Tag Archives: Will of God

Discipleship – The Cost of Discipleship (Part3 of 3)

Introduction

This post is partially extracted from the video link – https://youtu.be/lpiQdRd9DSc and blended with personal insights. The video is about Getting into Word to produce disciples of Christ, Part 1. This post, The Cost of Discipleship, is part 3 of 3. The other two parts defined and described what is spiritual maturity and what is spiritual apathy.

Spiritual maturity is the goal, but the poison of spiritual apathy runs deep. What is the antidote for the heart poisoned by deception, discouragement, and distraction? Without this antidote, the goal of being a disciple of the Lord Jesus is jeopardized. Unfortunately, the video does not offer solutions; these “solutions” are my thoughts.

The following antidotes to the 3 heart conditions foster spiritual maturity. It paves the way and is part of the cost of discipleship, which involves the carrying of their cross (Luke14:27), forsaking self (Mat16:24), forsaking earthly relationships for the Lord (Luke14:26), and submitting to God’s will (Mat10:24).

 

The Cost of Discipleship

 

Antidote for the Deceived Heart

The deceived heart does not subject Himself to God. It is closely related to the distracted heart. The deceived heart is poisoned by pride that rebels against God. This pride is their heart’s treasure. It is a form of self-idolatry. Mat10:24 says, “The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.” But the deceived heart desires to be above its master.

Solving the challenge of the deceived heart requires one to reduce, manage and eliminate their pride in themselves and towards life (1Jhn2:16).

Scripture offers the following guidance to reduce pride

  1. To love the unlovable and the undesirable, even one’s enemies. (Luke6:32-35)
  2. To esteem others better than oneself (Phil2:3)
  3. This love and esteem are not mere words or state of mind but to look after the interest of others ahead of oneself (Phil2:4) and to serve (Jhn12:26, Mat20:26-27).

In this way, the prideful, deceived heart is subjugated by the cleansing experience of meekness and sincere love towards God and man. The flesh will resist with all its might against this cleansing.

Be mindful that this spiritual war of Eph6 with the deceived heart takes place in the minds of man as explained in Rom12:2, 2Co10:3-5, and Phil4:7. It is a war with two dimensions – internal with one’s carnal flesh and external with the evil spirit. This post focuses on the internal battle.

See the posts about Spiritual Warfare against the external spirit –  https://sincerelawrence.com/2022/08/23/spiritual-warfare/

Watch and pray to draw divine strength that fortifies the willing spirit to guard against human weakness in the flesh. By watching and praying, the soul has the resources to win the battle in the mind. Watching and praying is Lord Jesus’, the Lord Yahusha’s advice to His sleeping disciples in the garden of Gethsemane before His arrest and subsequent crucifixion.

 

Antidote for the Discouraged Heart

The discouraged heart is poisoned by brokenness and grief (Mat5:3-4). Often life circumstances are the source of brokenness and grief. One’s allotted lot in life is designed by God’s purpose and will. The 4-part post-series about the Will of God helps one make sense of suffering and pain. See part 1, The Will of God – Nature of God’s Will, via this link – https://sincerelawrence.com/2022/09/15/gods-will-nature-part-1-of-4/

 

The antidote to the discouraged heart is God’s comfort, as mentioned in Mat5:4. What does it mean to be comforted by God?

 

God, Abba Yahuah, comfort the discouraged heart in the following ways.

  1. The comfort comes from the inestimable value of the resurrection hope of 1Pet1:3 that Paul said one might earn, by inference as a disciple by suffering and death, in Phil3:10-11 and to earn the eternal rewards of good works mentioned in 1Co3.

 

  1. The comfort is derived from the significance of being broken-hearted and mourning, which is the eternal value of emulating the Lord Jesus as the salt of the earth and the light of the world that pleases Father God (Mat5:3-16). This value is grounded in an intimate and empathetic relationship with God.

Earthly temporal suffering is also meaningful as payment for the significant eternal rewards. Therefore, it imbues senseless earthly suffering with eternal purpose. With eternal meaning, significance, and purpose, one can endure with patience for things outside control and preserve in areas within control.

There is a fierce struggle to let go of the familiar brokenness and grief. While they are poison, familiarity can be more comforting than submitting to an uncertain future-hope rooted in faith in the Faithfulness of God. The soul’s and body’s cries for swift earthly justice can be overwhelming for some.

In such cases, the heart is poisoned by both discouragement and deception. The deception is the pride of being a victim. Having lost so much, the heart hangs on to the dignity and identity of victimhood. The pride of victimhood, dignity, and identity poison the heart.

 

The antidote must draw from points raised for the deceived heart and, simultaneously, from the points raised for the discouraged heart. There is one significant factor that needs addressing. It is the issue of forgiveness.

The thorns and briars of unforgiveness growing from the fertile grounds of bitterness-hate are the strong men to the heart poisoned by deception and discouragement.

The topic of unforgiveness is a deep and broad topic that deserves its posts. Due to the need to limit the scope of this post and prayer, which I have not done, I will leave this elephant in the room as a reminder that to win the battle is not a simple wave of a wand.

 

Antidote for the Distracted Heart

The world’s distractions draw their power from the treasures in the heart that is not God. The Lord Jesus said in Mat6:21 –“ For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” This describes the issue of struggling to serve two or more masters.

The distracted heart is poisoned by the reign of another master that is not God.

 

I would go on a limb to say that all humans suffer from the poison of the distracted heart. By the time one becomes aware of God, the call of spiritual maturity, and the dangers of spiritual apathy, the contamination of the world would have taken place to vary degrees.

This awareness and admission are critical to the journey of a pure heart towards God and man. See this link about the pure heart toward God – https://sincerelawrence.com/2022/08/31/sincere-love-and-sincere-faith/.

If this awareness is dim and admission a struggle, the heart is also poisoned by deception. But the guardians of this deception are not the simple matter of one’s sense of pride that plagues the deceived heart. These pride guardians are empowered by their masters (evil spirits) of the heart’s treasures and co-conspirators of the carnal flesh that loves the world (lust of the eye, lusts of the flesh, and the pride of life of 1Jhn2:16).

