Committing Ourselves To His Work And Will
So, instead of selfishness, there is God’s will as our priority. Instead of what I want it’s what He wants. Instead of being addicted to sin, there’s freedom from sin. Free now to obey God’s will. What a delicious freedom that is for the first time in your life to look about you and say, “Thank God, I can serve Him...”
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, my dear radio friends. How in the world are you? You doin’ Alright today? Oh, I trust so bless your heart. I’m fine. Happy in the Lord. Glad to be back with you. Eager to look into God’s blessed inherent, infallible Word, the Bible. How I cherish these few moments that we can invest together day by day, looking into God’s Word. It does me good, I know that, and I trust also that you, my precious friend, are blessed.
What I’ve been trying to do is to give you a contrast between the awesome and brutal truth of 2 Peter 2 where Peter is describing people within the church group who nevertheless, do not know the saving power of the Lord Jesus Christ. They’ve been exposed to the gospel but they aren’t the real article. And so, they are — they’re what they call, false teachers. And they bring in the damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them. The essence of heresy, the essence of any kind of religious error starts in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. That, together with your attitude toward the Word of God, the Bible, is the foundation of all of true, classic Christianity. And it is also the beginnings of all heresy.
Wobbling on the Word of God and uncertainty or deviant truth concerning the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, form the basis of almost all of the heresies you’ll ever meet in the world. And Peter is talking about that. And he talks about covetousness and making merchandise of people, manipulating folks for your own gain, and not afraid to speak evil of dignities, the self-willed and presumptuous as he.
And they are addicted to sin, addicted to sinning. “They cannot cease from sin,” says He. And so, their influence, therefore, is harmful. They beguile unstable souls and they operate on the basis of what I want, covetous practices. They are following Balaam who loved the wages of unrighteousness. Covetousness is, what I want. And great swelling words of vanity. And instead of helping people, they bring people into more bondage to sin, “of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.”
Now, I wanted — see that’s the second chapter of Peter and it is a gloomy chapter. Your heart just aches for people like this as you read it. Now, I wanted to give you a contrast to that. And so, in the last few — broadcasts, I’ve been looking at Romans chapter 8 as a contrast to that. Instead of living according to the law of sin and death, we’re living according to a new law, the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. There’s a new focus, a new set of priorities. We pay attention not to the things of the flesh but to the things of the Spirit. There’s a new dynamic — the Holy Spirit quickens us. There’s a new leadership — we’re led by the Spirit. There’s a new cry, not of fear but of family — Abba, father.
There’s a new assurance — the Holy Spirit witnesses with our Spirit that we are indeed, the children of God. There’s a new hope — the creation is going to be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. And we wait for that wonderful day, said He. There’s new power in prayer. “We know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” I think that’s about as far as we got the last time we got together.
So, instead of selfishness, there is God’s will as our priority. Instead of what I want it’s what He wants. Instead of being addicted to sin, there’s freedom from sin. Free now to obey God’s will. What a delicious freedom that is for the first time in your life to look about you and say, “Thank God, I can serve Him. I’m free to serve God instead of being a slave and to all of the things that holds me before.” This is the contrast I’m trying to present to you. Do you follow that? Alright. Now, let me then spend just a moment or two with you rounding out our thought about prayer.
“The Spirit himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered and He that searcheth the heart,” says, God the Father. God the Father knows what is the mind or the Spirti because He, the Spirit makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. John says, in his epistle, “We know that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that he hears us — this is 1 John 5:15, if we know that He hears us whatsoever we ask, we also know that we have — present tense, not will have or should have — present tense. We know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him. Praying in the will of God ensures an answer.
And so, the Holy Spirit praying through you, it says, “He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” Oh, how precious the truth that is. Oftentimes, people have written to me and said, “Brother Cook, how do I know whether I’m really praying for God’s will or I’m just praying for something I want?” And I think you have to start with what you want. If you’re going to pray, pray honestly. Pray honestly and say, “Lord, this is what I’d like to have.”
I remember Francis Bennett, who was a great stalwart in the work of child evangelism for many years, was saying – now, what happened to her when on one occasion she was grievously ill and thought she might die. And so, she lay there so very, very ill. She said, “I prayed.” And I said, “No, Father, I don’t mind dying and I’m your — I’m in your hands. And if you want me to die, that’s Alright with me. But, if you don’t mind, I’d like to live a little longer.” That’s the way she put it. “If you don’t mind, I’d like to live a little longer.”
