Summary: We prefer full over empty! Jesus says He came that we might have abundant (full) life. Do we? Do we even know what we should be full of?
Pt. 5 - Prayer Full
Are you full? If so, what are you full of? Your "fullness" will determine what overflows to every area of your life. And yet the truth is that if we find ourselves closer to the "e" than the "f" we are in the majority. In a recent study of 1,000 churches and the spiritual growth of their congregation the researchers discovered that only 11% (or in other words 1 out of 10) would say they are compelled by their faith to love God and love others! 89% in the wilderness. Saved? Yes. Full? No! Emptiness reigns in the church community. However, I want to remind you and challenge you that God does intend for us to be full! I am going to continue to read these because they are promises that we must allow to come to life in our spirit - not just for my neighbor but for me.
The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that _________ (insert your name) may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance - to the full, till it overflows. (Amplified Version)
You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. When _________ (insert name) came to him, that fullness comes together for _________ (insert name), too. His power extends over everything.
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness.
The accurate and mature understanding is knowing that salvation was only part of the picture. He came to save but He also came to enable us to experience fullness in life!
So I want to clearly state for us some of the things that should fill us so that we are able to experience this fullness that Jesus came to give us.
I have declared that we must be thank full, purpose full, grace full. I want us to continue on this path to fullness.
Luke 5:12-16 (NIV)
One day in a certain village he was visiting, there was a man with an advanced case of leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell to the ground before him, face downward in the dust, begging to be healed. “Sir,” he said, “if you only will, you can clear me of every trace of my disease.” Jesus reached out and touched the man (something no one else would do - instantly became by religious standard unclean and now at risk to develop same sickness - grace full) and said, “Of course I will. Be healed.” And the leprosy left him instantly! Then Jesus instructed him to go at once without telling anyone what had happened and be examined by the Jewish priest. “Offer the sacrifice Moses’ law requires for lepers who are healed,” he said. “This will prove to everyone that you are well.” Now the report of his power spread even faster and vast crowds came to hear him preach and to be healed of their diseases. But he often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.
Incredible account but because of the mind boggling act of grace and the miracle that was produced we miss it. It almost comes off as an afterthought. But slow down and read the last verse again. But he often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.
Did you see the key word? Often. One version says as was His custom.
Jesus models for us (even though He was God in the flesh) that
We must be prayer full!
What I just read to you reveals a secret. Jesus could not have been grace full and power full had He not been prayer full. Your ability to really be full hinges on this week's key.
Our ability to be thank full, purpose full, and the other full's we will talk about is directly contingent upon our prayer fullness.
On two different occasions Jesus confronts, chastises and even corrects His disciples lack of prayerfulness.
The first was when they were confronted with a demon possessed boy who they couldn't help! Jesus reveals their deficiency when He declares these kind only come out by "prayer and fasting". Did you see it? They weren't powerful because they weren't prayer full. So they come up short when someone needed them.
The second was in the garden when Jesus needed them they fall asleep on the job. Jesus makes a prayer request. Think about that a second. God makes a prayer request to man. Pray for me. But they weren't prayer full. They fell asleep. Jesus returns and asks the blush inducing stomach turning question . . . Could you not even tarry one hour? You can read it like this . . . Jesus is saying you let me down when I needed you most. You were rest full when I needed you to be prayer full.