 

Dethrone the False kings

Therefore, it should be apparent to dethrone these false sovereigns of the heart is no easy matter. I would claim that this war against these faux sovereigns is waged till one draws their last breath.

To wage this war, one needs awareness of which category these pretender sovereigns fall into-

  1. The lust of the flesh.
  2. The lust of the eye.
  3. The pride of life.

 

After identifying their realms (categories- there are usually many of them existing in all the 3 categories), one needs to wage a spiritual war of attrition with them (the evil spirits). For thoughts about this, see the post about Spiritual Warfare. Perseverance in watching and praying is key to winning this spiritual war.

Then one needs to examine the areas these evil spirits continue to take advantage of to perpetuate their reign. The soul and flesh are tempted to sin in these areas. The obvious solution is to avoid these areas; flee youthful lust, as advised in 2Tim2:22. This fleeing may involve quitting one’s career, moving homes, and surrendering some free will to others with their interests at heart. These areas qualify for the act of perseverance, to make that crucial life-changing decision to remove themselves from the dangers of these temptations.

But where life circumstances compel one to remain tempted, e.g., in a marriage, in a family setting, immobilized, then, on-top of perseverance, one needs to be patient, looking away from these temptations and focusing on the points raised in the discouraged heart.

Because of proximity to the temptations, the person naturally will struggle with their sins. But do not give up hope. Repentance for most is a long process, and some are short. There is no meaning to comparing; let each season present itself as another opportunity to pass the test of discipleship. Celebrate the failures in the confession-forgiveness of 1Jhn1:9 and restoration of the full assurance of faith of Heb10:22 and confession-empowerment of Jam5:16.

See the link for the benefits and power of confession to God and man to support the challenges of being close to temptations – https://sincerelawrence.com/2022/09/12/benefits-of-confessing-to-god-and-confessing-to-man/.

Gradually, over time, these harmful desires will lose their stranglehold on the soul; by the willing spirit and cooperative soul, and going thru the cycles of forgiveness-restoration-confession, the new man’s divine immunity will mature, being led more consistently by the Holy Spirit of Yah.

Celebrate success in meekness and sober-mindedness. Whether in failure or success, offer both with thanksgiving and praise to the whole counsel of God; Abba Yahuah, His Son, Yahusha, and His Holy Spirit.

 

Enthrone the King of Kings

The cost of discipleship concerning the distractions of the heart requires the sincere believer to remove any treasure from the heart that is not God Himself, which is the personal relationship with Him.

In this way, the distractions that stem from the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of richness will not sway the heart. Practicing this solution requires one to honor God’s will with your wealth and submit to His will with a Submissive heart to melt the cares of the world and the lure of riches. It is not easy to overcome this struggle, the rich man of Mat19 failed to pay the cost of discipleship.

Honoring God with one’s wealth has been controversial, mainly due to the prosperity gospel, which I am not in favor of. In my observation and experience, the prosperity gospel magnifies the distractions of the heart.

The wealth stewardship I favor is based on a personal relationship vs. an impersonal institutional relationship, one that is based on mutual trust and respect for each other vs. an unequal relationship between patron and recipient. Wealth stewardship is a means to support the eternal goals of soul salvation vs. pursuing the earthly pursuit of social justice to alleviate suffering.

The topic is too broad for this post—a ten post-series, Christian and the Money Series, attempt to describe this topic. The first post of this 10-part series can be found at this link – https://sincerelawrence.com/2020/11/11/christians-and-money-reality/.

 

Conclusion

The perspective of the 3 heart conditions helps to identify the aliment, but in practice, the heart is plagued by all the 3 aliments of deception, discouragement, and distraction. It will be challenging to anybody as it presents the imagery of being besieged by surrounding enemies.

Wisdom from the leading of the Holy Spirit of Yah is indispensable to navigating the treacherous terrain poisoned by deception, discouragement, and distraction. At this point, it may seem that the battle, much less the war, is impossible to win. These thoughts are flawed. It is God that wins the battle, for it belongs to Him.

The person needs a willing spirit that sincerely seeks God in their troubles. Posts such as these are meaningless without this desire to seek God. Even it is God that supplies the specifics of the navigating. Having knowledge of the heart conditions that draw from His word and revelations that puts them into practice, it is hubris to call the proposals written here antidotes. God, Himself is the true antidote. Abba God Yahuah was the one that has paid the greatest cost of man’s right to discipleship by the crucifixion of His Son, Yahusha.

Will of God – Confirming God’s Will (Part 3 of 4)

Introduction

Before confirming God’s will, which is the focus of this post, it is helpful to recall that post 1 of 4 covers the nature of God’s will. From post 1, God associates suffering as the measure of doing His will.

The nature of God’s will spans between perfect on one end and acceptable on the other end, with the good will of God in between them. Christ’s suffering and death on the cross are God’s measure of His perfect will. The acceptable will of God would have the least suffering.

 

While most will not need, God willing, to answer the call of Abba Yahuah’s perfect will of martyrdom, the experience of suffering is unavoidable. But why is suffering inevitable in this relationship with God?

Heb12 offers clues to this question.

Heb12:6 – “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.”

Abba Yahuah shows His paternal love by chastening and scourging. Blue Letter Bible Greek Lexicon describes chastening and scouring as a form of child training with afflictions thru life circumstances. This theme of life circumstances will be elaborated on later in this post.

Abba Yahuah does not chasten for His gratification. Heb12:10-11 reveals the reason for the chastening  –

“For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He (Yahuah) for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness.

Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”

 

Yahuah knows chastening is painful and brings sorrow to life. He deems this temporal suffering on earth as payment for doing His will, so He is just to embrace His children being one with His holiness and nature.

Abba Yahuah wants His children to be like Him by emulating His Son by suffering as they do His will on earth, even as His Son, the Lord Yahusha, has suffered. Imitating Christ is a strong theme that the apostles, Peter, Paul, and John, impressed upon their brethren in 1Peter2:21,4:1, Phil2:3-8, 1Co11:1, and 1Jhn2:6.

