Friday, June 20, 2008

Stand in Awe of God

Guard your steps when you go to the house of God.

Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools,

who do not know that they do wrong.

Much dreaming and many words are meaningless.

Therefore stand in awe of God.

Ecclesiastes 5:1, 7

You probably won't be surprised that whenever I read the word listen in God's word, I always linger a while and mark my Bible in some way. The passage written above is no different. We are to guard our steps when we go to church. Why would we need to watch the way we walk on the way to God's house? After looking closely at the first seven verses of Ecclesiastes 5, I see that they deal mostly with words of advice on proper worship. And since listening in the Old Testament is closely connected with obedience, God must be asking us to check ourselves before we worship. Are you and I walking in obedience or as a fool who worships God without even realizing that he or she has done anything wrong?
In these seven verses on worship we receive simple ways to improve our worship like not being quick with our mouths and keeping it simple--if we make a vow keep it. God is in heaven and we are on earth so let our words be few. So our hearing must be improved when we check our worship, check our mouths and check our steps. That way I hear it, we need to make our best effort to be purposeful when we head to church, not haphazard (like the fool who talks too much and thinks he or she always does it right).
Therefore may we all stand in awe in awe of our incredible God! He deserves pure worship with our ears open and our mouths shut. And maybe we should take off our shoes, too, while we are there (Exodus 3:5).

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Little More on Warfare Praying

The Apostle Paul often uses the language of warfare. When he does, we should pay attention and listen to God's voice through his word because this is where we learn. This morning in my quiet time God laid out three major ways to improve our battle tactics, some new, some old, some re-discovered.

1. Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 13:11-14)
2. Put on the full Armor of God. (Ephesians 6:10-20)
3. Follow God's instructions in 1st and 2nd Timothy. Fight the good fight (1 Timothy 1:18) and endure hardship like a good soldier of Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 2:3-4), desiring to please our commanding officer.

Stand strong. We are more than conquerors through him who loves us.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Warfare Praying

Recently, while studying I ran across the phrase, “warfare praying,” in Warren Wiersbe’s BE (Bible Expository) Commentary. God used that phrase to send me on a new adventure in learning. In Dr. Wiersbe's teaching on 2 Corinthians 10:1-6 he wrote about how he met weekly with three pastor friends and together they united in “warfare praying.” They claimed God’s promise to cast down the wrong thinking that was keeping people from surrendering to God; and God did great things in the lives of many people for whom they interceded. Once the walls in the mind have been town down, the door to the heart can be opened.

I am asking God to teach me all about effective warfare praying. I desire to learn about this for all of you, my family (including my church family), and ultimately for all of the unsaved people who may read this blog, so the doors of many hearts will be opened. This caused me to go on a google adventure to find Dr. Wiersbe and ask him about the way he prayed. I found him at the Sherwood Baptist Chuch in Albany, GA of all places and wrote to him. They have a ministry there to pastors called 2ProphetU ( and have an online bookstore ( Michael Catt, the editor of 2ProphetU, wrote me back and said Mr. Wiersbe is 79 years old and retired and does not e-mail, but is still writing and would forward my letter to him. He advised me to order the book by Warren Wiersbe called, The Strategies of Satan, which I plan to do.

After I found Dr. Wiersbe at his 2ProphetU Online Ministry, I was led to Sherwood Baptist's Book store that features a lot of his books. He has a new one which I ordered even before Mr. Catt wrote me back. It's called Life Sentences: Discover the KEY THEMES of 63 Bible Characters. What sentence will sum up your life? He spends about 4-5 pages on each character that ranges from The LORD GOD himself to Phoebe (Old and New Testament Characters). He even writes about his own life sentence. He is number 64. He wrote that he is not worthy to be classed with the Bible greats mentioned in his book.

Anyhow, back to my adventure. Within a day of praying to God and asking him to teach me about warfare praying, I received an answer. While reading in the Psalms, God made a promise in Psalm 144:1: “Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.” I like that he is trains our fingers, because this is how most of God’s ministry is done—through writing sermons, lessons, letters, studies, books (especially the world’s greatest book, The Holy Bible) and online ministries like Dr. Wiersbe’s. “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world”(2 Corinthians 10:4).

I will keep you posted on what I learn about fighting with weapons that are out of this world. Mostly, what he has shown me so far is what I already know: 1. Keep my armor of God in place. 2. Stay alert at all times. 3. Pray without ceasing. I have also found out that you can pray even while Jazzercising. While dancing and jumping around we often do boxing moves, punching and uppercuts. Whenever I punch, I punch out the devil and all of his team--in my life and those I pray for. That would be YOU.