Uncommon Means PT. 1

By January 2, 2019Teaching

The Uncommon Means of a Life Well-Lived
Part 1

How We Get Things Done vs. How God Gets Things Done

There seems to be many patterns of thought or thinking that we hold on to that we don’t even know exist until someone calls them to our attention.

Have you ever heard the idea of God’s Kingdom being the
Upside-Down Kingdom?

In, what we would normally think of a kingdom, we have rulers and their governed territories. From these rulers, we then obviously get rules about how life should look and work. People then follow these rules because not only do they exist, but so do the ever-present consequences of not following them.

Typical rules could cover any part of life; from normative to political. They speak of how people should treat the important and where you are in the hierarchy of importance as compared to other people in the kingdom.

These rulers often lay-out, in clear terms, what it means to be successful in their kingdom and what sorts of results are important to them. We understand this. It’s an age-old operation of humanity that lives on today in every facet of every culture.

The Upside-Down Kingdom flies in the face of many of these long-held presuppositions of how the world works and what we should do to achieve desired results.

What is Valued in Society?

Lots of determination and quick thinking.

Constant self-exertion and entrepreneurship.

Self-reliance and strong-arming our way into making things happen.

Exploring new territory.

Acquiring as much as possible; be it wealth, possession, relationships, promotion, fame, acceptance, etc.

While those sorts of things are useful in life, there are things that are more important and more useful for achieving spiritual breakthrough.

Seeing Things Upside-Down

Prayer is that sort of thing. On the surface, it may seem like you are just sitting in a quiet place talking to yourself. From a secular perspective, it could best be seen as meditation and mindfulness– you connecting with the deeper parts of yourself. But this is not what prayer for the Christian is about.

Christian prayer is about connection and trust.

What has been revealed to us through the Bible is that God is a loving Father who is open and available to us. We don’t have to schedule an appointment to meet with Him, or worse yet, assume that He is uninterested with us. We get to genuinely speak our hearts and know that God is hearing us. This is for our benefit!

We have a very personal Father who is actively engaged in hearing us and teaching us through prayer, especially when coupled with active Bible Reading.

We are able to have a real relationship with Him!

Trust is what happens when we assume that God is right about things. It is doing the things that don’t make sense to us because we defer our judgment to someone who has more knowledge and insight into the matters of life.

Prayer is a giant trust exercise.

Prayer as an Uncommon Weapon

The fact that prayer is often spoken of as a weapon is really interesting. Usually, weapons are the things we place in our hands that enable us to exact a very specific and undeniable end result.

Have you heard that prayer is a tool? This is an interesting way to phrase the use of prayer because usually when we talk about tools and their usefulness, we talk about what we can accomplish with them. We grab the hammer, we set a nail, and then we pound the nail into place. This is actually the exact opposite of what we mean when we talk about prayer!

Prayer is dependence on God within our desire to see specific outcomes and results in our life. Let it be known, when you and I pray, we aren’t guaranteeing a specific outcome in life. We aren’t pointing to a particular situation and expecting things to work out like we would have them be.

Why is this?

Prayer simply means talking.

Talking with God.

When we talk with God, we assume that He knows more than us. We assume He has the power and resource to do immeasurable things. We assume He has a vast understanding of the situation before us.

The reason why prayer is a weapon is because God most definitely is working in the background and foreground of our situations. The problem with the conventional way of thinking of prayer as a tool for the Christian is that we don’t control God.

We don’t force His hand.

We ask. We plead.

And then we rest.

We rest in knowing that He has it figured out.

He is working.

Often times, we are the ones that are called to change! What a thought: we pray to change a situation and one of the biggest things that can be accomplished is that we, ourselves, are changed!

What happens after we say, “Amen,” is up to God. We should pray with great faith but also with great dependence because we don’t know how He will answer our prayers.

We may have asked Him for the very thing He wanted to do. Other times, He has other plans than us. It is up to us to be full of faith. Faith doesn’t merely mean that what we pray for, comes to pass. Faith, at the root, means that we trust and believe in a Mighty God.

Uncommon Means Series

It’s our hope that you will live a life that is fully dependent on God to do big things in life. Prayer is one thing that has ignited passion, spanning lifetimes, for all sorts of long-lasting Kingdom work.

If you or someone you know is going on a trip with In Motion Ministries this year, we really hope that you can spend some deep, precious time with Father. Your dependence on God is what prepares you for listening to the big, challenging things He has for you.

Later on, in this series of blog posts, we will be discussing other aspects of the Upside-Down Kingdom like: Bible Reading, Giving vs. Receiving, Helping Others Grow, and possibly others.

Tell us what you’d like to learn about or what you thought was really powerful in today’s blog.

 

Written by Chris Morris

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