Description: There is a life of faith that is active and normal but it needs a base in getting to know God that is like Jacobs Ladder
Our Natural Strength
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
Most of us had difficulty when we heard about living by faith because we have seen such extremes of
people who didn’t quite lay back and drink cocoa all day but they tended to have that kind of
attitude. They said, “I’m living by faith brother.” And so many of us have been cautious about the
very term living by faith because we’ve seen people take what we thought was selfish advantage of it
just to kind of lay around and laze about.
The result is many of us have not lived by faith, we have gone to the other extreme and we have
said, “Well the important thing is that I give my life to God and that I live for his glory and it
doesn’t matter too much by whose strength I live that. In fact, looking at these other people who
seem to be laying around all day and saying they’re trusting the Lord, I think I better exercise my
natural abilities and do what I can for God’s glory.”
So I think, loved ones, many of us have slipped into living the way Jacob did by his natural
strength. We have ended up not seeing God’s victories in our lives and not seeing God’s victories
in our places of work, or in our places of school, or education, or our homes because we have tried
to use our own natural strength to bring about what we believed was God’s will. We have too often
said, “Well, I’m after God’s will. That’s the important thing. It doesn’t matter too much how I
bring it about, after all, God gave me these natural gifts to use and I ought to use them.”
It seems we haven’t seen too clearly the distinction between using them the way he guides us to and
using them the way we decide ourselves. And I would just very gently point out to you the
distinction in regard to the battle of Jericho. It wasn’t that those loved ones didn’t do anything.
They didn’t. They didn’t just kneel around and pray all day and wait for the walls to come down.
They did do things. But, the things you’ll agree were very inappropriate from the point of view of
human wisdom. I mean, who of us would say, “Oh, you want to bring those walls down. Hmm, let me
see. Okay, walk around them once? No, no. Walk around them twice? No, no. Three times? No, no.
Well walk around them seven times.”
You wouldn’t do it that way — you wouldn’t. You would say, “Get a battering ram. Let’s take a
couple of big ones and let’s pick the lowest part of the wall and let’s run at it for all we’re
worth.” And we would do something but it would be by our own strength. Now, in fact, those loved
ones did do things, they walked around the wall seven times and then they shouted at the sound of
the trumpet and so they did do things. When you live by faith it doesn’t mean you don’t do things
but it does mean you do what God guides you to do. Often that is very different from what you would
do by your own strength.
And I’d just point out to you one other example. You remember, Peter and John meeting the lame man
at the Gate Beautiful of the Temple. Now, many of us when we would be asked for alms by that lame
man would pull out of our pocket as much money as we could and hire a doctor to come and try to
treat him. Or, we would hire a place in a hospital for him and put him into it. Now do you see
that Peter and John acted, but they acted in the light of the fact that they knew that that man had
been healed in Jesus’ death and they said, “I have no silver and gold but what I have I give you in
the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” And they did something but it was very
different from what natural strength would do. [Acts 3:6]
Now, Jacob was the class act for using his own natural strength. We can see so much of Jacob in us
that it almost makes you sick and maybe you just turn to some of it and get a little sick maybe for
a start. It’s Genesis 25, and you remember, it’s just incredible the way it started right from the
very beginning. In fact, from before he was born. Jacob means “supplanter” or striver and he was a
supplanter and a striver. He was a high achievement guy if ever there was one. Genesis 25:22-26,
“The children,” [Jacob and Esau] “struggled together within her; and she said, ‘If it is thus, why
do I live?’” It was so bad. “So she went to inquire of the Lord. And the Lord said to her, ‘Two
nations are in your womb, and two peoples, born of you, shall be divided; the one shall be stronger
than the other, the elder shall serve the younger.’ When her days to be delivered were fulfilled
behold, there were twins in her womb. The first came forth red, all his body like a hairy mantle,
so they called his name Esau. Afterward his brother came forth, and his hand had taken hold of
Esau’s heel,” and so he was trying to haul himself out first from the beginning, “So his name was
You remember, it says, “He takes by the heel” or he supplants and Jacob was there right from the
beginning that was his nature. He was determined to do in fact, what was God’s will because you see
it back there in Verse 23. See the promise that God gave, “And the Lord said to her, ‘Two nations
are in your womb, and two peoples, born of you, shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the
other,” and then you see it shall be opposite of what you think, “The elder shall serve the
younger.” Esau will actually serve the younger and it was as if Jacob right from the very
beginning, hardly knowing it, obviously not knowing it as a little one but sensing, “This is God’s
will for me I’m going to bring it about by my own strength.”
