Prayer Series #8 – How to Change the World

There’s a lot of talk today about ‘changing the world’, but real change takes real power. Here is the path to power and authority that WILL change the world.

This is the 8th in an 8 part series on Prayer. It’s best to read these lesson-posts in order.

Praying A multitude of books, mostly academic in nature, have been written about prayer. These books help build a foundation of knowledge about prayer; they do not, however, ‘make’ us mature Christians just because we’ve read them. In this series, we’ve talked about maturity and that our relationship and our ability to overcome the flesh, the devil, and the world are the “key” components in spiritual maturity. The apostle Paul also said that it’s not elegant words but “power” that proves spiritual success and maturity. If we all used that measure as our guide, religion would put more emphasis on “doing” the Gospel, rather than talking about it.

Christianity is not a philosophy, nor is it a religion – it is a relationship. We explain that to people but we forget it when we “do Church”. Most of our focus is on knowing more about the Gospel. Jesus addressed this with the parable of the two sons. One person promised to do something but didn’t and the other said he wouldn’t do it but did. His message to us is that we’re measured not by outward signs of spirituality, but rather, by what we do.

Becoming passionate about the things He is passionate about is the result of relationship. When our relationship with Christ is new, we use prayer to get what we want. When our relationship is more mature, we pray what God wants and everything we need is added to our prayers for us.

There are 3 main enemies which Christ challenges us to overcome; the devil, the world, and the flesh are the obstacles to answered prayer, to our success in ministry, and to Christ ruling the planet. He has given us authority over each of these, but before we can operate in this authority, we must be tested as Jesus was, in the wilderness.

51056-10The “world” represents the system in which we live. It has been designed and operates in the power of fallen humanity (the flesh). It has authority and power to rule the Earth and its people. Though it’s corrupt and unjust, it is necessary to prevent anarchy and chaos on the planet. The “world” system is empowered by position and money. Kings are kings because we say they are. Presidents are presidents because we make them so. We each have intrinsic power given to us by God to live our life as we please, but we each give a little of that power away in order to have order and peace. This is the essence of democracy and the idea that governments are our servants. This is the reason people of deep Christian faith and understanding created democracies. No other religion has the concept of the God-given right of self-direction from which to empower a democratic government. Not all governments are democracies. Some people today (and in the past) believe that overcoming the “world” means democracies overcoming non-democracies. This is a very crude understanding of what Christ intended.

51019-03Jesus said His kingdom is ‘not of this world’; His lordship is in the hearts (spiritual dimension) and is NOT physical. In the Lord’s prayer, however, we’re challenged to bring God’s will to Earth – to make it physical. We are the channel for bringing His will into every decision and activity on Earth- as it is in Heaven. As we give up our will, we stand as the conduit for God’s will to enter the Earth. In practical terms, giving up our will means sacrificing our life in order to bring God’s will to Earth, as Jesus did. We choose to give up the things we love in order to see the love of God manifested in the world. We give up our pleasure and comforts to bring comfort to the world. We give up luxurious homes, vacations, and the “life” of the world system to live a life out of the resources of the Kingdom of God.

We give up these and other things in order to change the world by the power of God. This does not mean that what we give up we will never have – in fact, it’s just the opposite. When we give up our life in order to follow Christ, we are given abundant and eternal life. When we give up OUR life in other ways, we receive something greater, better, eternal, and not perishable. We accept that this is true when we receive eternal life from Christ, but we resist this truth when we are faced with empowering our ministry. It is the flesh which is the enemy of the work of the spirit. If we want to pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, we will always have to first overcome the flesh because it is our enemy.

bookcvrNewThere is much more that could be written about overcoming the world and the flesh, but if we  start with the basic concept of overcoming these enemies of the Kingdom and do it by surrendering to God, we have the foundation from which the rest of the understanding will come. For more information about the process of overcoming God’s enemies and preparation for ministry see: http://www.ajourneyinthewilderness.com/

Prayer is the most important thing we will do on Earth, second only to our worship of God. The highest form of worship is to give our life to Him. This surrender of our life to Christ out of love is the path to power and authority. When we use this power to bring Christ’s love and lordship to the world, we fulfill our deepest desires and live a rich, adventurous, abundant, blessed life which will exceed our wildest dreams.

Your comments are welcomed.

© Copyright 2014-15, Paul K. Weigel – All rights reserved.

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