A Praying Man

(Gen.18 )                                                        (James 5:16-18) 

The time comes in History of all places like Sodom when God decides to act. America is in and has been in that position even as we speak. Before proceeding against Sodom God took Abraham into His confidence and revealed to His servant a new line of truth, apocalyptic truth, the truth concerning the impending overthrow of an utterly vile civilization.

The revelation of this truth was an interesting test of Abraham’s growth in grace and his increase in the knowledge and trust of God. How would a faithful, maturing, obedient child of God react to the truth that a holocaust of judgment is about to engulf a world of vile, reprobate, godless, society?

Jonah, when faced with apocalyptic truth was glad. He pondered the impending doom of Nineveh with glee, determined to do nothing. Jesus faced apocalyptic truth with tears as he could envision Jerusalem within a generation. Here; faced with apocalyptic truth, Abraham prayed.

  • Prayers position.
    • (V2) the wording here implies one moment there was nothing and the next, three men were there.
    • Notice there was no slothfulness on Abrahams’s part. ( Pr 3:27) ¶ Withhold not good from them to whom it is due when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.   
      • He seen an opportunity and acted upon it, and was rewarded.
      • We too often spend more time worrying about getting taken, or someone else has more to give, or even I have done my share its time someone else carries their weight, that we miss out on great opportunities to serve.
      • He made haste, he didn’t confer with others, and he put himself into a position to serve. He bowed himself. Laid prostrate before Him.
  • The preparation of prayer.
    • Abraham put himself in the way of God. He saw where He was and went to Him. Now he is planning on getting to know Him. Not just more about Him but know Him.
      • He calls out to his bride for help.
    • Now I feel that because of the twisted wicked world that has so invaded our minds there could be those who scoff at the idea of imposing on Sarah like this and those who twist Sarah’s part in this
      • Notice the transaction between this Godly man and his loving wife.
      • Abraham didn’t lay all the work on her. He didn’t feel he had more important things to do. He took care of the majority of the preparation of the meal. Why? It was his guest.
    • This is a major part of who this man of God was. Peter wrote of it ; (1Pe 3:7) Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
      • He led his household, by example.
      • The preparation of his prayer life started long before these men showed up in his front yard.
    • Abraham set aside a specific time, made preparation, saw to it himself, then reeled in the benefits that come from knowing God.
    • The Lord not only reminds him of the promise, the covenant He has made with him but now shares with Abraham an apocalyptic truth.
  • The petition or accountability of prayer
    • How does a faithful, maturing, obedient child of God react to the truth that a holocaust of judgment is about to engulf a world of vile, reprobate, godless, society? He prays.
    •  It is the first solemn prayer we have upon record in the Bible, and it is a prayer for the sparing of Sodom.
      •  Abraham, no doubt, greatly abhorred the wickedness of the Sodomites; he would not have lived among them, as Lot did, even if they would have given him the best estate in their country; and yet he prayed earnestly for them. 
      • (2Pe 3:9) ¶ The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
      • Though sin is to be hated, sinners are to be pitied and prayed for. God delights not in their death, nor should we.
    • So what is it with this man that God would share with him something like this?
      • We are told in the bible that he is known as a man of faith, he was called the friend of God(Jas.2:23) and we also know that no one pleases God except by faith. (Heb.11:6)
    • Hey did you know that as born-again believers that is exactly what we are known as? People of faith. (Eph 2:8) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:    Did you also know we are known as Christ friends? (Jn 15:15)
      • Did it ever dawn on you just like Abraham God has given use apocalyptic truth?
  • The petition or accountability of the church in prayer.
    • How does a faithful, maturing, obedient child of God react to the truth that a holocaust of judgment is about to engulf a world of vile, reprobate, godless, society?
      • Well, maybe we should take Abraham’s example.
    • God has shared with us through many different passages of scripture the outcome. Those who continue to rebel against God and choose to serve sin will be forever damned.
      • He has warned us that a day is fast approaching when the church will be taken up or raptured. Then hell on earth is the only way to describe future events.
    • Abraham made haste. He didn’t wait around but went to the Lord. He prepared his heart by living what he believed. Then he faithfully petitioned the Lord.
    • The Lord kept his promise. Those who would listen he saved. 
  • Daddy’s letter.
    • How far have you gone? How much have you done with this knowledge of impending destruction?
    • How do you have to hate someone to hold back this truth?

Rubber Meets The Road

Gen 13:5-9

Wednesday night we spoke of the renewing of our mind. Pray you take the time, if you haven’t, to listen to it.

