What has Masada got to do with this?

I had finished eating my breakfast cereal and was drinking my tea. I was trying to remember the names of Sennacherib’s two sons who murdered him. Suddenly – unexpectedly and light years away from the Assyrian king – the Lord dropped a verse into my head. He said (JN.7:39) the Spirit was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified. Yes, I know that the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost - - after the resurrection – after the Ascension – after the celebration in Heaven for the Mighty Conqueror Who had totally triumphed over the devil, the flesh and the world and rent the veil from top to bottom. Who was that? The MAN Christ Jesus, our Lord and Saviour.

As I read God’s Word, I have learned to take that living Word very personally. My mind was being stretched and I began to see, more clearly than ever before that when the Holy Spirit and I agree about something, Jesus is always glorified. But wait – I can’t reach the climax without following the path. I need to check for hindrances – is there any spiritual heart-trouble? Jesus said (JN.14:1) let not your heart be troubled. God will not keep my heart from being troubled. It is a command – I am to let not. Spiritual heart-trouble usually comes in 1 of 3 categories – fear – anxiety/stress or disobedience. How do I not allow my heart to be troubled? I read a little further in the verse and hear Jesus say – believe in Me, put your trust in Me. He makes plain the solution for every problem.

Why should I FEAR anything when the Lord (Ps.103:19) has prepared His throne in the heavens and His kingdom rules over all. When God says over all - - He means over all. If I could say – think – or feel that I can trust God to take care of me through all eternity but I’m not sure I can trust Him to take care of me during my temporary stay on Planet Earth - - wouldn’t I take the grand prize for stupidity? When fear knocks at the door and faith answers – there is nobody there.

What can make me ANXIOUS! The daily cares, difficulties, disappointments of life in this fallen world. Why can such things stress me so much? If I let the cares of life (LK.8:7,14) choke the promises of God, if I calculate everything with a view on my circumstances instead of calculating everything with a view of God, then I am deliberately blinding myself to Christian reality. I know it is true that when I turn my eyes upon Jesus, the things of earth grow strangely dim and stress disappears.

If I have allowed DISOBEDIENCE in my life I need to go to the same Source. If I truly repent I can trust Him (1JN.1:9) to cleanse me from all unrighteousness.

Now I’m ready and longing for my Teacher and Guide, the blessed Holy Spirit to take me further along this path. Because I’m a citizen of Heaven I’m told (Phil.1:27) to be sure that my manner of life is worthy of the Gospel. I agree with that, but I can’t do it but (JN.14:16,17) I am not on my own. The Holy Spirit and I work as a team - - I make the choice, the Holy Spirit empowers me to carry out my choice - - my choice plus God the Holy Spirit’s power equals Jesus being glorified. When I speak of friendship with Him don’t ever think I mean being familiar. He is Almighty God, awesome and worthy of deepest reverence. Fellowship and participation (PHIL.2:1) in the Holy Spirit.

Before I proceed to where I’m heading, I sense that there is something I need to consider. Paul tells me there is a GIFT which God has given to believers. You have been given the privilege (PHIL.1:29) not only to believe but also to suffer for His sake.

Bon Hoffer said – the Church will never be victorious until we see persecution as God’s gift.

Like the disciples in the Upper Room, I do not know what the future holds but I do know, definitely, that no healthy saint desires suffering. However if God allows some form of suffering in my life I should accept it as God’s gift to purify and mature me.

One more step along my path. I’m thinking of a couple of verses which some Christians misunderstand. He will give you (PS.37:4) the desires of your heart. This is not saying that God will give me everything I desire but that when I delight myself in the Lord, the deepest desires of my heart – those very desires – will be God-given desires. Now (JN.14:14) if you ask anything in My Name I will do it. Is “in Jesus Name” a magic phrase to get me everything I want? What does it mean to ask in His Name? It is almost like a Power of Attorney as if the Person were to ask Himself. To pray in Jesus Name is to pray in complete accord with His very nature, His very character.

Is there more? Yes, much more. More so thrilling and overwhelming I can scarcely grasp it but I have no trouble or hesitation in believing it.

I‘m meditating on (JN.14:12-15) and I hope you’ll join me in these familiar verses with fresh eyes. I believe since the greater works are by the grace of prayer and those works begin with what God does first in me and then far beyond, I notice that it’s because He goes to the Father. Why will Jesus do what I ask in His Name? So that - - I dare not miss this critical SO THAT the Father may be glorified in the Son. What was Jesus doing during His time on earth? Always (JN.8;29) THOSE THINGS THAT PLEASED THE Father. Where is Jesus now? In Heaven. Only there? No – a mystery (COL.1:27) Christ in me my only hope of reflecting His glory. The request part of my prayer is asking of course, but the whole purpose of asking is always that the Father will be glorified in the Son. What confidence this gives me to span the globe with my – SO THAT – prayers.

Jesus said (JN.14:23) if I love and obey Him, the Father will love me and They will make Their home with me. If someone asked God’s address - - would it be the same as mine? How about you? Does God live with you?

I’m seeing the wonder, the glory and the privilege beyond all privilege. When I pray in line with the – SO THAT – Jesus gave, the three Almighty Persons of the Triune Godhead are involved in my prayers - - AND - - the greater works are happening all over the world.

The Holy Spirit continues to unlock and reveal Truth to me. I’m delving into what Jesus prayed to the Father (JN.17:22-23) That they may be one as We are. How does or could that happen for me? The glory God gave Jesus on earth He has now given to me for that oneness – which is, Jesus said, I in them and Thou in Me. I really think I am getting it.

I choose to obey in prayer and all of life.

The Holy Spirit empowers me to live my choice.

God the Father is glorified in Jesus.

Jesus is glorified in me.

The Holy Spirit rejoices with me (RO.14:17) as I am becoming one with Him.

What did that glory do for Jesus - - enabled Him to reveal the Father so He could say (JN.14:9) he that has seen Me has seen the Father. What can that glory do for me – enable me to reveal Jesus so I can say (GAL.1:15-16) it pleases God to reveal His Son in me.

Right now, - at this moment – before the Living God – I have no words – only silent, awe-filled worship.

I want to go deeper and deeper into the heart of Jesus.

How very precious this is and how very personal. All because of the marvelous atonement of our glorious Saviour – the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Listen! I hear my heavenly Father speaking. He says (JN.12:28) I have glorified My Name and I WILL glorify it again. It is His promise to me.

We have the personal promise of Christ our Lord, His guarantee that – when our prayer requests are presented in Jesus Name – based on our God-given desires – for the sole purpose that the Father would be glorified in the Son – anything and everything we ask for (JN.14:14) will be granted.

In this whole wide world how could anything be more exciting than prayer?


For all the riches available in Christ I have a choice to make – a daily choice. Remember Masada? When Israel rebelled against Rome, Rome crushed Jerusalem and destroyed the temple. Over 900 Jews – men, women and children – fled to the fortress of Masada. Rome was determined to capture and enslave them. They mounted a siege and built a huge mound of earth against the fortress but that took quite some time. When they finally gained entry they found every Jew dead. They had chosen self-inflicted death rather than Rome-inflicted bondage.

MY CHOICE - - Will I take up the cross of self-denial (MAT.16:24) and die daily to the flesh and mortify (COL.3:5) the self-indulgent disaster of the flesh – or – will I waste the rest of my life in bondage to the flesh? I think Masada can help me to make the wise choice.

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