October 24, 2016

Diamonds, Faith, and purpose

image from web
It's the timeless metaphor.
You know the story:
 Extreme heat. 
 Extreme pressure. 
 Glittery sparkling clear rock that bends and reflects light.
And while that remains factually untrue (coal is not actually involved in natural diamond formation), the principle of the process manages to find it's way into the  hearts of the persevering, the aspiring, the goal-seeking, and the dream-chasing.

There is something imprinted in the minds of men to rise up to challenges we face. Overcoming challenges results in accomplishment. Sense of accomplishment give us purpose. And purpose gives us life.
So we rise.

In the face of adversity we push, and if we must, we fight. 
The saddest people in the world are not the poorest, but the one who has lost his will to go on, to fight- to live.

It is in this vein the Lord speaks to us . It is to this appeal that He implores us:
"diligently seek him"
"search for me with all your heart"
"press toward the mark"
"fight the good fight of faith"
"run this race"
"contend for the faith"
"wrestle...against...spiritual wickedness"
"withstand in the evil day"

"And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?"

The Lord urges us in his Word to pray always.
image from web
Pray without ceasing.
Always pray and not faint.

God understands that  faith without works is dead.
To quote Oswald Chambers,  praying "does not fit us for the greater work- prayer is the greater work."
Prayer is a work of faith that, when employed without intimidation, becomes the effective weapon that avails much. James 5:16

God urges us in constant prayer in order to be equipped with faith that commands and dismantles demonic activity in the spirit realm. Great faith is the diamond that is cultivated and excavated from the mine of  prayer. This type of faith does not just happen. It is grown in the "school room" of delay.

Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace].And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing.- James 1:3-4 AMP

Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:- Ephesians 4:13

Prayer increases our knowledge of God, increasing our confidence in him and by default- our faith in Him.

This is the purpose of prayer- to know him and to make him known. To paraphrase E.M. Bounds, 
"Prayer projects our faith on to God, and God onto the world."

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