Rabbi Schneider - Capture the Heart of God
You know, it's hard for us to grasp that God is a real person, that he has likes and dislikes. In fact, did you know that God is the most sensitive person in the universe? God has a heart and there are certain things that please him and certain things that displease him. So if we really want to walk with him in fellowship, if he wants, if we want him to, to trust us enough to share his heart with us, we need to learn about his character and what captures his heart.
You know, even Jesus said to us in our relationships with people, he said, don't give what's holy to dogs. He said, and don't cast your pearls before swine. In other words, as Jesus gives us this wisdom, it seems reasonable to me that God is the same way; that God doesn't give what's holy to dogs, and that he doesn't cast his pearls before swine, but that he reveals himself to those that are ready to receive his kindness, and his love, and his revelation.
Now I know that God is like the sun and his goodness shines on the good and the bad alike. I realize that. But I'm talking about when it gets to the deep things of God. God shares his heart with those people, beloved, that are in a position to receive it. This is what Jesus was referring to in the Gospel of John, chapter 14. Jesus said, if you love me you are gonna keep my Word. And he said, when you love me and it's demonstrated by the fact that you keep my Word, in other words, that your love is real, and because it's real real, and because it's real it's demonstrated in action. it's demonstrated in action. He said, when you have that in your life, what's gonna happen, he said, is that my Father and I are gonna come and make our home with you.
So do you see here that Jesus says when someone's heart is properly positioned before us, we come, he and the Father, and make our home with that person. God has a heart. God is a real person. He has likes and dislikes. The Book of Proverbs tells us the seven things that God hates. And so I'm giving all this introductory information to prepare you for the series that we're in right now which is called Capturing God's Heart. Since God is a person, and since he has likes and dislikes, if we really want to know him, we want to better understand his heart. We want to know who he is as a person. And the way that we can better understand who God is and understand the nature of his heart, is by looking at the relationships with figures in the Bible that walked deeply with God, and then seeing what type of relationship God had with these people.
For example, the Lord said about David, that David was a man that was after his own heart. So when we look at David's relationship with God, we can learn something because God said this is a man that's after my heart. In today's message I want to look, beloved, at the prayer that Jesus prayed, actually the prayer that he taught us to pray. Because as we look at the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray, it helps us to understand God's heart, and it helps us to understand how people that lived with him in fellowship were relating to him.
And so we're gonna be looking now in the Book of Matthew, chapter number 6, verses number 9 through 13. Hear the Word of God, as I read now one of the most familiar passages in the entire Word of God. Hear the Word of God, Jesus said: Pray, then, in this way: Our Father, who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.
And so by looking at the lives of those that walked closely with God, and by examining Jesus's words, especially in this context when Jesus gives us instruction as to how to relate to God, which gives us insight into God's heart and God's character, by taking these things seriously and then applying ourselves to them, and by humbling ourselves and changing to adjust ourselves to what God's written revelation tells us about his nature and our character, by being pro-active like this and initiative like this, by aligning ourself with his Word, what's gonna happen, beloved, is transformation is gonna result in our lives, and God is gonna come and make his home with us in an ever deeper way.
So let's examine in more detail Jesus's instruction as to how to pray, so that when we pray, beloved, we can capture God's heart. Let's begin. Jesus said: Pray, then, in this way, and he tells us to begin our prayers by saying Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed is Your name, hallowed be your name. Think about this. Here is God in the flesh, the Son of God, Jesus of Nazareth, Yeshua HaMashiach, telling us, God's children, how to play, pray. And what does he tell us? That when we pray we should begin, get it now, by exalting the Father. When you pray, pray in this way: My Father who is in heaven, our Father who is in heaven, get it now, hallowed, holy, set apart, magnificent is your name. We're gonna see that Jesus moves on from there by instructing us, not only to first exalt God, but the second thing Jesus tells us to do in our walk with the Lord in prayer is to align our will to his will.
Now think about that and relate it to what typically happens in most people's lives today that call themselves Christians, and what much of the common teaching that we hear today is about. Today if we look at many people's prayers that call themselves believers, the prayers, and perhaps this resonates with you, and as examining, as you're examining your heart, you would say, you know what Rabbi, I think I've been in error myself because in our culture today, in which the American dream and self-promotion has replaced dying to ourself to follow Jesus, many prayers of believers today begin not with my Father who is in heaven, holy is your name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done.
But instead many prayers today of believers begin this way, God, will you give me this. God, will you give me this house. God, will you make me rich. God, will you give me this car. God, will you give me that woman. God, will you give me that man. God will you give me a promotion at work. God, will you do this for me. God, will you do that for me. God, do this for me. God, do that for me. God, do this for me. God, do that for me. Where's the my Father who is in heaven, holy is your name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, beginning in my life, even as it is in heaven.
