Rabbi Schneider - Perks of God's Covenant
We need to be praying the things that are spelled out for us in the word of God. We need to be focusing on eternal realities. We need to be focusing on prayers that build up the spirit, that transform us into the likeness of Jesus. It's good to bring all our desires to the Lord. We need to cast all our cares upon Him. But above things that are temporal, we need to be praying for things that are eternal. We need to be praying for things that are in the realm of eternal life. We need to be praying for increase in God's power and increase in God's wisdom and increase in God's revelation. We need to be praying that God would transform us into the image of His son. We need to be praying that we would grow in the fruit of the Spirit. We need to be praying that we would be able to display greater power from the Holy Spirit in our lives to those who are around us.
God will reward us with all types of things when we're putting He and His kingdom first. And I think what I'm sharing with you is plainly spelled out for us in Paul's words as I read now from Colossians chapter one, beginning there in verse number nine. Hear the word of God. Paul says, "For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding".
Notice that the focus of Paul's prayer was that we would increase, get it now, in spiritual wisdom and understanding. Let me say it again, the first thing that Paul prays here is that you and I, all of God's people, would increase and get it, spiritual wisdom and understanding. But I wonder how many of us that call ourselves Christians are seeking wisdom and knowledge, but we're not seeking first of all for spiritual wisdom and understanding. Many of God's people are more focused on completing their earthly studies, more focused on obtaining earthly knowledge, more interested in impressing others with the amount of information that they have stored in their head. They're more interested in impressing others with their mental intellect. But this is not hitting the mark. We need to be seeking beloved, first, get it now, first spiritual wisdom and understanding.
The Bible says, "There's a way that seems right unto man, but the end result is death". We don't need to be impressing anybody with our knowledge. What we need is to have spirits of humility, hearts that are interested in increasing in spiritual wisdom and understanding, even if other people don't recognize that we possess it. Jesus didn't care what other people thought of Him. In fact a lot of times He just kept silent when those around Him couldn't believe that He would say nothing.
So we need to be focused on, beloved ones, not the things of the world, but the things of the spirit. Paul continues on, "That we would increase in His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding". And then he says, "So that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord", not to please ourselves, not to achieve the American dream, not to impress our family and our friends. But rather Paul prays, "That we would increase in all spiritual wisdom and understanding", not so we could look good to other people, but he said that instead it would be that we could walk in a manner worthy of our calling, in order, listen now, that we could please the Lord.
Let me ask a question to us all. Are we more focused on impressing other people, looking good to other people, being thought highly of by other people, being accepted by other people? Are we more focused on that or are we more focused on being pleasing to the Lord? Listen to what Paul said again, "That you would increase in His will, in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord to please Him, to please Him in all respects". Beloved, we need to always be examining our heart. We need to be examining our motives. Are we doing what we're doing to first please the Lord, or are we doing it to be recognized by the world, or are we doing it so that other people will think highly of us?
See this is why Jesus said, "When you pray, don't do it on the streets where people can see, don't do it out loud so you will be recognized as a spiritual person by men". He said, "But rather go into a special hidden place". "Go into your closet", He said, "and pray in secret that your heavenly Father will see in secret and reward you". Jesus spoke of the same thing about not doing things to appear high in men's eyes when it came to giving. He said, "When you give, don't give in such a way that you're publicizing it to the world and thereby will have your reward, because they're patting you on the back for your generosity". No, He said, "When you give", He said, "Do it secretly and your Father who sees it will reward you".
So I just want to focus here again. Paul says that, "I want you to receive spiritual wisdom and understanding, not so that we can become more in the eyes of the world, but so that we can please the Lord". I think of a kind of a humorous example that really grieves me at the same time years ago. I'm so excited today, because last weekend we celebrated, listen now, ten years, ten years of continuous, twenty four seven prayer in a prayer room that I oversee called The Key of David. It's a twenty four seven prayer room.
Somebody has literally been in that prayer room, beloved ones, for ten straight years, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. We began that prayer room back in 2007 with the idea that we wanted to have somebody in the prayer room until Jesus returns. But I remember years ago there was this one man, he was part of our congregation and he was a guy that he was always doing things to be noticed by people. And I remember one day that the prayer room, it was enclosed in glass, in other words there were glass doors in and glass doors out.
And I remember walking out of my office one day and I looked down the hallway into the prayer room and this man that was in the prayer room, that always wanted to do things to be noticed by people saw me. And all of a sudden when he saw me he got down on his knees and covered himself with the prayer shawl and began to pray. And you see, that was a pretty strong example of what we sometimes do in a more subtle way, but I believe what was going on there is he knew that I was gonna look into the prayer room and he wanted me to see him praying.
So he did it, but he didn't do it to please the Lord. He did it to be recognized by me and that's not a good motive for any of us beloved ones. God is looking at the secret motives of our heart. And when we're living a life with the true motivation, let it, hear it now, of pleasing the Lord, when we're truly making our life's ambition not to be noticed by men and applauded by men, but to please the Lord; you know what? Jesus promised that there would be a reward.
You know there's a lot of people in the world, I know even some that are watching right now, the primary thing that's motivating you in life is, listen now, you're a people pleaser. You say what you think people want to hear. You do what you think people want you to do. And your primary motivation, the thing that is driving you is to be loved and affirmed by people and you have to break free of that if you're gonna get free in the Lord and get empowered by the ruach hakodesh. Paul prayed that we would be strengthened by the Holy Spirit in order that we would please the Lord. So I just want to pray for you beloved ones right now. If you're one of those types of people, you just have a natural personality that you like to please people, I just want to pray for you right now.
