Archive for the ‘Path2Prayer Newsletter’ Category

I Have Ordained That You Bring Forth Fruit

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

The title to this note is suggested by John 15:16, where Jesus assured the disciples that He had chosen and appointed them to bear fruit, and that the fruit borne would remain.

These words touch my heart. These words not only speak to what God is looking for by way of outcome, but also that He has specifically chosen me to be part of the fruit-bearing process, and that somehow the fruit will remain in spite of how unqualified I feel at times—frankly, on some days any fruit seems like a major achievement:)

Of course I need to make fruit-bearing the GREAT purpose of my life. I obviously have many things to do in life, but none of those other things should take the place of fruit-bearing.

What is the fruit? There is some confusion here, the suggestion sometimes being made that the fruit is the person that we have touched here and there, being the fruit. I don’t think that has that much warrant in Scripture. Rather, it points to the fruit of the Spirit—”love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, against which there is no law.” (Gal. 5:22,23)

Somehow the fragrance of those otherworldly fruits attract other longing hearts to consider making Jesus part of their own experience.

I am especially pleased that directly after speaking of choosing and ordaining us to bear enduring fruit, Jesus added, “that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.”

Not only are we called to bear fruit, but we are also given the key to bearing the intended fruit: asking the Father in JESUS’ name for whatever is needed.

As I have been preparing for upcoming trips to Canada and the South Pacific, I’ve been reading much on the Holy Spirit. Oh what blessings have come my way. I’ve been losing sleep, but am more than happy to have lost sleep doing the readings.

Here is some of this morning’s portion…

“In these words (ordained to bear fruit) we have surely an indication of the deep, vital connection between true prayer and true fruit-bearing; such that the two things are as it were convertible terms. It is as if He said, “I have ordained you to produce real and lasting spiritual effects for Me; in other words, I have ordained you to be, in Me, prevailing petitioners with My Father that you may be bearers of such fruit.” The “things asked of the Father in Christ’s name” are that the disciple may be a vessel meet for the Master’s use, a branch pregnant with holy fruit; and there is therefore a deep and living correspondence between the bearing and the asking. Now here again is the operation of the Spirit, “the Spirit of grace and of supplications” (Zech. xii. 10). The prayer here meant is no mere devout performance of duty, the due utterance of an expression of reverence and dependence; it is “prayer in the Holy Ghost” (Jude 20), who “maketh intercession for us … according to (the will) of God’ (Rom. viii. 26,27). It is the prayer of a heart filled with Him, and therefore filled with the humble but intense desire that His will may be done, and in particular that His implement may be used for His glory. Results of life, word, and work in answer to such prayer are “fruit that remaineth.” And indeed it is “fruit of the Spirit.”—H. C. G. Moule, Veni Creator

Be blessed bearing fruit!

Path2Prayer Ministries Newsletter

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

04/26/10

Greetings!

Introduction: I have been busy!
Much time has passed since I have written and much has taken place. Seminars have been held in Calgary Canada and locally. They have gone well in all respects. While in Canada I also spent four hours sharing in a juvenile detention center. It was an awesome experience and one in which God greatly blessed. I have added many pages of resources to path2prayer.com, as well as audio from the Calgary series and from a witnessing seminar done locally. I have also started a path2prayer ministries page on facebook (http://facebook.com/path2prayer) that has grown to 406 people in three weeks. In the meantime I also continue teaching the course in the History of Christian Spirituality, which I count a great blessing and privilege. In a few days I head to London where I speak for two weeks in the Hamstead Church. Many have been praying for me, for which I am soooooo grateful. Yes, I have been busy. But God is very good! Thank you for your interest in what I am doing. Please continue praying!

Prevailing In Prayer: The Prayer of Faith

I’ve spent considerable time studying the prayer of faith, and posted ten articles so far, which you can find at this link on the prayer of faith. The concept and terminology come from James 5:15 where it speaks of the “prayer of faith” saving the sick and allowing God to raise the person up. Here are some significant points: 1. There is such a prayer. 2. It enables definite miraculous results that would not happen without such faith (Words such as “the Lord will raise him up” and “effective prayer” are used). 3. It anticipates a particular spiritual outcome on the person being prayed for (“confess your sins…that you may be healed”). 4. It is apparently offered in the context of a godly life (“effective prayer of a righteous man avails much”). 5. Elijah’ “earnest praying” is cited as an example of such a praying person.

The most helpful and encouraging thoughts in my study on the subject came from Charles Finney and Wesley Duewel.

Finney points out that faith is indispensable to obtaining answers (Mark 11:24), and asserts that we MUST believe the following if we are to obtain answers: (1) believe in the existence of God; and (2) that we will obtain an answer. Then he marks out when we can pray for with absolute confidence: (1) when God has specifically promised the thing (such as salvation of children); (2) when a general promise indicates God will act (such as growing wickedness); (3) when there is a prophetic declaration (of which there are many regarding our time in history); (4) when providence so indicates (where one notices people becoming open to the gospel for example); and (5) when the Spirit excites a strong desire to pray (there are many such examples of such prayer in history). Finney accordingly says, look to Scripture and see if anything is promised, and pray accordingly with great confidence. I know God won’t violate a person’s will, but we can ask God to bring compelling conviction upon the person we are praying for, for example.

