Challenge A Prayer Life

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| Sermon by Prophet Kobus van Renburg |

CHALLENGE A PRAYER LIFE

HATE EVIL, LOVE RIGHTEOUSNESS

Job 1:1 (KJV) There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was PERFECT AND UPRIGHT, and one that FEARED GOD, and ESCHEWED EVIL.

Job was blameless and upright and he feared God. He was a righteous man, who loved righteousness and hated evil. Hebrews 1:8-9 and Psalm 45:7 says that Jesus loved righteousness and hated evil and God anointed Him with the oil of joy above His peer group. Job must have been anointed because he also loved righteousness and hated evil.

Job 1:6-8 (KJV) Now there was a day when the sons of God [the angels] came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan [the adversary and accuser] came also among them. And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comes thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And the LORD said unto Satan, Has thou considered my servant Job, that there is NONE LIKE HIM in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that FEARS GOD, and ESCHEWS EVIL? 

When God declares someone righteous, He says that His Hand is upon that person and He brags with him before the angels and heavenly hosts. Psalm 105:15 says that you must not touch God’s anointed and do His prophets no harm. That means that you must not slander or talk evil of an anointed man or woman of God. God is jealous on His righteous people. He was jealous on the Israelites and no one could touch them even though they were unfaithful to Him.

II Chronicles 20:20 (KJV) And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa. As they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and you inhabitants of Jerusalem; BELIEVE IN THE LORD your God, so shall you be ESTABLISHED; BELIEVE HIS PROPHETS, so shall you PROSPER.

When you have faith in God, you shall be established and when you remain steadfast to His prophets, you shall prosper.

A RIGHTEOUS PROPHET PRAYED

Abraham and Noah were righteous before God, but Abraham lied to Abimelech and said that his wife was his sister.

Genesis 20:7 (KJV) Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a PROPHET, and HE shall PRAY FOR THEE, and thou shall live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shall surely die, thou, and all that are yours.

God told Abimelech to give Abraham’s wife back to him, because he was a prophet. He ought not to touch the anointed of God and do His prophets no harm.

Genesis 20:14-18 (KJV) And Abimelech took sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and women servants, and gave them unto Abraham, and restored him Sarah his wife. And Abimelech said, Behold, my land is before thee: dwell where it pleases thee. And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee, and with all other: thus she was reproved. So ABRAHAM PRAYED UNTO GOD: and GOD HEALED Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bare children. For the LORD had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.

A household in those days consisted of everybody that worked for the king, their wives and children. God closed all the women of the household’s wombs. When Abimelech went to the prophet, Abraham, who was a righteous man, Abraham prayed for him and God healed them all. God answered the prayer of the prophet and opened the wombs of the women. The whole household was blessed because they went to the man of God to be prayed for and life entered the whole household.

RIGHTEOUSNESS BRINGS ANSWERED PRAYERS

How can we have such prayers of such prophets? We can all prophecy and all of us are supposed to be kings, priests and prophets but it is a different thing to be in standing in the office of a prophet. In our prayer lives before God we are supposed to be prophets. You have to be in a righteous relationship with God that your prayers will be answered.

Job lost the hedge around him and everything he had. Then when he was sitting on the ash heap, three friends came to him as three prophets.

Job 2:11 (KJV) Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place; Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and TO COMFORT HIM. And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rented every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven. So they SAT DOWN WITH HIM upon the ground SEVEN DAYS AND SEVEN NIGHTS, and NONE SPOKE A WORD unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great.

These friends of Job sat with him seven days and nights not saying a word, just comforting him.

Job 4:1-9 (KJV) Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said, If we assay to COMMUNE with thee, wilt thou be grieved? But who can withhold himself from SPEAKING? Behold, thou have instructed many, and thou have strengthened the weak hands. Thy words have upholds him that was falling, and thou has strengthened the feeble knees. But now it is come upon thee and thou faintest; it touches thee, and thou art troubled. Is not this thy fear, thy confidence, thy hope, and the uprightness of thy ways? Remember I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent? Or where was the righteous cut off? Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same. By the blast of God they perish, and the breath of his nostrils consumes them.

Eliphaz was a mighty prophet who told Job that the righteous could not be cut off.

Job 15:1-6,12-16 (KJV) Then answered Eliphaz the Temanite, and said, Should a wise man utter vain knowledge, and fill his belly with the east wind? Should he reason with unprofitable talk? Or with speeches wherewith he can do no good? Yea, thou cast off fear, and restrains prayer before God. For thy mouth utters thy iniquity, and thou chooses the tongue of the crafty. Thy own mouth condemns thee and not I: yea, thy own lips testify against thee.
Why do your heart carry thee away and what do thy eyes wink at? That thou turn thy spirit against God, and let such WORDS GO OUT OF THY MOUTH? What is man, that he should be clean? And he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous? Behold, he put no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight. How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinks iniquity like water?

