Luke 11:1-4

Luke 11:1-4

So often our problems are directly related to the amount of time we've spent away from God's Word.But sometimes we put the need for caring for the things of the world above our need to just stop and sit before the Lord, to hear His Word, to study His Word, to take His Word in, and to understand His heart and His love for us. We have a lot of problems in this world, and I believe the reason we have problems in this world is because people do not care what the Lord thinks anymore. They do not care what Jesus says any more. They do not care about God’s Word any more. They have become so busy about their lives and making their money and building their little kingdoms and putting food on their table, that they’ve not stopped to consider, what does God think?

Do you stop and consider, what does God think? What does God’s Word say? How would God have us to live? Do you stop and take that time through your week and say, “Lord Jesus, what do You expect from me?” This is why we have problems. So often our problems are directly related to the amount of time we’ve spent away from God’s Word. And I find that, when I’ve spent time in God’s Word, it doesn’t matter what’s happening. The pressures of the scenario that I’m facing in life are a lot less because I have God’s Word as my foundation, and I have wisdom and guidance that allows me, then, to face whatever struggle I’m facing with confidence. I don’t have to be afraid, and I don’t have to work excessively hard to put food on my table because I know that Jesus promised to provide. And so it is better that we take that time and sit before Him. In fact, He blesses that time…

By the way, the more literally you can take God’s Word, the better off you are…

Do you recognize the holiness of God? Do you see God as being holy? Not just powerful. Not just able to zap you with lightning and put you in the grave. You know, this is how we view God so often… He’s a holy God. And you know what? In His holiness, He doesn’t need to zap us with lightning. Just knowing that He’s holy. If you were ever to walk into His Presence, you wouldn’t need lightning. You would know that He is holy, and you are not. I am not. We are a shameful, sinful people, and just the fact that God is holy reminds us of who we are and the condition that we need to deal with. We need to approach God as though He’s holy, and so when you pray, when you come before God, acknowledge His holiness. Acknowledge Him for Who He is…

Have you ever considered what God’s will might be for your life? Do you take into account when you get up each morning what God’s will might be for you today?… When you pray, are you asking God for His will to be done? Are you asking for His kingdom? Are you asking for His desires? Are you asking for the things that He wants to see happen on this earth? Are you asking that He accomplish that through you? This is how we should be praying…

So often when we pray — when we pray only that God give to us — He becomes nothing more than Santa Claus, the great gift giver, and He is not the great gift giver. He is the greatest Giver of the greatest Gift. He doesn’t want us to come to Him only because we want, because we think we need. Jesus is saying acknowledge Him for Who He is: a holy, loving God. And then we simply ask Him to provide for us what? Our daily bread. It’s not just asking for bread, but asking that He provide for those needs that you have each day…

Do you recognize each day that you have issues of sin in your life that need to be dealt with? That God has afforded us forgiveness when we seek forgiveness?…

But part of having that relationship with Him is also understanding your sin condition and confessing those sins and being right with Him. Each and every day recognizing when you’ve stumbled and you’ve fallen and allowing Him, then, to forgive what you’ve done. By seeking forgiveness from Him, you acknowledge what you did and Who He is. What He did is shed His blood, and Who He is is the great sin Forgiver. If it were not for Jesus dying on the cross, we would all be left to our own device within this world to try to figure out how to be right with God to get to heaven. And guess what? None of us would make it. Jesus says pray. That’s all you have to do. Ask for forgiveness. Seek that forgiveness. But also be willing to forgive others…

Part of understanding the love of God, part of understanding what Jesus did for us, in forgiving us, is that then we turn and forgive others; that we interact with them in forgiveness…

And there are things that some people do that we just do not want to forgive. Understand something: that thing that you do not want to forgive somebody else of, ask yourself, do I want God to forgive me? Would I want God to forgive me if I did that exact same thing? If you want God to forgive you, then you need to be also willing to forgive others…

When you pray, have a desire in your heart to know God personally, to interact with God in such a way that you desire more of Him than you do of yourself, and that we get away from this thing of praying only, “Lord, I have need. Lord, I have need. Lord, I have need…”

We fall into this bad habit so often of only praying for one thing: me. Isn’t that all I need to be concerned about? Me! That’s not what [the Lord’s Prayer] is saying. This prayer has very little to do with me other than having my daily needs met, but it has to do with me acknowledging God. It has to do with me acknowledging the need for His kingdom. And it has me needing to forgive others. And then it shows that I need to be protected from myself because of the sin that I would live in. It’s the heart attitude that Jesus is speaking to. It is the desire that God has for us to be in relationship with Him, that Jesus is teaching here. God has not made it impossible for us to approach Him, and you do not have to feel that it is impossible to approach God, but you approach God with a heart attitude that says, “I know Who You are. I acknowledge Who You are. I know who I am, and I acknowledge who I am, and I ask You to forgive me for who I am. Meet my needs. Help me to forgive others and to establish Your kingdom.

Dave Elkins

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Luke 10:38-42