V-MAIL TO THE FRONTLINE
PRAYER V: MAKING THE INVESTMENT
“Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul”? (Mathew 16: 24-26)
It is true that sometimes, things we have sacrificed deeply to obtain, have more value to us than objects that we have been given. It is the same idea that people generally take care of homes they own, better than places where they pay rent. Why is that? Because, if we do not make a personal investment, we have a tendency to take things for granted. Those who are born into wealthy families and have never really worked a job might not fully appreciate the value of money. People usually highly esteem something that has “cost” them greatly! The price connected to what we love reminds us of the investment we have made into it and that is what creates the value of it to us. An old war medal in a musty old box would not have any value to someone rummaging through some yard sale junk, but the Purple Heart I have displayed in my office represents the life of my uncle that was only 20 years old when he was killed in Korea. They found his dog tags, put all they could find of his body in a coffin, gave his Mother a flag and he was buried with honors. He was never married and I have not heard any childhood stories about him and only have one picture of him. Who really knew him? The medal represents his sacrifice and to me has value because he was a hero that gave his life fighting for his country. He made the investment into the freedom I now enjoy with my family and I am very sad at what it cost.
The idea of making an investment can also be applied to the spiritual realm and is connected to what we think and what we say. We know how powerful our words are according to God’s Word and that we can speak blessings or curses according to our free will. “A fool’s mouth is his destruction and his lips are the snare of his soul”. (Proverbs 18:7) “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof”. (Proverbs 18: 21) The Lord say’s in Isaiah 57 and verse 19 that He, “creates the fruit of our lips” which is an awesome promise for those who confess their prayers in faith. But it is very dangerous to speak forth negativity and darkness as this can open demonic portals associated to our carnal thinking. It is emphasized in scripture to pull away from the old nature and the default system and become saturated in the divine reality of God’s Word. “And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God”. (Romans 12:2) Our words originate with our thoughts, so we must allow God to rearrange the way we think so that we can control what we say. This is done with asking God to perform a miracle in our mind along with the serious determination on our part to sincerely desire to be changed. We must have the personal revelation of the awareness of His presence or we will not take the “guard duty” of our mouth seriously! The reason why people have knowledge but are void of revelation is because they do see themselves the way God sees them. “So then because thou art lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; but you do not realize you are wretched, and miserable, and poor and blind and naked”. (Revelation 3:16-17) We are convinced our carnality is just a normal part of our personality and that it’s ok, but the truth is that He is waiting for us to submit to His fire so He can “refine” our gold. Selah.
So, what exactly are we helping by watching the news every night and allowing the tragedies of this world upset us and twist our stomachs into knots? If we absorb the negativity and darkness of all the lying, deception, violence and pain we become like a balloon that is being filled with the pressures of stress. Our anxiety and fear levels increase along with our subconscious anger that punches holes in our “well” of hope and trust. If we do not protect our level of God’s presence, we can literally become dry, causing us to experience a lukewarm attitude and eventually tumble into a state of backsliding. Now brother, you are being fanatical thinking that all of that can come from just absorbing the news everyday. I do not believe that I am. Satellite technology has enabled the events of the entire world to be poured into our mind every minute, which is stretching our capacity to contain an excess of knowledge. This overload of information keeps the senses on alarm mode as our neurological defense mechanisms stay on edge. The devil knows our emotional buttons and loves to push them. Our senses are designed to warn us when we are being threatened and our natural impulses react accordingly. This is the reason why we all become so upset! As hormones and other chemicals are released that are intended to help us in crisis situations, we unleash our frustrations through physical protesting instead of heading to our prayer closet. Our minds are reeling from images and statements that bring chaos and confusion into our perception that only adds to our depression and agitation. This relentless pounding of our mental receptors is contributing to our conscience being formed into a calloused state of paranoia. I admit that our government is in such bad shape that it would drive an intelligent person to the brink of insanity but it is how we “handle” the interpretation of information that will depend whether or not we live in the peace of His presence. We must convert the problems into possibilities by using the information as a target for the arrows of prayer! This is the only way we can remain overcomers for Christ instead of being “overcome” by the darkness. I desire for my conscience to be clear and to walk in the quiet contentment that comes from pouring out my heart to God in prayer. “Pray without ceasing”. (I Thessalonians 5:17)
In the vineyards of Israel the foxes were abundant and the young ones were a common problem in destroying the vines by chewing on them. “Takes us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes”. (Song of Solomon 2:15) The idea here is that slowly but surely when something seems innocent but occurs frequently, the damage can grow and become serious over time. Hearts do not turn hard and cold overnight but blisters turn to calluses when the act is repeated. If we absorb negative knowledge into our conscience everyday without processing it correctly we are allowing the darkness of discouragement to invade the sanctuary of our mentality. I am not saying to run and hide from the reality of world events because how can we pray if we are not aware of what is happening? But I believe the Lord is trying to teach us how to discern information and convert what seems to be hopeless into an opportunity to pray – for we know that HE can change any circumstance. Arguing with the world will not change them!
