February 25, 2007
Thank You, Lord Jesus, for the message this morning. Thank You for answering, responding to, the longing of my heart.
You know how I have longed to serve You. You know how tired I have become as I tried to work for You, but seemed to just fail over and over again. You know how I tried to do what I thought was Your will, over and over, and it seemed to come to naught. You know how I have prayed and prayed and there doesn't seem to be any result, and I have wondered what it was all about, even though I still believed. (Well, You taught me to believe because often enough You have answered -- miraculously!) You know about "my vision" and "the church vision" and "seeking to discover and use my gifts" and my being afraid to just go up to people and present the gospel, even with "good methods." You know all about all the "methods" presented over the years -- how to teach Sunday School, and "God's way" with finances, and the church's vision to raise up 500 cell groups with 5000 members, and on and on and on.
But You have been, all along, preparing me for the truth You presented today through the lips of Your servant, ___. You have helped me learn about submission through the years and in the Bible study we've just done. You've brought me through things with my family that were so hopeless and dreadful to me, that I finally came to understand that all my own responsibility and self-sufficiency were useless filthy rags, and the only hope was to throw myself in total dependence on You (what a struggle it has been, and I'm not all there, I know, but what a blessing to be coming more and more to that point). At the same time You set me under the teaching of Pastor ___, and though I am not sure of everything he said, I did come to really understand about Your sovereignty, and that You are in control! And that helped me, as Pastor ___talked about this morning, to have faith in You, instead of just trying to "have faith." And recently, as the church has been going through so many struggles, and trying to find its way (which is supposed to be Your way, but we've maybe been having a bit of trouble finding that out), and as I've realized that our time here may be coming to an end, You've been teaching me more and more -- and pulling it together through the Jake story -- that this is a relationship with You, and it is about walking with You through Your Holy Spirit, and learning to hear Your voice, and see Your works as You are doing them, and to trust and obey, step by step, moment by moment.
This morning I went to church and Pastor ___ gave this message, and it was like the culmination and answer and wrap-up to all the things You have been doing in my life and teaching me for years! And he said, "Don't come forward unless God is really speaking to you" -- and I put down my notebook and pen and glasses and scooted up. Bu he was already praying the closing prayer. So I just spent time with You -- many tears, like all my struggles being washed away! and a couple of the ladies came and prayed with me -- but really, I think it was just time between You and me! Thank You!
O Father, that is what I want, to be like Jesus. To be anointed, filled, led, empowered by Your Spirit. To really pray, to take everything to You, to hear Your voice and really listen and obey, to be holy in all I do, say and think....
To have, like Jesus, only one passion and desire -- to please and glorify You, and do only what You want me to do -- to believe in Jesus, to have faith in Jesus because He is God Almighty. I want to claim Your promise, dear Jesus, that I will do even "greater things" because Your Spirit is within me! And because I am part of Your body and together, with Your Spirit in us, if we are truly filled, led, anointed, empowered by the Holy Spirit, we too, believers today, Your church today, can also "turn the world upside-down" for You!
Father, I no longer want to do anything of myself, but only do what You are already doing, to do only Your intentions -- not things that are my initiative! Only by Your authority (not mine). Only for Your glory and honour (not mine!). Never of my own accord but only what You, Father, command me to do. Never on a whim of my own, but only led by You. I want to see the works You are doing and cooperate with You in them -- as You lead me and empower me (not by my own efforts!).
Oh dear Father God, in the name of Jesus Your Son and my dear precious loving Saviour and example and Lord and King of kings and elder brother! Help me to pray until I really pray! to stay on my knees till I "break through" and Your glory and power descend upon me, till Your Spirit fills and overflows me, until I look only to You, until I truly become Your child alone! No other "loves" -- no other purposes. No other desires than to love and worship and glorify and obey You alone, and become truly a building block in Your glorious kingdom. Oh dear Heavenly Father, precious, precious Father, please, please fill me with Your Spirit till You are truly my All in all! Till Your kingdom comes in me! -- and in all those in Your church who would, like Jesus, be led and anointed and filled and empowered by Your Spirit, through Your Son Jesus, by You, our Father God and Almighty Creator and Lord!
