You are also members of His household. – Ephesians 2:19
What is home to you? Maybe it is whatever building all your stuff is in. Maybe it’s your place to get away from the world. It could be filled with the laughter of children and sometimes it is filled with harsh words better left unsaid but slip out when we fail to remember what takes prominence in our lives. It’s more ‘who’ than ‘what’ but the ‘who’ gives us an idea of ‘what’ should matter. Christ should take prominence in our lives, not just publicly but at home too. Home is where our family is and family loves us unconditionally.
The people we love the most, the ones we keep the closest have seen the very best of us. They’ve also seen the very worst. Family protects us against the world. My family has had and likely will have some terrible arguments and we will say terrible things in the passion of the moment. Yet all of that will disappear if someone is hurt or is spoken to harshly and we do not like it. It is that ‘I can mess with my family but you can not mentality’ and it’s been part of my family since I can remember.
Who else has seen you that way? Well, God has. He knows you like none other. He sees what even your family doesn’t. He sees both good and bad things. His love knows no boundaries. We are all part of God’s household and that is home for the soul. That is one of a multitude of reasons we call fellow Christians brother and sister. They are spiritually bound to us because we are all children of God. They will help protect us against the attacks of the enemy.
Your Spiritual Family Loves You!
And that is why you should love them back. Intercede for them, support them and love them unconditionally. Someone will stray, maybe it will be you or maybe it will be me. God’s the one that knows that and how we react to that is what sets the bar for how much we value our spiritual brethren. If they stray love on them. Walk them back to God and if it is a crawl back to God then get on your hands and knees and do that with them. Jesus loved us so much He came here and gave up everything to live as man did and yet He loved on people like so few men did or would. Our spiritual family loves us as Christ loved, pay it forward because the healing of one family member through the power of Jesus makes it all worth it. We are members of God’s household and that makes us a family that needs to love everyone and not just someone in good times.
I think that Prayer is not as complicated as we make it. Humans have a wonderful way of taking an action like prayer into realms it is not or to forget about it. I’d like to talk about what prayer is not. I think that to understand why we pray we should think about what causes us to pray. What is the purpose of prayer? These questions that God has given us answers to. So why do we misuse it or disregard it all together?
Prayer is Not…
A get out of jail free card. We should not be using prayer only in tragedy. God gave a greater purpose to praying. It also is not a means to lie, by this I mean that if someone asks you to pray for them, you do it. If you tell someone, “I’ll pray for you” then do it. They leave feeling as if you are genuine but instead you have taken their trust in you, their hope of your words to heart but they are lip service. You have subjugated your faith to save face to sound empathetic to someone’s needs. Prayer is not a complacent action and when we pray it must be done in truth (Psalm 145:18).
Personal and yet also public. The Bible is clear about prayer as the reference verse says we should pray continually. My morning and evening commutes are often spent with God. I talk to Him as if he is there in the car with me physically. He is the Father unseen but he is also the Father who sees what is done in secret and will reward us. Jesus speaks that in Matthew 6:6 and in the NKJV version unseen is translated as the “secret place.” This secret place is not a physical place, it can be where you go but what Jesus is speaking about is within us. When we pray it can be hard to turn down our mind to focus on God only. That’s where spiritual fitness helps us. Prayer is our connection to the Father.
One of the things I enjoy is prayer and it doesn’t take time out of my day it is an integral part of my day. I get time with God and I am preparing myself for any potential spiritual warfare that I or my family may face. It sounds kind of silly but I did one of those “What is your Biblical Name” tests from Facebook and I received Yishmael or Ishmael which means God Listen’s or God hears depending on your translation.
I like the idea of that, who wouldn’t? God listens to me! He listens to you too if you pray in truth He is there. Approach His throne in confidence and God grants us the mercy we so need. The healing we desire and the comfort of his presence.
For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities;all things have been created through him and for him. – Colossians 1:16
It was just a couple of days ago that I was writing about the fact that God is Still in Control even if we choose not to acknowledge it. He never relinquishes it because he created it. Without God there would be no power, no Earth or Heaven. No us. Sometimes, I lie awake at night and worry about random things that work themselves out because I cannot relax my desire for control on everything yet. I should instead pray about them. God has the authority to make life changing sweeps in anyone’s life even if we do not want them he knows the purpose of those changes and it is scary to think that our ability to control it is zero.
Forgetting Where Power Resides
I think for me it is not necessarily forgetting that God has the power because I know he does. For some reason I think that I am Jacob and that I will prevail. Jacob wrestled with God and would not let the manifestation that God had taken go until he was blessed. While God could have easily beaten Jacob he chose to not use any powers at all until the very end where he injured Jacob’s hip with a single touch. God did bless Jacob and renamed him Israel but there is meaning in this because Jacob had been in exile for 20 years. In that time he matured and became a man of great wisdom. The physical match was a final test for Jacob to prove his sincerity in his change from a sinner to a devoted follower of God. Jacob recognized the power within the man he wrestled and demanded a blessing. He did not forget where power resided but God blessed him for his perseverance (Genesis 32:22-31). Instead of wrestling with God I really should learn to relax, let go and allow His will to guide my life. Jesus has done the work and wrestled with sin. Our desire to control our destiny is a direct conflict of God’s plan often times because we feel that conflict. It is the guilt we experience while sinning.
Control is Scarring
It’s true, for me at least. Learning to give God control can be tiring effort but it is also something that when done well results in scarring. This is not scarring in the physical sense but it transcends that. Elbert Hubbard said it pretty succinctly, “God will not look you over for medals, degrees and diplomas, but for scars.” It doesn’t matter what we achieve in this world physically but how we affect people spiritually. So the scarring is a good thing because it signifies growth much like how a muscle grows. It tears and then new muscle is built in place. If you are moving in your walk with God it is going to be something that hurts but you learn from and grow with so that you are closer to Him.
God is speaking to me directly about this. I was so busy yesterday and I knew that I needed to do my devotional but time was not working to my advantage. I was getting irritated with myself because I wanted to do it but something kept coming up every time. Then the test, I was sitting here writing this at 10:00 PM and was halfway through when my little girl came up to me wanting me to hold her. She had not been feeling well at all. So do I tell her in a minute and have no intention of doing so, it would have been selfish or do I do as she asks me. God was showing me that I do need to relax and that he has it all under control. I did the right thing (right because I don’t feel conflicted) and picked her up and laid on the couch with her. I didn’t get her to bed until a little after midnight. I could have went back to working on it but instead I spent an hour with my love because we cherish the small amount of adult time we get. God wants us to let go and fall in to His hands where He can show us His work. It is perfect and always for our good.