I have intentionally laid a groundwork for what I am about to say and I must confess, it has become a revelation to me. It is learning that making the spiritual investment of praying for others – causes us to protect what has now become valuable to us. Selah. It is easier to listen to bad things and talk negatively about others when it does not cost us anything! We all have opinions and are armchair quarterbacks because we have nothing at stake. If we were part owners of the team we would be more likely to protect and support those in question. We are ready to fight when someone comes against our children but do not give a thought about coming against someone else’s son or daughter if we disagree with their politics. When we do not have any personal concern or respect for someone else, we have no bond or connection to who they are or what they are going through. But, we are more likely to DEFEND those we are pleading with God to help, than to be OFFENDED at them! Just because we do not agree with someone’s world views, it does not mean we are not obligated to love them and receive a burden for their soul. How do we receive burdens? When we care enough to sincerely ask God for them! Just because we do not agree with them or even like them, it does not mean that we are not called to pray for them. The flesh does not want to worry about someone else and certainly does not want to pray for them. It is going to take a revelation of this principal for us to go deeper in our spiritual maturity. Father is calling us to stop reacting like the world and obey our spiritual responsibility to stand in the gap for those who are in authority over us.
Those who are in leadership have been put in power from the hand of the Lord and instead of us railing against them, He has commanded for us to use the key of change (prayers of faith) to agree with His will and His super-natural power will change their heart. We are not to pray that they will support “OUR” opinions, views or persuasions, but for the eyes of their heart to be opened so they can receive JESUS as their Lord and connect with HIS divine will! “By Me king’s reign, and princes decree justice. By Me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth”. (Proverbs 8:15-16) “And He (God) changes the times and the seasons: He removes kings, and sets up kings: He gives wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding. He reveals the deep and secret things: He knows what is in the darkness and the light dwells with Him.” (Daniel 2:21-22) We are to pray that Father will provide divine appointments for them and “DRAW” them through the Holy Spirit’s conviction to reach out to Jesus. “No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day”. (John 6:44) So why is everyone not automatically being drawn? Because of our lack of love, concern and prayers! The distractions of this world are more powerful to dull the hearing of the lost and backslidden when we choose to murmur against them instead of interceding for them. It is much easier to talk bad about others when it does not cost us anything. When we love someone enough to pray, we are sacrificing our time and giving our thoughts to them and the Lord. When we make an “investment” into someone else’s life we are transformed in our thinking from being critical to supportive! Instead of being on the opposite sides of the fence with what they believe, through prayer we allow the fence of resentment to be torn down and become a spiritual cheerleader for God to open their eyes. We become more sympathetic to them because we realize their ignorance is a spiritual blindness. Our anger is converted into compassion because we are seeing things through the eyes of Jesus and not a television network or a radio talk show. It is just another aspect of walking in the Holy Spirit all the time and in everything! It is true that in a democratic society the majority chooses the candidates and supports the issues but that does not mean that all hope is lost. Christians no matter how few in numbers are more powerful than the unsaved masses because God is greater in them than the spirit that is in the world. If we do our part – God will do His part! Those who lead, are subject to the intervention from the Almighty through the prayers of the saints because remember, the heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord. They may go into office leaning on their own understanding but when they encounter the living God, they can become born-again, filled with the Spirit and completely sold-out to God’s Word!
“Let every person be loyally subject to the governing civil authorities. For there is no authority except from God (by His permission, His sanction), and those that exist do so by God’s appointment. Therefore he who resists and sets himself up against the authorities resists what God has appointed and arranged (in divine order). And those who resist will bring down judgment upon themselves (receiving the penalty due them). For civil authorities are not a terror to people of good conduct, but to those of bad behavior. Would you have no dread of him who is in authority? Then do what is right and you will receive his approval and commendation. For he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, you should dread him and be afraid, for he does not bear and wear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant to execute God’s punishment and vengeance on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be subject, not only to avoid God’s WRATH and escape punishment, but also as a matter of principal and for the sake of CONSCIENCE”. (Romans 13: 1-5 AMP.) Father we pray for the president and every government official. May each one come to know you, love you and serve you as the Lord of their life. In Jesus Name, amen.