Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Pray Like an Heir of God

Picture two tables on a stage: an orphan table and an heir table. Imagine the orphan table as a rickety old table that bobbles unevenly on a level floor. The splintered chair wobbles with uneven legs. A stale piece of bread sits on a cracked dinner plate. The very sight of it makes your mouth dry up and your heart ache.

Now picture the heir table. White linen covers the table. A high-back chair displays plush velvet fabric and ornamental cherrywood trim. A crystal vase boasts a bright bouquet of flowers. Polished silverware flanks the decorative china dinnerware. A satin napkin sits wrapped in a gold embossed napkin ring. An assortment of breads is arranged next to a bowl of fresh fruit. The sparkling wine shimmers in a crystal carafe. The very sight of it makes you wonder what these people do for a living.

Now notice the distinction between these two tables.

When we read Scripture, we find that God cares deeply for the poor, the orphan, the misplaced, and the oppressed. That’s why He asks those of us who have more to give to those who have less. Time and time again He mentions the poor and asks us to take care of them. That’s a part of our kingdom call. Jesus cares about the literal orphans and He wants us to care about them too.

But He also cares deeply about the spiritual orphan. That’s why He didn’t consider His equality with God a thing to be grasped, leveraged, or used for His benefit. In fact, He stepped away from His high, privileged position in heaven to meet us right where we live. He came to earth in the womb of a vulnerable teenage girl; He came right to us in the very depths of our need.

Jesus loves and treasures the spiritual orphan. That’s why He made a way to adopt us into the family of God. But once we become heirs, He doesn’t want us acting or thinking like orphans any longer. Spiritual orphans beg and plead. Heirs pray and believe.

Saved by Grace

Did you know that our star-breathing God intimately loves every single person who has ever walked the earth? He created us in His image with a beautiful and specific purpose in mind. And He loves what He has created in you!

Here’s an important point to remember: God loves everyone. But that doesn’t mean everyone is saved. Though love made a way for us, it’s by grace that we’re saved. Read the following passage:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Louie Giglio once said, “Your sin doesn’t make you bad. It makes you dead.” Here’s another passage to ponder until it makes you weep with gratitude:

You were dead in sins, and your sinful desires were not yet cut away. Then he gave you a share in the very life of Christ, for he forgave all your sins, and blotted out the charges proved against you, the list of his commandments which you had not obeyed. He took this list of sins and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ’s cross. In this way God took away Satan’s power to accuse you of sin, and God openly displayed to the whole world Christ’s triumph at the cross where your sins were all taken away. Colossians 2:13-15 tlb

We’ve done ourselves a great disservice by preaching an improve-your-life-now kind of gospel message. Truly though, who doesn’t want to upgrade their life? This kind of message appeals to the consumer in us. However, when our main concern is for a slight-to-moderate improvement in our life here on earth, we miss the essence and the power of the cross of Jesus Christ. We miss the point of our very desperate need for a Savior. We were destined for hell. Dying in our sins. Totally incapable of saving ourselves. And in that place of our utter and desperate need—while our selfishness, sinfulness, and pride remained in full swing—Christ died for us.

What Jesus accomplished on the cross was not simply an invitation to think differently, nor was it a ticket to a hip Christian social club. Here’s the life-changing truth about Christ’s overwhelming victory on the cross:

Jesus’ triumph over the grave, over sin and death, blew the doors off of the enemy’s claim on us!

And when we trusted Christ to make us alive in Him, the transformative power of the Holy Spirit took up residence in our soul and made us brand-new, through and through. The power of the living God altered our spiritual DNA, changed the trajectory of our lives, and activated our spiritual genes so that the impossible could now be possible in and through us. Incredible!

This means we’re not a slightly improved version of ourselves. Our name is written in the Book of Life! We are citizens of heaven. Heirs of God. Joint heirs with Christ.

Excerpt from Your Powerful Prayers: Reaching the Heart of God with a Bold and Humble Faith by Susie Larson. Copyright 2016 Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Used by permission.

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