“For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.” Colossians 1:20
In 1950’s Southern Baptist life, graduating from “Sunbeams” to “Royal Ambassadors” was a right of passage for every boy. It offered a chance to play baseball, but it presented a steep learning curve. The R.A. theme song changed dramatically from “Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam” to “Oh be ye reconciled, thus sayeth my Lord and King, Oh be ye reconciled to Him.” It was not quite as comforting as the words “I’ll be a Sunbeam for Him.” This may be why this battle cry never really caught hold, and was never a match for the bold G.A. Anthem, “We’ve a story to tell to the nations.” But I digress.
Praying in the name of the incomparable Christ, reminds the believer that there is no continuous fullness of The Spirit, without being regularly reconciled with God. Fullness communicates quantity, but reconciliation establishes purity. For someone to desire more of The Spirit, but have no interest in the character of Christ is not love. It is lust. Love is released by reconciliation, but lust defies satisfaction.
Fullness of The Spirit releases the moral purity of The Son when it establishes peace with God. Being right with God requires reconciliation between God and man. Prayer maintains the established peace with God, and prepares a praying person for fullness and usefulness.
Reconciliation begins with prayer, and initiates peace with God. Prayer maintains this reconciliation, and sustains the peace of God. This word translated “reconcile” means to restore completely to a former state of harmony.
Note sot self: Toot your own horn, but follow the leader of the band.
“Do not have your concert first, and then tune your instrument afterwards. Begin the day with the Word of God and prayer, and get first of all into harmony with Him.” Hudson Taylor
One of the great sales pitches of any physical weight loss program is the presentation of “Before and After” pictures. There is nothing quite so compelling as proof positive of the results experienced by those who have used the product or followed the workout regimen. What is not so well advertised is the answer to the question, “Where are they now?” Initiating a plan is the first step. Maintaining and sustaining the results requires diligence, and a daily walk down a long road, not an easy one.
In the spiritual world, what was once established at a point in time is much more difficult to sustain over the long haul. Still, when sin is reconciled “Before and After” results are very clear in the mind of God.
“And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds…” v. 21
Prayerless people take the breath out of a life of reconciliation that began in prayer. They may have prayed for the peace of God at some point in their lives, but chronic prayerlessness breeds alienation from God, not reconciliation with Him.
Talking their way through every crisis, rather than praying their way through life, prayerless people trade the peace of God for the dubious luxury of giving God a piece of their mind. Speaking one’s mind or having half a mind to give God a piece of it, is not the same as humbly praying for God’s direction, protection and correction.
“Yet now He has reconciled you in His fleshly body through death.” v. 22a
Prayer enables a person to receive new life in Christ, based upon His death on the cross. Continuous prayer breathes new life into a reconciled person’s hunger to die to self. Praylessness feeds the foolishness of putting more rouge on the corpse and calling it life. Praying in the name of The Reconciler, puts “MY WILL” to death, and breathes new life into “THY WILL.”
Jesus lives, NOW, to present His followers to His Father. He FORMERLY died on the cross, but left the tomb, and is NOW seated at the right hand of The Father. Jesus stands in the gap for the children of God. He died once, but He intercedes continuously. The children of God are reconciled by His crucifixion, but their reconciliation is sustained by His intercession.
The Spirit fills those who are reconciled to God through Christ. Prayerless people are prideful people who leave sin unconfessed, and remain unfilled. The fullness of The Spirit is not about getting more of God. Fullness is about making more of oneself available to be reconciled to God. What The Reconciler began on the cross, He desires to continue. Don’t look for the thrill of the fill, without going in for the kill. Death to self precedes the fullness of The Spirit.
“…to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach.” v. 22b
Prayer initially grounds the prayer warrior on the high ground of reconciliation. Praying maintains and sustains the prayer warrior’s stand on “the hope of the gospel.”
H.O.P.E. = Having Our Perspective Elevated
“If indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul was made a minister.” v. 23
Paul lived to serve. He didn’t live to lead, nor did he live to preach. God made him a minister. He was not a self-appointed apostle with a self-made ministry. Paul’s life had the handprints of God all over his mind and ministry. If his ministry appeared to diminish, and the lives of his disciples flourished, his ministry was accomplished.
”Made a minister” was more to Paul than a title to put on a business card or a means to exercise authority and jurisdiction over people. It was a call to intercede for those who were reconciled to God in Christ. He lived to see them continue on in life, the way they were once reconciled to God, through death. Prayer and death to self are friends.
Paul never waivered in preaching the hope people have to enter into a relationship with God, by turning to Jesus as The Reconciler. Sustaining prayer was a sign of their appreciation for what The Reconciler did for them, and it was their only hope of constant communication with The Father. It still is. TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!