Bible Studies & Devotionals
From Olive Branch Ministries
By Mark and Tinsley Baker
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Matthew 6:7 "But when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
8. "Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.
Here Jesus was teaching on the subject of prayer. This was His lead in to the Lords prayer.
Before He taught us what to pray He also told us how not to pray. We are told not to pray repetitively. He said they think they will be heard for their many words, or volume of words. He said do not be like them. However we see that many Christians do this very thing by praying the same thing over and over thinking that they will be heard because of their repetition. Letís take heed to the words of Christ and realize this is not how we should pray.
The question I want to ask is why would we need to ask if our Father already knows the things we need? He knows all things. He knows the beginning from the end. Why ask?
Many Christians say that God will take care of things, but I truly donít know where
they get that idea or what Scripture they base that on. The word of God has much to say about asking God in faith.
I also know that many Christians donít know that God has asked us to ask Him, and that He has given us instruction on how to ask, or what to ask.
The Apostle James said we do not have because we do not ask.
James 4:2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.
Throughout the Word of God we see instances where we are told to ask. We have to ask in order to receive. Have you ever stopped to consider that there are spiritual reasons for this?
There are reasons for everything in Godís Word. He has set things up His way. It is not a case where God can not do something but a case where He established things in a certain way, and He will not violate His Word for anyone. It is up to us to get understanding into His Word and learn to walk in it.
We may not totally understand the why and why nots, but whether we have understanding or not, the reasons are still there and we must follow Godís ways in orders to get Godís results. Lets look to Godís Word for answers.
Genesis 1:26. Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.''
27. So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
In the beginning God gave Adam dominion over the Earth. Adam sinned and because of this relinquished that authority. He no longer had that authority that God gave him. Satan became the God of this world.
Adam had the legal right to do what he did. Because he had the legal right God could not just step in and undo the mess that Adam created. Adams dominion and authority was given to him by God Himself. Adam then turned that legal God given authority over to Satan. Satan had legally become the God of this world.
At this point man was lost. He lost His relationship as a child of God, he lost his fellowship with God and he lost the authority that had been bestowed upon him. All seemed hopeless.
We have to understand that God does not break His Word for anybody. He would not step across that line and undo what had happened. Legally he could not do that. He had to find a legal way.
Through a Covenant with Abraham God got his seed back into the Earth, and established an everlasting Covenant with that seed. Everything we have and are is by and through that seed. Iíve said all of this to make the point that we have to follow the outline of this Covenant to legally receive the promises of God. Part of legally receiving is to ask.
I think it would be beneficial to describe what a covenant is so that the importance of this will be understood. A covenant is a legal binding agreement between two parties. Both parties must agree to the terms of the covenant before they enter into it. Both parties will agree to uphold and fulfill their end of the covenant according to the conditions stipulated within the terms of that covenant. Most covenants will have several parts to it. There is the physical act of cutting the covenant, and the actual outline of the covenant itself, or the legal binding agreement that both parties have already agreed to. Within the framework of this there will be blessings for keeping the covenant and curses that will happen if either party were to break the covenant. The curse would often be death along with the death of all of their immediate family. So you can readily see that entering into such an agreement was not something done lightly. It was a most serious thing to do.
You can see Godís Covenant set forth in the 28th chapter of Deuteronomy.
It would be beneficial to read this to see the true seriousness in our Covenant with God and to know our rights and legal standing. Up until Christ came it was impossible to keep our end of the agreement. Our sinful nature just wouldnít let us do it. Thank God He did come.
Galatians 3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree''), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
I am so very grateful to our Lord Jesus Christ for taking the full punishment of that curse for us so that we may receive the blessings of Abraham. We have been blessed with the full blessing outlined in Abrahamís Covenant. A very many Christians donít know the terms of their Covenant, and because of this can never receive these promises of God.
We know that God is honorable and will always uphold His end of the Covenant He established. However in order to be partakers of it we must know what our legal rights are. We also know that Satan is still the God of this word, but the authority he once had has been stripped from him. If we donít know that we can not walk in the victory that has been purchased for us. We have to know the promises in order to take advantage of them.
I hope you see the importance of what is being said here. We now have the legal right to ask God according to the promises set forth in this awesome Covenant.
Jesus told us Himself, we could ask the Father in His name.
John 14:12-14 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If you ask anything in My name, I will do it."
God wants us to be blessed and happy. He would not have told us to ask if He didnít want us to get would He? We have to take the steps Heís telling us to take in order to receive the Covenant promises by faith.
Jesus said all authority in Heaven and in Earth has been given to Him. He delegated that authority to us. So, because we are His legal representatives here on the Earth we have been given the legal right to go to God the Father in Jesus name and ask according to
His will. (His will is set forth in the New Covenant.) When we do that God is legally obligated to fulfil His Word. Some people donít like to hear this, but remember that God is the one who initiated this Covenant and also fulfilled it. Without it we would have no legal standing before God. We would be lost and without hope.
He is the one telling us to ask Him. He loves to see us blessed. Jesus said in Johns GospelÖ
John 16:24 "Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
Jesus said until now because we now have the right to go to the Father in His name and ask according to the words of Jesus, we will then receive.
Now when we ask according to His Covenant we can legally expect to be heard by God and receive what we asked of Him.
1 John 5:14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
15. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
You can't get any plainer than that. When we ask anything according to His will He hears us. Some people say I donít know if God heard me or not. According to His Word He hears us when we pray according to His will. This means He hears us whether we feel like it or not. Since we know He hears us, we know we have the petitions or requests that we have asked of Him. We can confidently ask. The reason we can do it is because we have been given the legal privilege of doing so. If you are a born again Christian you have this privilege. What an awesome privilege this is. Remind Him of His Covenant. Ask according His Word and be confident that He hears you, and that you have the request you have made of Him. Glory to God. Amen
The first thing you must do is to ask Jesus to become your Lord and Savior? Do you want to be a joint heir with Christ?
If so, I urge you to earnestly pray the following prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says, "Öand the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (Jn.6:37),
So I know You wonít cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).
I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, "Öthat if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation." (Ro.10:9,10).
I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, "Ö with the heart one believes to righteousnessÖ" and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),
And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!
I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God
Glory to God!!!! Amen.