 

Concerning emulating the Lord Yahusa, the Lord Himself has this to say in Jhn13:34 –

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

This 3rd post explores the process of confirming God’s will and builds on the foundations of the previous 2 posts. 

God is perfect, but man and their life circumstances are imperfect. How would man know whether or not their choices abide by God’s will? This post seeks to answer this question.

This post assumes the person seeking to do God’s will is sincere and a mature son of God is paying attention to how God communicates His will.

 

Confirming God’s Will?

The Holy Spirit is indispensable to communicating God’s will but is invisible. Naturally, there are issues of clarity and doubt in this communication.

Rom12:2 offers these instructions.

-“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Rom12:2 is a verse rich with many truths. This post draws attention to the words “may prove.” These words mean to examine closely with scrutiny when testing to confirm the genuine will of God as revealed in His Word, in the life circumstances, and in the Spirit-led choices made.

 

The scrutiny will involve the following.

  1. Carefully observing the life circumstances. 

Look for patterns and evidence of carnally motivated behavior in oneself and others. Seek forgiveness of 1Jhn1:9 and the restoration of Heb10:22 to increase the mind’s and heart’s clarity.

 

  1. Seek God in prayer and wise counsel. 

After prayer, read the Word. Sometimes certain scriptures come to mind, or a particular understanding pops up. By reading them, God has the opportunity to speak to life circumstances.

Sometimes, wise counsel (solicited or unsolicited) will appear. Filter this counsel thru prayer and scriptures.

 

  1. Patience and Perseverance.

These two mindsets are crucial to producing favorable outcomes of the “may prove” experience to confirm God’s will.

 

They are patient and perseverant. For a detailed exposition of these two subjects, Derek Prince has a 5 part podcast. See link – https://youtu.be/EGFuq_G3_eA.

In a nutshell, perseverance is the active part of “may prove.” It is doing good works according to God’s will to serve Him.

Patience is the passive part of “may prove,” for matters outside control and the scope of doing. This waiting is waiting with the faith-hope of Lord Yahusha’s return and our resurrection.

With patience and perseverance, one pursues to prove, by trial and error, the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God.

The sense of the decision being right, which the Word confirms, a sense of peace that comes from deep within the soul despite the outward circumstances, and a sense of joy unspeakable of the soul. All of these will emerge in varying intensities and clarity to confirm how close one is to doing the will of God.  These elements of righteousness, peace, and joy confirm that one is walking in the will of God’s kingdom. Rom14:17 says this –

“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”

 

Conclusion

Confirming God’s will is an iterative process. It will likely be a bumpy ride. This post presented one perspective of this process. Other views may also produce a similar outcome. Nevertheless, focusing on prayer, His Word, and awareness of one’s life circumstances would likely be critical elements.

The proper mindset and familiarity with the process are necessary to confirm God’s will by trial and error.

Will of God – Manifestation of God’s Will (Part 2 of 4)

Introduction

The previous post clarified that God’s will has some flexibility and is presented as a continuum. It ranges from perfect to acceptable, with good straddling in between.

This post explores the manifestation of God’s will. It is about how God communicates His will.

 

Manifestation of God’s Will

God Manifests His will by His Word

2Tim3:16 and Psalm119:105 shed light on the purpose of His Word.

His Word also can mean Scripture as per 2Tim3:16 reveals that – “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”

While Psalm119:105 says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

The Word, the will of Yahuah, is to give clarity to the immediate situation (lamp unto my feet) and guidance for moving forward in life (light unto my path) for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness.

However, the Word is generic; there are about 780,000 words in the English Bible. Only some of the 780,000 words are relevant for any one circumstance.

How would one know which of His words are relevant?

The answer to this question has two parts.

a. Part of the answer lies in life circumstances and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

b. The remaining part of the answer lies in how one confirms God’s will, which is the focus of the 3rd post.

 

God Manifests His Will by Life Circumstances

Jam4:14 describes man’s life: “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”

James describes man’s life as insignificant and enduring as vapor. 

James then says this in Jam4:15 –

“For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.”

James is implying that God’s will and life circumstances are intertwined.

The Lord Jesus (Yahusha) affirms Jam4:15 in Jhn5:19 – “Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.”

The part in Jhn5:19 that says, “what He seeth the Father do” is what this post interprets as life circumstances. Abba Yahusha expresses His will in the form of life circumstances. 

It is helpful to realize that one’s lifespan comprises the sum of all life circumstances over that lifespan.

It is also important to realize how one observes and interprets their life circumstances affect how they can or cannot see God at work.

 

The Carnal Mind and The Spiritual Mind

Broadly, there are two ways for one to interpret their life circumstances

  1. By carnal means, to love the world, seeking after the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life mentioned in 1Jhn2:16. 

Such a person would indulge in the idolatry of Col3:5; of sexual immorality, extravagant excessive lifestyles, depraved unrestrained passions-cravings that God forbids, and the insatiable desire to have more.

Rom8:7 says such a person hates God’s will. The root cause of the carnal mind is the carnal-earthly treasures that reign in the heart (Mat6:21). The common carnal-earthly treasures are self-worship (pride), earthly possession, and earthly relationships. 

A carnal mind cannot see God in their life circumstances as their carnality consumes them.

2. By the leading of the Holy Spirit. This person has a spiritual mind that prioritizes the will of God. This subject is elaborated as the 3rd category of the manifestation of God’s will.

 

God Manifests His Will by the Leading of His Holy Spirit

This leading of the Holy Spirit can take place as follows.

a. In the reading of the Word.

The Holy Spirit is also known as the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in Eph1:17. Eph1 says that the Holy Spirit reveals precise knowledge (in His Word) about Abba Yahuah and His resurrection power that raised the Lord Yahusha from the dead.

The Holy Spirit can offer comfort, instruction, and help in the Word (Jhn 14:26, 15:26). 

 

b. In life circumstances.

The Holy Spirit can assist one to speak God’s will, and help and comfort in trials and tribulations according to God’s will.

Spirit-led Speech as per Mat10:18-20 

“And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.