Duewel points to the following by way of summary: (1) It is prayer totally dependent upon the Holy Spirit; (2) It is a prayer totally committed to seeing God’s answer realized; (3) It is a prayer willing to believe and prevail for God’s answer in a situation that is utterly impossible; (4) It is prayer that believes regardless of feelings or emotions; (5) It is prayer convinced that it is in accord with God’s highest will; (6) It is prayer so sure of God’s will that it will not accept denial of the answer; (7) It is eager to obey God in any way He leads so as to help hasten the answer; (8) It may include prayer warfare in resisting and routing Satan; (9) It is willing to pray through every detail of the answer or victory.

On Overcoming: Striking quotations!
Perhaps out of my interest in the prayer of faith, a series of quotations on the absolute faithfulness of God have greatly blessed me:

“Every year, I might say almost every day, I believe I seem to see more clearly how all the rest, and gladness, and power of the Christian life hinges on one thing, and that is, taking God at His Word—believing that He really means exactly what He says, and accepting the very words, in which He reveals His goodness and grace, without substituting others, or altering the precise moods or tenses, which He has seen fit to use.”—Frances Ridley Havergal (wrote Take My Life and Let It Be plus many books)

“In the simplest manner in which I am able to express it, faith is the assurance that what God has said in His Word is true; and that God will act according to what He has said in His Word. This assurance, this reliance on God’s Word, this confidence, is faith.”—George Muller (ran an orphanage in Bristol England)

“The core element in the act of faith is that in it, by which we step out and beyond the reach of the senses, or perception; beyond apprehended facts; beyond facts apprehensible by the senses, intuition, or demonstration, to equally veritable facts, cognizable only by faith. As the telescope enables us to bring within our vision and investigation worlds almost infinitely beyond the reach of unaided sight, so faith is an instrument by which we bring within the compass of cognition and experience the most wonderfully blessed facts in the realm of the invisible and spiritual.”—Eli Wigle (wrote a book on prevailing prayer)

“Is Jesus true? Does He mean what He says? Answer decidedly, Yes, every word. Then if you have settled this, by faith claim every promise that He has made, and receive the blessing; for this acceptance by faith gives life to the soul. You may believe that Jesus is true to you, even though you feel yourself to be the weakest and most unworthy of His children.”—E. G. White (Author of many books; one on the life of Christ, the Desire of Ages, is been cited among the most read books by pastors of all denominations)

“(Christ) may be grasped with weak or with strong faith. Weak faith belongs as much to Christ as strong. Whether a man is weak or strong of faith, he is Christ’s own just the same. The grace that is promised is common to all Christians and is eternal. On this, faith must rest, whether it be weak or strong.”—Johan Arndt, (a German Pietist; his book True Christianity greatly impacts modern church history)

“Oh, how true it is; all the waters of earth, how thirsty they leave us, or how soon we become thirsty again! “But,” continued our Master, there is something better, “whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst” — shall never thirst! It may have been the end of 1868 or the beginning of 1869 when I discovered that “shall” means “ shall,” and that “never “ means “ never,” and that “thirst” means “ thirst.” I can’t tell you how delighted I was, for I was so thirsty at the time. And so hungry and thirsty was I as the Spirit of God threw his own Divine light on those words, that I saw that “shall” means “shall,” and “never” means “never,” and “thirst” means “ thirst.” I leaped from my seat; I could not sit still. How I did praise God that the thirsty days were all past! Well, you know, it is only a little over twenty years since then, and they haven’t come back since; and twenty thousand years hence, when you and I meet up there, I shall have the same story to tell you. He has promised it to me and I believe it.”—Hudson Taylor (founder of the China Inland Mission)

Of course the challenge is obtaining that power on a practical basis. Many people know there is power and help available from God, but don’t know how to obtain for themselves. I once had the same challenge with electrical power for my computer, when I had forgotten to take an electrical adapter to England with me—the power was waiting in the wall for me, but I didn’t know how to get it out to my computer. In this regard the story of Jehoshaphat (2 Chron. 20) is most instructive. When he heard that an overwhelming enemy was coming, he immediately began “seeking the Lord and proclaimed a fast” (vs. 3) Too many of us weary ourselves trying to figure out our own solutions to overwhelming problems instead of seeking God and His solutions. Jehoshaphat acknowledged that he had neither the means, nor the wisdom, to overcome (vs.12). God then intervened through a prophet who gave great encouragement and specific instruction (vs. 15-17). Jehoshaphat recognized the virtue of following the counsel of the godly prophet (vs. 20) and obeyed accordingly (vs. 21), and God set up ambushes which defeated the enemy (vs. 22). Once again, in what should have been a great calamity, God brought about great blessings that could not have come any other way (there were the (1) spoils of war that were too great to carry away; (2) a “fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries….” (3) and “the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet, for God gave him rest all around.”). You will be glad to know that God sent a person with knowledge to help me in England after I made my challenge a matter of prayer, just like God sent Jehoshaphat a prophet after he prayed.

