectionate worship response. And it makes up for us everything that we lack and need. It’s the design. It’s the way you’re designed. The way I’m designed. Everything about us.

“Hebrews 5 says that our senses are to be trained to discern good and evil. Senses. Your hearing. Your smell. Sight. Your touch. Everything about us is actually designed by God to recognize Him. We are fashioned to carry on in a relationship with the Almighty God that includes our physical, emotional, mental being. Everything about us was actually perfect. He could not improve on His design. When He fashioned humanity, it is such a perfect match for what He brings to the game and what He’s designed in us that He could fully make up for that which we lack and need, that He identifies Himself as the helpmeet.

“So here we have this tremendous privilege. An invitation from God to come into His intimate place of face to face and worship. Because fire always falls on sacrifice. But it starts with a tenderness. It starts with an intimacy. It’s the yielded heart.

“Matthew 5:8, ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.’ Imagine that when you got born again, you were brought into a thousand-mile journey. And every step of the journey, where there’s yieldedness, there’s surrender. There’s change that takes place in you, but you’re always being drawn towards one thing. And if you can imagine that one thing being face to face with God, it’s not that when you finally get your act together, you’ll see God. It really is the purer our heart becomes, the greater clarity is given to us to perceive Him. It’s purity here that gives perception. It’s a theme throughout scripture. So this is amazing because it applies then that clarity through which I see is determined by the purity through which I live. The place of purity of heart is that it’s really what Jesus taught here. Blessed are the pure in heart. They shall see God and it’s an end goal, but it’s also the journey. It’s the yieldedness of heart to Him that sharpens my perception to perceive Him. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.

“So here’s this passage that’s become a life verse for me out of Proverbs 4. He says, ‘watch over your heart because from it flows the issues of life.’ In other words, everything about your life is connected to the condition of your heart. The scripture says, for with the heart, man believes unto righteousness. So the heart is the seat of affection. The heart is the seat of faith and faith comes from the heart, not the mind.”

Pastor Heather…

I love that analogy of going to a party. And that’s representative of us coming here, even today, coming to church, coming together with like-minded believers. We’re coming to this party in His house and some of us are just letting Him stand in the corner. We’re not going over to have those moments with Him. We’re doing the work. We’re at the party. We’re enjoying each other and we’re all together in faith doing what He’s asked us to do. But are we having those moments to get away and have those face-to-face moments with Him?

Do we really know Him…

And that’s the part that broke my heart because I feel like some of us say we know Him, but I feel like we say we know Him like we know Abraham Lincoln. I know about Abraham Lincoln, but I don’t personally know Abraham Lincoln because I’ve never met him. I can read many, many books about him. I can give you all the details but it doesn’t mean that I know him, right? Because that’s that face to face, that presence, that moment that you have only when you spend that intimate time in His presence.

And so I just wanted this to encourage us today as we go back into worship. We have another moment of worship, and then out of that I just want to flow into a time of prayer. But I think it’s so important that … you have to have that face to face. You have to have that intimacy. Because out of that flows prayer, out of that flows faith, out of that flows passion. If we’re doing it the other way, we’re doing it backwards. We’re just spinning our wheels and we’re working through here, when really He wants us to work through here, and He’ll bring the understanding. He’ll bring the revelation. Seek Him first and all these things will be added.

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