Father God you know who this beloved one is right now that's trapped. Father they love You, but they're trapped in this mode of living to please people and it's keeping them from You. Father I ask right now that You would set them free. Father I pray right now Father God that You would deliver them from this demonic bondage of being more conscious of human beings than they are of You, of living their lives for others above and beyond trying to please You. Jesus we recognize it's a satanic trap, it's spiritual bondage and it's a lie. And in Jesus name I set you free from that right now in order that you would live your life to please the Lord and to be free from trying to live to please other people.
We should all want to be a blessing to those around us, but we can't be trapped in that mindset beloved. So Paul prayed as we continue on, "That we would be strengthened in order to please the Lord". Then he continues on here, "Bearing fruit in ever good work and increasing in the knowledge of God, strengthened with all power according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience". And that's where I concluded last week. I talked about how when we're empowered by the ruach hakodesh, which is Hebrew for the breath of God's life, for the Spirit of Elohim, for the Spirit of God.
When we're strengthened and girded and controlled by the Holy Spirit, there's a steadfastness and a patience that radiates from our life. It's a supernatural steadfastness. It's a supernatural patience. It's the ability to remain steady in the midst of all types of circumstances. It's an ability to remain devoted to the Lord despite fickle emotions. It's an ability to stay steady and on course and true to your commitment to the Lord when everything around you, your feelings and your circumstances change. We need beloved, to be steady. Paul prays that God would strengthened us by the ruach hakodesh, that we would be steadfast before the Lord and patient in Him.
Let's continue on. Paul uses the word next joyfully, joyously. He continues on at the end of verse eleven. "Joyously giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light". Let's take that verse apart. First of all Paul says that the result of being strengthened by the spirit of Elohim, by the Spirit of God, by the ruach of God, by the breath of His light, the result, listen now, would be that we would have a supernatural joy. I love it. A supernatural joy. That we wouldn't be like those moping around, melancholy, depressed, luke-warm. No, the fruit of being strengthened and energized by the Holy Spirit, church get it now, is a supernatural joy. Why, because things are going well? No, it's not tied to circumstances. It's a joy that we have even a midst difficult times, because the joy is supernatural.
Jesus said, "My joy I give to you". And His joy is not of this world. It comes from within. It's not tied to circumstances. It emanates from the Holy Spirit and it's tied to His eternal word, because the Spirit and the word are one. Jesus said, "The words that I speak to you are spirit and are life". We need to live a life beloved, of rejoicing. And sometimes this ability to walk joyfully, as Paul has said. Listen what now, he says once again, he said, "That you would be strengthened by the ruach hakodesh, walking with the spirit of joy", joyously, joyously.
A lot of times beloved, there is a choice involved in that. Walking joyfully is tied to coming into agreement with the word of God and with His will within our own will. In other words a lot of walking with joy is a choice that we make. It is a choice to rejoice. Why? Because God deserves that we rejoice before Him. Did you know that there was plagues that came upon the Israelites, because they didn't live before the Lord their God joyfully, because they took for granted His blessings? Do you know the fact that you and I can breathe right now is a gift to us and as a result we should celebrate it?
The scripture says, "Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord". Let everything, that's you and I, that hath breath praise the Lord. The breath that you have is a gift. Life is a gift and as a result of that beloved, we should praise the One that gave us life. Being strengthened by the Holy Spirit will result in us walking in joy. Again, not because everything is going great all the time, but because we're strengthened by the Spirit and because we're strengthened by the word. And often times it is a choice. Will we allow the enemy to defeat us? Will we allow circumstances to defeat us, or will we keep our eye on the Lord and come into agreement with His word? We don't live by what we feel and we don't live beloved by what we see.
Let me say it again, supernatural joy is experienced when we come to the place that we're not living by what we feel and we're not living by what we see. Remember Paul just got done praying in this prayer that we would be strengthened with the Holy Spirit in order that, in verse eleven, we would become steadfast. I'm gonna read it again. "Strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously". So when we're strengthened with the Spirit we have a steadfastness and we live life joyfully. And in order to do this we come to a place because of walking by the power of God that we're not living by what we see and we're not living by what we feel. We're living by the life of the Holy Spirit within us and we're living life by being in agreement with truth and with the word.
I want you to think about this as I close today. Peter when he was looking at Yeshua, when Yeshua said, "Come". Peter heard Yeshua's word, "Come". When Peter was on the boat, on the Sea of Galilee. When Peter looked at Jesus and he focused on Yeshua's word, when Yeshua said, "Come". He stepped out of the boat and he lived above what he felt and he lived above what he saw. When he kept his eye on Jesus and focused on Yeshua's word, "Come", he walked on water.
However, when he took his eyes of Yeshua and when he took his focus off of Yeshua's word and instead began to focus on what he felt, because he felt the wind blowing and by what he saw, because he saw the waves going up and down; when he took his eyes of Yeshua, when he took his focus off Yeshua's word and shifted it to what he was feeling with the wind and what he was seeing his eyes to wave, what happened? He sunk.
You see my beloved friends, if you and I want to live in victory, if we want to live steadfastly. If we want to live in the power of the Holy Spirit we need to keep our eyes on Jesus and we need to focus on His word. There is no other way. God sent forth His word and He healed us all. He saves us by His word. The Spirit of God has been given to us to minister the word of Jesus to us. God wants to bring you to a place where you will live in the power of the Holy Spirit, walking with steadfastness and in joy. And you know what? By the grace of Yeshua you can do this. Let's pray.
Father God I pray for each one of these beloved ones right now. I ask You to strengthen them by the Spirit of God that lives within them, by the power that raised Jesus from the dead. Strengthen each one of these beautiful saints of Yours Father I pray, that they would fulfill Your will in their lives, living steadfastly and in Your joy.