But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.

For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.”

 

Spirit-led Trials and Tribulations as per Mat4:1

“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.”

In trials and tribulations, the Holy Spirit can be a source of comfort (to bring to the remembrance of the hope of the resurrection and eternal rewards) and help (usually to endure to do God’s will) in life circumstances as per Jhn14:26 and Jhn15:26.

The help of the Holy Spirit can involve sensing where to go or not go (Acts21:4, 21:11).

1Co12 about the gifts of the Spirit will not be covered in this post as God decides what gifts to give as it pleases Him (1Co12:18).

 

Conclusion

The Holy Spirit leads only mature sons of God according to Rom8:14. Mature sons eat meat truths of the Word, discerning to do good and avoiding evil according to Heb5:14.

The Spirit-led mature sons of God can see God’s will in their life circumstances. Such will not be carnal (Gal5:16) and will produce the fruit of the Spirit of Gal5.

The Spirit-led man prizes God, His will, and eternal goals as their heart treasures. 

 

Will of God – Nature of God’s Will (Part 1 of 4)

Introduction

What is the nature of God’s will?
The capacity (innate) and ability (permitted by circumstances) to express one’s will is sacrosanct. God the Creator first revealed His will by the act of creation recorded in Genesis.
When God created Adam and Eve, He gave them the freedom to choose and exercise their free will. God embodied the great significance of their free will in the only rule in Eden, which is not to partake from the Tree of knowledge of good and evil.
As the story goes, Adam and Eve chose poorly, deceived by the snake and their pride.
For those that have the heart to be part of God’s family (Mat12:50) and have set their minds set heavenward (Heb11, 1Pet2) seek to do the will of Abba Yahuah (God the Father).
This post seeks to explore from the scriptures concerning the following –

  1. the nature of God’s will.
  1. The manifestation of God’s will.
  1. How does one confirm if it is God’s will?
  1. What is the underlying reason that determines how one confirms they are doing God’s will?

This post will explore the nature of God’s will. There will be another 3 posts to cover the rest.

Nature of God’s Will

God’s will exists within a continuum. Rom12:2 tells us there are 3 categories of God’s will.

  1. The Perfect will of God.

Lord Yahusha has perfectly fulfilled God’s will in suffering, and death, especially His crucifixion.

Heb2:10 says it this way –

“For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”

Paul realizing the truth of God’s perfect will, pursued this goal. He states this goal in Phil3:10-11.

“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.”

This goal’s reward (not a gift) is the 1st resurrection of Rev20:6, described as the “resurrection of the dead” in Phil3:11.

  1. The Good will of God.
  1. The Acceptable will of God.

It stands to reason that the good and acceptable category has reduced suffering according to God’s will compared with the perfect will of God. Note, the suffering reduces, not eliminated, with the perfect will of God involving martyrdom and the acceptable will of God with the least suffering.
These 3 categories may correspond with the 3 levels of rewards of 100-60-30 fold (Mark10:30, Mat13:23, Mat19:29) and gold-silver-precious stones mentioned in 1Co3.

Conclusion

God offers man the choice to choose within the continuum of His will.
There is also the choice to disobey Him by falling outside God’s will. The following post will explore how God communicates His will to man. It will also explore falling outside God’s will.

Present Day Davids and Goliaths

Introduction

The Goliath that David faced was a SINGULAR event. Goliath was an overwhelming force of evil that stood against David. By God’s mercies, most of us do NOT have to contend with such insurmountable problems.

David’s response was to confront Goliath in mortal combat. The stakes were high. David staked his life. David slew Goliath with a sling and stone, and about a decade later, overcoming similarly mortal challenges of being pursued by Saul, he became Israel’s second king.

David’s victory over Goliath creates a strong impression on Christians. They may develop expectations of David’s earthly outcomes when they face life challenges. 

This expectation reinforces the belief that equates favorable earthly outcomes as God’s blessings and UNFAVOURABLE earthly outcomes as a displeased God teaching the person a lesson or a punishment.

The latter is true; when that person is in disobedience. This person sows into their carnal flesh, reaping death in their lives to fulfill Rom8:6, to be carnally minded is death, and where God is not mocked of Gal6:7-8.

 

The New Testament Davids and their Weapons

This post offers the perspective that earthly outcomes will likely be unfavorable when one is led by the Spirit of Rom8:15 and fulfilling the Law of Christ of Gal6:2.

In the New Testament, Christians throughout the ages have also confronted their Goliaths; Martyrs are the present-day Davids. 

This view stems from the observation that martyrs emulate the GREATER David, who is Jesus Christ. God the Father defeated Satan, the GREATER Goliath, by the Lord Jesus’ crucifixion, death, and resurrection. The Lord Jesus is the ROCK of all ages (Isa26:4), and the CROSS was the weapon delivery system (God’s sling) to secure man’s salvation.

The Lord Jesus’ suffering on the cross, Him crucified, and death was His weapons that secured His victory for God the Father,  even as David’s weapons were sling and stone that defeated Goliath.

Martyrs are most Christ-like in emulating the Lord Jesus, partaking in His suffering and death (1Pet4:12, Phil3:10). In this way, martyrs also wield the same weapons of suffering and death for their eternal victory. 

God does not call for all Christians to be Martyrs, for the burden of martyrdom usually exceeds more than one can bear. However, the 5th seal of Rev6:9-11 paints the picture of many Christians facing martyrdom in the end times.

How does one prepare for martyrdom? This question is for another post, and deep down in my soul, I do not feel qualified to explore this subject. So, I will reflect on this question as exploratory as possible and guard against being conceited.

For 1Co10:13 says, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 

 

Conclusion 

Christians must value their weapons, the same weapons wielded by martyrs, of suffering and death-like, by denying the body to fulfill its carnal lusts—the eternal rewards of ruling with Christ as kings-priest awaits as spoils of war.

Christian and Money Series- Boundaries & Priorities: Part 9

Introduction

Posts 7 and 8 of the Christians and Money Series discussed the hard factors (tangible) of economic realities, the shared economic baselines, and the 2 impediments of the sacred cows of social giving and inheritance. These tangible factors form the natural application’s structural framework to fulfill the RELATIONSHIPS’ goal of soul salvation mentioned in posts 5 and 6.

