Yesterday we looked at God’s promise in John 14:14. Too often people take the verse to imply, “If you ask anything, I will do it.” They overlook the most essential phrase: “in My name.”
Asking in Christ’s name has two meanings. First, believers are welcome to make requests that align with God’s purpose and plan. To do that, we need to ask Him if our prayers match His will. God has several ways of assuring followers that they are on the correct path. For instance, He may increase right desires or decrease wrong ones. Another possibility is that He will use His Word to redirect a Christian’s steps or confirm that the believer is going the right way. Either way, God will make a path for the man or woman who seeks to do His will.
Second, invoking Christ’s name means that we desire to glorify Him instead of ourselves. James gives this warning: “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:3). To understand that, let’s consider those who are trying to pray their way out of a financial hole as an example. The question is, Does a person want to get out of debt so that he has more for himself or so that he can use the excess in God-honoring ways? Motives are apparent to God, and He will not encourage ones rooted in sin.
In the name Jesus Christ, there is abundant power. However, calling upon Him in prayer is not a magic charm to get what we want. Rather, it is a signal that we are laying down our personal desires and our own way of getting things done. In so doing, we commit to follow God and bring honor to Him.
Bible in One Year: Luke 2-3
SOURCE: Culled from In Touch Ministries
WEDNESDAY 5TH SEPTEMBER 2018
While the people of Israel were still at Rephidim, the warriors of Amalek attacked them. Moses commanded Joshua, “Choose some men to go out and fight the army of Amalek for us. Tomorrow, I will stand at the top of the hill, holding the staff of God in my hand.”
So Joshua did what Moses had commanded and fought the army of Amalek. Meanwhile, Moses, Aaron, and Hur climbed to the top of a nearby hill. As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage. Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset. As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle. (Exodus 17:8-13)
The Amalekites descended from Amalek, a grandson of Esau. They were a fierce nomadic tribe that lived in the desert region near the Dead Sea. They made part of their livelihood by raiding other settlements and carrying off plunder. They killed for pleasure. One of the greatest insults in Israelite culture was to call someone “a friend of Amalek.”
When the Israelites entered the region, the Amalekites saw a perfect opportunity for both pleasure and profit. But this hostile tribe attacked the wrong group—a people led by God. For the Israelite slaves to defeat such a warlike nation was more than enough proof that God was with them as he had promised to be.
Aaron and Hur stood by Moses’ side and held up his arms to ensure victory against Amalek. Similarly, we need to “hold up the hands” of our spiritual leaders as well. Shouldering some responsibility, lending a word of encouragement, or offering a prayer are ways of refreshing spiritual leaders in their work.
Pray for your spiritual leaders by name, “holding up their hands” as they minister.