If We Ask According To His Will
Dan Lightfoot 1442
A. I want to take the points of a sermon I preached a couple of years ago to apply to a question that came to me last week. The subject of the question concerned prayer & whether or not God still worked in the world to answer prayer or to cause things to happen.
B. Some believe that God still does things as He always did. Giving Moses power to part the Sea.. Giving Elijah power to raise the dead.
C. Some believe that God set all spiritual and physical laws in motion and now just sits back and watches. ...think that when Paul spoke of miraculous spiritual gifts passing away, he was saying God would not take an active part in men s lives anymore.
1. Not so. What Paul said was that the miraculous spiritual gifts would pass so that men would no longer be God s instruments in performing miracles.
2. He said nothing of God putting a limitation on His own activity.
D. And the promises of answered prayer are many.
Mt. 7:7-8 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
I Jn. 5:14-15 This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.
Mt. 21:22 And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.
E. What you believe makes all the difference. If you do not believe God answers prayer, He probably won t.
F. THE RULE THAT DETERMINES THE FUTURE (Mt. 8:5-13)
1. Notice the RULE (not the exception)!
2. Tell of the centurion & read v. 13 And Jesus said to the centurion, Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed. And the servant was healed that very moment.
3. What was always the rule for mighty works? ...For Jesus doing things beyond man's imagination?
a. (I know He did - & does - Eph. 3:20-21 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
b. Surely there is some rule or order in what He does!
B. Jesus said: "As you have believed, so be it done."
1. There's the rule! Not the exception!
2. The-way Jesus did it was exceptional because of the miracle. But the rule by which He did it was in no way exceptional! )
3. This rule is seen thru-out the old & N.T s.
4. Whenever men of God believed, it was done as they believed!
Notice some Bible fools who believed that&
I. NATHAN & ARMORBEARER AT MICHMASH (I Sam. 13-14)
A. Two men, one sword (Israel reduced from 3,000 to 600 men)
1. Philistines - 30,000 chariots; 6,000 horsemen; soldiers...
2. Anyone but a fool would have sneaked on by. But Jonathan said, "Jehovah will work for us. There is no restraint to Jehovah to save by many or by few." (14:6)
3. What a fool! But the battle started & God finished it! Two men set the whole army of Philistines to flight!
4. v. 23- So Jehovah saved Israel that day."
5. As you have believed, so be it done.
II. TWO BLIND MEN (Mt. 9:27-29)
A. Read vv. 27-28 - As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out, Have mercy on us, Son of David! 28When He entered the house, the blind men came up to Him, and Jesus said* to them, Do you believe that I am able to do this? They said* to Him, Yes, Lord.
1. I'd like to list about 100 promises & just ask: "Do you believe?" That was Jesus' question!
2. v. 29 - "Be it done to you according to your faith!"
B. What's the rule in 8:13 & 9:29?
1. They had to be able to preach? Have money to pay back? A lot of ability? None of that!
2. The rule was faith. The only rule!
3. If I don't believe God answers prayer, He won't.
2. But if we have an open-door policy & serve & say, Lord, I don't care what you want me to do, whether it be big or little, whether you want me to be honored or shamed, whether you want me to be hungry or fed... I don't care! I just by faith want to be what You want me to be, do what You want me to do, go where You want me to go, & grow as You want me to grow!"
3. If we will place ourselves in God s hands, He will guide our lives, and answer our prayers.
III. A CANAANITE WOMAN (Mt. 15:21-28)
A. Jesus challenged her & us. vv. 21-22 - a Canaanite woman from that region came out and began to cry out, saying, Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed.
1. What qualified all these examples for the attention of Jesus? ("Have mercy," they pled.)
2. Jesus did not answer. Testing.
B. Disciples wanted her sent away... But Jesus said,
* v. 28 O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish. And her daughter was healed at on
2. Surely, we can pray like the Father of the Boy in Mk. 9:23-24. if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us! 23And Jesus said to him, If You can? All things are possible to him who believes. 24Immediately the boy s father cried out and said, I do believe; help my unbelief.
3. Father of the epileptic boy said, "If you can, have compassion..."
4. Jesus said incredulously! ''If you can? All things are possible to him who believes. What s impossible for you?
5. SEE THE RULE! Heb. 11 is full of it!
IV. IS THERE AN ALTERNATIVE TO FAITH?
A. FEAR - (Mt. 8:24-25) - And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, Save us, Lord; we are perishing! Ridiculous! How could God drown?
1. v. 26 - "O ye of little faith, why were ye so afraid?"
2. What's the alternative to faith? FEAR!
3. "Stock market crashed!" So what? "5 year famine!'' So?
4. Habakkuk 3:17-19 Though the fig tree should not blossom And there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail And the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold And there be no cattle in the stalls, 18 Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. 19 The Lord GOD is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds feet, And makes me walk on my high places.
5. "O for a faith that will not shrink..."
a. Listen, if Jesus is in the boat, the storm helps the boat! Whatever happens is for the good of the boat... or the church ... or in your life! (Even if Jesus is asleep in the boat!)
B. SUNK - Ask Peter for the alternative!
1. Mt. 14:29f - Peter's walking on water...
2. Seeing the wind, he became afraid - & SANK!
3. There's the alternative to faith - SUNK!
4. "O ye of little faith, why did you doubt?" (v. 31)
C. 3rd alternative: NO POWER OF JESUS IN YOUR LIFE.
1. Matt. 13:54-58
2. The Lord won't act in your life w/o faith...
3. We either step out where we don't see solid ground; ...either become sure of what we hope for & certain of what we do not see, ... or the Lord will cease His work with me!
4. That's the RULE and the ALTERNATIVE!
5. Now. Do we follow the rule? Or accept the alternative?
a. There is no compromise. Jesus said:
b. "He that is not with me is against me."
c. "You cannot serve God & mammon."
6. Do you intend to live by faith? - being sure & certain?
a. Or do you intend to accept the alternative? -
V. God s Promise Is To His Children
A. God s promises to answer prayer are given to His children.
1. Not blanket promises to everyone.
2. God obligates Himself to take care of His children&
B. Who is told, Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. (Mt. 7:7-8)?
1. Those who are told to pray, Our Father who art in heaven&
2. I won t belabor the point&.
C. How do you become a child of God?
1. Come in faith. Jn. 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,
a. You have the right to become a child of God if you believe&
2. Repent. Luke 13:3 unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.
a. Repent of sins. Turn to God
b. Acts 26:20 declaring ... that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.
3. Confess faith in Jesus. Rom. 10:9-10 ...if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
4. And be baptized Rom. 6:4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
5. And with that newness of life comes the privilege of praying to God as Father.
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