Make me sensitive to Your calling and intentions and words and actions and attitudes. Please make me like Jesus so I too will do, say, think only what You, my Father, Jesus' Father, Father God Almighty, Maker of Heaven and earth, Saviour, Redeemer, King of kings and Lord of lords -- what You are doing, saying, thinking!
Father God, I want to be like Jesus. I want to truly "ask in Jesus' name," the name of Your beloved Son who gave His life's blood for all the world -- for me! to wash away my sins! Amazing grace! Amazing love! Amazing mercy! Father God, I desire, my passion is, as Jesus' was, to know Your heart and mind and do Your will!
Father, I lay all my so-called abilities, talents, "visions," -- even my "spiritual gifts" (whatever they may be) -- at Your feet, at the foot of the cross. Father God, right now, in the name of Jesus, I surrender myself, all that I am, all that I wish to be, all that I have, all that I value or desire -- all that is not You alone! (I am quite sure that I do not know what all that will encompass. I am sure it is far more than I understand or imagine right now -- but nonetheless, here I am, here it is -- I give myself and all that I have thought of as "mine" -- to You.) Take me, dear Father God. Teach me to abide in Jesus and Jesus in me, as Jesus abides in You. Abide in me, and let me abide in You, my God -- Father, Son, Holy Spirit -- One God, now and forever. Amen.
(I worry as I write this that I may be writing these words for my own glory -- oh, dear Heavenly Father, if it is true please forgive me, please cleanse my heart, please help me let go of that, too, dear God. Let it be only for You and Your glory alone, I pray, in Jesus' precious name, Amen!)
(I love You, Lord -- Father, Son, Holy Spirit -- my Lord and my God! My Creator, Redeemer, my Lord of lords and King of kings, Almighty eternal God, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, perfect, glorious, Creator of all, Lord of all! I praise You! In Jesus' perfect name, amen!) (Drawing on the bank of heaven!)
Lord God, I want to bear fruit -- good fruit, fruit that comes from Jesus, the vine of true life! I want to bear fruit for Your glory and according to Your purposes, according to Your eternal plans for Your eternal, Godly kingdom! Your will be done!
Oh dear Jesus, I want Your life to abide in me, to flow through me -- that I will do no works but the works of Your Father, through Your Spirit (led, anointed, empowered, filled), washed and redeemed and brought in to the presence of God by Your blood, Your sacrifice... with You as my example and my life, living out Yourself in me! Thank You, Lord Jesus! Amazing, amazing mercy, grace unknown, and love beyond degree! (as the great old hymn says!) In tun with You!
Oh Father God, help me to live a holy life, obedient always to You, sensitive, listening, watching every moment for the works You are doing, through the work of Your Holy Spirit overflowing in my life; hallowing Your name, seeking for Your kingdom to come and Your will to be done. Please, please, dear Holy Spirit, help me, fill me, anoint me, lead me, empower me so that no more do I quench or grieve You, Holy Spirit of God and of my Saviour, Jesus Christ! I want You to abide in me forever -- please Holy Spirit! I give all I am to You now and forever. Thank You, Lod. Amen!
(Lord, I feel as though I have prayed this prayer before -- and will have to keep on praying it always forever -- but oh, Lord, it is so worth it -- to be like Jesus! to be like You, Lord -- my Lord and my God.)
Father, Son, Holy Spirit, one Lord and God in 3 persons, perfect united love -- how amazing that You want to draw me into Your perfect love! Oh, I do want to have You abide in me and me in You. Please! I ask in the name of Jesus, believing -- and I accept because I know, from Your own words and life and example, dear Jesus, my Lord and Saviour, that this is the "will of God in Christ Jesus concerning me." Thank You! I accept. I give myself. Here I am! Take me, use me, make me like Jesus, I pray -- in Jesus' holy and precious name, Amen! Thank You! Amen! Praise God! Hallelujah! Amen!