Post 9 deals with the soft factors (intangible) of relationship dynamics.
The illustration below shows that how the hard and soft factors form the wealth stewardship ecosystem. God’s alternative and Man’s ways have very different goals and means, although both appear to do “good” on the appearance.

 

 

Wealth Stewardship Ecosystem

 

These soft factors involve

  1. Discover the personal boundaries of oneself and the party in-need.
  2. Develop a hierarchy of priorities that’s clear yet adaptable to serve the goals.
  3. Be flexible with the Wayside ministry to suit various life circumstances. (Elaborated in Post 10).

Christians need the harmonized mindset of wise as serpents and harmless as doves to be effective stewards of God.

Boundaries

 

THE NEW TESTAMENT LOVE FRAMEWORK

Self-Love

Jesus said in Mat7:1-5
“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but does not notice the log that is in your own eye?
“Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye?
“You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

In Mat7:1-5, Jesus drew attention to the undesirable nature of actions that attempt to change others’ circumstances while one’s affairs are no better or in worse condition.
While this was in-context of judgment, this principle where one settles their affairs before advising or imposing on others is valid in the area of love.

The 1st and 2nd Love Commandments in Mat22 impose an expectation on Man to love God and their neighbor. This outcome motivates Man to set requirements among themselves. The emphasis is to love God and love their kind, which this series of posts have identified as the RELATIONSHIPS issue that is why Man loves money rather than loving God and their kind.
However, this love demand has biased the reading of Mat22:39, which reads as follows: “ You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The part glossed over is loving “yourself,” which is self-love. Self-love is settling one’s love affair before loving God and loving others.

 

Jesus recognized Man’s significantly inferior self-love experience and the need to be loved by another before loving others. For this reason, He gave a new commandment in John13:34 where Jesus offered love to humankind as both God and as a man. Jesus showed this love to restore the broken sense of self-love by offering loving acceptance in-place of abandonment. In this way, humanity finds the strength to love themselves, knowing that God as Man loves them to the point of death.

 

It is imperative to anchor in this healthy self-love according to God’s will as a pre-requisite to be free of the enslavement of money, which this post and the past eight posts in this series are attempting to foster.
For a deeper reflection on self-love, the reader can refer to the Self-love Series found in the blog “Relationship” section. I will include the links here once the series is complete.

 

Define Your Boundaries

 

To define one’s boundaries is to gain clarity on what one needs for healthy self-love. One’s boundaries are unique, taking the form of personal and environmental circumstantial factors.

 

Circumstantial Factors – Personal

Personal circumstantial factors are realities that occur leading to birth and early childhood (up to age 6, Berk, 2014). These factors comprise the person’s genetic make-up, temperament, and early childhood attachment. The person has no or very little control over these factors. In scripture language, they are part of the purpose of God. Purpose in the Greek describes the mandatory plan of God.
Circumstantial factors are essential regardless of which wealth stewardship model is adopted. The verse that lends weight to this claim comes from John5:19.

 

“Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the son also does in like manner.

 

The key phrases that support this observation are bolded. The word “unless” indicates a condition for action. That action “what the father is doing” fulfills the 1st and 2nd Commandment, which embodies God’s purpose and will. Thus the decision to love one’s neighbor and the manner to show this love is contingent on “unless one sees what the Father is doing.”

 

What does it means “unless one sees what the Father is doing?” It is notable that both the “see” and “doing” are verbs in the present tense. In other words, the wisdom concerning current circumstances determines the impetus for action. The following could be one possible framework for this wisdom

 

It raises the need to observe one’s current life circumstances for patterns or trends, especially in the following areas.

    1. Personality and temperament traits. Introvert or extrovert, meek or prideful, sober-minded or given to impulsivity, coping styles.
    2. The following events that shaped one’s life decisions or life trajectory
      • Learning or developmental disabilities
      • Major illness or death of loved ones
      • The quality of early childhood attachment or lack of that thereof.
      • Gifts and skills.

 

Observe for Patterns that Create Arching Themes

 

The pattern emerging over time and space usually forms themes within one’s lot in life. Commonly multiple themes coexist, but they manifest as primary or secondary and manifested or suppressed.

  1. A sad theme.
  2. A happy go lucky theme.
  3. A lonely theme.
  4. A social theme.
  5. A materially poor theme.
  6. A materially rich theme.

Whatever the life circumstances and themes may be, they are what the Father has DONE and STILL doing in each person’s life. To see these patterns and themes in one’s life is necessary before embarking on seeing what the Father is doing in others’ lives.

Patterns and themes form the boundaries of one’s life, and another’s life. Boundaries will feature later as key to be wise when doing good (remember the Christian character’s duality in post 7.

 

Circumstantial Factors – Environmental

Circumstantial environmental factors are events that occur from middle childhood up to the point of death. In these life stages, these events are increasingly within the person’s control. It is subjective to include middle childhood and late adulthood as circumstantial environmental factors. Middle childhood and late adulthood could also be part of the personal circumstantial factors due to the low levels of individual control over their events.

 

Central to what constitutes circumstantial environmental factors is the element of choice and the free will to make those choices. Such factors would fall under the will of God. The Greek meaning of will (Thelema) describes the desirable optional plans of God.

The following are examples of circumstantial environmental factors:

  1. The characteristics of one’s adult family relationships constitute circumstantial environmental factors. These relationships include parents, siblings, spouses, and children.
  2. Other nonfamily relationships that constitute environmental factors are business partners, significant peers.
  3. Major illness or death of loved ones
  4. Educational opportunities.
  5. Loss of employment.

These circumstantial environmental factors contribute to the reshaping of the individual’s circumstantial personal factors.

 

The significant difference between the Recipient’s (person in need of help) and the offeror is the scarcity of available information on the Recipient’s part. It takes time and mutual trust to construct the story of their life circumstances. The Recipient’s life circumstances likewise will produce emerging patterns and themes.