And it just continued of course, you see it there in Genesis 25:29, “Once when Jacob was boiling
pottage, Esau came in from the field, and he was famished. And Esau said to Jacob, ‘Let me eat some
of that red pottage, for I am famished!’ (Therefore his name was called Edom.)” He begot the
people of Edom. “Jacob said, ‘First sell me your birthright.’” It’s as if you know, his mother
told him, “Now listen, your brother even though he’s older he’s going to end up serving you,” and as
if Jacob said, “Now he’s going to serve me, now how am I going to bring that about? I know it’s
God’s will, how am I going to get that birthright?” “Esau said, ‘I am about to die; of what use is
a birthright to me?’” Because Esau really hadn’t very spiritual thoughts about the covenant or the
leadership of God’s people.
“Jacob said, ‘Swear to me first.’ So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob
gave Esau bread and pottage of lentils, and he ate and drank, and rose and went his way. Thus Esau
despised his birthright.” But the important thing is it was Jacob getting in there again and
determined in fact to bring about God’s will however, whatever way he could.
Loved ones, it just brings disaster to you. Maybe in your own life it would be good to read a verse
in Isaiah 43:13 and I believe it’s a verse that if you meditate upon it can bring great peace to
your heart. Isaiah 43:13, “I am God, and also henceforth I am He; there is none who can deliver
from my hand; I work and who can hinder it?” God has a plan for your life in mind. If your will is
submissive to him nobody can hinder that plan. Nobody can hinder it. It doesn’t matter who they
are, it doesn’t matter how they try, nobody can spoil God’s plan for your life if your will is
submitted to God. Really, nobody. And you know hold onto that, loved ones, because many of us in
regard to marriage, in regard to jobs, in regard to house situations, living situations, getting
abroad or not, our jobs, our businesses, we think, “No, somebody can spoil this, somebody can spoil
it.” “No, I am God. I will work and no one shall hinder it.”
That’s it. And it’s funny, I didn’t know this verse until I was preparing for this evening but it
was about a day ago I sensed you know, really God has pretty well ordained and planned our lives and
they’re going to go that way. They’re going to go that way unless we rebel against him completely.
They’re going to go that way. God has the best plan for your life. He knows you intimately, he
knows what will fulfill you, he knows what will satisfy you and what will fulfill his will in your
life and it’s going to pretty well go that way. I don’t know how many of you have had this thought
but it just came home to me, the way we fret and the way we worry, and the way we’re concerned about
what happens in the car, or what happens in the house, or what happens to our job, or our
investments, it’s pretty dumb. Our life is going to go pretty much the way God planned because
nobody is going to hinder it except ourselves.
There is a place of rest, loved ones; there is a place of rest for us. I say it to every one of us
whether we’re young and we’re thinking, “Will we ever get married?” Or, “Who will we marry?” Or,
whether we’re old and wondering, “How is it all going to work out?” It’s going to pretty well work
out right and you’re not going to change it too much. You really aren’t. You’re not going to
switch too much God’s plan for you. I was thinking of it even in regard to the body, even in regard
to his church and his body, he’s pretty well said it and no wee soul is going to blow the whole
thing off course. God is going to work all things according to the counsel of his will and there’s
a place of rest for us. And I think it’s especially important, in these days with the economic
pressures and with the chaos in our society and the chaos in our international world, all rest in
Rest in his promise, “I am God. I will work and no one will hinder it.” Now, of course, old Jacob
didn’t go for that at all and he kept on track true to himself because, he continued to do his own
thing. It comes out in Genesis 27:18 and you remember his mother said, “Now, your father has told
your older brother to go out and hunt and bring him some nice food and then he’s going to give him
the blessing.” And of course, Rebekah was reinforcing Jacob’s striving and saying, “Now listen, we
better not lose this opportunity, you better take action here.” And so Genesis 27:18, “So he
[Jacob] went into his father, and said, ‘My father’; and he said, ‘Here I am; who are you, my son?’”
