"For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.Matthew 7:14(NASB)
Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.
Prayer is designed to accomplish God’s ends and God’s way in God’s time. Acceptable prayer can only be prayed in and through the Spirit of the almighty God – and this verse in Colossians mentions three important aspects of prayer: Devote yourselves to prayer – keeping alert in it – with an attitude of thanksgiving.
A few simple words outlines the high office and honour bestowed on all believers: CONTINUE in prayer – and WATCH in the same – with THANKSGIVING. This commanding verse directs us to continue in prayer – to persevere. This instructive scripture charges us to devote ourselves to prayer – unceasingly. We are to be dedicated, consecrated and continuous in our prayers.
This powerful verse also instructs us to watch in our unceasing persevering prayer. We are to watch in circumspect alertness in our ceaseless, persistent praying – to watch with guarded diligence in our continuous, purposeful prayers. And we are to watch with grateful hearts – hearts of thanksgiving and praise to God. How vital is this – in spiritual warfare, intercessions and supplicating prayer. We are to to recognise the full purpose behind needful, ongoing, worshipful prayer.
As we take up the weapons of our praying warfare, we must remember two things. FIRST: we are to pray INTO God’s plans and Purposes – God’s Will in God’s Time. SECOND: we are simultaneously watching against the wily activity of the enemy. But there is a THIRD instruction – we are to pray with thanksgiving. We are to pray to the Father with a grateful heart and attitude of thankfulness.. in all things. Equal weight seems to be given to these three aspects of this tiny power-packed verse.
1) Continue in Prayer
2) Watch in the Same
3) With Thanksgiving
In Moule’s extended studies of these instructive verses in Colossians 2 he writes:- When you are at prayer, remember that prayer in theread more
Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
The Lord was led to the wilderness, immediately after the glories of His baptism.. after the wonderful experience of the Spirit descending as a dove on: ‘My Beloved Son’. Immediately after the glory followed the terrible experience, of the wilderness testings. Spiritual privileges do not exempt us from any fiery trials. Often a vast wilderness of trials looms ahead after a high, mountain top experience, frequently a season of blessedness is transformed into a period of wretchedness.
Testing times often follow a season of tender intimacy and gracious communion. The sweet portals of love often leads through a door of testing trials and bitter pain. The enemy’s fiery trials and evil suggestions often follow a time of joyful bliss. It is not lukewarm believers that ignite Satan’s wrath or are enticed by the world’s entreaties.. it is frequently those that seek to be faithfully obedient that engender these trials. It is often the seeking heart that becomes the butt of Satan’s vicious and prolonged attacks:- blessed is the man who endures temptation.. for when he has s been approved he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him… James 1:12
An old writer wrote these wise words:- “All the while our Saviour lay in His father’s shop and meddled with the carpenter’s chips, the devil troubled Him not. Now that He is to enter more publicly upon His mediatorship, the tempter pierces His tender soul with many sorrows by solicitation to sin”. The observations of this saint ring true with us. As long as we move in quiet backwaters the enemy does not trouble himself with us. Only as we rise to higher consecrationread more
That I may know him" (Phil. 3:10).
"The one unchanging factor on this earth is the Word of God. It is upon the written Word, and in the Living Word, that the Christian life is to be established. Yet there are Christians throughout the world who are seeking to get along on the basis of questionable blessings, and fluctuating self-centered experiences.
"How many rest on the initial step of the new birth, Begotten again. . . of incorruptible seed through the word of God' (1 Peter 1:23), and fail to press on to know Begotten. . . by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. . . unto an inheritance' (1 Peter 1:3).
"If our hearts are really true to Him we may be assured He will lead us on in the knowledge of Himself just as fast as we are able to advance. He knows how much we can take in, and He does not fail to minister to us the very food that is suitable to our present need. We may sometimes feel inclined to be impatient with ourselves because we do not make more rapid progress, but we have to learn to trust the Lord with our spiritual matriculation.
"If our eyes are upon the Lord Jesus, and we follow with steadfast hearts as He leads us, we shall find that He leads us by the right way and brings us through all the exercises we need in order to form our souls in the appreciation of Himself, and of all those blessed things which are brought to pass in Him. We have to trust Him all the way through, and to learn increasingly to distrust ourselves." -W.N.
"The enemy will encourage you to do anything but carry out the systematic, Spirit-taught study of the Bible. He will give religious experiences, feelings and pious thoughts - all apart from God's Word. Do not be deceived. The Scriptures are our only sustenance - there are no substitutes." -J.B.
"Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord" (Hosea 6:3).
If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, “Give Me a drink,” you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water. § If you … , being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him! § Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. § You do not have because you do not ask.
When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.
They rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; so He turned Himself against them as an enemy, and He fought against them.
One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on. (Philippians 3:13-14 NIV)
The Lord desires us to go on. Sometimes going on means loneliness in going on where others cannot go with us. It means a price is bound up with obedience. It may mean a big break, a big change. It is the challenge of whether we are adjustable before the Lord. Our adjustability is the proof of our utterness for the Lord. That proof being there, the Lord is able to bring us on into all His thought. Let us remember always that we shall never get to a place while we are here where there is not some higher level and some greater fullness of Christ. There will always be yet another step, and perhaps another after that, higher on. Let us have our hearts set upon reaching all. The Lord will so graduate things as to make the challenge not too severe. He takes us a step at a time, and He does not want us to take six steps at a bound, or to contemplate six steps at a time. He shows us our next step, and that is all we have to be concerned about now. The other steps will come at the right time. Every step prepares us for the next.
Very often our lives are like mountain climbing. You see from below to a certain height, and that seems to be the top, and you make for it. And when you get to it, you see a little further on that there is another top. You think that must be the very top, and so you make for it, and when you get to it there is something still further. You never do seem to get to the top! But we shall arrive in the end. The Lord hides the other things and says: "Now, that is your next step; obey that and fuller revelation will come after that." Those of us who look back and see how terrible a thing it would have been if the Lord had shown us at one time all that to which we have been brought, know that if we had seen it all at one time, we could not have gone on. We see that He brought us by stages, and today we are not ungrateful for the price paid, in view of the measure of Christ which we enjoy and the greater fullness of revelation. Let us ask the Lord to put into us the spirit of His servant: “Not that I have already obtained... but one thing I do... I press on....”
Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory. § He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
To you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “the stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.” § Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ. § Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.
“Wist ye not that I must be in My Father's house?" ” Luke 2:49
Our Lord's childhood was not immature man-hood; our Lord's childhood is an eternal fact. Am I a holy innocent child of God by identification with my Lord and Saviour? Do I look upon life as being in my Father's house? Is the Son of God living in His Father's house in me?
The abiding Reality is God, and His order comes through the moments. Am I always in contact with Reality, or do I only pray when things have gone wrong, when there is a disturbance in the moments of my life? I have to learn to identify myself with my Lord in holy communion in ways some of us have not begun to learn as yet. "I must be about My Father's business" - live the moments in My Father's house.
Narrow it down to your individual circumstances - are you so identified with the Lord's life that you are simply a child of God, continually talking to Him and realizing that all things come from His hands? Is the Eternal Child in you living in the Father's house? Are the graces of His ministering life working out through you in your home, in your business, in your domestic circle? Have you been wondering why you are going through the things you are? It is not that you have to go through them, it is because of the relation into which the Son of God has come in His Father's providence in your particular sainthood. Let Him have His way, keep in perfect union with Him.
The vicarious life of your Lord is to become your vital simple life; the way He worked and lived among men must be the way He lives in you.