Sunday, February 3, 2013

“Are Your Knees Bleeding” ?
"Pray Without Ceasing" (1 Thes. 5:17)

       For a number of years now whenever a brother or sister in Christ has come to me in anguish over their ongoing addictions and commenting about how God's not answering their prayers in times of crisis, (and for those with addictions, that can be a daily event), my response has often been, “Are your knees bleeding?” Not to be taken literally of course, but to make a point and get ones attention! When we’re struggling with a crisis or a problem in our life, we should take 1 Thes.5:17  very seriously. If our crisis is addiction, we need to pray in Faith, Romans 12:12, "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."
James 5:15, "And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven." We need to pray  until we’ve been set free, and recovered. Until we get to the point of living and obeying 1 Thes.5:17, we might be waiting for quite awhile before we can celebrate Victory over our addictions! We must understand through our Faith, that the answers will come in Gods timing, not ours. For example, if we're not living in obedience to His Will, we may have to endure more trials until we learn to be obedient. We need to recognize that most of Gods promises are conditional, and the conditions are usually our obedience and Faith. We must all endure the Refiners fire, also in Psalm 66:10, Daniel 11:35, Daniel 12:10, 1 Peter 1:7. If  “your knees are bleeding.” be assured your in the furnace being “refined” for Gods purpose! Gods in control of all situations, and He knows what we need, long before we need it. He tells  us, "Men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” (Luke 18:1) “Not to faint” means to be strong, stand in faith, and wait on Him! Trust Him ! When we fail and give up, relapse is waiting “just around the next corner” for us. The enemy loves weak Christians who are busy practicing “Ye of little Faith,”  specially Christians with addictions, who are so vulnerable to his temptations. "For Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:26)  
      “Praying Without Ceasing” (1 Thes.5:17) is how we communicate with our Father. It’s a vital part of building our relationship with Him. We will never get to know and understand Him and His will for us until we learn to pray on a regular and routine basis. Not just when we’re in a crisis. To best understand “Praying Without Ceasing” (1 Thes.5:17 ), please read this devotional by Oswald Chambers, “My Utmost for His Highest” , May 26, titled, “Thinking of prayer as Jesus Taught.” (My emphasis on “thinking.”) I believe Mr. Chambers has provided us with an excellent explanation defining the very complicated answer to the question, “what is prayer?” A subject of the Gospel that has already consumed forests of paper, written over centuries of time, many definitions and interpretations, written by thousands of “expert Theologians." Or you could also read, "A Time to Wait in Prayer " by Charles Stanley, Saturday, March 17, 2012.
       My quote, “are your knees bleeding,” is simply meant to get ones attention, one who’s caught up in a crisis, such as addiction, a crisis which is seemingly without end or justification to those caught up in it. Should that be you, and since your reading this, in all likelihood it either has been you, or is now you, or will be soon, my point is, "draw near to God!” (James 4:8) And continue drawing nearer to Him as needed, through faith, until you feel His comfort! (Psalms 23)  No matter what the circumstances, we can do and He knows the answers to the problems, and has already provided them, we just need to claim them, and wait for Him to deliver them, when He knows the time is right! For example; When God gave John the  instructions to write to us in  John 8:31-36 , He gave us the answer to our addictions then, 2000 years ago! Why do we Christians still struggle today with bondage to sin? When God promised us that we can be "set free?"  “Drunkenness” is sin ! (Please read this scripture again and again, if you’re still in denial of that Truth.) Many Christians today have been so misled in regards to addiction recovery, both inside and outside the church, they’ve either never read John 8:31-36 , or consciously meditated on it, or prayed over it for His inspiration or revelation, or they believe it was written for someone else’s benefit. My friends, Gods Holy Word was written to all of us!  That means You! It is however, our choice to pick it up and read it! How often we do so, is also our choice! Praying over it with God for understanding and revelation is also our choice! Our commitment to Him is also our choice! We choose what we do with our time, and the excuses we make to justify those choices! We need to choose, whether to be inconvenienced, or to make sacrifices to please God and receive His full Blessings. Remember Job, or Noah, or the many others throughout the Bible who were inconvenienced, but through sacrifice and Faith, found Gods favor, and had their prayers answered, in His time!
      We can do nothing on our own, without Him, so we might as well surrender to Him, draw closer to Him, where we can clearly hear His instructions to us, to get us through this crisis. As difficult as it may be in our culture today, we must find the time and a “mountaintop,” (Mark 6:46), or a “solitary place” (Mark 1:35), perhaps in your “closet” (Math.6:6) , where we can be absolutely alone with God, where we might hear Him as clearly as possible. So close we can hear His breathing!  It’s our choice, do we want to be inconvenienced, or make the necessary sacrifices, not only to hear Him clearly, but also to show Him that we care. God wants our sacrificial Love for Him, in return for the sacrifice that he made for us on the Cross for our Salvation! The least we can do in return, is have an attitude of, “Lord, my knees are bleeding, in order that I might hear more clearly and frequently from you, that I might get to know and understand you better, through a closer personal relationship with you”.
       Yes, we need to “Pray without ceasing,” ( 1 Thes.5:17 ), to be communicating with God in every breath He blesses us with, not just when we’re in a crisis, and not just from a “mountaintop,” but in all that we do, even from on our knees, with tears in our eyes, and if necessary, until our knees are bleeding! It’s all about our commitment to Him and our Love for Him! His Love for us is unconditional, and His Grace, unlimited! He wants us to know that He’s in control of all situations, that He knows what we need long before we need it.

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