The Power of Praying Together

paradigm one-head of the family - praying with family - prayer

In last week’s Prayer Circle, we learned about the importance of having the mindset of Jesus obviously present and actively in charge during prayer. We reinforced the truth that Jesus is the Head of the Church; this week we’ll apply that truth to the family unit.

When we pray with Jesus as the Head of our family, we not only stay in the sweet place of God’s protection, but we also train our children in a pattern prayer that will stay with them long after they have left the home.

Learn more in this week’s Prayer Circle and check out our companion blog to dive deeper into this mindset of prayer.

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Who is the Head of the Church?

paradigm one - headship of Christ - church life- prayer

In this week’s session, we will search the Scriptures to find just exactly who the head of the church is. In many of our churches today, the pastor is the head or church leaders are the head or sometimes even a voting congregation can think they’re the head. The life of the Body though comes from the one true head, Jesus. These other headships lead to striving in the flesh, but a church with the mindset of Jesus obviously present and actively in charge find life.

Read more about the active Headship of Christ in this week’s blog.

Where Does It Start to Go Wrong?

paradigm one - first love - prayer - praying

When we find our church or ministry in trouble, the first question we might ask ourselves is where did it start to go wrong? How did we get here? All too often, we end up where we are because we have forgotten that we are the branches and He is the Vine. Jesus told the church in Ephesus in the book of Revelation that they had left their first love, and so, too often, do we. In this week’s Prayer Circle, we will learn more about exactly what first love is and how we can get back to a first-love mindset in prayer.

We have prayed that these videos and messages would reach the right person or people. If that’s you, if you find your church is struggling and you need help, please let us know. We’re available for consultations, conferences, phone calls, you name it.

Read the companion blog here.

Who Is the Focus of Our Praying?

paradigm one - prayer circle - relationships

Sometimes our prayer meetings can fall into a routine. Sometimes even our prayers can fall into a routine. We pray the same request week after week with the same tone. But this is the King of Kings we’re talking to! This is our beautiful Savior, the Head of the Church. With Jesus as the focus of our prayers, we remember that prayer is our blessed way of staying connected with Him and, if we listen, we can hear His knock at our door.

Meet us at the Prayer Circle this week to learn more about praying with Jesus as the focus.

Check out Joe’s companion blog here.

Victory by Suffering

freely-22338On the evening of Good Friday, the hopes of the disciples were vanquished.  They had no idea that Resurrection Sunday was coming.  Jesus Himself pleaded in the Garden to be delivered from the suffering of the cross.  God heard Him but did not grant His request.  The Father said Jesus learned obedience by the things He suffered.  This has rebuked me.  If Jesus learned obedience by the things He suffered, how much more must I expect to suffer in order to learn obedience?  (Hebrews 5:7-9).

As with many of you, I have dear ones who are going through a long period of great suffering. They have borne it with trust in God’s goodness and love.  We praise God for their yielded hearts and His great work in them and through them.

God so utterly loved us, that He gave His one and only Son, the only one of His kind – the Father and Son planned this before they ever created anything – for the Son to live on this sin-cursed earth and die this horrible, tortured, criminal death, separated from His Father – so that we who believe in Him might not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)  I know I have yet to realize the depths of the love between the Father and the Son.

“. . . written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.” Revelation 13:8

“. . . this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.  God raised him up, having loosed the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.” Acts 2:23-24

Beth Moore taught that the word for “pangs” in this verse is usually used for the pangs of increasing labor and childbirth.  The tomb could not hold Christ.  It was the longest 3 days in history.  But the tomb was a womb that brought forth the resurrected Christ.  Beth tells us that whatever death, whatever one and only we have died too, have given up, God wants to give us new life.  It will not replace what we have lost.  He wants to bring forth a resurrection in us.  He will do us no wrong.  He has something new for us.

“Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.”   Hebrews 2:18

He is our example to go through suffering so we may help and comfort others afterward,  may be made complete, and learn obedience.

Our Dear Daddy, Our Almighty Father,

When I stop looking at my sorrows, my trials, and problems and instead turn my eyes to gaze upon Jesus and all the suffering He bore, to stop and think about the fact that it was my sins and transgressions, my stripes He carried, it was for me He came to this earth, was born in a stable, placed in an animal trough, walked up and down Palestine with no place to lay His head, finally dying on a cruel cross as a criminal – all for my sins and all while I was His enemy – that’s when the picture changes.  I know I don’t even start to understand the depths of the love between You and Your Son and the enormity of the price You paid, that Jesus paid just so I could have fellowship with You, could be a member of Your family and eternal life.