Because the old man Isaac was blind. “Jacob said to his father, ‘I am Esau your first-born.’” [Just
a direct lie] “I have done as you told me,” [another direct lie] He wasn’t told to go out and hunt
at all it was Esau who was. “Now sit up and eat of my game.” It was the game his mother prepared,
“That you may bless me.’ But Isaac said to his son, ‘How is it that you have found it so quickly,
my son?’ He answered, ‘Because the Lord your God granted me success.’” No, it was because he was
lying. “Then Isaac said to Jacob, ‘Come near, that I may feel you, my son, to know whether you are
really my son Esau or not.’ So Jacob went near to Isaac his father, who felt him and said, ‘The
voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.’ And he did not recognize him, because
his hands were hairy like his brother Esau’s hands; so he blessed him. He said, ‘Are you really my
son Esau?’ He answered, ‘I am.’” And then of course, he gave him the blessing.
What was the great result of it? Oh well, the same as it is for us. Verse 42, “But the words of
Esau her older son were told to Rebekah.” Esau said, well you can see what Esau said in 41, “Now
Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him, and Esau said to
himself, ‘The days of mourning for my father are approaching; then I will kill my brother Jacob.’
But the words of Esau her older son were told to Rebekah; so she sent and called to Jacob her
younger son, and said to him, ‘Behold, your brother Esau comforts himself by planning to kill you.
Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; arise, flee to Laban my brother in Haran, and stay with him a
while, until your brother’s fury turns away.’”
It was 20 years of course and Rebekah never saw the son again. That’s what happens when we try to
bring it about by our own natural strength. That’s it. Loved ones, we just mess it all up and we
just twist up our lives and pervert them and that’s what takes place.
Now let’s go on to Genesis 28 and see how Jacob moved on in Verse 1, “Then Isaac called Jacob and
blessed him, and charged him, ‘You shall not marry one of the Canaanite women. Arise, go to
Paddan-aram to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father; and take as wife from there one of the
daughters of Laban your mother’s brother.’” And so Isaac who had really had a kind of favoritism
attitude to Esau at last caught himself and saw that he was about to appoint the wrong son as leader
of the family and he recognized the promise that had been given to Rebekah, that the youngest would
be the leader of the family. And so he had recognized that and he told Jacob, “Alright, if you’re
going to lead the family and take over from me and I’ve already given you the blessing, then I want
you to marry one of your own people. I don’t want you to be like Esau and marry a foreigner.” So
he told Jacob to go off and go to his mother’s people.
Then in Verse 3 he repeated the blessing that had been given to Abraham. “God Almighty bless you
and make you fruitful and multiply you that you may become a company of peoples. May he give the
blessing of Abraham to you and to your descendants with you, that you may take possession of the
land of your sojournings which God gave to Abraham!” And so he gives the whole blessing to Isaac
that Abraham his father had received and that Isaac himself had received, he gives that whole
blessing to Jacob. “Thus Isaac sent Jacob away; and he went to Paddan-aram to Laban, the son of
Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob’s and Esau’s mother.”
And then of course, back with old Esau. “Now Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him
away to Paddan-aram to take a wife from there, and that as he blessed him he charged him, ‘You shall
not marry one of the Canaanite women,’ and that Jacob had obeyed his father and his mother and gone
to Paddan-aram.” And old Esau thinks, “Well, I better try to please my parents so I’m going to take
one of my relatives as a wife.” “So when Esau saw that the Canaanite women did not please Isaac his
father, Esau went to Ishmael.” He was the worse relative he could choose of course. The poor guy
just had not much spiritual discernment of his covenant. “Esau went to Ishmael,” not Ishmael
because Ishmael had died 14 years before but there as always it stands for the family of Ishmael.
Ishmael was the son that was rejected by God, the son that came by Hagar the maid. “Esau went to
Ishmael and took to wife, besides the wives he had, Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael Abraham’s son,
the sister of Nebaioth.” And so Esau again kind of compounded his own distance from his parents.
Now then we come, loved ones, to this amazing experience, you know, that we talk about, Jacob’s
ladder. In Verse 10, “Jacob left Beer-sheba, and went toward Haran. And he came to a certain
place, and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place,
he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed that there was a
ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were
ascending and descending on it!”
Now what’s the meaning of Jacob’s ladder? Well you know the angels were going up to God and taking
Jacob’s prayers up to God and bringing down to Jacob the strength and the answers that he needed.
And so Jacob’s ladder stands for God’s providence — the fact that he is vitally interested in every
practical detail of your life and of mine and that he is dealing with you day-by-day every moment.
