March 20, 2022
Today’s Thought: If I just pray enough…
With Bishop Ronald K. Powell
Today we are fasting from a very subtle thought that will truly set you free:
“If I just pray enough or live holy enough, I will get closer to God and enter into His presence.”
I want to bring your attention to the fact that some of the thoughts that we need to fast from and eliminate from our heads, SEEM LIKE RIGHT THOUGHTS. But they are subtle tricks and lies.
When the devil approached Adam and Eve, in Genesis 3, it says, ‘he was subtle. More than any other creature.’
It’s these subtle thoughts that defeat us. They seem so godly and so right, but they are not right; because they produce a WORKS mentality and a LEGALISTIC approach to our relationship with God.
I don’t want to create a theological debate, here. But I want to ask you a question: how much closer can God get than to LIVE INSIDE OF YOU?
* 2 Corinthians 13:5 says, “Do you not recognize that Christ Jesus is in you?”
* 1 Corinthians 6:19 says, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God?”
This is not a warning to be afraid. This is a promise. It is a fact when a person is born again. It is a picture of how there is no separation between us and God. Paul is saying in essence (and I am praying you will receive this with an open heart): “The reason your behavior has been sinful and negative, is because you have lacked the knowledge that HE LIVES IN YOU. When you realize that, it will change how you look at yourself, and it will then change how you live.”
When we think we have to do more to get closer to Him, the focus gets put on us. But Hebrews 12:1 says to “Fix your eyes on Jesus.” When you buy into this thought, you TRY SO HARD TO GET CLOSE TO GOD, and then get discouraged, until you give up or assume that that your relationship with God will always be: Distant. That affects your peace, joy, and of course your confidence in prayer.
This is what I call “an illusion of separation.” The devil, and even religion has caused us to think God is afar off. “He’s way up there, and we’re way down here. And if we pray enough, fast enough, do enough, we can close the gap, and get Him to come closer.” That’s a lie. He is the friend that sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)
Ok gang. This is a thought that we must deal with–NOW!
1. We don’t earn closeness with God.
It is a gift. Hebrews 13:5 says “He will never leave you or forsake you.”
2. YOU ARE ALREADY IN HIS PRESENCE BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS.
Hebrews 10:19 says, “we enter into the Holy place by the blood of Jesus.”
3. There is no separation between you and God.
When you are born again, you are united with Him, and one with Him. 1 Corinthians 6:17 says, “The one who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him.” In Acts 17:28, he says, “In Him we live and move and have our being.” This is the reality that the early Christians had and lived by. There is no separation. (Yes, sin separated us from God, but Jesus removed sin, and re-connected us to God. There is no separation now.)
4. Stop thinking, “He’s there, and I’m here.”
I don’t have to do something to get God into my situation. He is already in it, because I’m in it. “He is at work IN me, to bring about His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)
5. I will fear no evil.
Psalm 23:4 says, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for THOU ART WITH ME!”
6. Reject the lie that He is out there somewhere.
Reject the lie that your answer or blessing is “out there” somewhere. Mark 4:20 says, “he who hears the Word and accepts it, will bear fruit.” You have to accept this truth. There is no separation. Ok, this is too much for me to cover in one day. I’ll talk to you more about it tomorrow! (to be continued!)
But until then, THINK IT & SAY IT:
I am not separated from God, anymore. I don’t have to earn closeness with Him. It is a gift. He will never leave me or forsake me.
I am IN HIS PRESENCE and HE IS IN ME. In Him, I live and move and have my being. I live in this reality.
I stop thinking that “He is there, and I am here.” He is in my life and my situation right now. No matter what I walk through, I am not afraid. For God is with me.
I reject the lie that He is out there somewhere. I accept that there is no separation between God and me. Romans 8:38-39 says, “Nothing can separate me from the love of God!”