Prayer Is The Way The Lost Get Found

Jeremiah 37

Father loves the lost, and prayer is the way the lost get found. 

When we pray, God does something in us and something through us! 
When we pray, we enter into the presence of God and if you go there often enough and you pray with all of your heart, and if you do not give up, you will be changed through prayer! 

Cold can't come into the presence of hot and not become warm. You cannot bring your life, with all of its pain, into the presence of healing without being healed! You cannot bring hopelessness into the presence of immeasurable hope without hope alighting in your life!

Physical battles are fought in physical ways that require knowledge and insight. 

Spiritual battles are fought in ways that require even more knowledge and insight and the truth is that in the battle of the ages between heaven and hell, between lost and saved, we know the enemy's battle plan! 

We know how Satan keeps people lost. 2 Corinthians 4:4 says,  "The God of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."

They don't understand the message about the glory of Christ who is the exact likeness of God and so in a world where God has come, people say "where is God?" In a world in which love has demonstrated itself in the most sacrificial, selfless way imaginable we say "where is love?"

Why? Because Satan has blinded them. 

So now we know the enemy's battle plan but if we will start regularly and faithfully specifically praying for lost people - they will be saved! I believe we will see a supernatural wave of faith rising in the salvation of hundreds of men and women and boys and girls because no one is unreachable -no one!  

You know, it's not a coincidence that God chose Saul (the Apostle Paul) to be the twelfth replacement disciple! It's not a coincidence that God chose the hardest head. The furthest out, most radical opponent of Christianity in the day and said, "I'm going to show you the power of the Gospel. I'm going to take the person that you would say would never bear my name and he's going to bear my name most beautifully and brilliantly over all!" (Paraphrased)   That wasn't for no reason that God did that. And so I just want to say to you that no one is unreachable! 

Jeremiah 32:27 says, "I am the Lord, the God of all mankind, is anything too hard for me?" And the answer is no! 

When we pray God works in us and changes us and then when we pray, God changes external reality as well. Prayer is the way the lost get found and when we become a house of prayer and we pray for lost people, we will begin to see many men and women and boys and girls come to know Jesus in ways that we have not seen before and it will be the power of God's Spirit doing this -because we prayed! -Dr. Drew Shofner 

Turning Point Decisions

What your heart does with pain

Every bad decision and every bad place that we've ever been is because at a crossroads, we took the path that lead us to where we ended up. I want to say again, that if you and I will learn to manage our turning point decisions, we will have the ability to lead a life that is more!

If we continue to be emotionally driven, if we continue to be helpless and without hope and power in our lives, then we are adrift in life and are going to be driven by the winds of circumstances, feelings and other peoples decisions.

 I'm here to tell you that you can manage your turning point decisions. When life offers you bad, and it has, we have to go to the good of God and we have to soak in the presence of Jesus! This is everything, this is the call of God, and the way forward!

This is what hell doesn't want you to know, but it's the whole truth of the scripture of the Bible. It's what God wants us to do and it's what Jesus did in Matthew 14:1-3; 23 in the story of the murder of John the Baptist.

There will always be this drive in us that wants to run away from God and yet there's going to be this whisper inside of us that tells us that we have to go to God.

Here's the choice we have to make because the simple reality is 'what your heart does with pain is going to determine just about everything in your life!'

Where you go with your pain is going to determine your emotional health, your spiritual health -all of your health!

With pain, we try a variety of techniques and strategies. Sometimes we just try to stuff pain down and ignore it. You need to know that's about as effective as ignoring cancer in your life! You can stuff pain down and ignore it but it's gonna grow and be cancerous and infect other areas of your life! 

So when we come to these turning points, we have a choice of  'where are we going to find good?' 

There is the 'good' that we identify and think is the answer and there is the good of God; which is completely different. 

So you're in pain...where do you go? 

You gotta do something to end the pain right? The bottom of the can seems like the way to go. Maybe it's the joint? Maybe it's the porn on the computer? I feel bad and maybe this is gonna be something! We rarely call these things good but they are 'the good' that we are going to --to answer our pain!

Your marriage isn't going very well...you know there will always be an endless procession of other human beings out there who are empty and you're empty and you're gonna come together without God! Empty on empty trying to be filled! I won't even say good luck with that, I would just say I hope you fail very very quickly so that your damage is less than failing in a bigger way!

Your sin nature is going to try to find alternatives to the 'good of God.' You're going to turn to something to answer your pain. Whether it's the bottle, whether it's the respect of other people at work, the idolatry of ego. Whatever it is, in these turning point moments, if you turn to anything other than God, you're going to be overwhelmed by evil!

Here's why...when evil comes into our lives it just seems so big. Have you ever felt hopeless in your life? Have you ever felt so utterly alone you don't even know how to go forward? Have you ever been so wounded by somebody's choices and so angry that you just wanted to strike back?

Satan doesn't want us to recognize when we're in a turning point place but that's the first thing you have to do. The move that we have to make is to go to the good of God and to do what Jesus did! He ran into the presence of God! In the face of all of the evil (the murder of His cousin, John the Baptist) He soaked in the presence of God and He was reminded of how infinitely powerful God is and what a great plan God has for the world and how loving the Father is! 

He was reminded that human decisions have power for a season but not for eternity! He was reminded of all that God is and all that God was going to do and in the presence of the Father --everything changes!

Guys, this message is so simple but I'm just telling you it's probably one of the most life changing messages I have ever preached or will ever preach and what it means, you will have to go and spend the rest of your life figuring that out -but it will change everything! 

You see the turning point strategy of Jesus' life was very very simple: He went to the Father and He soaked in the glory of God!

Just as it's impossible to stay cold on the sun's surface, it is impossible to stay lost, discouraged, depressed, self-defeated, hopeless, angry or wounded in the Father's presence. You cannot be cold on the surface of the sun! 

You and I cannot stay wounded, bitter, down, defeated, depressed and unloving! We can't stay hating the person in the mirror, we can't stay in any of those places in the presence of God! 

Because in the presence of God is the fullness of joy! In the presence of God there is everlasting love! In the presence of God there is overwhelming goodness! In the presence of God there is ever lasting victory and the only way you and I can live a small, defeated, addicted, broken down sinful life is if we keep our distance from God! -Dr. Drew Shofner 

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.

In Matthew 18:20, Jesus said, "For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst."

If you want to grow spiritually, prioritize your personal relationship with Jesus. Only a small percentage of us meet weekly. Most of us are every other week or every third week. I want to challenge you in 2016, if you want want a new life, begin some new practices and just commit to say "nothing matters more than my personal relationship with Jesus," therefore I'm going to be a part of the rhythm of God's life in worship! -Dr. Drew Shofner

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