Where is that heart today? We're talking about Capturing God's Heart. And I think that if we'll take a step back for a second and compare the way Jesus taught us to pray versus the way most if not, I would say most people today that call themselves Christians are praying, will find there's a big difference. It's a world apart, because many people's walk with God today, it's about them, not about God. But when we look at Jesus's walk with God, and when we look at Jesus as our model, and when we consider how Yeshua taught us to pray, the message that he brought to us and the revelation that he brought to us about Capturing God's Heart is don't make it first about you. Make it first about the Father. And make is first not about your will, but make it first, Jesus said, about his will.
I want to ask you a question. Is your prayer life capturing the heart of God? If we want to capture God's heart, beloved, we've got to do it his way. Jesus said, unless we pick up our cross, deny ourselves and follow him, we can't be his disciple. What does it mean to pick up the cross? Beloved ones, children of God, to pick up the cross means to die to ourself. You see, the Bible says we no longer belong to ourself. We belong now to the one that gave himself on our behalf. And so we exist in this world, not to please ourselves, but to please the one, beloved, that purchased us by his own blood. And yet the truth is, if we'll be honest with ourself, many of us, that's not what our walk with God looks like.
That's not the nature of it. That's not the character of it. We're basically in our own quest to achieve our own dreams, and we're wanting to use God to do that. But that's a radically different type of spiritual life than the spiritual model that Jesus gave us, when we're to be laying down our life to do the Father's will, denying ourselves to please him. We're talking today, beloved ones, about capturing the heart of God. If we're gonna capture the heart of God, we've got to take very seriously what the Word of God teaches, what Jesus said about capturing his heart.
Jesus said, when you pray, pray in this way: Our Father that art in heaven. It begins with the Father. It begins with his glory, not about me, not about my needs, not about my ambitions. It begins with him. How do I align myself with God's heart? How do I align myself with God's purpose? How do I align myself with God's character? How do I come into harmony with his will? By making it not first about me, but making it first about him. This is the way Jesus told us to do it. When you pray, pray in this way: Our Father that art in heaven, Hallowed or holy is your name. May thy kingdom come, and thy will be done.
And where does God's kingdom start? Where is his will first done? It begins, beloved, in our prayer life with us. Lord, have your will with me. I belong to you. What do you want to use my life for? What do you want to accomplish in my life today? What are you wanting me to work on today? What is your will for my life? And we know that when we're truly following Jesus, beloved, it's a life of dying to the flesh, and living for the one that lived and died in our behalf.
So I want to ask you today, do you need to repent? See the Bible says that the Word of God is living and active, and that it's sharper than a two-edged sword; even cutting between the division of soul and spirit. I want to ask you today, have you been one of those ones that's been seduced by the false religion of the world that we live in during this end times last age? Remember, Jesus said in the last days difficult times would come and that people would be deceived with the false gospel. He said many false christs will come in my name, and many false teachers would arise, he said, and mislead many.
I want to ask you, have you been deceived by a false gospel, a gospel that is man-centered rather than God-centered, a gospel that is more focused on meeting your needs than it is with the glory of God? Have you been one of those that has been seduced and deceived? You see, the Bible tells us that when Satan comes to deceive the elect, he's gonna come as an angel of light. He's not gonna come looking like the devil. He's gonna come, beloved, clothed in a false spirit of Christianity. False christs would come, Jesus said, and many false prophets, and false teachers would come and mislead many.
I want to ask you, is the gospel that you've been following a gospel that involves picking up your cross, denying yourself, and following Jesus, a gospel that involves dying to self to obey him? Or is the gospel that you've been following, have you been seduced, beloved, by the gospel that says you know what, you just believe God for anything you want, and he's just gonna give you everything you want. There's no limit. Just keep believing, believing, believe for that Mercedes Benz, believe for that house of gold, believe for this, believe for that.
And beloved, I believe that God's an awesome God, that God's a God of great blessing, and we shouldn't limit how good he is or what he'll do for those that believe. But if it's always all about you, you're not hearing, beloved, the message that Jesus brought. He told us to pray, Our Father that art in heaven, holy is your name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Let's continue on. Jesus continues in the 11th verse, and he says, when you pray, pay in this way: Give us this day our daily bread. I love that. Jesus is saying, depend on God for every breath you take. In other words, when we wake up in the morning, we're not relying on a big store house, but every day that we wake up we're relying on God, afresh and anew. Now this doesn't just mean financial provision, and this just doesn't mean food on the table, this is an attitude, beloved, of dependency on God.