Commonly, such information is obtained indirectly by inferring observed clues and cues over time. Consequently, they are incomplete, an approximation of the facts, and subject to change.

 

The Holy Spirit is the believer’s helper in this instance. The Holy Spirit grants the believer access to God’s mind (1Co2:16). Because the Holy Spirit is the wisdom of God (2Co2:13), She helps Man to search out what God has concealed (Pro25:2). Life is one long continuous unveiling of God’s life parables for each individual. Therefore, the Holy Spirit’s wisdom and what She reveals are indispensable for Man to search out what God has purposed and willed for the Recipient.

Discovering the Recipient boundaries is a time-consuming iterative process, the test of patience that requires perseverance, and most importantly, the wisdom of a serpent and dove to navigate the mutual boundaries.

 

Combining the Personal and Environmental Circumstantial Factors (To be Wise as Serpents)

 

Wise as Serpent

 

How does this testing meld with the boundaries mentioned earlier? In the course of stewardship, one needs to look for alignment between the following.

  1. Understand your boundaries and emerging themes.
  2. Understand your neighbor’s boundaries and emerging themes.
  3. Test God’s will in the various life context presented.
  4. Review the result of the testing.
  5. Observe the kind of patterns emerging from several testings.

This alignment is to explore the following in the course of the Wayside ministry.

  1. Identify areas of harmony and conflict where the boundaries interface and overlap concerning the 1st and 2nd Commandments.
  2. This harmony and conflict management is similar to what God has done concerning balancing His Love and Justice needs (see Post 6).
    1. Does it support loving God?
    2. Does it support loving self?
    3. Does it support loving the neighbor?
  3. In the context of the testing results, observe for patterns; they are God’s hidden message.
  4. Prayerfully; Seek scripture for guidance, seek the rest in your soul to confirm, and seek counsel from like-minded Christians in this order of priority. These 3 seekings support the focus and clarity of realizing God’s will observing how the harmony and conflict of boundaries resonate with God’s hidden message.

 

God and Man are Balancing Love and Justice

 

Ultimately, God’s balances His love and justice and His free will with Man’s free will. He decides the appropriate proportion of love, justice, free will for Himself, for you, and the neighbor in this balance. It is also needful to point out that the balance is not necessarily static with time and is often a moving target. The Wayside Ministry in post 10 will offer examples of how this balance of boundaries may look like in practice in the Boundary Concerns section.

Only God is qualified to oversee this unimaginably complex endeavor that occurs over time and space across countless lives, like interlinked webs, each of which is invaluable to God. Furthermore, God is not operating randomly; His 2 Commandments bind Him, and He has an overarching purpose-goal for His Kingdom and each individual.

 

In summary, the advice by Jesus to be “wise as serpents” and Paul to be “wise in what is good “is a partnership with the Holy Spirit in the process narrated above.

The verse that impresses me the most concerning being harmless as doves come from Phil4:8.
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”

See the series on self-love for the reflection of this verse. The author’s opinion is that being harmless as a dove is more demanding than being as wise as a serpent. And the most demanding is harmonizing the serpent and dove needs. See the Boundary Concerns in the Wayside Ministry Section for guidelines on harmonizing the serpent and dove needs.

 

Priorities

The recurring theme of this series of posts is RELATIONSHIPS.
RELATIONSHIPS are not only the focus but also the priority of God that drives His purpose and will. God is omnipotent and omniscient, sees the need for focus and priority; He does not spare Man this need. This section explores Man’s priorities in light of the RELATIONSHIPS.

 

 

 

Setting Priorities

This post has adapted (with modifications in non italics) the list of priorities from Elizabeth George’s book, A Woman After God’s Heart. My wife subscribes to this book’s many insights, which has blessed our marriage with harmony and effective partnership. The list shows the priorities in order of importance.

  1. Prioritizing God (1st Commandment and New Commandment) by focusing on internal soul growth (Post 6 shows that soul salvation best represents the 1st Commandment) to form a relational attachment with God. For attachment measures the quality of love with God. See the self-love blog series for the narrative of how self-love contributes to attachment with God.
  2. Prioritizing your soul salvation by prioritizing
    1. Your husband/wife
    2. Your children
    3. Your dependents
    4. Your home
    5. Your Wayside Ministry narrated in post 10 that engages with the various life scenarios.
    6. Prioritizing your other activities, including work, hobbies, socializing.

All the above priorities are expressions of the 1st and 2nd Commandments. God in the New Covenant has the relationship focus. God introduced Himself as Father (Mat5:16 ), Jesus as Elder Brother (Mat28:10), Jesus a friend (John15:15), Jesus as the bridegroom (Mat9:15), and the Church as the bride of Christ (Eph5:25-27). All these relationship facets are to fulfill the 1st and 2nd Commandments of love.

God naturally occupies the 1st spot in the priority list. After that, direct family members, wife, and children come next on this priority list. 1Timothy5:8 condemns family breadwinners who fail to provide for their household as having denied their faith in Christ and behaving worse than a non-believer. This judgment ranks among the most extreme ever passed by apostle Paul. Even the man in Corinthian Church who fornicated with his stepmother in 1Co5 did not receive such an indictment. Apostle Paul’s response in 1Tim5:8 is indicative of the importance God places on the husband in the context of that day, to fulfill his responsibilities to provide food and shelter for their family.

The Wayside Ministry comes at 6th position in the priority list. This list’s exception occurs when one does not marry and dedicate their lives to Christ, such as apostle Paul. In such cases, the simplified priority list looks something like this.

  1. Prioritizing God (1st Commandment).
  2. Prioritizing your wayside ministry.
  3. Prioritizing your home. This priority is about self upkeep, feeding oneself. E.g., Apostle Paul was a tentmaker (Act18:1-4), earning his keep while performing his duties as an apostle.
  4. Prioritizing your other activities.

 

Conclusion

This post has proposed that boundaries and priorities are the ways of the serpent sanctioned by God. They are circuit breakers or checkpoints of sober-mindedness that reminds both Patron and Recipient that it is the best effort and no one is forcing another in this relationship.

