Hebrews 10:22 New International Version (NIV)
22 “let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”
Sometimes we hide behind prayer – we hope it will cover for disobedience in other areas. God may tell us to do things, but we keep “praying about it,” with no steps of action.
A lifestyle of obedience, while not a condition that earns salvation, is a major key to answered prayers. We need to be serious about what God says and strive to be obedient.
46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.”
The logic couldn’t be more clear in John 14:15 – “if you love me, you will keep my commands.”
We’re not perfect, but how can we argue with that statement? To not follow him with faith and submission while claiming total allegiance, is the same as saying our love for Him is a cup of lukewarm coffee, at best.
Prayers generated by a rebellious heart are contradictory to one another. In Joshua 7, when Joshua was trying to understand the defeat at Ai, 10 The Lord said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? 11 Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep.”
The better course of action, God said, was to go find the source of the problem, remove it from the camp and then the relationship would be restored. Instead of hiding behind prayer, pray while being obedient.
God instructed several of the prophets to stop praying for Israel or the wayward generation – we read these in Jeremiah 7:16-17, Ezekiel 20:31 and Isaiah 1:19-20.
Obedience matters. Not in a legalistic way, but we must remember that life as a Christ-follower should never be an attempt at doing as little as necessary. A person truly in Christ is always moving in a direction of greater obedience to Him.
I John 3: 3 and 7
3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
7 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.
Prayer offers you the ongoing incentive to keep pursuing it! Wanting to be close to God is worth it. Hebrews 11:25, 5 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.”
Look at the things you’re praying for. Are they happening? Are they clearly marked by God’s blessing? If not, it might not mean your life is out of phase with God’s word, but you might want to “check in” just to see. We need to seek to identify any hold of resistance or rebellion in our lives.
“Father, I pray you would forgive me for my past disobedience and rebellion. Things I’ve never really confessed or done the hard work of forsaking. Wash me clean and turn my heart toward obeying You quickly. Today I’m going to obey Jesus Christ. I’m going to quit resisting Him and arguing with Him and rationalizing with Him and hiding behind prayer. I’m going to obey. Lord, help me obey.”
Our word of the day was Soi-disant
adjective || swah-dee-ZAHNG
Soi-disant, which in French means literally “saying oneself,” is one of hundreds of French terms that entered English in the 18th century, during the period known as the Enlightenment. Even as political antipathies between France and England were being played out on battlefields in Europe and America, English speakers were peppering their speech and writing with French. Soi-disant first began appearing in English texts in the mid-18th century as a disparaging term for someone who styles or fancies himself or herself in some role. Crêpe, vis-à-vis, étiquette, and sang-froid are a few of the other French terms that became naturalized in English at that time.
Thanks for listening!