For His Intent
As you pray for yourself and for others, remember that this is a battle. God is able to open up things for you so the Word of God gets out.
Alright thank you very much. And hello again my dear radio friend, how in the world are you? You doin’ all right? Oh I hope so. I sort of give my self away to you in these broadcasts.
I know that I just finished talking with some folks down in Virginia. The dear lady has a tumor of some sort, and is very concerned. Her husband called me and asked me to pray for them, some days ago. And I did, and then I made a note of it. There it was in front of me today as I prepared for the broadcast, so I called him up, told him I was praying for him. And we had just a little fellowship on the phone. I’ve never met them, I’ll see them in glory.
But I just want you to know that I care how you are, and how things are going in your life. And when there’s opportunity I pray for you specifically. But otherwise I just ask God to use this broadcast to bring blessing, and comfort, and inspiration, and help, and hope, and strength, to you by his blessed Holy Spirit. Oh may that be true even today.
We’re talking of this matter of praying for people. Paul said, “Brethren, pray for us.” And the last time we got together we were walking around in Romans 15:30. Paul said, “I’m pleading with you to strive together in your prayers for me.”
Now over in Ephesians 6, he says, “And pray, prayer and supplication for all saints and for me. Praying for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I open my might, my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the Gospel for which I’m an ambassador in chains, that therein I may speak boldly as I ought to speak. Pray for me,” he said. Now what? “That utterance may be given me.”
Did you know it’s possible to know something and not be able to say it? Iâ€Ÿm sure you’ve had that experience some time or other during your life. A little boy was asked to define vacuum, and he said, “Well teacher, I have it in my head but I just can’t get it out.” Well it’s, it’s quite possible — especially in matters eternal — to know that you love the Lord, and to know that Jesus saves you now, and that you are a child of God, and that heaven is your home. But not really to either to have an opportunity to say it, or be given the opportunity to say it.
Utterance. Utterance has two forms. One is the opportunity, and the other is the ability. And Paul is saying, “Pray for me that I’ll have the opportunity to speak even though I’m a prisoner, and that I’ll have the power to speak even in this unlikely situation.” Who would have thought that a jail cell would be the podium from which Paul would help to revolutionize an empire. But so often that’s true. “Walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cageâ€Ÿ the poet said.
So he says you pray for me that utterance will be given to me. Now how does that affect you and me? Well first, you and I ought to pray for ourselves in this matter, that God would open up our mouths to speak His word when there’s opportunity that He gives. Some of the deep regrets of my own life have to do with missed opportunities to speak a word for Christ when I had a chance. I was either too fearful, or preoccupied, or whatever. I missed the opportunity. You can’t go back and do it over, you see, if you miss it. And so we need to pray that God will make us alert to sense His open doors of opportunity, and then that He will enable us to say what He wants said.
One of the nice things about trusting God is that once you commit the situation to Him, He controls even the things that you say and do that aren’t pre-meditated in a religious fashion. You may have yourself worked out, a game plan so to speak, a strategy concerning what you’re going to say and do in a given situation. But then you commit the whole matter to God and sincerely turn your body and mind over to Him. And when you get into the situation, you may be found saying something entirely different as God guides you.
God reserves the right to use even your chance remarks for His glory. People say to me often now you know, because the years have gone by and, and there are lots of folks that I’ve seen and talked with, people say to me every now and then, “Well I remember something you said 25 years ago.” And I think, “Oh Lord I hope, hope it wasnâ€Ÿt bad.” Well it turns out that some chance remark that Cook had made, was used of God to make an impression on a person’s mind and, and helped to change the course of a life. Hallelujah for that. I had nothing to with it. The blessed indwelling Holy Spirit used something that was said by His power, using it for God’s glory.
You can be confident in that. Turn your handling of life’s situations over to the Lord, will you? So that he’ll speak. Jesus said, “When you’re under pressure, don’t worry what to say,” because He said, “It’s not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.” You can depend upon the blessed Holy Spirit to speak through you for the glory of God. That utterance may be given unto me. And he says, “That I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the Gospel, that I may speak boldly as I ought to speak.”
