Wednesday, June, 29, 2016 | 5:04 PM | by Pastor Rick
Knocking On Heaven's Door Part 1
Knocking on Heavens Door Part 1 –
Why should we pray? I mean what really is the purpose? God knows everything right?
Luke 11:5-10 says, “And He said to them, ‘Suppose one of you should have a friend, and shall go to him at midnight and say to him, “Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey and I have nothing to set before him;” And from inside he shall answer and say, “Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.” I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs. And I say to you, ask and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it shall be opened.”
Wow!! What starts out as a simple story, ends up pretty theological doesn’t it? It starts with the simple and ends up in the profound. A mature believer who has been shaped by Scripture – and that’s the only way to be mature – understands the nature of God.
Listen, your view of God is really the benchmark of your spiritual maturity. Understanding the nature of God is critical to spiritual maturity because in the end you rest in the reality of God. Superficial knowledge of God, a shallow knowledge of God, a limited knowledge of God contributes to limited understanding and limited faith and limited trust.
And so, when we talk about spiritual maturity, we’re really talking about understanding the nature of God. That is essential. That is to say you understand that God is eternal, that He is powerful, that He is holy, that He is unchangeable, that He is omniscient, that He is omnipresent, that He is purposeful, that He is sovereign, that He is in perfect control of everything He has created all the time. He has perfect knowledge so there’s nothing to change the plan. He doesn’t need us to give Him more information and He doesn’t react to circumstances.
You say, Rick “Why are you telling us all of this?” Because all these realities about God raise the question of how our prayers matter, don’t they? Does God really hear me when I pray? I mean why would I bother to pray?
I mean, I certainly don’t want to bother God; I don’t want to interrupt God. I mean, He knows where He’s going, knows what He’s doing, He doesn’t need information from me about anything. He’s not about to change His ultimate plan and design. So if I am told to pray, maybe all I need to do is just kind of go in for a little brief meeting and say, “You know, I’m really sorry to bother You, God, I’ll just keep this to a minimum. I know you’re really busy and I know you’ve got the issue worked out and You know where it’s going but – so I won’t be long.” Sorry God, it’s me again”. Can I have just a minute?
Psalm 143:1 says something different all together, “Hear my prayer, O Lord, – Give ear to my supplications! Answer me in Thy faithfulness, in Thy righteousness!” And I love the next one, “And do not enter into judgment with Thy servant.”
David says, “I don’t want a discussion. I don’t want you to be upset with me. Just cool your anger and just listen”. Wow! What an amazing way to talk to God. I’m shocked by the boldness of it, the brashness of it.
When I was growing up as a kid, my grandmother used to have this little saying. I don’t hear it much anymore. My mom picked it up and carried it on. She said, “Well, Rickey, that took a lot of gall.” Did you ever hear anybody say that? “That took a lot of gall.” I don’t know where that came from.
You look up “gall” in the dictionary, I don’t know how they connect. But my mom would say, “That took a lot of nerve.” It’s like you’ve stepped over the boundaries of rudeness, you’ve gone too far.
You say, “Well, what is the point in talking to God like that? If you know God is sovereign, and you know God is all wise, and all powerful, and all knowing, and has purposed everything from the beginning to the end and all the way through the middle, what in the world is the point of praying?” The answer is because God has not only ordained the end, He has ordained the means to the end. And I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be a part of God’s means than anything else.
It’s not about changing God’s mind. It’s not about changing God’s plans. It’s not about giving Him information He doesn’t have. It’s not about a tweaking of the circumstances that He might not have anticipated. It’s simply about being used by God. Let me tell you right now, I don’t want to change anything. I can’t. It would be ridiculous to think of it. But that would be to assume that I had a better idea, and that’s absolute idiocy. But to think that God could use me, being totally ignorant of the future, totally inept, to be a means by which He achieves His eternal ends, and then not only bless that but reward me forever, beyond belief. That’s why the Bible tells us to pray.
Listen, prayer is the means by which God’s infinite wisdom, infinite power, and perfect purpose are brought together to accomplish His will.
You can’t be saved without believing. You can’t be sanctified without obeying. And you can’t enjoy the goodness of God in this life without participating in His unfolding purpose through your prayers and through your service to Him.
This story in Luke 15 is a perfect illustration of us going to God and saying, “I know it’s inappropriate to interrupt You because You’re running a universe and You’ve got all these things going. But I just need You to listen to me. -” Man, on the surface it seems over the top.
But it isn’t. The picture here is of shameless nerve, and boldness. I mean we are going into the presence of the God of the universe. But our Lord is teaching us how to be invasive, how to be bold in our prayers.
And so the parable leads to this incredible promise in Luke 15:9-10,and this is over the top. Listen to this. “And I say to you -” I love that. this isn’t somebody’s opinion, folks. This is the incarnate God speaking, okay? “I say to you -” this is the voice of absolute divine authority. “I say to you -” I want to hear this. You are not intruding on me.
Listen up! God can read your heart. He can see your concern. He says to all of His children, “Feel free to knock on heaven’s door I am here and I am listening”
Message excerpt from the upcoming message, “Knocking On Heavens Door” by Pastor Rick Edwards
Messages and blogs at www.fbcbf.com