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For church information contact Marv Walker ~ 706 816-7190

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Are You Listening? God?? You There???

I am subscribed to a good number of Internet mailing lists. People send emails (posts) to the list email address and a copy is emailed to all of the subscribers of that list. The subscribers can reply privately to the individual doing the posting or to the list as a whole. If subscribers reply to the list, every subscriber gets a copy in their email. There are at least a dozen mailing lists for every possible topic under the sun on the Internet.

List subscribers, or members, often become kind of a family. They talk about their lives, their successes, their failures, their misfortunes, and pretty much everything else about their lives. When misfortune occurs in their lives or in the lives of family members and friends they quite often make prayer requests to the list. Then posts start coming in from various members telling the requester they are on it. They are sending prayers in every direction and to increase the chances of their prayers arriving where are aiming them they are burning candles, reciting mantras, sending healing vibes, and other spiritual thoughts.

Prayers have two purposes. One purpose is to call on the strength inside one's self. The other is to seek strength from a power outside one's self.

There is little doubt prayers can re-affirm or activate one's inner core strength. Affirmations work. If you tell yourself you are happy you will become happy. Your mind will give you what you want. Praying, going inside yourself, will help you focus on the need.

When we pray we realize our inner strength is not enough to meet our need. If it is enough, why pray? Since our inner strength is not enough to meet our need we seek additional strength outside of our being.

Where does that outside strength come from?

The world answers, "Your higher Power." Most self help 12-step programs advocate having a higher power whatever or whoever it might be and relying on that. The world says your higher power can be a tree, a god, an idol, or even some long dead historical figure such as Buddha or Zoraster. Most things people rely on as a higher power can be affected by themselves. They can be raised up and cast down at will. There is little evidence any of these things have any power beyond what the believers put into them.

The Christian's higher power is a spiritual being we call God. The evidence of God's existence goes way beyond any other "higher power." This God created the world and everything in it and rules it by His power.

"Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:" (Romans 1:19-20 KJV)

This greater than we could possibly imagine power, God, is approachable by you and I. This awesome power can be influenced by you and I. We can ask the Creator and Ruler of all there is to do things for us.

"And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him." (1 John 5:14-15 KJV)

Not only can we go to Him, He will answer.

Many times we question if God is even listening to us. He gives us the answer in His word.

There is a very important condition in the passage we just read, 1 John 5:14-15 - "according to His will."

Here's another passage to consider...

"Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth." (John 9:31 KJV)

God is not willing to hear anyone who does not worship Him or do His will. So many people live their lives with little thought to God until trouble strikes. The first thing they think of then is going to God for help and getting everyone they can think of to go along with them on their behalf.

I once saw a patrol car dashboard camera video showing police officers searching a car of a driver they had pulled over and placed in the back of the car. They had asked him for permission to search the car and he had given it even though he had a large load of drugs in the car. The camera microphone picked up his urgent, anguished, passionate and very sincere prayer to God for help as the officers began removing the drugs from the car. The word of God says He is not willing to listen to anyone who is not listening to Him. The prayers of someone not doing God's will fall on deaf ears. Prayer is two way communication.

Are you likely to grant the request of anyone who goes against you? What makes us think God is any different? God will not do your will if you are not doing His.

God will only hear prayers sent through Christ. Prayers sent through Mary, the apostles, in candle smoke, flowers floated on the water, any Saint, ritual or any means other than through Christ will not reach God.

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6 KJV)

What we see by these passages is that God does indeed answer prayers. However, He will only answer those prayers submitted according to His will.

What is His will?

One part of God's will is that we repent...

"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9 KJV)

"I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." (Luke 13:3 KJV)

"I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." (Luke 13:5 KJV)

"And they went out, and preached that men should repent." (Mark 6:12 KJV)

"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord." (Acts 3:19 KJV)

"And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:" (Acts 17:30 KJV)

What does repentance mean? Repentance means turning away from one's sins and thinking about sin in a different way - doing everything one can to avoid it.

Remember this verse earlier?

"Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth." (John 9:31 KJV)

A sinner is someone who sins. Or, more literally when we examine other scriptures about sin, a sinner is someone who has not turned away from or repented from sin.

What is sin?

"For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools

and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.

They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.

In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.

They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,

slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;

they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless." (Romans 1:21-31 NIV)

Anyone who has done any of these actions has sinned. Can you find yourself in the list? If you are honest with yourself, you can. I'm there. I'm there a number of times. Ever said anything about someone that you couldn't actually prove was true? You're a gossip. Ever wished you had someone else's good fortune and they had a feather up their nose, figuratively speaking? That's envy. Ever told a lie? Deceived someone in some way? That's deceit. Notice that God considers whispering (gossip) to be the same as murdering someone. All these actions are sins. Anyone who has not had a change of mind and repented of these actions is a sinner.

God's Word says He does not hear sinners.

God takes sinning very, very, very seriously.

Here's what His Word says about sinners...

"Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them." (Romans 1:32 NIV)

Surely there are exceptions? God's Word says there are no exceptions.

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" (Romans 3:23 KJV)

"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:" (Romans 5:12 KJV)

If all have sinned and come short of the glory of God and if God has said He will not hear sinners, how is it anyone can pray to Him and be assured of being heard?

By doing God's will.

"Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth." (John 9:31 KJV)

What is God's will?

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9 KJV) 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:3-4 NKJV)

How does one come to a knowledge of the truth?

Here's God's plan...

If we can be of help in any way, please call on us any time.

Marv Walker
706 816-7190

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