Summary: I like to think that every Christian is born again with a spiritual toolbox. In your Christian toolbox are some basic tools. We all need to become experts in using these tools if we want to become mature Christians.
CHRISTIAN TOOLBOX BASICS
Let me see the hands of everyone who has a toolbox.
(interview people “What do you have in your toolbox?” - (next person) “Do you have anything different in your toolbox?” “Why do you have a toolbox?” “What would your life be like without your tools?”)
I like to think that every Christian is born again with a spiritual toolbox. In your Christian toolbox are some basic tools. We all need to become experts in using these tools if we want to become mature Christians.
Scripture reading is one of the basic tools in the Christian toolbox. Last week many of us committed to reading the Bible through in one year. How many of you read your Bible faithfully this week?
There are many tools in the Christian toolbox … some examples are: fasting, prayer, witnessing, spiritual gifts, giving and serving, amoung others.
Today, we are going to focus on prayer.
Listen, revival is possible anywhere people dedicate themselves to prayer.
Revival isn’t free – it will cost us something – the price of revival is the sacrifice of your time, talent and resources.
You’ve already started down the path to revival by committing to reading God’s Word on a regular systematic basis, and that requires a commitment of time.
Today I am going to ask you to commit to setting aside time each day to dedicate to prayer.
When you boil it down to it’s basics, prayer is simply communication with God. Prayer is a conversation between you and God. He talks – you listen …. You talk – He listens.
God desires to communicate with us even more than we desire to communicate with Him. He knows each one of us intimately and he will speak to us according to our spiritual level of maturity.
Our problem is that most of us do all the talking and don’t take time to listen. Our prayers go something like this, “Helo God, It’s me again. I’m going to buy a new pick-up … unless you have an objection … and oh, I’m going to need you to help me pay for it. Alright God, talk to you later …bye”
Christians need to learn to listen to God.
I suggest that you try this – when you pray, keep a pencil and paper handy. Write the date at the top of the paper and then say to God, “God, what are you saying today?” Then listen and write down what you hear. You will be amazed at what God tells you.
But how do you know you are really hearing from God?
Well, you need to test what you hear by God’s holy Word – the Bible. You will never hear something that is contrary to God’s Word.
Also in most instances it will be verrified by other means. For example, another respected Christian may say something to you like, “The Lord laid it on my heart to pray for an increase in your finances – does that make sense to you?” (Makes sense to me brother – keep praying!)
The Holy Spirit is able to lead us into a sensitivity whereby we are able to test what we hear from God. The more you abide in Him the easier it will be to tell the counterfit from the real. Just like the bank teller can tell a real $100 dollar bill from a counterfeit because he handles the real bills so often, so also we will be able to clearly discern the voice of God.
John 10:1 Jesus says, "I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.
2 The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep.
3 The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.
5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice."
All great men and women of the Bible communicated with God. They learned to hear the shepherds voice. God communicated with them in many different ways. Some examples of how God communicated with them are an audible voice, angels, the still small voice, dreams, visions, through signs and wonders, circumstances and prophets.
One time God even used a donkey to get a message across to Balam. So if He can use a donkey, he can certainly use you and me.
Prayer is one of the greatest tools you have in your Christian toolbox!