How can it be that You, my God, should die for me!!  Oh, I pray for my suffering, dear ones as their days are weary and their nights are long.  Please make them full of the awareness of the presence of Jesus, their suffering Savior, with His nail-pierced hands touching them.  May they know Jesus is touching him in great love and great sorrow for their pain.  And Jesus does know how badly their trials do hurt.  Jesus alone can truly feel their pain.

We pray that they may know that the dear Lord Jesus is standing beside them all the way through this agony, His arm around their shoulders.  He cares, oh yes, He cares.  May they each one KNOW that Jesus loves them – exactly as they are – because He endured immense suffering for each of them alone.   Had they been the only person on this planet, we know that Jesus would have chosen this suffering for only their sake.

We ask that each of us may remember that even before the Trinity said, “Let there be light,” they planned and determined that the Father would give the life of His one and only Son, one of a kind – and the Son agreed, Yes, I will give My life – for each of us.  Oh, how amazing this love!  So we can KNOW as we reflect upon the cross, that Jesus was tortured, died and was buried, and it was for us.  If He did all of that, then He surely has an answer for our loved ones’ expenses, trials, pain, and suffering.  He WILL bring each of us through.  And there will be a resurrection in each of our lives as God does a new thing.

We praise and thank You God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  Hallelujah to the Savior!  Praise to the Father!  Thank You for the Comforter!

In the name of Jesus,
Amen

© 2018 Patty Price Smith, Bible Prayer Fellowship

Who Owns the Church?

paradigm one - prayer circle - church ownership - church leadership

When it comes to our lives, our relationships, our families, our finances, etc., we want the control. This is no different for the church and ministry. Most of us probably have a story about a church or ministry where the pastor owned everything, or leadership owned it all or even a strong family held the keys.

Praise God that He is in control! True ownership of the church belongs to Jesus, and He bought it with His blood. Learn more about how recognizing this truth is actually recognizing a call to prayer.

Read more about Christ’s ownership in Joe’s companion blog here.

All We Get from God We Get by Faith

Faith at work
Just as an unused life preserver helps no one, faith cannot empower you until you put it to work.

We are saved by faith; we are healed by faith; we walk by faith; we die in faith. All we get from God, we get by faith.

We do not get things from God because we are saved, but because we believe for those very things. It is “according to your faith” (Matthew 9:29), from the hour we look to Jesus for forgiveness until we enter the coming kingdom. Asking is the law of getting. The reason so many get little or nothing from God is explained by James when he writes, “Ye have not because ye ask not.” (James 4:2)

Our faith is the basis of our asking. If we believe, we ask; and if we ask believing, we receive. (Mark 11:24)  Therefore, it is most important to know how our faith may be increased, for God not only works according to faith, but He works only within the bounds of our faith. Faith is the channel on which the boats of answered prayer sail. Whether it is only a kayak or a great ocean liner that anchors in your harbor depends on your faith.

Read to Feed

“Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)

The study of the Word of God begets faith in the soul. If faith is weak it is because we are not reading the Word of God as we need to read it. To get faith, read the Word of God, chapters a day. Ponder it. Study it. Memorize it. Dig deep. Read to feed. Be diligent in these things.

“Give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may be manifest to all.” (1 Timothy 4:15)

Thus faith in God will spring up in your soul. Faith is simply taking God at His word.

Prayer Puts Fuel on the Fire of Faith

Are we to pray for faith? As we pray, faith is born. God draws near. Heaven seems very close. Spiritual realities heave into view like mountains rising from mists. The unseen is unveiled. The glory of God comes on us. It is then easy to feel God, to believe God, and to get from God.

A praying man is a believing man. Little faith means little prayer. We believe little because we pray little. Prayer puts fuel on the fire of faith. When the defeated disciples came to Jesus to find the cause of their inability to cast the demon out of the boy, He truthfully told the trouble:

“This kind does not come out except by prayer and fasting.” (Matthew 17:21)

They had been arguing rather than praying; talking to man rather than talking to God.

Go alone and earnestly and honestly spend just thirty minutes in real prayer and you will come forth with more faith that you had when you went in. Your faith life is the index of your prayer life.