Part of the whole package of Christian witnessing is the realization that this is not an option but a God given duty. Jesus said, “Ye shall be witnesses unto me, in Jerusalem, in all Judea, and in Samaria, and out of the uttermost parts of the earth. Go ye,” this is a command you see, not an option, “into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.”
That I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. Oh human nature sometimes would say to you, “Hey, soft pedal it buddy, soft pedal it. Don’t, don’t. Why open your mouth and put both feet in it. Why get yourself in trouble by speaking up so. That’s, that’s human nature. But Paul says, “Pray for me that I’ll speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” The Christian imperative never involves soft peddling the Gospel. It’s always a frontal, loving, honest, but frontal presentation of God’s eternal truth.
So he says, “Pray that utterance may be given me, that I may open my mouth boldly.” Incidentally he said, “I’m an ambassador in chains.” Being in the will of God can glorify circumstances that are completely adverse. He was in shackles. Now the way they did it in those days, they didn’t have handcuffs that locked and unlocked. If they were going to put you in shackles, they took this, this, the iron shackle which were in two pieces and they riveted it on your, on your wrist. And it was there, period. And he was chained to a Roman soldier, day and night.
I can’t imagine a life like, can you? Can you imagine a life like that? I suppose you can live through it — he did. And many thousands of other such prisoners did. But there you were, chained to someone who was either scornful or openly antagonistic to you. And you had no privacy, you had no comfort. There was nothing you could do. Oh boy! Well, what was his attitude? He said, “I’m an ambassador.” I’m here because I’m speaking for the almighty God, the sovereign King of the universe. I’m an ambassador.” He said in Corinthians, “Now then, we’re ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us. We pray you will be reconciled to God.”
An Ambassador is someone who carries the credentials, and who represents the authority of a sovereign. He said, “I’m an ambassador. Yes I’m in shackles, yes I’m in chains, yes this burly Roman soldier is chained to me, yes.” But he said, “Im an ambassador!”
Now, just stop to think if you will, that this is not just talk. It is a blessed reality that when you are in the will of God, even the most painful and adverse circumstances become the podium from which you may speak as representing almighty God.
Paul’s platform was a prison cell, yours may be a hospital cot, or a crowded steamy kitchen with a million things to call for your attention, and not enough strength to do them. It may be an office, or a shop, or a salesman’s routine and schedule, it may be an operating room, or a court room, or a school room — I don’t know. But wherever you are and whatever the circumstances, beloved, God almighty can speak through you. And you will be an ambassador in the operating room, you’ll be an ambassador in the school room, you’ll be an ambassador in the court room, you’ll be an ambassador in whatever situation you find yourself. Isn’t that great? That’s, that’s the trust of that praise and ambassador in chains. God can make your present circumstances the platform from which you speak for the Sovereign of the universe. Oh that’s great. (Laughs) Pray for me. All right.
Now you go over to 2 Thessalonians 3:1. He says, “Finally brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified even as is with you, and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for all men have not faith, but the Lord is faithful who shall establish you and keep you from evil. Pray for us,” said he, “that the word of the Lord may have free course and be glorified.” You see, you’re in a battle. And Satan’s business is to hinder the spread of the good news of the Gospel — the Word of God.
And so as you pray, and as you pray for others, you want to remember that this is a battle, and that God is able to open up things for you so the word of God gets out. I was in a chapel service many years ago, in a school in Ontario. The principal was obviously anti what we were doing. But he had been pressured a little by some other people to let in our Youth for Christ team — to sing, and to play, and to testify. And there we were. And he was determined we weren’t going to have a chance.
And so he was taking up all our time with announcements of one sort or another. I could see what he was doing. And I began to pray. “Oh Lord,” I said, “open up this meeting for us. Shut this man up please.” And at that moment in the back of the room, somebody stood up to heckle him. And it got to him, and he said, “Well, with that I’ll quit.” And he sat down. And we had the rest of the time to preach the Gospel, Hallelujah! (Laughs)
Listen, God can open things up for you. Pray that He will do it and He’ll answer gloriously. I’ll come back to this the next time we get together. Precious Father, we love Thee, we worship Thee, we want to serve Thee. Help us to be good servants, good children, good witnesses for Jesus sake, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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