In a previous article we studied the
'helmet of salvation'
'sword of the Spirit'
. Let us recall that the 'sword of the Spirit' is the Word of GOD, and it is distinguished from the truth that we read about in verse 14:
'having girded your waist with truth,'
that is all the Word of GOD. But in verse 17,
'the sword of the Spirit'
is application of the Word of GOD; using It in specific occasions; choosing the appropriate text or passage or promise; that is, a promise suited to your every situation in the Word of GOD.
Whatever you are going through; whatever you are experiencing, the Word of GOD has something to say to you, and you will find it here. If you are being tempted, you will find that the Word of GOD comes to your rescue; a verse from Scripture. Or if you are troubled with doubts, you will find a reassuring Word. If you have a specific spiritual need, or otherwise, there is a promise tailor-made for that need. That's what we mean about
'the sword of the Spirit.' We are able to deal with all this army of doubts and fears and misgivings, temptations, and evil thoughts thrown at us by the enemy. Whatever happens, the Scripture always comes to our rescue.
But now we have the 'icing on the cake'; verse 18:
'Praying always.' We need to pause here; we can't just rush through this. Prayer! This morning we want to look at what prayer is.
'Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints and for me.' Here is a definition of prayer: prayer is offering up our desires to GOD for things that are agreeable to His will; and the prayer is always made in the Name of YESHUA, our Messiah; with confession of our sins, and thankfulness for His mercies.
You and I can never come in our own right. It's a fallacy when our people say, 'I don't need a mediator.' When GOD spoke to our people at Sinai, they said to Moses in no uncertain terms, 'We cannot approach GOD; we'll die. We can't even hear His voice. You speak to GOD, and then you tell us what GOD says to you.' What they were really saying to Moses was, 'You be our mediator.' And when GOD established the system of sacrifices and of priesthood, He appointed the High Priest to be the mediator through whom the people approached GOD. And it was obvious, because they couldn't come into the Tabernacle. Only the High Priest could enter the Tabernacle in their behalf. So they were taught, 'You need a mediator. You need someone whom I have accepted; the one who has on his brow written
'holiness to the LORD.' 'That Person can approach Me on your behalf, but you cannot.'
And it has not changed. The standard still applies today. You and I cannot approach GOD in our own name. GOD is
'a consuming fire.' We need a holy, harmless, sinless, undefiled mediator, and High Priest. And that High Priest is no other than YESHUA, Son of GOD; GOD the Son! So this is why we have this definition here. We need to emphasize it. (We have our Statement of Faith outside on the literature table, and you'll find it there as well).
I want to add this - this is your highest calling - To live in communion with GOD is your highest calling. It ought to take second place to nothing! People compartmentalize GOD. On Shabbat, or on Sunday, we'll go and we'll warm the pew; we'll sing the songs and hear the sermon; then our duty is done. The rest of the week belongs to us. It doesn't! The Bible says,
'You are not your own; you are bought with a price.'And, therefore, glorify GOD in your body and in your spirit, which are GOD's! He has bought us; we are His slaves. He has bought us; we are His possession. And therefore, we must always do everything with reference to Him. It is a most sweet, and a most blessed experience - to live our life with reference to Him, because then we are in focus; then we are living as we should. GOD created us for His glory; for His pleasure; not for our own!
But we find that when we live for His glory, we are truly happy. That's when we are truly blessed, and not till then. GOD says about Israel,
'Their heart is divided. Now shall they be found faulty.' May He find us with an undivided heart. Prayer. We can't pray every moment, because we have other things that demand our attention, and GOD knows this. But there ought always to be open lines of communication, open with GOD, so that anytime we can turn to Him; anytime He can speak to us. The lines are open! The phone is 'off the hook.'
In the Tanakh, we find that the sacrifices were always followed by prayer, and always through the priest. On Yom Kippur, GOD prescribed that only Aaron could approach Him on their behalf; nobody else was to be in the Tabernacle while he was approaching GOD on behalf of his people. The same applies today; Messiah approaches. But here is something wonderful. We, also, can come into the Most Holy Place where He is. The most wonderful thing is that what was forbidden under the First Covenant, is now promised to us under the Second. And that is that Messiah has torn that curtain that kept us out!