The Form Without The Power
"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you." Isaiah 26:3 I heard an eye-opening teaching that when you approach God with a request, you should formulate your prayer as a lawyer would prepare an argument before a judge. What that means is that the Lord desires that we use his Word as the basis of our request. For example, the Word of God says in this passage that if one's mind is stayed on God, and if his trust is in the Lord, THEN one can request the perfect peace he promises here. But these are two very important "ifs" which we must settle beforehand. Our mind, our FOCUS during the storm must remain NOT on the circumstances, but it must remain "stayed" on the Lord. And our heart must choose to trust him, even when our way is very difficult. Especially in a difficult time, we are not to focus on our feelings. It's difficult for sure, especially if one hasn't walked with the Lord for a long time and had time to learn his ways. But it's a choice, not a feeling. Then upon that basis, the basis of his Word, we can ask for perfect peace. The bottom line is that nothing touches us without God's approval, and if he allows something hard, then we are to know he has a specific purpose in it. If you can trust that purpose, then you can go before the Throne of grace with your request. This can be vitally important when one is in a circumstance that overwhelms him. Some of the trials and afflictions in our lives greatly shake us and peace is far from us as we stagger under the weight of it. The Word of God warns us that our faith must not be just "a form of religion," but a living, vital faith in the God we claim to belong to. It must be an active faith, a total trust, a belief that we will see the power of God active in our lives. To so many, their religion is just religion, something they do because they were brought up that way, or something they do so as not to feel guilty; but that is a religion that is powerless and empty. Seek the God of the religion, not the religion itself. "...having A FORM of godliness but denying its power. " 2 Timothy 3:5 In other words, the Gospel is a relationship with God, NOT a theology. Theology is good if used correctly, but the Word of God tells us that if it doesn't work for us, then something is wrong. If one is in right relationship with God, having his heart in total surrender, then one can EXPECT that the Word of God will "work" - not necessarily as one wants it to turn out, but in the knowledge that God is right there IN it with him, and working it out according to his plan for the person's life. It's ALWAYS with purpose. So ...if you are in a situation that is tearing you apart, a situation that is overwhelming you, a situation that has drained you, then go and stand before "the Throne of grace" and request the grace you need. Present your case based on the Word of God, speaking that Word before him, and you will find that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not a form, not a theology, not a religion, but that it is a Gospel offering to us the very power of God if we handle it correctly. "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16 Meteorologists tell us that in the center of a hurricane, all is calm. There can be peace in the center of your storm. Get that peace at the Throne of grace. Prepare yourself before you pray, and then approach God boldly, in the Name of Jesus Christ, and receive from him the help you so desperately need.