Fasting Sharpens Faith

Fasting is a help to faith.  A praying man is a fasting man, and a fasting man is a believing man. When we fast we cut ourselves off from food, we separate ourselves from the outer world as to nourishment. In spiritual fasting, we walk apart. Fasting is separation from this evil age. We leave the world that is devil-dominated and hell-bent and walk with God. We expect nothing and receive nothing from this wicked world. This is real fasting.

Abraham never saw the city in the heavens until he had turned his back on the mud plains of Chaldea. Fasting for God’s work is a holy business. If you fast strongly you will believe and work mightily. Amen!

Attempt Great Things for God and Expect Great Things From Him

Do something. Go at it. Believe something. Claim a promise and plead it. Undertake for God. Launch out.

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.

“If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. (Luke 17:5-6)

A mustard seed was one of the smallest elements known to man during that time.  Yet Christ says we need only a speck of faith, that tiniest of portions, in order to move mountains.  Jesus’ reply implied, use what you have; let it go to work.  God will fill in what’s lacking.

In Mark 9, The father of a demon-possessed boy approached Jesus to beg for his son to be healed:

“Jesus said to him, ‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.’ Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, ‘Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!‘”

Faith is the small spark that starts the ignition of our working partnership with the Lord and Creator of the universe.  Putting the massive power of the Lord to work requires only that we summon the tiniest possible portion of faith, call out to Him for help, and He promises to carry you the rest of the way!  Your faith will grow if you exercise it!

Hitch your faith up to something and make it pull. If lazy, make it work. If weak, feed it on the promises of God. A grain of faith as big as the point of a pin can work miracles.

Undertake something for God, beyond your own resources, ability, and human needs. God will come to your rescue. When we do only what we can do, God gets no glory.  Let the Holy Spirit mark out a pathway of faith for you. As you walk in it, timidity will give place to courage, and fear to faith.

If you want faith, read the Word, pray, keep separated from the world and sin, and undertake something for God beyond yourself. May Jesus say of you as He did of the Syrophoenician woman,

“Great is thy faith.” (Matthew 15:28)

If you set yourself to use these ways to get more faith, it may be that the Lord will bestow upon you the gift of faith as described in 1 Corinthians 12:9.

Renewed faith is the key to revival.

 

This issue of Revival Insights is originally from God’s Revivalist and is used by permission.

Where Do We Go From Here?

paradigm one - prayer circle - oneness with God

We need God’s direction in every aspect of our personal lives and our corporate body life. We need God to show us the way when we make decisions regarding our families, our finances, and so on. How much more we need Him as the Church to direct our steps!

Clear direction from God starts with being on the same page as one another and as God. Learn more about this important facet of a fruitful ministry in this week’s Prayer Circle.

You can also read more about oneness with God in Joe’s latest blog.

The Perseverance of God’s Love (Part 2 of 2)

Today’s post is Part 2 of  Oliver W. Price’s article, “Your Resurrection Riches.”  Part 1 can be read Here.

Understanding my inherited Resurrection Riches relieves me in the face of life’s strains, stresses, and anxieties. It’s wonderful to be in this world as a son of God. Sometimes I do wonder, however, how well a weak fellow like me can represent the throne of heaven on earth. How can I carry out my role as God’s son and ambassador? I’m afraid I’ll fail.

Here’s where I’ve had to discover the second element of this optimistic faith. I’ve had to find a new rest in His love.

I knew God loved me enough to bring me into His family. But does He love me enough to bring me up? Any parent will tell you it takes a lot more love to bring a child up than it does to bring him forth. I’ve discovered God’s love is enough to bring me to maturity.

I needed to know God’s love in a deeper way after I returned from the mission field. After a hot battle with fellow missionaries, I had come home crushed, defeated, feeling like a failure.

“Has the Devil whispered to you that God is through with you?” W.E. Hawkins gently probed. Exactly. I thought I would never preach again. I had given up on myself. I had no idea that the word of the Lord would come to me the second time as it did to Jonah.

It was here I began to know how large the persevering love of God really is. This is the subject of Paul’s second prayer in Ephesians 3:14-21. (I’ve prayed this one for myself, too.)

This prayer called me to open my heart to the full length, breadth, depth, and height of Christ’s love. I needed this. You see, I was so disappointed with myself that I found it almost impossible to believe that Christ loved me as a stumbling, failing Christian.

A story I read illustrates the state I was in. A little boy was stricken with a serious illness back in the days when hospitals were rare. His mother placed him in a room at home apart from the rest of the family to prevent the spread of the disease.

