Summary: If, right now, God were to answer the prayer of your heart, what would be different?
Message: WHAT IF?
This morning, as usual I start with a question:
The question is simply this - What if?
Our theme for 2014 is The Year of Powerful Prayers or Powerful pra YERS
and what if this year,
what if this month,
what if today,
what if right now,
God were to answer the prayer of your heart
then what would be different?
What would change?
What would happen?
If, two letters, I and F,
If, one of the shortest words in the English language, but a word that can have a big effect on your life.
The dictionary defines “if” as the cause or reason or motive for something to happen.
“If”, is the word that evokes a response for action.
The word “if” is considered the cause portion of the cause and effect in English grammar.
When “if” statements are used, they are generally followed by “then” statements, which are the effect part of the cause and effect.
The “then” statement tell what can or will happen to fulfilling the “if” statement.
A good example of this, is the Bible verse I want us to consider together this morning:
2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and I will forgive their sins and will heal their land.
The word “if” is a conditional word.
God speaks a conditional statement here,
the condition must be fulfilled before the result can happen.
If God’s people become humble, pray, seek his face and turn from their wicked ways.
Then the result would be that God would hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land.
Throughout the Bible there are times when God chooses to act unconditionally, and other times when God has specific condition that need to be fulfilled before He acts.
One of God’s conditions is humbleness.
1 Peter 5:6 says, “humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.”
God commands us to humble ourselves.
In the dictionary, Humbleness, is defined as having or possessing the virtue of humility.
Humility, is a freedom from arrogance that grows out of the recognition that all that we are and have comes from God.
Some look at humbleness as a sign of weakness or worthlessness. But this is not the meaning that the bible gives.
Biblical humility is not a belittling of self, it is an exalting and praising of others.
It is recognition that by ourselves we are nothing, but because we are created by God and in his image and are believers in Christ, we have infinite worth and value.
The author E. M. Bounds wrote, “Humility is just feeling little because we are little. Humility is realizing our unworthiness because we are unworthy, the feeling and declaring ourselves sinners because we are sinners.
Another author, Bob Sorge wrote. “Humility says, ‘Lord, I am empty without Your fulness; I am broken without Your wholeness; I am helpless without Your strength; I am clueless without Your wisdom. Apart from You I am nothing. I need you...”
True humility, true humbleness, does not produce pride it produces thankfulness.
Humbleness is a condition that god requires.
God also wants His people to be people of prayer.
Prayer is how we communicate with God.
James 5:16 says, “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”
Prayer how we are to express our thanks to the God who loves us and cares for us.
Prayer is for supplication, for adoration, and for confession.
Prayer brings us closer in our relationship to our God.
When we pray we are communicating with our Lord, our Saviour, our Father and our friend.
Do you understand how much God wants YOU to be in constant communication with Him?
1 Thessalonians 5:17 says “pray without ceasing” God wants you to pray.
God wants His people to seek His face.
Not a rushed little thank you here or there.
Not only when you want Him to do something.
God wants your total commitment.
Matthew 6:33 says you are to “Seek the Kingdom of God first, above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”
Are you seeking God’s kingdom first?
Could it be, that the reality is you are seeking what you want more than you are seeking His kingdom?
Does God have first place in your life?
Or is God a long, long way down your list of priorities?
What gets in the way?
What do you put before Him?
What place have you really chosen for God in your life?
What if today you chose to put God first in everything you do?