God told Satan that there is not a man like Job. Satan said that Job would turn his back on God if he was not so blessed anymore and he destroyed everything Job had. Then Job’s friend, Eliphaz, came and comforted him. He told Job that he is righteous and anointed and he must not loose his righteousness, because it will see him through. God will not give up on him and even if it seems so. He encouraged Job to remain steadfast. All three friends encouraged him, but Job started complaining. Eliphaz then asked Job where his righteousness was, because his mouth was condemning him.

Job 22:1-7 (KJV) Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said: “Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself? Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art righteous? Or is it gained to him, that thou make thy ways perfect? Will he reprove thee for fear of thee? Will he enter with thee into judgment?” “Is not thy wickedness great and thy iniquities infinite? For thou have taken a pledge from thy brother for nothing and stripped the naked of their clothing. Thou have not given water to the weary to drink, and thou have withheld bread from the hungry.

Being righteous does not mean that you are sinless. Moses missed God and so did Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David and Elijah yet God said that they were righteous. When Eliphaz came with the Spirit of Christ, he told Job that he must not loose his righteousness. He told Job to remember that God was with him and how he fed the poor and the hungry and always had a helping hand. Then Eliphaz saw that Job did not want to listen and he told Job that he was hard hearted and that his own tongue brought him there. There were days that Job didn’t feed the poor and the hungry and that he did not have a helping hand, but still God said that there were none as righteous as Job.

Job 42:1-3 (KJV) Then Job answered the LORD, and said, I know that thou can do every thing, and that no thought can be withhold from thee. Who is he that hides counsel without knowledge? Therefore have I UTTERED THAT I UNDERSTOOD NOT; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.

You can look at men of God and see them righteous because of the blood of Jesus Christ or you can see their failures because you are in the flesh. You do not know when they spoke to God and repented of mistakes they’ve made. You do not know about their relationship with God when they are alone. God looks at us and declares us righteous because of His blood. We can look past the righteousness of God, but we do not know how God deals with one another and that is why you cannot touch the anointed of God or do His prophets harm.

Job 42:4-5 (KJV) Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine [spiritual] EYE SEES THEE.

Do you see with spiritual eyes? Paul prayed in Ephesians 1 that the eyes of our hearts may be enlightened that we can see the hope to which He called us, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints and the immeasurable power for us who believes. We have to see with spiritual eyes.

Job 42:6 (KJV) Wherefore I abhor myself, and REPENT in dust and ashes.

Job repented because he spoke of things he heard, but he did not see spiritually. There are times God wants to impart things into us and we do not really see spiritually. When Job saw, God spoke to Eliphaz.

Job 42:7 (KJV) And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends. For you have NOT SPOKEN OF ME THE THINGS THAT IS RIGHT, AS MY SERVANT JOB hath.”

God told Eliphaz that he spoke the wrong things and that it wasn’t Job while it was actually Job that didn’t see. God said that because Job is righteous, they were not allowed to touch him. When they were there to comfort him, they were right, but when they started giving Job all the answers on how he must live, they missed the mark. When Job saw spiritually, God’s wrath was kindled against them.

DO NOT INSTRUCT GOD WHAT TO DO

Job 42:8-10 (KJV) Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering. And MY SERVANT JOB SHALL PRAY FOR YOU: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that you have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job. So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went, and did according as the LORD commanded them: the LORD also accepted Job. And the LORD TURNED THE CAPTIVITY OF JOB, when he PRAYED FOR HIS FRIENDS: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.

The same happened with Abimelech and Abraham. Although Abraham did wrong, God told Abimelech that Abraham had to pray for him to take the curse away. Now the same with Job and Eliphaz. When Job prayed for Eliphaz, he was still sick and on the ash heap and nothing changed. Job told God that he was sorry and that he could now see, and so he repented. God accepted it and told the prophets to ask Job to pray for them, because His wrath was about to be kindled against them.

Jesus said that He gave us a new commandment that we should love one another in the same way He loved us. This is the only way that people are able to see that we are Jesus’ disciples. That is the kind of love that we need to have for one another. Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:18 that we should pray for all saints at all times in the Spirit. If we would pray in the understanding for the saints, we would instruct God what to do with the saints. Romans 8:26-28 says that we do not rightly know how to pray, but the Spirit comes to our aid with supplications in the Spirit for the saints. The Holy Spirit knows what another person needs, but you do not know because you don’t live in that person’s body and you do not know what his relationship with God is. You cannot pray rightly. When you pray in another tongue, you pray mysteries unto God. You do not speak to man, but to God. When you pray mysteries, you pray things that you cannot pray with your understanding. When you see Job and he is not doing right, you do not have the right to do what you think is right. What we sometimes think is right is not always right with God, because He may have another plan. Your right does not mean that it is God’s answer. Pray in the Spirit before trying to make things right. When you see a problem, like the three friends of Job, who saw that Job was not speaking or acting right, you have to go and pray in the Spirit for him, rather that discussing it with others and then decide what to do. Galatians 6:1 says that when you see a brother falling into a snare, you must go and help him in a spirit of meekness and watch out that you do not fall in the same snare. Matthew 5:44 says that you must pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you.

