Wednesday, 8 June 2011

GOD Delights in Mercy

GOD Delights in Mercy

“Judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment” (Jas 2:13 NIV)

Hello! Lets continue. In the last article we discussed our own fundamental “willingness” towards prayer. Today we move on to discuss – GOD’S WILLINGNESS! Yes! He is more willing and able to answer our prayers than we are willing to pray! We never have to spend hours – in vain babbling – trying to get God’s attention, twisting His arm, manipulating or trying to convince Him of His own will! For if we pray according to His Word, He is already obligated to answer. He cannot refute His own Words!

The Logos – God’s written will – now in leather bound covers with golden edges rather than wooden scrolls, is what we use when we pray. It is our plumb-line and we only get “off-center” when trying to negotiate the terms of His will – against our own!

So is God willing? Yes He is! But consider this fact. Most folks don’t ever struggle with the fact that God is “ABLE” but on the other hand, are not always convinced that He is WILLING. For example, if you asked a random person in the street “CAN God heal? Most would answer, “Yes!” If you then asked “Will God heal?” most would answer, “I don’t know!”

Once we have it settled in our hearts and minds - that God in deed is “always” willing and “always” able to perform His Word, this struggle stops. Rather it is “us” who must be willing. The blockage does not exist with God; it is with us! (Note: sin also creates a blockage between God and man - but that is another subject!)

So if the answer to the question, “Does God WANT to heal?” is “YES!” how can we be so sure? The written Word reveals it to be so. Jesus used the authority – of the “written” word - during his stint in the wilderness! Notice how both Jesus and his opponent the devil knew exactly what was written! The only difference: Satan wrongly divided it while Jesus rightly divided it! BIG DIFFERENCE! One effective and powerful the other twisted and out of context. Demonstrating to us that if we put the same “rightly-divided-Word” in our mouths – it will have just as much power to defeat Satan as it did in the mouth of Jesus! (2 Tim 2:15)

The one to help us with this, of course is the Holy Spirit! But again we will save that for our next article, where we will introduce the role of the Spirit, along side us in prayer. Without Him “we don’t know what to pray for as we ought” (Rom 8:26).

To continue, if God delights in mercy that triumphs over judgment. What on earth does this actually mean? In short – God loves to be merciful but demands also that we show mercy; we achieve this not only through our actions but also through our prayers.

Andrew Murray in his book called “The Ministry of Intercession” chapter 14 wrote the following: “Here is a God of glory able to meet all these needs. We are told that He delights in mercy, that He waits to be gracious, that He longs to pour out His blessing; that the love that gave the Son to death is the measure of the love that each moment hovers over every human being. And yet He does not help.”

“And there they perish, a million a month in China alone, and it is as if God does not move. If He does so love and long to bless, there must be some inscrutable reason for His holding back. What can it be? Scripture says, because of your unbelief. It is the faithlessness and consequent unfaithfulness of God's people.”

“He has taken them up into partnership with Himself; He has honored them, and bound Himself, by making their prayers one of the standard measures of the working of His power. Lack of intercession is one of the chief causes of lack of blessing, Oh, that we would turn eye and heart from everything else and fix them upon this God who hears prayer, until the magnificence of His promises, and His power, and His purpose of love overwhelmed us! How our whole life and heart would become intercession.”

Consider this: if God just calculated all of our needs but never bent to meet them – we would say that He had no mercy. However the world often views Him in just that light: as angry, aboding, ever watching, always unwilling to help but ever ready to punish! No matter how wrong this picture is - do we fit that bill as well? In other words, do we just watch, judge and calculate other’s needs, without ever looking to pray? With all the power available to us, do we administer mercy and justice, as we should (Pro 31:8-9; Ex 23:6 NIV).

Andrew Murray said above that, “…lack of intercession is one of the chief causes of lack of blessing,” and we know this to be true because James 4:2 put it in a nutshell by saying that “we don’t have because we don’t ask!” God has all the power and the resources of heaven and earth at His disposal, in order to answer our prayers, but who is praying? His willingness and power without our cooperation on this earth - avails nothing! This fact that God has “bound Himself, by making our prayers one of the standard measures of the working of His power” makes each one of us tremendously accountable – we can hardly stand it! (But again the Holy Spirit is our Helper!)

In addition to this, we know that throughout church history, revivals ONLY occurred once a prayer campaign was well underway! In 2 Chronicles 7:14 we see confirmation of this… “However, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, pray, search for me, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear their prayer from heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their country” (GW - emphasis added).

Our prayers are not made up of vain babblings, human reasoning’s and logical ideas. Yes our intellect is involved to a degree (but even a child can pray), so it is not rocket science! Our prayers are based on faith. Faith in God’s Word alone. This is what pleases God and gets His attention - ABOVE ALL ELSE! (Heb 11:6).

With our prayers acting like this divine “release-valve” for all of heavens richest blessings – it shows imperative (its down to us!) to make sure that God’s ability and willingness is never “held-back!”

Indeed God is waiting – WAITING FOR US! I agree with Andrew Murray; how God’s heart must ache for intercessors to rouse themselves. Let us be the ones!

Father thank you for all the mercy that you have shown towards me. Forgive me for my lack of courage in prayer. For all those times I procrastinated & left it for others to pray. Teach me prayer & use me for Your Glory. Amen.

I am God’s agent on this earth. His ambassador! I am hugely accountable and trust God’s Spirit to guide and to teach me. I use my knowledge of His Word to pray and to increase the blessings of others.

Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’
Copyright 2011 © Alan Pateman Ministries


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