Kingdom Principle: God’s Power flows from the Center to the outer-most edge.
Prayer moves Kingdom Servants from the outer-most edge to the center.
|Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22||Psalm124||James5:13-20||Mark9:38-50|
It is far better to be a long way off and headed the right direction than to have no clue where your headed or to have missed the target and to now be headed in the wrong direction all together. The GPS directional ability to recalculating – is that when you know where you are headed – the GPS guide will keep you headed in that direction. Even if you make a wrong turn it will re-calculate to get you headed back in that direction. Fortunately for those who find their identity in Christ, there is a GPS for life and it is called the GHS – That is Guidance Holy Spirit, rather than Global Positioning System. Unfortunately for many, they have no desire to tune into or to turn on the GHS – they rather figure it out for themselves and learn through trial and error.
The Kingdom of God is without a fixed outer edge or boundary. Meaning you cannot simply draw a box around the Kingdom of God, nor can you make a list of those who are “in” verses “out”. However the Kingdom of God is fixed on one focal point – that is Jesus Christ as the King. This is called a Center-Set rather than a Bounded-Set. A quick summary of this Center-set thinking is, rather than the focus being on the outside edge and getting outsiders – in, the focus is on the direction you are headed. When your focus is on the King and you are moving toward the King, it matters not how far away you are– only that you are moving closer to the King and heading in that direction. In a very basic and over simplistic analogy, it is like being on an escalator or the moving walk-way in an airport – it only goes one direction….. If you are on it – you are going to move in that direction, unless you turn around and run against the flow of motion. For some – they have opted to get off the “walk-way” of the Kingdom, and are in fact moving quickly in the other direction. Others choose to remain on the Kingdom walkway, but insist on resisting or moving away from God, rather than acknowledging his power. This person is in constant battle, and must work against the power of God. This is the life of the fool. Then there are those who desire to move closer to God simply choosing to stand still, letting God do the work. Finally those that learn to run in the direction of the Kingdom, discover movement beyond their ability and wisdom beyond their understanding. This is the flow of Power moving you closer to him.
The passages this week are discussing the Power of Prayer and the movement of the King’s heart to engage His servants who are moving in His direction. Continuing the analogy of the moving walk-way; we don’t even need arms or legs to move us along the way, and if our arms and legs are working to prevent our movement toward God we’d be better off without them. Imagine with me for just a second, on this moving walkway – a person going the wrong direction – how disruptive it would be, verses the smooth flow of movement of the people moving in the same direction. (The picture I have is of an adult tempting a little child to have fun running against the movement of the walk-way – it is better for this person to be tossed “overboard” than to mock the power of God and lead these children away from the King.) The Disciples error this week was allowing their focus to be other than on Jesus (the King) and placing it on themselves. Their rejection of the man driving out demons was not regarding his work, rather in the fact that “he” is not one of them(us). The text does not say “he” was not a follower of Jesus, just that he is not one of “us”… and So Jesus tells them – he is headed in the same direction as us…. he is following me…. Further, Esther does not follow Mordecai, she keeps her focus on the King and his wishes and desires, and the results save the life of Mordecai and all the Jews. Haman takes his eyes off the King and seeks his own kingdom, and the result is death and destruction.
Prayer is the focusing agent of our lives unto the flow and movement of God. Prayer is not for the purpose of changing God’s flow of power, it is for the purpose of changing us. Prayer for another believer aligns us to the will of God as we learn to listen and respond to the answer of God. Mother Teresa spoke of prayer in this way, “Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at his disposition, and listening to His voice in the depths of our hearts.” So the purpose of prayer is to align oneself in union with the will of God. (Matt. 6:9-10)
We must not forget that we have an enemy that longs to obstruct the power of God from flowing freely in our lives. All that much more reason why must pray – and boast in our dependence of the King. (coming near to God) And in our lives we fast from the things of this world – breaking our dependence on such comforts and lies of the enemy. (Resist the Devil and he will flee from you) Confession is the cry – that I need help; and the righteous turn unto Jesus alone for help. This relationship is what makes prayer powerful and effective. We enter this relationship through the blood of Christ’s sacrifice. The salt of the Mark passages can refer to preservation and the seasoning of food, meaning in the events of life we learn to prayer and our life becomes richer and more potent for the King. I see it more as a reference to the act of the priest entering the Holy Place in the Tabernacle, bringing the seasons and salts of incense and offering them with the fire of the altar of sacrifice. It was through this experience that the priest was to enter the Holy of Holies to be in the presence of the Holy Spirit with nothing to obstruct their focus.
Questions to move us deeper into Power-filled Prayer:
1. Do you have any relationships in which you can confess your sins and be prayed for? If not – you need to find and discover the power of this relationship. This may seem not- necessary, but it is essential to your movement from the dependence of the world and comforts of the soul to the flow of the spirit and the healing power of prayer.
2. To be a People of Faith following a Plan of Hope, fulfilling a Purpose of Love; prayer is the only means by which you can grow in your confidence and conviction of such things. If you allow mere knowledge of such truths to remain void of power, you will be tempted to substitute the power of the Holy Spirit for the power found in this world. (This is the dilemma of the Pharisees in Jesus’ time and where the Disciples were working against the will of God – they were bound by rules, rather than set free by Power.)
3. With whom are your in relationship with for the specific purpose of being God’s agent for change? A demonstration of Power. Pray that the eyes of your heart may be opened to see where God has placed you for such a time as this (Esther 4:14). God is waiting for you to pray, that His Will may be know by you and those around you. Not praying can and does make as much change happen as praying – it simply is change that is not aligned with the Will of God. (Making it aligned with the enemy)