If You Could Have Anything…

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Psalms 145:17-21 (KJV)

17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.
18 The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. 19 He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.
20 The Lord preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy.
21 My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.

 If you could have anything in the world, what would it be?

Your answer reveals a lot about who you are.

The psalmist writes, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Ps. 37:4).

 There is nothing wrong with desires–they motivate us to achieve great things. But not all of our yearnings come from God.

Consider your aspirations and what they say about who you are:

 Do you hope for a position of authority in order to be in control?

Longing for personal advancement in order to manipulate others reveals a lack of integrity, whereas a godly person craves righteousness.

 Do you dream about wealth and fame?

Perhaps there’s a void in your spirit that you’re trying to fill. But only God can meet the insatiable needs of the human heart.

 Are you afraid to ask the Lord for what you want?

Maybe you think He won’t listen, but God tells us to approach His throne with boldness and confidence (Heb. 4:16).

 If the Lord doesn’t respond affirmatively to your prayers, ask Him to make your desires conform to His will.

Whatever you do, don’t take matters into your own hands and go after what you want. There is always a high price to pay for rebelling against God.

 God cares for us bountifully, but that doesn’t mean we can expect Him to deliver whatever we want, whenever we want it.

Only when our dreams align with His plan for our lives does He fulfill them.

 The thoughts that preoccupy us are an accurate barometer of the state of our relationship with Christ.

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Pray in Every Situation…

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Romans 8:26-27 (KJV)

26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Most Christians feel they need help in order to pray effectively.

Even the apostle Paul admitted that he sometimes did not know how to petition the heavenly Father as he should. In the supernatural exchange between God and believers, the Holy Spirit acts as a vehicle for our communication, laying our needs and desires before the Father.

We humans make our requests with a very limited knowledge of the future and an impaired sense of what is actually best for us.

Consequently, circumstances arise that cause us to wonder how we should pray. If all we know to ask is, “God, what is Your will?” then the Spirit, who knows the Father’s plans for us, tells Him of our need for understanding.

Our Father does not hide His will from us.

He desires to equip believers with all the information necessary for making right decisions and for being continually conformed to the likeness of His Son.

Just as the Spirit carries our needs to God, He also clarifies the Father’s will to us.

Some people find the power of prayer intimidating— “Be careful what you pray for, because you might get it,” goes the old joke. Believers sometimes quit praying before receiving an answer, because they are fearful of making the wrong request. However, the Holy Spirit’s divine nature prevents Him from going before God with a petition that is outside the Father’s plan. Instead, He intercedes to make the right request. He also impresses upon us the need to adjust our desires.

Therefore, we can pray in every situation, knowing the Holy Spirit is our Helper.

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Immediate Fulfillment…

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Hebrews 13:5-6 (KJV)

5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

There are all sorts of ads on television and radio. Frequently when it gets down to the fine print, the announcer speaks so fast that you can’t keep up with him.

Why does he speak quickly?

Because he’s reading the part the company would rather you didn’t hear. The message they want you to absorb is, Buy it now.

Satan makes a similar presentation: Don’t worry about the future; you can have immediate fulfillment now! 

The strength of his temptations is that worldly things are available immediately. You can have them—for a price—and they will provide temporary gratification.

The enemy doesn’t bring up tomorrow.

Because he wants us to forfeit our future, he invites us to demand instant fulfillment of our desires. But there’s nothing you or I “must have” now that’s worth stepping out of God’s will or losing the privileges and opportunities He has prepared for us.

The Lord has a plan for our lives, and there is absolutely nothing that can compare with His will, His purpose, and His goals.

Our relationship with God is the most important aspect of our existence. No experience at any time in our lives compares in the slightest with knowing Him.

 Yet every day, because we think we “must have it now” we’re tempted to choose what Satan has to offer.

We sacrifice our future when we make irrevocable decisions during times of emotional weakness. Jesus Christ can help us face any temptation or trial Satan can throw our way.

The Lord is there for us, and He will never leave us or forsake us.

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Our “Grocery Lists” Prayers…

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1 John 5:14-15 (KJV)

14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

 Since praying is such a common practice for believers, over time it’s easy to fall into habits that result in a lifeless and empty prayer life.

Instead of a dynamic conversation with thoughtful requests and active listening for God’s response, our prayers can seem more like grocery lists. Because communication with the Lord is such a vital part of the Christian life, we occasionally need to step back and examine how we’re doing.

 Begin by asking yourself these questions:

 How effective are my prayers?

Is God answering my petitions, or does it seem as if they never go past the ceiling?

 Who am I praying for?

Are most of my requests for myself or others?

What am I asking the Lord to do?

Have I looked in the Word to see what He wants, or am I trying to get Him to intervene according to my plans and desires?

When do I pray?

Is it only during emergencies or when I need something?

If you discovered any selfishness in your answers, you’re not alone. Most of us struggle to enter God’s presence with our eyes focused on Him instead of God’s presence. But the only way we’ll be able to pray with impact is to fill our minds with Scripture so we can find out what the Lord wants to do.

Your prayer life can become effective and dynamic if you’ll approach the Lord with a clean heart (Psalms 66:18), align your requests with His will, and believe He will do what He says (Mark11:24).

Then you’ll be able to pray with absolute confidence knowing that He will hear and answer your petitions.

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