  • One of the things I mentioned was this: YOU ARE GOING TO LIVE HOW YOU THINK. Solomon said: Pr 23:7, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: …”
    • Even a born again believer who has allowed laziness, worldliness, fear, or superiority to reign in their hearts lose their sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.
    • When we don’t understand God’s good purpose for our lives. When our thinking is improper because of allowing other things to reign in our hearts we act, behave improper.
  • When we spend time in God’s word, hanging out with God’s people. Filling our life with things that help us learn and apply the things of God.
    • We learn truth. Lies we believed become corrected. 
  • Joh 8:31-32,  “… If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

In this scripture we find two men having to face difficult issues, we are able to see and compare how they respond “where the rubber meets the road”. 

Scripture: Gen 13:5-9

  • Worrying Circumstances.
    • We all have them, sometimes it’s marriage, sometimes it’s sickness, financial, family. Most of the time it’s a combination of these and others. Having issues in life is not always a sign of our failure as it is life.
      • How we go about handling these issues is a different matter.
    • God’s word is full of directives here.
      • Ps 55:22, “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”
      • Mt 6:25, “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?”
      • 1Pe 5:7, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”
    • God’s word never contradicts itself. This is in no way, shape, or form saying don’t work or provide but is speaking of trusting God. Don’t place priority on these worldly things. It is best expressed when He states:  Mt 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
    • Here in our scripture we find a good problem but nonetheless a problem.
      • God had richly blessed these two men and it had become too much for the land to bear.
  • A Carnal Resolve. Both of these men had been blessed. What we see is three things marking Lot’s choice.
    • Weak in his devotions.
      • We are told that Lot had flocks and tents just like Abram, but there was something we read about Abram but not Lot. Ge 13:4, “Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD.”
        • There is not a hint that Lot had an altar or that it was important to him.
      • Sadly it is like what we see today where a lot of men leave the God stuff to the women because they have a world to conquer. 
      • Too many of us depend on others to be the Godly one while we coast.
    • Worldly in his desires.
      • We see Lot looking at the well watered plain of Jordan. He wasn’t concerned with the people that would impact his children, the filthy lifestyle that would influence his soul. It was all business. Money to be made. 
      • There are some things more important than a paycheck, some things that last longer and have a greater impact on this world.
      • That is how much of you you invest in your children.
    • Wrong decisions: 
      • A person who is weak in the devotion worldly in their desires is going to be wrong in their decisions. 
        • The next thing we see in Lots life is he set his tent towards Sodom. Very important to see this. He didn’t start off in Sodom just let it occupy his mind. It won’t be long before he is right in the midst of it.
  • A Divine Resolution. A spiritual man’s approach to life.
    • An old cliché’. We most often hear “don’t just stand there, do something.” But when it comes to God’s word we most often see “don’t just do something, stand there.”
      • Abram had been promised by God that this was going to be his land. He could have stood for his rights and demanded that Lot go find his own land.
      • His reaction to the problem at hand was: wait. He had learned all too well what happens when a child of God takes matters in his own hand. A lesson that will be repeated in his life.
      • When confronted with worrying circumstances that seemed to be crying out for immediate action he waited. He was sure God would soon make his way clear.
    • An old sore. Abram made Lot a problem from his own choosing. God had specifically told him to leave his father’s house and kindred. That one thing he held onto that he thought he needed, or thought he was being a help to was now starting to demand attention.
      • They always do.  Abram was now learning how to deal with things God’s way. The first thing we see as a spiritual man, Abram surrenders his personal rights.
    • He deals with spiritual directness.
      • Look at the wording in verse 8: between me and thee. He named himself first as though he was the cause of the trouble.
      • He came directly to the point and called the problem what it was, strife. He wasn’t giving the devil no room to run.  
      • He wasn’t willing to give God a bad name in front of their wicked neighbors.(V.7)
    • He dealt with spiritual discernment.
      • “We are brethren,” the things that unite us are far more important than the things that divide us.
      • Would to God, we as a believer could reach that point in our spiritual journey.
    • He dealt with spiritual dignity:
      • Sovereignly he was the stronger. Socially he was the senior. Spiritually he was the securer.
      • Abram put aside his rights and let Lot choose. He took whatever was left. Why, you ask? Because his confidence was not in a land or an economy but in God.
  • Whose does your thought pattern resemble? The carnal or the spiritual?
    • As born again believers the bible tells us: Ro 12:2, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
      • Lot filled his mind with the things of this world. His lifestyle and decisions suffered for it. 
      • God blessed Abram. Where the world would have called him a fool for giving up the good land. God had a better plan.
    •  WHERE THE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD, YOU ARE GOING TO LIVE HOW YOU THINK/BELIEVE!