Good morning, this is the Lord’s day, the 7th of Feb 2021; this is the 5th brief morning message of this campaign of prayer and devotion that started on the 1st of Feb, as the Lord is calling us to draw near in this special way.
Yesterday we said how important it is to show diligence to the full assurance of hope, and we read: Hebrews 6:12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patient endurance inherit the promises.
We need faith and patient endurance to obtain the things that God wants to give to us.
We are now going through a month of dedication, as the Lord gave us a clarion call on the basis of Matthew 7:7 “ASK and it shall be given, SEEK and you shall find, KNOCK and it shall be opened”.
It is all about a life of prayer, which is why it is important that we understand the relation between the faith and patient endurance on the one hand, and the call to ASK, SEEK and KNOCK, on the other.
The key to how these two are inter-related is in the words of Jesus in Mark 11:24: “whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and it shall be (so) to you.”
Asking, seeking and knocking is not just a quick little prayer that I say to God and then go back to my worldly life. For these three to happen I need time, effort, repeat, and then all over again until it comes to pass.
If time, effort and repetition was not necessary, then we’d have no need of patient endurance to hold on to the faith through a period of time that we have not yet received what we ask.
So, what do those words of Jesus really mean? It is vital that we grasp the meaning of His words as written in the original text:
“whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you have received it, and it shall be (so) to you”.
He did not say “believe that you receive” but He said “believe that you have received”, which is in past tense; it has already happened!
Does it sound odd? Perhaps irrational? Probably that is why most translations do not translate it accurately; it sounds irrational to say that I have already received something that has not happened yet.
Yes, odd and irrational, when you do not know the Scriptures, and do not have experience in a life of prayer. In fact the very definition of faith is precisely that! Faith is to have already received what you ask for in prayer.
Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. What we have faith for, already has substance, already exists; even though not yet seen, we have the evidence, we can touch and feel it.
That is what Jesus meant when He said, Mark 11:22-23. “Have God’s faith (or, the faith of God). For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is being done, it shall be done (so) to him”
For this, we need patient endurance in prayer to beseech the Lord, as we ask, seek and knock for as long as it takes until the faith of God has been formed, has taken on substance in our spirit.
In other words, persevere until the answer to what we ask has been imparted to our spirit from above by the Spirit of God. If the answer to what we pray and ask has already received substance in our spirit, then we have already received it. Then it shall also come to pass in the real world; it shall be done to us.
Faith is formed through prayer if we patiently endure; then we receive!