Stamp Of Approval


     In the days before all of the computerized, high-tech ways of doing things now available to us, much of the business dealings between people were of a much more hands-on type.  One of these was the approval or rejection of such things as personal and business loans, and other types of applications that a person might make.  Oftentimes the paperwork that was submitted was stamped at the end with either an "approval" or a "rejection" imprint.  Very often, the ink was red.  This practice, at least as far as the stamping goes, is not much used anymore, but I think it is still, in a form, very much in use in the western church.  Particularly as to how we function in prayer and in our asking "in the name of Jesus."
    Jesus did say in His Word that "anything that we ask of the Father in His name," we will receive that which we ask for from the Father.  I think in so many ways, we see Jesus and His name as a kind of "stamp" that we apply to our prayers, no matter what that prayer may be asking for, that will guarantee that we "get" what we want from His hand, no matter how self-serving the request may be.  We know, at least vaguely, that in the epistle of James that we ask Him and receive nothing from Him because we are asking from our own selfish desires, that we may "consume" what we ask for towards our own ends.  I say vaguely because we don't believe that that's what we're doing.  We just believe that if we want it, it must be good, and since it's good, the Father must be inclined to give it.  Adding Jesus' name to the request just kind of "seals the deal" for us.  I wonder if we ever stop to think that we apply His name to our prayers like a kind of magic, like Aladdin's rubbing of the magic lamp in order to get his wishes to come to pass.  We're in deception about it all, and so, we're blind and ignorant as to what it really means to "pray in the name of Jesus."
    To pray in the name of Christ is not a magic formula for getting what we want.  When Jesus spoke those words, those who truly heard them knew He meant that they would pray for the very things that Jesus Himself would pray for.  They would seek to receive from the Father that which Jesus Himself would seek from the Father for them.  They would be led of His Spirit to seek from Him what His heart longed to give them, and what His heart longs to give will always be far higher and greater than anything our fleshly hearts would ask for or desire.  As a friend put it, when we pray in His name, we pray from the perspective of heaven and the Kingdom, and we view His response to those prayers from the same perspective, so we are not, like the world and the flesh, measuring, weighing, and counting, how we see the response, because we're seeing not with the eyes of the flesh, but of His Spirit.  It's a mystical process and one we learn and grow in, but the process always brings us ever closer to His heart and His desire for us and for that which we pray.  When this happens, He's no longer the stamp we apply to our requests, we pray with His heart, and His desire and His will.  And our guarantee is also written in red, and that is His blood.  This is praying in the name of Jesus.

Pastor O  
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   May 2019   
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