And He said to them, "It is written,'My house shall be called a house of prayer,’…”
Matthew 21:13 NKJV

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Careful What You Pray

Tony Hauck
Church in the Rock - Melbourne

I Kings 18 records the time Elijah called down fire from heaven on Mount Carmel, then called up rain after holding it back for three and a half years. Chapter 19 describes his fleeing to the wilderness after a threat from Jezebel. Lest you be too hard on him, keep in mind he’d just wiped out 450 of her demonic prophets and broken Satan’s long hold on Israel. I know I’ve never encountered that kind of spiritual backlash. But there is something Elijah did wrong, and it had to do with his attitude. At that critical time, Elijah interceded against Israel.

Rom 11:2-5 "God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel,saying, "LORD, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars,and I alone am left, and they seek my life"? But what does the divine response say to him? "I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal." Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace"

There are two things to consider here. First, even though he accurately saw Israel’s problem, he was willing to write all of them off. Look at verse five. There is always a faithful remnant. Second, he wasn’t praying. He was just answering God’s question. That means whenever we talk to God, even if we’re just complaining, it’s intercession. Contrast Elijah’s attitude with Moses’ when God did have reason to write off all of Israel.

Exo 32:10-14 "Now therefore, let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make of you a great nation." Then Moses pleaded with the LORD his God, and said: "LORD, why does Your wrath burn hot against Your people whom You have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? "Why should the Egyptians speak, and say, 'He brought them out to harm them, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth'? Turn from Your fierce wrath, and relent from this harm to Your people. "Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants, to whom You swore by Your own self, and said to them, 'I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven; and all this land that I have spoken of I give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.'"

So the LORD relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people." Moses appealed to God’s word, His plan, His glory, and His mercy to give Him a reason to continue to bless His people. If we’re going to be intercessors, we need to be careful how we talk to God about His church, His bride.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Slow Down

Tony Hauck
Church on the Rock - Melbourne

Daniel 12:4 has always been an interesting verse to me. It says that in the end times “many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase”. Can you think of a more apt description of our hectic media driven lives? I don’t think this kind of activity and pursuit of knowledge is a good thing. I think it’s a distraction that will keep many from seeing God.

Have you ever watched a basketball game where the announcer said something like, “they’re letting the other team get them off their pace?” If you can get a team to play at your rhythm, instead of their own pace, you have a better chance of controlling the game.

So I encourage you, don’t get caught up running at the pace the world is setting. Walking with Jesus means walking at His pace, and it isn’t hectic. You’ll have to fight to simplify your life. You’ll have to cut out good things to make room for the best things. But you’ll also find it easier to obey Colossians 3:15. “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.”