And she prayed, and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that she might live a little longer. If it pleased God and, of course, she did. She lived to a ripe, old age. I think she was 97, maybe, when she passed away. Great lady. I recall her so clearly because I came in contact with her life when I was just in my teens yet. “And if you don’t mind, Lord, I’d like to.” Now, have you adopted that approach when your praying? Sheer honesty with God as to what how you feel.
See, if you’re angry, don’t try to tell God that everything’s Alright. Tell him you’re angry. And then, let him handle that anger. If you’re lonely, it does no good to try to kid yourself into thinking that you’re not. Tell God how you feel and then let Him handle that loneliness by inserting into your consciousness the richness of His presence. I’ve had that experience many a time in different places in the world. I tell you. I never was so lonesome in all my life as I was for a few days in India when I was terribly sick. Some bug or rather had gotten to me and I was sick. I’ll tell you. And there, I was 13,000 miles or more away from my home and my family, dear ones and people whom I knew. And I felt so lonesome. Well, what did I do?
Well, you know, Bob Cook prays when things go wrong or when there’s any need and that’s exactly what I did. I didn’t have strength enough to get out of bed. Just lying in bed there on the fourth floor of a hotel in Calcutta. It was called a hotel and just barely got under that classification. There was no elevator. You had to walk up 93 stairs to get to the level where I lived. And the water only ran in the morning. You couldn’t draw water out of the tap except in the morning. And of course, you didn’t dare drink it because it was a brackish-brown liquid that was fearsomely filled with all sorts of bacteria that you were sure and all of those things.
Well, Alright, there I was. And I lay on that bed and I said, “Oh, God, I’m lonesome.” And I said, “Just somehow come and make yourself known to me and comfort my heart.” Do you know that as I lay there, I was deliciously aware of the presence of my Blessed Lord? Oh, I still missed my loved ones just as anyone else would, but I was aware of His presence to bless and to comfort and to heal. And it wasn’t long before I was up and about and preaching away again.
If you’re lonesome, tell God. And then, let Him love you. Let Him put his great arms of love about you and whisper to your heart how precious you are to Him. Precious unto you therefore which believe, He is precious. Jesus is precious to you but you have to wait long enough for Him to whisper back to you and say, “Yes, you’re precious to me, too.”
Alright. Tell God the truth. That is, praying starts with honest, open revelation of what you are, confession of what you are and how you feel and where you’re coming from. And then, be willing to commit that situation as it is, not as you wish it were. Commit that situation as it is to God.
There are many people who had what we call the misfortune, either being injured or being born with some birth defect which has made them not able to function as the rest of the human beings around them, with some impairment then of sight or hearing or mobility or whatever it may be. And people have often spoken with me about this and I take it that this is the way the Lord works. They said, first, they question. Second, they were angry and resentful. “Why did God do this to me?” But those of them who were believers came to a place where they just gave God the whole situation as it was.
And when they turned it over to God, themselves with it, as it was, just the whole situation as it is. Then God began to minister tenderly to them and worked in their lives. And so, today, you have the beautiful ministry of Joni Eareckson Tada, paraplegic, a beautiful spirit in a body that is impaired because of the accident she suffered when a young girl. Now, what? Oh, she’s given always herself to God and she has a greater ministry than ever she would have had with a body that was whole because the hidden potentials in her life had been brought out by God when she turned them over to Him.
Now, admittedly, I’m speaking from the point of view of one who’s healthy. Here I am in my 70s. Can you believe it? I feel so young. (Laughs) But, here I am and I’m healthy and I’m walking around and I’m full of bounce to the ounce and all of that. I can still work harder than many of my friends around me and enjoy it. And you say, “Yeah, Brother Cook. It’s easy for you to talk. You don’t have a trouble in the world.” Well, maybe I do but maybe you don’t know. (Laughs) And not everybody knows everything about everybody, right?
But, you know, here I am. I’m feeling fine this morning. And I’m talking to somebody who has a heartache or who has an impairment of physical body or who has circumstances that are breaking your heart and you say, “Yeah, Cook. You don’t know. You don’t understand. It’s easier for you to talk.” Well, friend, I’ve never died of thirst either. But I know that a little water can assuage thirst. I haven’t had the experience you had, but I know the cure for your experience because I’ve experienced it, too. And it is– praying through the Holy Spirit in honesty to the God who can make a difference.
Dear Father, today, help us to be honest with Thee and to commit ourselves to Thee so that thou canst work in our lives. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today, and be a blessing!
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