The Source of Power

March 19TH, 2017

Guest Speaker: Ben Pierce


The world is on fire and desperate for truth. As followers of Jesus we have the answer, but so often we fail to make a difference. Reaching those outside of the church is not about a great program or strategy, it’s about seeking God with a desperate heart. God’s presence unleashed through prayer is the only hope for the world - it’s our only source of power! 



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TRANSCRIPT


Today we take a step back and look at: t he source of power
A common mistake that people make is that a great strategy or idea is going to have an

impact.... 

We live in a copycat world. 

If a business, or a style, or a type of music becomes successful - everyone begins to replicate it. 

This is true of the church world as well. But God is not a product to be sold, and people are not products to be consumed. 

The reality is Real moves of God are not built on strategy but prayer

Steiger was started by my parents in the 80's They moved to Amsterdam to work with YWAM

At that time the dominant social movement was the punks and anarchist. They were involved in all sorts of outreach events to try to reach them

For two years all they did was pray. 

It was out of this prayer that they were led to start on a boat behind central station = Steiger 14 and eventually No Longer Music. 

The history of Steiger and NLM was one built on a foundation of seeking God - and this continues today

Munter gathering

What’s so strange is that people hear stories like this and said "oh I get it" it's about a boat - effective ministry happens on boats! 

They completely miss the point

because the key is not a good idea, or strategy, but seeking God! 

Hebrews 11:6 says: 

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. 

So much of our ministry efforts are ineffective because we don't take prayer seriously. Elisabeth Elliot (missionary in the early 1900's) 

People who ski happen to enjoy skiing; they have time for skiing, can afford to ski, and are good at skiing. I have found that I often treat prayer as though it were a sport like skiing— something you do if you like it, something you do in your spare time, something you do if you can afford the trouble, something you do if you’re good at it. Otherwise, you do without it most of the time. When you get in a pinch you try it, and then you call an expert. 

But prayer isn’t a sport. It’s work. Prayer is work because a Christian simply can’t “make a living” without it. The apostle Paul said we “wrestle” in prayer. In the wrestling of a Christian in prayer, “our fight is not against any physical enemy; it is against organizations and powers that are spiritual. We are up against the unseen powers that control this dark world, and spiritual agents from the very headquarters of evil” (Ephesians 6:12, PHILLIPS). Seldom do we consider the nature of our opponent, and that is to his advantage. When we do recognize him for what he is, however, we have an inkling as to why prayer is never easy. It’s the weapon that Unseen Power dreads most, and if he can get us to treat it as casually as we treat a pair of skis or a tennis racquet, he can keep his hold

Is this convicting? I know it is for me...
but sadly isn’t this how we treat prayer sometimes?
How do typical prayer meetings go...
Why? Why has our prayer life become so weak?
First part of Hebrews 11:6 gives us a critical insight.... 
anyone who comes to him must believe he exists...
Surely we all believe God exists right?
Paul is begging the question. Do you really believe God exist?
if we were to take stock of our prayer lives would our actions back up our beliefs? 

I think many in the church say they believe God exist but their actions say otherwise
or maybe we did once but now we’ve become realistic and cynical or maybe the God we believe in is of our own making

one thing is for sure we all need to see God more clearly describe God
If God is really who the bible says He is

but not only that - but that He rewards those who seek Him with a desperate heart would this not revolutionize our prayer lives? 

You see having an accurate view of God will have an incredible impact on our prayer life and our spiritual health in general

Tozer Quote

" Were we able to extract from any man a complete answer to the question, "what comes into your mind when you think about God" we might predict with certainty the spiritual future of that man" 

what we think of when we think of God is EVERYTHING. Small God = weak prayers - Big God desperate prayers

When we don't see God for who He is we turn to human solutions and strategies and we are bound by our limitations... 

- "but God we are so small, we don't have a lot of resources..." 

If God is behind you aren't limited by human thinking because it’s not about you and what you do or do not have! 

Or worse our prayers will be self centered

JB Phillips puts it this way in his book Your God is Too Small, “Unless the conception of God is something higher than a magnification of our Good qualities, our service and worship will be no more and no less than the service and worship of ourselves” 

When you see God clearly, your prayers reorients back to Him as the rightful focus

It's about God and seeking Him with a desperate heart So What does this look like?
Jesus illustrates it beautifully in Luke 11:5-9

Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, 

even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need. 

explain

This is how God wants us to be pray!
Here’s the good news: God is not bothered by your requests This passage gives us two principles of desperate prayer: 

Jesus wants us to pray

- unreasonable prayers
- bill gates example

- persistent prayers
God wants to do things in your life and through your life that are extraordinary He wants to give you opportunities that don't make sense
I could give 100’s of examples
- Albania

God is the source of power, provision, & opportunity - not strategy, not a good idea, not a great program - but His power working through those who seek Him desperately


Copyright: Ben Pierce

Renovation Church in Blaine, MN

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