Faithfully she nursed him day by day. The fever, however, left the lad depressed. He finally voiced the fear that his mother might give up on him and leave him to die.

“Son,” she said, taking him gently in her arms, “if your disease did not prevent me from coming to your side when you first became ill, it will never cause me to leave you or forsake you.”

I discovered that Christ’s love for me has this same dimension – and much more.

In this prayer, Paul seeks deep roots and strong foundations in love (Ephesians. 3:17). Once I believed Christ still loved me as much as He ever did, I was on my feet again. But now my roots in love ran a lot deeper. Such love staggers my mind. It surpasses knowledge.

Why do you need to know this love to be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:19)? Because only when you are confident of His love can you afford to be completely honest about yourself. And God is fully at home only in the man who is honest about himself.

God has the persevering love necessary to cleanse us, perfect us and fill us with Himself. He has taken on this responsibility. The prayer closes with a tribute to His ability to accomplish this (Ephesians 3:20-21).

I think this is what Peter discovered after his great failure. Jesus gave him a very personal invitation to come meet with Him after the resurrection. “Go tell my disciples and Peter,” He said. Why single out Peter? Because he needed to know that He still belonged. The Lord had not given up on him.

To know this assures you that you are not “on probation.” It leads to the restfulness of spirit that marks real Christian living. You’re confident of where you stand with God even if you fail.

This confidence will enable you to assume a new responsibility in life. The responsibility to behave like a real son of God. You are a beloved son of God, so act like one.

I desperately needed this on the mission field. There was a need for a lot of “foot washing” among us missionaries. We offended one another with all manner of bitter, harsh words.

But no one would confess that he had done anything wrong. We were all jealously guarding our reputation for being very “spiritual.” We thought we were far too spiritual to ever be so wrong.

Consequently, we exploded with charges and counter-charges. And no one stooped down to confess his sin to a brother missionary or ask his forgiveness. We went to save the heathen, but there was no one to save us!

This sort of thing happens in Christian homes, churches and mission societies all too often. It happened when Jesus was with His disciples.

The disciples needed to have their feet washed. But whoever did it would have to take the place of a servant. Washing dirty feet is bad enough. But whose reputation for spirituality is secure enough to stoop down as the servant of all?

John 13:3 gives this significant insight into the Savior’s confidence:

“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God… began to wash His disciples’ feet.”

Jesus knew very well where He stood with the Father. He didn’t have to jealously guard His reputation for being spiritual. He was free to take the place of the sinner and the servant.

Many arguments between Christians are never healed because no one is humble enough to make the first move. Who will break the ice and say, “I know I was wrong. Will you forgive me?”

As a young married man, I tried to go to sleep without patching up an argument with my wife. I laid there stiff as a board, quiet as a mouse. I wanted her to understand that my conscience was perfectly clear! It wasn’t my fault.

Finally, she poked me in the ribs and said, “Are you sleeping or pretending?” MY mask fell off. We confessed our faults to one another. Forgave. Wept. And then slept soundly.

My wife could break the ice because she was more secure than I was. You have to be secure in His love to confess you are a sinner and, as a servant, seek to restore your neighbor.

Christ was not a sinner, but He was willing to take the sinner’s place. The only time He ever described His own character was when He said, “I am meek and lowly in heart.” That means he took the position of a sinner and a servant.

He promised that, if we will take this position and responsibility, we will find rest deep down inside (Matthew 11:28-30). Paul marks humility and meekness as the leading characteristics of a person who wants to live in a manner that really matches our claim to be sons of God (Ephesians 4:1-3).

The confidence that we really are sons of God and that all the wealth of God actually is ours grows and becomes stronger as we accept this responsibility by faith.

We are sons of the Almighty by faith, not by sight. Some folks say if we’re really sons of God we should all be driving Cadillacs. They forget that our outward circumstances may not always reflect our royal status. We are,

“…as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.” (2 Corinthians 6:10)

I think W.E. Hawkins saw this. That’s why an old, worn-out hat didn’t dampen his spirit like it did mine.

The secret is to know our wealth and strength in the midst of outward poverty and apparent weakness. Jesus lived in poverty, but He was confident His Father would provide an upper room for the last supper.

He seemed to be weak, but when he was arrested He told Peter,

“Put up your sword… I could call an army of angels,”

He died without even owning a tomb for His burial, but a rich man was ready when the need arose.

Our wealth and strength are primarily inward, but it includes the confidence that our Father stands ready to meet all our outward needs.