Post 10 will expand on how these boundaries and priorities feature in the Wayside Ministry Model.

 

Reference

1. Berk, L. E. (2014). Development through the lifespan (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River :NJ; Pearson Education, Inc.

Wealth Ranking in Heaven (10min read)

Introduction

The “currency of heaven” post established that the soul earns heaven glory currency while suffering according to God’s will is doing good, for righteousness, and Christ’s sake is earned on earth when the soul suffers. Therefore, glory is the measure of wealth in heaven. The Bible established that Jesus has the most glory among the sons of God.

The link for the currency of heaven post-

https://sincerelawrence.com/2020/10/31/currency-of-heaven-10min-read/

This reflection explores scriptures to approximate a wealth ranking among God’s sons in heaven and its significance to the personal glory production on earth.

The following visual illustration recaps the mentioned two posts and two other posts https://sincerelawrence.com/2020/10/27/once-saved-always-saved-10min-read/ and https://sincerelawrence.com/2020/10/27/faith-and-work-in-harmony-4min-read/.

 

God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit Engaging Spirit, Soul and Body of Man

 

The tree represents the believer’s body on earth. The part of the tree above the ground represents the body of a man. The soul’s roots, like the body, spans both domains, Domain of the Law of Sin and Death (DOSD) and Domain of the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus (DOL). The salvation of the born again spirit is secure in Christ is grounded in Abba God’s love to save man through Christ (John3:16) is in the DOL.

It is noteworthy that both Domains exist as part of the will of God.

The soul that sins shall die dwells in the DOSD operates from the old covenant (Eze18:20). The born again spirit anchors the soul that sins in the DOL. Therefore the soul that sins does not need to die based on the new covenant. Refer to the post “Once Saved Always Saved” for scriptural evidence of this claim.

The soul’s salvation is proportional to the degree to which the soul’s roots can bind themselves into the ground of Abba God’s love shown through Christ. In human experience terms, this binding is called attachment experience.

This attachment with God is similar to the attachment man develops at birth with their early childhood caregiver. First, the natural, then the spiritual (1Co15:46). Man’s failure to understand their human attachment experiences poses challenges to form an attachment with God. This failure hampers the necessary foundation for the attachment with God, which is spiritual.

The tree is exposed to the lot of life presented as a fire below the tree. This fire’s size and intensity vary according to God’s will and the person’s response to God’s will. Some fires of the lot of life are candlelight fire, and they are towering infernos for others. Regardless, the leaves of the body in the DOL catches fire when the body and soul suffer for Christ’s sake and righteousness sakes due to the fires.

The lot of life affects the tree in the DOSD. But the tree does not catch fire in this part of the domain due to the tree’s death state. The lust of the flesh, lust of the eye, and pride of life enslaves the tree that’s in DOSD. Glory production does not exist in this domain.

This suffering in the DOL produces the fruit of the spirit and eternal weight of glory, heaven’s currency, and tests the attachment with God.

 

Does the Bible offer clues who have more significant potential to earn glory currency on earth and who are at greater risk to make less glory currency on earth?

The answers to these two questions will be the backbone of the wealth ranking framework.

The Bible has identified specific groups of people that possess characteristics that support and challenge the production of glory.

People who have more significant opportunities for suffering support glory production are as follow-

  1. The fivefold ministry. (Eph4:11)
  2. The martyrs that died for Christ’s sake.
  3. The socially marginalized, such as widows, orphans, aliens (without rights of citizenship), and the poor (James2:5, Mat5:3, Luke16:25). In current vernacular, the special needs, the disabled, and the mentally challenged.
  4. The meek (Mat5:5) and sincere, appearing to be naïve pure children (Mat5:8, 18:4, 10, Mark10:15,) to the world, often taken advantage of and discriminated.
  5. The righteous, averse to dishonest gain. (Pet3:14)

 

People are challenged in glory production when they have received their reward from man and experience lesser opportunities for suffering (Mat6:4). Such people emerge from the following groups-

  1. The rich and powerful (Mat19:23, Mat6:24, Luke12:16-21) who
  2. Boast about the future without acknowledging God, which God deems as arrogance and evil (Jam4:16).
  3. Oppress the poor while living in-luxury themselves (Jam5:1, 4-5).
  4. Those who purpose to live life for themselves are unwilling to share with their fellow men in need, particularly the socially marginalized. (Mat25:35-40).

 

Based on the above groups of people identified, the wealth rankings take shape as follows.

 

 

 

The rankings involve believers making it to heaven, as the spirit is born again when one confesses, according to Rom10:9. In this way, some are poor in glory in heaven, while others are wealthier in glory.

The glory that the soul produces is only tangible eternal possession that man can truly claim as their own. Love, faith, and hope, the greatest of the 3, is love because love remains relevant in heaven for three reasons.

The first, God is love (1John4:7). The second reason, Jesus eternally bears the marks on His body paid out of love for us at the cross (John20:27). The third reason is related to glory. The glory each believer has produced is evidence of their genuine (tested by the fires in 1Pet1:7) love for God, expressed as sincere brotherly love for one another.

What is hoped and believed are manifested tangibly in heaven. There is no more need for this hope and faith in the unseen and promised.

The above ranking is to create awareness of this potential scenario in heaven. This awareness seeks to support identifying the real treasure, which is their glory earning potential on earth.

 

Do Not be Deceived

A caveat, this is not a get glory rich quick scheme. If one believes he can game God’s glory system, that person’s pipe dream is laughable. God foolishness is the wisdom of man (1Co1:25). God has in-place fail-safe controls to prevent such outcomes. They are

  1. God determines each person’s lot of life, which is the foundation for earning glory points. E.g., if God calls one to the fivefold ministry, God will supply the life situations to produce glory.

 

If one by the flesh (self-effort) seeks the fivefold ministry without God’s call to gain glory points, that is operating in the domain of the Law of Sin and Death. By default, glory production does not occur in that domain, and that person reaps the penalties that lead to death.