And that’s why it’s a ladder that is continual traffic up and down. And I don’t know what you have
thought of this whole business of angels, but loved ones, there are angels. We actually kind of
miss it a bit with the wings and all that kind of stuff. There really isn’t that in scripture. I
mean may have wings but angels are “angelos.” It’s a Greek word and it means a messenger really.
And “angelos” are in fact messengers from God and they are spirit beings that people, the whole
universe – it’s interesting there is a book that I’ll tell you of but I’m afraid it’s out of print
at the moment until we start reprinting it in our press. It’s The Dawn of World Redemption by Erich
He points out that often in the Bible God talks about angels and in fact, the stars and the heavenly
host all in the same kind of framework. And he gives several references to that. It’s Psalms
148:1-3, and there are many of these references in scripture but this is just one of them. Psalms
148:1-3, “Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens, praise him in the heights! Praise
him, all his angels; praise him, all his host! Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you
shining stars! Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens!” And Sauer
points out the word for host in the stars is the same as the host of angels and there are several
references to the morning stars singing together and all the angels singing praise to God. He says,
“Why, why would God fill the earth with so much life and yet have vast millions of miles throughout
the universe filled with dead planets and dead stars.” He says it’s very unlike God to do that kind
of thing and he points out that there is a strange connection between all the host of the stars and
the host of angels that fill the universe. And he says it’s worth thinking about, that the angels
in some way surround and fill the whole universe and in some ways the morning stars singing together
are really the angels among the morning stars that sing praise to God and that the angels are
spiritual beings that fill the universe.
Now here’s an interesting thing, who do they exist for? Well maybe you’d look at Hebrews 1:14. You
remember God is talking about the angels in Verse 13, “But to what angel has he ever said, ‘Sit at
my right hand till I make thy enemies a stool for thy feet?’” Pointing out that he said that to
Jesus and then in Verse 14, “Are they [the angels] not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve,
for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?” The angels are servants of the redeemed. The
angels are servants of us. The angels are spirit beings that God has given to serve us and there is
a real place in which we can, in Jesus’ name, command angels to carryout God’s will in other
people’s lives and ministry.
I don’t know if you’ve ever taken that very seriously but it does seem the more you go into
scripture that the angels are real spirit beings that actually serve us and in many ways protect us.
We used to tell the children they have a guardian angel and all that stuff. We used to think, “Oh
yeah, the tooth fairy was almost on the same level as that,” but loved ones, I think we’re missing
something. I think as you go through scripture and if you look at angels in a concordance you find
that they’re very real spirit beings that actually are here to help those of us who are in Jesus and
there is a sense in which they can do things that you and I cannot do. And it just goes on, Sauer
has a whole list of things that the angels do.
1 Corinthians 4:9, they are actually watching us and they are able to see us. 1 Corinthians 4:9,
“For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death; because
we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and to men.” The angels, unlike those who are
now dead in Jesus or alive in him, they are able obviously, to watch the earth and to watch over us
and to see what we are doing. The angels are able to observe what we do and they’re able to do
something else. Maybe you could look back at Hebrews 2:2, “For if the message declared by angels was
valid and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution.” If the message declared
by angels, they are messengers from the king — they bring messages from the king and they can come
up and down Jacob’s ladder and give us insights and give us revelation — not only the Holy Spirit
but the angels themselves.
And then there are incredible verses if you have ever come across them, in Daniel 10:13 and 20 where
you begin to find that Angels can actually fight on behalf of God and are involved in fighting on
our behalf against the powers that would deceive us. This is one of those incredible verses, you
know, that we only glimpse a little of the truth of, Daniel 10:13, “The prince of the kingdom of
Persia withstood me twenty-one days.” It’s one of those deep verses where God is using Daniel to
point out to us that there are princes or principalities and powers over different kingdoms. “The
prince of the kingdom of Persia,” in other words Satan has his principalities and powers over
“The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; but Michael, one of the chief
princes,” one of the angels, “Came to help me, so I left him there with the prince of the kingdom of
Persia.” So it’s incredible that obviously Michael the archangel is able to oppose the satanic
prince of Persia. You come upon it again a few verses down in Verse 20, “Then he said, ‘Do you
know why I have come to you? But now I will return to fight against the prince of Persia; and when
I am through with him, lo, the prince of Greece will come.’”