The reason our wealth is essentially inward and spiritual is because we are spirits who have a body, not bodies who have a spirit. Furthermore, life’s great battles are not against flesh and blood, but against great powers and authorities in the spirit world.

Christ has already conquered the Devil, but He has allowed him to run loose for a while to train us to conquer him, too (Romans 16:20).

The story is told of a Russian teacher who ridiculed the existence of God. Leaning over, he challenged, “If there is a God, let Him send an angel to kick me right now.”

A bold student got up and accepted the challenge.

“What did you mean by that?” The teacher stormed. “You are not worthy to have an angel kick you,” the young Christian replied, “So God sent me to do it instead.”

This young man accepted a challenge to God’s honor which many of us avoid. If we take up this challenge, we will discover how God has prepared us for a new resistance against the Devil.

By His grace, we can get beyond our battle with selfishness so we are free to fight the Lord’s battle with Satan. We should reach the point where our prime concern is with the way our God is dishonored in this world.

But many believers are blind to the challenge. It was that way in Israel in David’s day.

A heathen giant defied the armies of the living God. If he beat them, he’d defeat their God. Yet, no one in the whole camp seemed to care nor did they realize that God gives special power and protection for those who march at His command.

But a young boy, too young to join the army, was there that day. He saw what this meant to God. No heathen should get away with such an insult against the Almighty.

So, David accepted the challenge. Protected only by the name of the Lord. Armed only with a little slingshot and the power of the Lord.

But that was enough. One little stone brought down the giant. All because a young man understood the purpose and power of his relationship with God.

We’ve lost this power today. It’s as rare in the church now as it was in the army of Israel in that day. How can we put on the whole armor of God today and be strong in the power of His might (Ephesians 6:10-20)?

To put on the armor of God means to be clothed with Christ in a special sense. It is like a soldier putting on his uniform. The day he dons his uniform, the soldier commits himself to fight his country’s battles. He will march at their orders. He will fight for their cause.

The Christian puts on the armor when he commits himself to a life of obedience because he is concerned for the honor of God. Whatever he does will then be done ” in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Colossians 3:17). Goliath strode forth with sword and shield, but David went in the name of the Lord (I Samuel 17:45).

A believer who is thus committed to obedience will discover the power of delegated authority. The principle is quite simple. A soldier on duty, carrying out orders, has all the power of his commander back of him.

A frail little police officer can stop the traffic on a busy street with an uplifted hand. They have no power of their own. But those drivers recognize that the officer speaks with all the power of the government.

We need this power today in the church and in the Christian home. For lack of it, the church and the home are backing down when they desperately need to stand.

I lost control of my oldest son when he was in high school. But I discovered where I had lost my power over him. My hot temper had robbed me of moral weight and authority. I confessed my sin and asked his forgiveness.

God taught me to first rule my own spirit, then rule his. Slowly I watched God break his rebellious attitude. Today, he is serving the Lord.

I have seen the power of God in church discipline. I had to go to a man who fell into sin. He sassed me and threatened to leave the church.

“You can leave if you like. I’m not begging you to stay,” I quietly replied, “but I can tell you one thing. The God of Jonah will follow you and finish the job of discipline. It’ll be easier for you to take the medicine the elders of your church have prescribed for you.” He apologized and agreed he wanted to make matters right before the church.

The battle has already been won for us. Let’s take our stand and claim it!

Part 1 of this article can be found here: Your Resurrection Riches. This article was originally published in Moody Magazine.

Copyright 2018 Bible Prayer Fellowship, Oliver W. Price

Your Resurrection Riches (Part 1 of 2)

Today’s post is Part 1 of  Oliver W. Price’s article, “Your Resurrection Riches.”  Part 2 can be read Here.

The gospel can change even a die-hard, gloomy pessimist into a cheerful, confident optimist. This bright hope rests on solid facts. You don’t need to “whistle in the dark” hoping things will get better. Things have already gotten better. Totally better. Forever better.

The resurrection of Christ has changed the basic circumstances of our life. Grasp the full significance of this change and hope will become your normal viewpoint.

Even if you slip into momentary despair, you will not stay there long. The facts revealed in Scripture demand that you look at life with confidence. Even death itself, man’s greatest and final enemy, has lost its sting.

Neither faith nor unbelief can change the facts. Faith simply opens your eyes to see the wonderful new reality which is forever yours in Christ. Faith knows that the believer is on a path that is bound to grow brighter and brighter until the perfect day.