Jesus said, every day pray this, Give us this day. Every day we need God afresh and anew. Every day we need him to sustain us by his grace. Every day we need his protection. Every day we need him to fill us with a fresh impartation of his presence, of his power. Every day we need his angels all around us protecting us. Every day we need God. Just like we're dependent on the air that we breathe in with our nose and our lungs every minute of our life in order to be sustained physically, beloved, it's even more true that it's the Spirit of God, that it's God himself that we need every minute of every day, every second of every day to truly be sustained. Because the second that God would take his mercy and his hand off of your life, you would be snuffed out, beloved, just like that.
Jesus wants us to understand, beloved ones. Jesus wants us to understand that we should become completely dependent on the Father, not thinking that we can live on yesterday's bread. Give us this day our daily bread. How many times when we wake up in the morning we just don't really sometimes feel inclined towards the things of God. We just feel tired maybe. We don't feel inspired. But you know what, when we take time every morning to spend time with the Lord, to tell him we love him, to thank him, to worship him for who he is and all he's doing, and we place our posture before him, beloved ones, every morning, and saying Father God, minister to me today. Father God, keep me excited for you today. Father God, inspire me today. Father God, give me fresh bread today.
When we have that posture, beloved, and put it into action every day, you know what? Every day becomes an adventure. Every day brings something new. Every day is a day of growth. Every day is a day of transformation. Every day is a day of discovering Jesus in a deeper way. Jesus is pleased and we capture God's heart. Let's do what Jesus told us to do. Let's not do it man's way. Let's do it his way. We're talking, beloved ones, today about aligning ourselves with the heart of God. And I want to continue now what Jesus said next in this prayer that will help us stay connected, keeping our hearts, beloved, open to him and capturing his heart.
Jesus continues and he says this in verse number 12; and he says, Lord, he said, forgive us our debts. Jesus said, when you pray, ask the Lord every day, listen now, forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Forgive us even as we have forgiven those, some translations read, that have trespassed against us. It's this whole concept, beloved, of number one, being transparent before him, and allowing the Holy Spirit to show us those things in our life that we need to be cleansed of; for me, selfishness, pride, self-ambition, treating others in a way that they should be treated.
Every day I have to keep my postured before God because the Holy Spirit keeps on showing me more, and more, and more, and more of these types of things in my life that need to change. And here's what happens. The more we grow in grace, the closer we get to God, the more the Holy Spirit shows us that we didn't see before.
In other words, you remember when you were in elementary school, and maybe you remember being in the laboratory in the science class. And you had a microscope there, and they put something on a little slide, and you looked at that slide through the microscope. And when you first looked at the slide you couldn't see much. But as you began to turn the handle on the microscope, or now these days they're electric, as you began to turn the power up on that microscope, it began to show more and more on that slide; so that as the power went up on the microscope, you saw more and more things on the slide that you couldn't see before. That's the way the Holy Spirit is, beloved, in your life and in my life.
As we get closer to God, the amplification of his power through the Holy Spirit is placed upon our life. In other words, his light shines into our life more and more powerfully. And as he does, we see deeper and deeper levels of sin. We see things in our heart that we didn't see before. Early on when we were believers, we just thought about, well I've gotta clean these things up in my life. We thought about all the superficial things; maybe it was the smoking, or the drinking, or the way you dressed, or maybe your sexual behavior. And we cleaned up all the outer things. And we thought we were okay. But as we get deeper in the grace of God, the Holy Spirit shines deeper into our life, and the Lord shows us, you know, what, you're selfish.
You know what, you're not putting others higher than yourself. You know what, you're running too much on your own self-sufficiency rather than depending on me. The Lord shows us pride. And as he does this, we need to agree with him and say Lord, forgive me. Jesus said, when you pray, ask the Lord to forgive you your sin, to forgive you your debt. And so we continually allow the Holy Spirit to show us our sin, agreeing with him about it, asking him to forgive us. And then, beloved, he takes us a step forward and he says, and now I want you to forgive everybody that's sinned against you. Beloved, we're talking about capturing the heart of God. These things, these principles, they're life changing and they work.
Jesus said, if any man wants to know whether the doctrine that I'm teaching is true, do it. Beloved, if you'll stay with me, if you'll keep your heart connected to the truth that I'm bringing, and put it into practice in your life, I promise you this, Jesus is gonna transform you and you're gonna grow from grace to grace. You're gonna go from strength to strength, and from glory to glory. I love you. This is Rabbi Schneider saying to you, Shalom, from Discovering the Jewish Jesus.