Don’t you think that there are things that happen in our society that are so filled with power, evil
power, and force and deception, that you’re convinced they come from other than just human beings.
This is what scripture says, that there are great principalities and powers in the satanic world
that bring about all kinds of powerful movements in the economic world, in the commercial world, in
our domestic world. Loved ones, I think there are times when you fall out with your loved one at
home and you just don’t know why you’ve fallen out. You can’t even remember what you’re disagreeing
about. Or, the other person gets furiously worked up about something and there’s no justification
for it at all. It does seem vital that we begin to see that we’re not fighting against flesh and
blood and that we stop this business of going at each other like hammer and tongs and we just
quietly back off the whole thing and go into a room, and get down on our knees and in Jesus’ name
rebuke the spirit of Satan and command the angels that are looking after us to move against these
spirit beings and just having done all to stand.
Loved ones, there’s a place for that. Instead of that, we just start yacking away at each other and
before you know it we just could see each other miles away we’re just so utterly fed up with each
other. Or, when you get overwhelmed by some worrying anxiety and it niggles, and niggles, and
niggles at you and you look at the thing and you think, “This is dumb, yesterday this didn’t bother
me at all.” And that’s what you do, you look at yourself and say, “Wait a minute, is this normal
for me? Is this normal? Do I usually get worked up about this?” Then you realize that there are
spirit beings of Satan’s that move in upon your mind and inject all kinds of thoughts and feelings
inside you that you have the power in Jesus’ name to resist simply because “he that is within you is
greater than he that is without.”
But loved ones, there is a place for that and I sympathize with anybody here that says, “Oh, this is
spooky, brother. What I do is just the power of powerful thinking.” Loved ones, it’s not power of
positive thinking that you need. It’s not a mind game that you’re involved in, it is actual spirit
beings and there are angels by your side who are watching over you and who will protect you if you
will speak to the Holy Spirit or command the angels. You can do it. So you can see that they do
various things and there are more, loved ones. Sauer has a whole list of them but I won’t go on
I’ll just mention those to you. But that’s something of what this ladder, this Jacob’s ladder
means, that there are all kinds of spirit beings that go up and down.
There used to be, I don’t know if you remember it, but in the midst of our happy hippie days, we had
you remember, several magazines we put out and there was one that came out of California with just
an amazing picture. On the bottom half of the picture it was a quiet kind of country scene with a
nice church and a steeple, and the cows crazing and all that kind of thing and then on the top half
of the picture was the heavenly world and all the angels fighting the power of Satan above that
quiet scene. It was just a very vivid way of expressing that it all looks kind of ordinary down here
but just above us there is a tremendous battle going on between the angels of Satan and the angels
of God and that is often what we’re feeling the effect of in our ordinary lives.
And I would encourage you not to just say, “Oh it’s just illogical what that person is saying.” No,
see that the loved one is logical but Satan is working and what you’ve to do is not fight against
flesh and blood but fight against the principalities and powers by faith in Jesus’ name.
Now, there is an interesting verse that indicates a little more about Jacob’s ladder. It is
something that Jesus said in John 1:51, and it’s a promise to us in our day because we’re not living
back in Jacob’s day. John 1:51, “And he said to him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see
heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.’” It’s
interesting you know. It’s as if Jesus has become the ladder and the angels of God will ascend and
descend upon Jesus. And it’s always of course, Jesus that is the intermediary between us and God.
It’s always when you’re in his presence that the angels come up and down to you and bring what you
Let’s go on just a little then to Genesis 28:13, “And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, ‘I
am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will
give to you and to your descendants; and your descendants shall be like the dust of the earth, and
you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and by you
and your descendants shall all the families of the earth bless themselves.’” And God repeated to
Jacob to encourage him personally the promise that he had given to Abraham to assure Jacob he was
the leader of the nation, “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go,” he added this
because he hadn’t said this to Abraham, “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go,
and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done that of which I
have spoken to you.’ Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, ‘Surely the Lord is in this place;
and I did not know it.’ And he was afraid, and said, ‘How awesome is this place! This is none
other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.’”
You need to wait on God. You need to wait on God. You do. You need to have the gate of heaven
moments or you’ll dry up. You will. Loved ones, you have to. You have to have times, really you
have to have them several times a week, when you do get through to God and you know what I mean. As
opposed to those prayer times when you say your prayers and you have the children to be got ready.