HALLOW THE NAME OF THE LORD

Numbers 14:17-19 (KJV) And now, I beseech thee, let the power of my Lord be great, according as thou have spoken, saying: “The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation. Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.”

In the previous verses, God wanted to kill the people, but Moses reminded God of His mercy. Sometimes in the church, we want to kill the people and get rid of them. Moses pleaded with God and reminded Him of His mercy. We ought to have the same attitude towards God’s people and remind God that He died on the cross for them although they may behave wrongly. God is slow to anger.

Numbers 14:19-20 (KJV) Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of THY MERCY, and as thou have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now. And the LORD said: “I have pardoned according to thy word.”

God forgave the people according to Moses’ word.

Numbers 20:6-10 (KJV) And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto them. And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying, Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and SPEAK you unto THE ROCK before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shall bring forth to them water out of the rock. So thou shall give the congregation and their beasts drink. And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him. And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, you REBELS; must we fetch you water out of this rock?

In Exodus 17 there was no water and God commanded Moses to hit the rock, but now there was again no water and God told Moses to speak to the rock. When Moses and Aaron fell on their faces, it was to pray and then the glory appeared. 1 Corinthians 10 says that Jesus is the Rock. After 40 years Moses changed his attitude and became angry with the people. Instead of talking to the rock, he hit it twice.

Numbers 20:11-12 (KJV) And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he SMOTE THE ROCK TWICE: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. And the LORD spoke unto Moses and Aaron, Because you believed me not, to SANCTIFY ME…

The word ‘sanctify’ means to hallow His Name. Matthew 6 say that when we pray, we must say, hallowed be Thy Name. It means that His Name must be sanctified in our midst. God’s Name was hallowed because of the miracle that water came out of the rock, but it was not hallowed in the life of Moses. Moses spoke wrongly about the people of God. It is God’s people and was not Moses’ people.

Numbers 20:13 (KJV) This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the LORD, and HE WAS SANCTIFIED IN THEM.

Amongst the people, the Name of God was hallowed, but not in the life of Moses. How do we treat God’s blood washed righteous people especially in prayer?

 

RIGHTEOUSNESS BECAUSE OF FAITH IN GOD

James 5:16(a) (Amplified) Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins)…

That is what Eliphaz did.

James 5:16 (Amplified) Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and PRAY [also] FOR ONE ANOTHER, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) PRAYER OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].

Men of God must come together and pray for one another. Both men will be restored then. We must come to a place where we can be open to one another and trust one another to confess faults and pray for one another so that both can be restored. That is what happened to Job and Eliphaz, also to Abimelech and Abraham. We must stop to be secret agents, and on Sundays we are holy and have revelations, but the rest of the time we are secret agents. We must become open to one another not to everybody, but one to another. One righteous must go to another righteous and confess your faults and get healing. People do not get healing, because they do not understand this scripture.

When we come together to pray, the prayer that God hears is the prayer from the heart that is red hot, earnest, fervent and passionate and it comes from a righteous man. It is not the long eloquent word prayers. When you pray it must be out of the righteousness that God has given you. Your righteousness comes from what Christ did on the cross by shedding His Blood for the remission of our sins. You stay righteous by accepting it for the other person too.

James 5:17,18 (KJV) Elijah was a human being with a nature such as we have [with feelings, affections, and a constitution like ours]; and HE PRAYED EARNESTLY for it not to rain, and no rain fell on the earth for three years and six months. [I Kings 17:1]. And [then] he prayed again and the heavens supplied rain and the land produced its crops [as usual].

Elijah prayed earnestly. When you pray it must be faith driven and not fear driven. When Elijah prayed that day, there were eight hundred demonized prophets against him. Elijah mocked them because of faith. He soaked the altar with water and then he prayed that God would answer to let the people know that God is God and that Elijah was His servant. Elijah did not pray for fire. He prophesied the morning that the God that answers with fire would be the real God. The fire came and consumed all of the sacrifice. God’s Name was hallowed also in his life and they knew that he was a prophet. Elijah did not have fear in him because he trusted God and that made him righteous. Jehoshaphat prayed and said to God that their eyes where on God. When you pray for something, are your eyes on the thing that you pray for or on the God that you pray for the thing? When we pray for the sick, we focus on Jesus and not on the problem. When you’ve got a need, it stands in your face and you must get your eyes on God. That makes you righteous.

