3 Levels of Prayer, the Shadow of Death, and Becoming an Ambassador for Christ

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O.S. Hawkins, author of The Joshua Code, is the president and chief executive officer of GuideStone Monetary Sources of the Southern Baptist Convention. He was on a current episode of Hank Unplugged. The following is a snapshot of Hank and O. S.’s conversation on the 3 levels of prayer, the shadow of death, and becoming an ambassador for Christ.

Hank Hanegraaff: There is so substantially in The Joshua Code. You speak about 3 levels of prayer. This caught my eye when I study the book — the presenting of a petition, the pressing of a petition, and the persisting in a petition. Money that out.

O.S. Hawkins: Jesus mentioned, “Ask and it will be offered to you seek and you will discover knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).* These are 3 levels of prayer. When you know the will of God, you ask, and you obtain. You know that God is not prepared that we perish (1 Timothy two:four). We ask Christ to save us, and we come in faith to Him. He will answer that prayer. If we know the will of God, we ask and we obtain.

The second level of prayer is “seek and you will discover.” If you do not know the will of God, you hold in search of in His Word, and you will discover it. He does not want to veil His will to you.

Thirdly, if you do know the will of God but the door is closed, the verb tense says to hold on knocking do not cease, just be persistent, hold on knocking and it will be open unto you. Most of us by no means get previous that initially level of just presenting a petition, but we require to move on to pressing it, and persisting in it.

Hank: Speak to me like you would speak to somebody you are pastoring. I have an incurable illness from the human standpoint — it is mantel cell lymphoma. You can go into remission for lengthy periods of time, but it is an incurable illness. There are lots of breakthroughs with the illness and so forth, so possibly that will adjust in the future, but ideal now, it is an incurable illness. Just about every single day, I do that, I persist in the petition. I ask the Lord to heal me in accordance with His will. Not my will but Thy will be performed. But, just about every single day, I ask the Lord to heal me. It is as although I can image myself touching the hem of His garment, and really feel the healing virtue of Christ flow into my physique. It is not as although, Pastor, — and I will contact you Pastor since that is what you are in a lot of methods to me and so a lot of other people — it is not that I worry death, or I really feel like I have to grasp at life but I really feel that there is so substantially a lot more that I could be performing, and that urgency is continually pressed upon me. I pray this just about every single day. Give me some guidance.

O.S.: OK, Hank. I would pray specifically the very same issue, understanding that even Paul prayed that. He talks about that physical infirmity that he had. Irrespective of whether it was epilepsy or eye complications, what it was we do not know, but he had a thorn in his flesh. I think it was a physical infirmity. He asked the Lord 3 occasions to take it from him, he kept persisting, asking God to heal him, but God did not do it. God came out on the other finish and mentioned that His grace was enough (two Corinthians 12:1–10). It normally is.

The Bible utilizes a word, as you know, Hank, mysterion it is a mystery. It is a sacred secret. Paul left Trophimus at Meletus sick, the Bible says (two Timothy four:20). Why did not Paul heal him? This is all wrapped up in the mystery of God.

As it relates to death, I have a devotional in The Believer’s Code: 365 Devotions to Unlock the Blessings of God’s Word (Thomas Nelson, 2017). The special issue about The Believer’s Code, a 365-day devotional, is that just about every day has a code word that we reside by. For instance, in 1 of the devotions on Psalm 23, the code word is shadow. We all know what a shadow is. We have all noticed them. Nicely, this Psalmist mentioned, “Even although I stroll via the valley of the shadow of death, I will worry no evil, for you are with me” (v. four). No believer ever walks via the valley of death. Christ did, 3 days and 3 nights, and He came out victorious on the other finish of the grave. He resurrected, and He held up some keys, John the Revelator says, and Jesus mentioned, “I hold the keys of death and Hades” (Revelation 1:18). The believer does not stroll via the valley of death rather, he only walks via the valley of the shadow of death.

A shadow could possibly frighten you. You come property at evening, place your important in the front door, the porch light casts a shadow, and you jump back. The shadow could possibly frighten you, but it can’t hurt you. You can stroll ideal via it. That is what the psalmist says we do with the shadow of death. Although I stroll via the valley of the shadow of death, I will worry no evil. Death is just a shadow. We use that code word shadow to feel about for the duration of the day, to be reminded that the believer has no worry of death, that death has lost its sting, as Paul says for the believer in 1 Corinthians 15:55–57 since death is only a shadow.

Hank: Great appreciate casts out worry (1 John four:18).

O.S.: Amen!

Hank: Speak about becoming an ambassador for Jesus Christ. This is some thing that has truly been pressing on my heart as nicely, since we are named to be Christ’s ambassadors, although most of us are secret agents who have by no means blown our cover just before the unregenerate globe. We are named to be ambassadors. If we are not ambassadors, the culture is continually going to corrupt and corrode. I oftentimes feel that persons place the concentrate on the pagan globe and say, “Look what the pagan world’s performing!” And I feel there is a spot for that, but oftentimes I feel they fail to recognize that pagans are going to do what pagans do. The genuine dilemma is Christians are not performing what they are supposed to do, and as a outcome of that, the salt has lost its savor.

O.S.: Specifically. You know Paul says in two Corinthians, “We are hence Christ’s ambassadors, as although God had been creating his appeal via us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God” (v. 20). We hear a lot about ambassadors becoming appointed right now to Israel. We just appointed an additional 1 to Germany. To commence with the ambassadors, you have to appear at their citizenship. It is clear that an ambassador for the United States to a foreign nation has to be a citizen of America. No alien can ever represent our nation. A accurate ambassador of Christ is 1, as Paul says in Philippians, whose “citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians three:20).

An ambassador has to be somebody with character. Ought to an ambassador of the King of kings and Lord of lords be any person else? A representative of Christ ought to have the highest moral requirements, qualities, and values. A reputation that is spotless. Very good conduct. Consistency. You know a great ambassador has to communicate. What great would it be to have an ambassador to an additional nation that could not communicate and speak their language. The successful ambassadors for Christ require to have continual each day get in touch with with headquarters — the Lord Jesus Christ. There is so substantially that is wrapped up in this, so a lot of analogies and parallels to what Paul talked about becoming ambassadors for Christ.

To listen to the complete interview, click right here.

To order a copy of The Joshua Code, click right here.

* New International Version (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984) utilized all through.

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