Obviously, many Christians have not caught this incurable optimism. I must confess, I’ve been slow to catch it myself. Looking back, I wonder what made the difference? What caused my faith to shift from mere theory to a lively hope that daily relieves my anxieties?

One factor was knowing someone who had this kind of faith. Realities like this are caught, not taught. I had an experience that made me hungry and thirsty for this better life.

I was a young seminary student working with the late W.E. Hawkins. Things were going badly. My melancholy nature caved in.

Brother Hawkins set about to reassure me. “You need a new hat,” he chimed, eyeing my old one. “Here, try this one.” It was a perfect fit.

“That hat was given to me yesterday, but it looks too young for me. You keep it and let me have yours.”

I left his office in high spirits wearing a new Texas-style Stetson. When he showed up at church wearing my old hat, a friend cornered him and insisted on buying him another.

The way W.E. Hawkins jauntily wore my old hat and confidently stood up under all kinds of crises left a lasting impression on me. I could tell he had inner resources I had never tapped. This made me hungry and thirsty for greater inner strength.

Seeing his lively hope helped. But it was seeing the facts in Ephesians that settled my new hope on a solid foundation.

Several years ago I memorized Ephesians. I began by confessing to myself and to God that deep down inside I was starving to death. I had no inner resources for life’s storms.

Through Ephesians, God has led me to actually possess some of the riches of grace. I believe there are four elements which came into my faith and transformed empty theory into confident assurance.

  • First, my eyes were opened to a new reality.
  • Second, my heart was opened to a new rest.
  • Third, I accepted a new responsibility.
  • Fourth, I learned a new resistance to the Devil.

Let me tell you how my eyes were opened to a new reality. It all began with Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1:15-23. I prayed this prayer for myself.

I noticed Paul used several words to show our need for enlightenment (vs. 18). Obviously we Christians are blind to something very basic. We need to know three things.

First, the hope of God’s calling. Second, the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. Third, and most importantly, the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe. This is the same power that raised Christ from the dead and set Him at God’s right hand far above all other authorities.

“Well,” I thought, “wasn’t Christ in that position of power before He came to earth? What did He gain by dying and rising to that place again?”

Then it hit me. He gained the right to share that place of power and favor with us.

Our status in God’s kingdom has changed. We’re like Joseph. Once he was in jail under the wrath of the king. Then, suddenly, he was exalted to the highest position in Egypt, second only to Pharaoh himself.

We were under God’s wrath. Now we enjoy His highest favor. Our standing with God has changed 180 degrees. This is how things have gotten forever better for us. The basic circumstances of our lives have permanently improved.

God likes to see us relax and enjoy our new standing. Our bright future is guaranteed. We will finally be like Christ and live with God forever. That’s the sure hope of our calling. God will be honored by the great resulting change that comes to us. That’s the wealth of the glory of His inheritance in us.

In the light of this truth, a change has taken place in my inner life. Deep down inside where my worries spring up, I’m beginning to feel the assurance that comes from knowing where I stand with God.

One day I faced a substantial financial loss due to a mistake someone had made. I was tempted to be upset and irritable. Then I remembered that I enjoy the highest favor with God. He is my Father. I’m His dear child. He’ll take care of me. So, I just relaxed. Money is not as important as a gracious spirit, anyway.

The resurrection and exaltation of Christ have brought me into the highest and tenderest favor with God Himself. This is a fact. An unchanging fact. This fact is the foundation for confidence and cheerful hope at all times.

Look at it like this. Suppose your boss is “out to get you.” You will go to work full of anxiety and fear. You’re on pins and needles. Every mistake is a crisis. All because you’re at odds with your boss.

Then you change bosses. You enjoy the best relations with your new boss. You know he’s on your side, pulling for you. Now you’re relaxed. If you make a mistake, you’re sure he’ll understand. He’ll even help you get going on the right track again.

This change of bosses produces a new spirit in you. You have a new reserve strength. You come to work relaxed, confident, cheerful, hopeful.

The resurrection and exaltation of Christ have given us a new “boss.” Think of what a change that makes in the very spirit in which we may now approach life. How do you think Joseph felt when he left Pharaoh’s court and went out into the land as the second in command? Can’t you picture his confidence and buoyancy? In like manner, you can now approach life from a position of strength.

Part 2 of this article can be found here: The Perseverance of God’s Love.  This article was originally published in Moody Magazine.

Copyright 2018 Bible Prayer Fellowship, Oliver W. Price