Wednesday Evening Service
Luke chapter five contains a lot of doctrine. Jesus deals with four people in this chapter: Peter, a leper, a lame man, and Levi.
Peter was a fisherman; he knew how to catch fish. The Lord kept fish from him one night so that he would believe in the Word of the Lord. Peter pictures belief. The leper pictures salvation, as leprosy pictures sin. The lame man pictures walking with God. Levi pictures following God. A lot of people try to follow God without walking with Him, but that doesn’t work.
America is in trouble today because of Christians. Christian families are in trouble because Christians do not pray. God wants to answer our prayers, but many Christians don’t believe He does. God is no respecter of persons. We have a God who can meet our needs.
People stop praying when they stop prevailing. There are three reasons God does not answer prayer. He promises to meet our needs and even our wants.
The first reason is that God doesn’t have to. God is not bound to us; we are bound to Him. Does God have permission in your life to mess up your plan? God answered and refused Paul’s prayer for his thorn in his side. God often doesn’t answer prayers (or answers in the negative) for our ultimate benefit.
He knows our desires: wrong motivations and wrong associations. We’ve mistaken God’s mercy for His blessing; many Christians have God’s mercy but not His blessing. God wants to do greater things in our lives. When you go to bed at night, give God your problems; He’ll be up all night anyway. God provides for His children even when He judges them. Just because God provides for us doesn’t mean He’s pleased with us.
A third reason God doesn’t answer prayers is that He’s never listened to them. He can hear them, but He’s not listening. Sin in our lives causes God to not listen to His people. Christians need to be clean. Its not possible to walk with God or follow God unless we’re clean. Every Christian needs a time every day to be cleansed by God. We must come to God on His terms, not ours.
The Devil trembles at the weakest Christian on his knees. He doesn’t care how many people talk about prayer or read about prayer. Our God is a good dad, and many Christians just take advantage of Him. God likes to hear His own Word. Memorizing Scripture is a good way to get clean.