Or, you have to get out to school, or you have to get out to work and you haven’t got through to God
but you’ve said your prayers and now you’ve got to get on with the rest of the day. If you go on
with just those times you’ll dry up. You will. You’ll just die and the life in Jesus will become so
boring and so wearing that you’ll eventually have to give it up or just become hypocritical.
You have to have the gate of heaven times. You have to have Jacob’s ladder times when you get down
before the Lord and you say, “Lord, I’m staying here until I touch you, until I touch your heart,
until I know Jesus that you’re here before me and I feel the warmth of your heart in mine and I feel
you speaking to me.” Loved ones, it’s essential. I would say it’s God’s will for us every day but
if you don’t have it several times a week, the going gets very heavy. The heart of our life in God
is having those times, having those Jacob’s ladder times.
Now, I agree with you if you say, “Well, sometimes, Pastor, I’ve had them without much effort.”
Well, I know that sometimes God in his grace has given you those times but, loved ones, if you don’t
definitely seek them, if you don’t definitely get before God and with the attitude that Jacob
eventually got, [“I will not let you go unless you bless me.”] unless you get before him and say,
“Lord, I’m staying here one hour, two hours, three hours, however long it takes I’m staying here to
get through to you and to touch you.” There comes a time, you know it fine well, when your praying
ceases and the word of God begins to come to you and the Lord begins to make his will known to you.
You know all of us could contradict you but you would still say, “No, I touched God I know I did. I
knew I heard his voice.” And it’s those moments that give us strength and give us guidance for the
rest of our lives.
Those moments of revelation are vital and I don’t know how you get them. We all come into them in
different ways, but all I can see is time is pretty important for it. It seems to me if you don’t
give time – God is just not on a hair trigger like that — he won’t just pop in and pop out. He is
the king, you are the servant. You’re not the king. He’s the king. He’s the Lord of glory, he’s
the Creator of the universe, and he’s the great God of gods. He’s the one that needs to be waited
upon and I would encourage you to see where that comes from. That comes from the kind of thing we
saw in the movie, “A Man for all Seasons.” You remember the way Thomas More came to see the king
and there were all those people outside waiting to see the king because in the old days that was it.
You waited and you could wait for weeks before you saw the king. You waited upon the king. It was
his pleasure that you waited on.
Now, it’s that you know. I think if you and I continue to treat God as if he’s a kind of 20th
Century guy or kind of 20th Century friend who we just send an electronic signal of some kind and
he’ll come. No, he is the Lord of Glory, loved ones, and he has every right to require us to wait
upon him. Plus, I would point out to you that we’re involved with each other all day long and it
takes a while for our mind and our thoughts to run down and that communication system to run out of
steam before we can really get through with our hearts and our spirits to God. So, it does take
time for the changeover. I think the tragedy is many of us don’t get into our spirits at all, we
just engage in some kind of thought exchange or reflex reaction of our own responses and that’s all
We just think a few thoughts out to God and we say, “Oh well, we’ve said our prayers.” But do you
see it’s beyond thought? Praying beyond thought. It’s the communion of spirit with spirit. Have
you a friend that you can sit with and you don’t need to say anything? You know how good that is?
You know you’re just at rest with each other, you’re just at peace with each other. You don’t need
to say anything, you’re just at ease with each other. It’s just beautiful. In fact, you can sit
there and you’re kind of getting strength from each other even though you’re not saying a thing.
Now, that’s beginning to touch the spirit world. That’s what spirit prayer is about.
It’s a sense of oneness with God — a sense that he’s right there present with you and a sense that
he’s beginning to feed you his thoughts. Now you see, I think our tragedy is our thoughts are so
active, and so filled, and so pouring out that we don’t hear anything from God at all and that’s why
– I’m not fighting you too much though John Wesley would fight you on this stuff, “God speak to me.
Okay, turn to page 40.” A word from the Lord, that’s what we call it, a word from the Lord.
Now, I know at times God in his goodness and graciousness because he can’t get us to wait upon him,
he’ll sometimes give us a word like that but that’s a wild system by just trying to pick a verse out
of the Bible and that’s the word of the Lord to you. You get one of those terrible begot passages
and you just decide, “Well, I won’t bother with that one I’ll try again.” Well, that’s not prayer,
that’s not God coming through to you. God coming through to you is you in a spirit of quietness
before him, really quiet, so that you begin to sense his heart beat and he begins to act.
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