When you pray, do you give Him the glory and put all your trust in Him? All the great man of God in the Bible prayed and acknowledged God’s greatness and His power and His Awesome Presence and then they asked God for the thing that they needed. Do not look at the problem, but to God. When your are fear driven, you are object aware, but when you are faith driven, you are aware of God.

Hebrew 11:6 (Amplified) But without FAITH it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] BELIEVE THAT GOD EXISTS and that He is the REWARDER of those who EARNESTLY and diligently SEEK HIM [out].

When you’ve got a need, you pray to God. The devil will come and remind you of the thing that is wrong. You put him behind you and then you praise God and pray in the Spirit. Most of the time, God will give the answer before you even ask for it. Do not fall into a repentance trip and not focus on Him. Repent where you need to, but tell Him about His greatness. Use boldness and call the things that are not so to be so. Forget about the circumstance and pray about it, but do not focus on it. Philippians 4:4-7 says that you must make your requests know to God and not be fearful and He will give you peace. He says that anxiety must not rule your prayers, but faith. James 1 says that you must not worry your prayers. Come with faith in God. What drives your prayers? Go and pray till you get peace and then ask God what you need and want.

RIGHTEOUSNESS BECAUSE OF FELLOWSHIP

1 John 1:3,4 (Amplified) What we have seen and [ourselves] heard, we are also telling you, so that you too may realize and enjoy fellowship as partners and partakers with us. And [this] fellowship that we have [which is a distinguishing mark of Christians] is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ (the Messiah). And we are now writing these things to you so that our joy [in seeing you included] may be full [and your joy may be complete].
But if we [really] are living and walking in the Light, as He [Himself] is in the Light, we have [true, unbroken] fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses (removes) us from all sin and guilt [keeps us cleansed from sin in all its forms and manifestations].

Our fellowship is with the Father and the Son, but also with one another. The blood keeps on cleansing us if we keep on living in fellowship.

1 John 2:9-11,15,16 (Amplified) Whoever says he is in the Light and [yet] hates his brother [Christian, born-again child of God his Father] is in darkness even until now. Whoever loves his brother [believer] abides (lives) in the Light, and in It or in him there is no occasion for stumbling or cause for error or sin. But he who hates (detests, despises) his brother [in Christ] is in darkness and walking (living) in the dark; he is straying and does not perceive or know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world-the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things]-these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself].

1 John 3:9-22 (Amplified) No one born (begotten) of God [deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] practices sin, for God’s nature abides in him [His principle of life, the divine sperm, remains permanently within him]; and he cannot practice sinning because he is born (begotten) of God. By this it is made clear who take their nature from God and are His children and who take their nature from the devil and are his children. No one who does not practice righteousness [who does not conform to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action] is of God; neither is anyone who does not love his brother (his fellow believer in Christ). For this is the message (the announcement) which you have heard from the first, that we should love one another, [And] not be like Cain who [took his nature and got his motivation] from the evil one and slew his brother. And why did he slay him? Because his deeds (activities, works) were wicked and malicious and his brother’s were righteous (virtuous). Do not be surprised and wonder, brethren that the world detests and pursues you with hatred. We know that we have passed over out of death into Life by the fact that we love the brethren (our fellow Christians). He who does not love abides (remains, is held and kept continually) in [spiritual] death. Anyone who hates (abominates, detests) his brother [in Christ] is [at heart] a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding (persevering) within him. By this we come to know (progressively to recognize, to perceive, to understand) the [essential] love: that He laid down His [own] life for us; and we ought to lay [our] lives down for [those who are our] brothers [in Him]. But if anyone has this world’s goods (resources for sustaining life) and sees his brother and fellow believer in need, yet closes his heart of compassion against him, how can the love of God live and remain in him? Little children let us not love [merely] in theory or in speech but in deed and in truth (in practice and in sincerity). By this we shall come to know (perceive, recognize, and understand) that we are of the Truth, and can reassure (quiet, conciliate, and pacify) our hearts in His presence, Whenever our hearts in [tormenting] self-accusation make us feel guilty and condemn us. [For we are in God’s hands.] For He is above and greater than our consciences (our hearts), and He knows (perceives and understands) everything [nothing is hidden from Him]. And, beloved, if our consciences (our hearts) do not accuse us [if they do not make us feel guilty and condemn us], we have confidence (complete assurance and boldness) before God. And we receive from Him whatever we ask, because we [watchfully] obey His orders [observe His suggestions and injunctions, follow His plan for us] and [habitually] practice what is pleasing to Him.

Do not have worry if you have trouble with the world, but do not have trouble with the church. If you have trouble with them, keep your heart right and let God sort out the other man.

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