 

  1. God looks at the heart and not only at the action of the person. The heart motivation that underpins the action needs to be genuine faith in trusting God (1Pet1:7) and sincere love (1Pet1:22) that’s practical (James2) for people.

Hypocrisy and hidden agendas frustrate the glory production.

 

Avoid the Pitfalls

This reflection will explore the two groups of people to help them realize their glory production.

  1. The rich shall have the attitude to glory in their humiliation, realizing their wealth is vanity and vapor (Jam1:10).

Therefore the rich are to abstain from

    1. Boasting about the future as if one is God (Jam4:16)
    2. Oppressing others by corrupt ways for financial gain (Jam5:2)
    3. Hoarding wealth (Luke12:21) and trust in uncertain riches (1Tim6:17)
    4. Showing partiality by oppressing the socially marginalized (Jam2:9)

Therefore the rich are encouraged to be rich in good works, ready to give and willing to share. (1Tim6:18).

  1. The socially marginalized are encouraged to rejoice in their lot of life, for from it, God supplies the opportunity for glory production. (Jam1:9).

Both the rich and the socially marginalized are to adopt the prayer Apostle Paul made in Phil4:6 and 1The5:17-18.

Phil4:6 – “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.”

1The5:17-18 “Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

Giving thanks in prayer and daily speech for everything that God has presented as one’s lot in life is the hallmark that God is looking for as evidence of this genuine faith that one professes to possess.

Wealth Ranking in Heaven (4min read)

Introduction

This post is the 4min version of Wealth Ranking in Heaven. Scripture citation is incomplete here. For a more in-depth review, please refer to the 10 min read post with the same title.

This reflection is a follow-up riding on the momentum of the post –https://sincerelawrence.com/2020/10/31/currency-of-heaven-3min-read/ where that post established that glory is the measure of wealth in heaven.

This reflection will explore from scriptures to approximate a wealth ranking among God’s sons in heaven and its significance to the personal glory production on earth.

 

God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit Engaging Spirit, Soul and Body of Man

 

The tree is exposed to the lot of life presented as a fire below the tree. This fire’s size and intensity vary according to God’s will and the person’s response to God’s will. Some fires of the lot of life are candlelight fire, and they are towering infernos for others. Regardless, the leaves of the body in the DOL catches fire when the body and soul suffer for Christ’s sake and righteousness sakes due to the fires.

This suffering in the DOL produces the fruit of the spirit and eternal weight of glory, heaven’s currency, and tests the attachment with God.

 

 Does the Bible offer clues who have more significant potential to earn glory currency on earth and who are at greater risk to make less glory currency on earth?

The answers to these two questions will be the backbone of the wealth ranking framework.

The Bible has identified certain two groups of people that possess characteristics that support and challenge the production of glory. The first group has more significant opportunities for suffering support glory production, such as the fivefold ministry, the socially marginalized, etc.

People are challenged in glory production when they have received their reward from man and experience lesser opportunities for suffering, such as the rich and powerful (Mat19:23, Mat6:24, Luke12:16-21) and the self-seeking (Mat25:35-40).

Based on the above groups of people identified, the wealth rankings take shape as follows.

 

The above ranking is to create awareness of this potential scenario in heaven. This awareness seeks to support identifying the real treasure, which is their glory earning potential on earth.

 

 Do Not be Deceived- Avoid the Pitfalls

A caveat, this is not a get glory rich quick scheme. God has in-place fail-safe controls to prevent such outcomes. See the 10min version for these controls.

This reflection explores the two groups of people to help them realize their glory production.

  1. The rich shall have the attitude to glory in their humiliation, realizing their wealth is vanity and vapor (Jam1:10) and abstain from boasting, oppressing others, hoarding wealth, and showing partiality oppressing the socially marginalized.
  2. The socially marginalized are encouraged to rejoice in their lot of life, for from it, God supplies the opportunity for glory production. (Jam1:9).

Giving thanks in prayer and daily speech for everything that God has presented as one’s lot in life is the hallmark that God is looking for as evidence of this genuine faith that one professes to possess. (1The5:17-18)

Purpose of Prayer (3 min read)

Introduction

 

Prayer is the means one commune with God. Robert Deffinbaugh, who authored the in-depth study of the Book of Luke (1996) (see web-link- https://bible.org/series/luke-gospel-gentiles), observed the following regarding prayer and the Lord Jesus in his narrative in Chapter 22 of Luke.

“Thus, Jesus was praying when the Holy Spirit descended upon Him at the outset of His public ministry (Luke 3:21). Jesus was in prayer when He was transfigured before the three disciples (Luke 9:29). Jesus is likewise in prayer here in the Garden of Gethsemane.”

Prayer marked the critical events of Jesus’ life. Likewise, those who call upon Him as Lord and Saviour, who is not greater than our master (John13:16), need prayer to mark the critical events of their life.

 

Prayer marks the key events of life, illuminating them with the light of faith in God.

 

What is the purpose of prayer?

 

It is to commune with God. But is the purpose for the sake of communication only? Prayer is a means for the person to communicate their needs and wants to God. Prayer is not an end (purpose) unto itself. It seems superficial to claim that the purpose of prayer is to tell God want we need or want.

The following scriptures offer the basis to answer the first question, what is the purpose of prayer?

 

    1. The Lord’s prayer as narrated in Mat6:9-13and Luke11:2-13

 

      2. The three accounts of Matthew 26:36-46, Luke 22:39-46, and Mark 14:32-42 of the Garden of Gethsemane.

 

 

The summary below shows the purpose of prayer, drawing from the above scriptures.

  1. Prayer takes place as a personal relationship between God as Father and the believer.
  2. This personal relationship is one that acknowledges God’s sovereignty, in tandem with the Father relationship, by praying in private from the soul and in a submissive posture.
  3. Prayer is for the person to convey their needs, desires, and emotions.
  4. Notwithstanding these needs, desires, and emotions, prayer helps the person resist the temptation to pursue those needs, wants, and feelings that fall outside of God’s will.
  5. Reliance on man and man’s pride has no place in the prayer.
  6. Prayer strengthens the person’s conviction to do God’s will.