The Wise Soul-Winner (Prov. 11:30): An Intentional Witnessing Lifestyle

I shared my thoughts on witnessing at a convention for business people in the last couple of weeks. I’ve been thinking about witnessing for many years now and have been learning all I can. It hasn’t hurt that the class in spirituality has caused me to read broadly on the subject. I am convinced that we all need to develop an intentional witnessing lifestyle. Listen to learn what I mean by the witnessing funnel. You can find my talk and related resources at path2prayer at this witnessing link.

Goals:
In previous newsletters I have suggested that we all need a prayer partner. How are you doing in that respect? What about the “each one reach one” witnessing goal? How about goals for a personal relationship with Jesus?

Travel Notes: The Trip to Calgary was Amazing!

My trip to Calgary was pretty amazing. When departing, upon entering O’Hare Airport I ask God to allow me to have a meaningful conversation with at least one person. To my amazement I ended up sitting down next to a person who regularly listens to my pastor on television. God definitely answered my prayer! I also was able to spend the day praying and meditating on my talk at the juvenile center in the Minneapolis Airport due to the plane arriving late from Chicago. God provided a perfect talk for the young adults based on the life of John Newton (he wrote the song Amazing Grace). I told the young adults that I wasn’t concerned about what had happened in the past, I was only concerned about what they would do in the future and that I wanted them to be my neighbors in heaven. They listened like lambs and the Spirit was very present. Several have since written me with specific spiritual questions. The seminar on how to prevail in prayer at the church also went extremely well. There was an excellent turnout every evening the whole week, and we were all aware that the Spirit was present. Since then I have received many notes of appreciation and stories of answered prayer. You can hear the audio from Calgary at this link in the audio resources section.

Here is one of those answers to prayer:
“I prayed a lot for my exams and had asked the prayer meeting group to pray for me as well. So today morning, while I was reviewing the course (Modern Chromatographic Analysis) I came on a diagram that describes injection of analyte (a chemical substance) using High Performance Liquid Chromatography. I felt some thing powerful saying that’s a question for exam! And I jumped up and said: Thank you Lord for giving this question. There were no doubt it was from the lord, for I had studied before and never paid much attention to that diagram. I mean this coarse is full of figures, graphics and diagrams, but somehow that one, today around 10 to 11 am (maybe somebody was praying for me) it stood out! Guess what, the same question was on the exam. ‘Draw the injector in HPLC and explain how it works’ I was shocked. We serve a powerful God.”

Service Opportunities: More than one way to serve.

I am pleased that some have taken up the call to serve in short-term or longer-term mission stints in various places in the world. Remember you can go two ways: (1) directly; (2) by supporting another person to go.

Coming Up: London
I head to London and the Hamstead Church (66 Haverstock Hill, NW3 2BE; 020 7482 5022 for information) this coming Thursday evening, where I will be speaking for two weeks. I begin speaking on Saturday May 1. I am sure I can get to London on time; I hope I can get back when I am suppose to since the volcano has caused some mischief in this regard.

Path2prayer.com:
Many resources have been added at the New Resources Link.

Please consider joining the path2prayer ministry page on facebook. Find it at this link on facebook. I tweet at path2prayer.

Here is another way of supporting this ministry: Add links to path2prayer.com to your personal blog or web site, or your church’s web site.

Communicating with me and Requests:
I always appreciate updates on how things are going.

Do you know friends who would benefit from this newsletter? Please have them write me in that regard.

A Prayer:
Father, thank you for what you are doing in our lives. Thank you that we have the privilege of serving you wherever you have planted us. Be with my friends, and help them learn how to pray as effectively as Elijah did. Thank you that there is every reason to be of good courage no matter what is going on. I ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen!

A Final Thought:
“The men who have done mighty things for God have always been mighty in prayer, have well understood the possibilities of prayer, and made most of the possibilities.”—E. M. Bounds

God bless you!

Dan

Dan Augsburger
Web: path2prayer.com
Facebook: facebook.com/path2prayer
Twitter: path2prayer
God’s will; nothing more, nothing less, nothing else!

Raise Him Up…

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

“Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” James 5:14,15

I was sent the following testimony from someone who was subscribing to the path2prayer.com newsletter, and thought it might encourage others.

Notice that she found someone to agree with her. On this note, Charles Spurgeon, the famous British Preacher stated the following:

“United prayer is useful inasmuch as God has promised extraordinary and special blessings in connection with it: “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them” [Matthew 18:20]. “If two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven” [Matthew 18:19]. God asks for agreement, and, once the saints agree, he pledges himself that the prayer of his agreeing ones shall be answered. Why, see what accumulated force there is in prayer, when one after another pours out their passionate desires; when many seem to be tugging at the rope; when many seem to be knocking at mercy’s gate; when the mighty cries of many burning hearts come up to heaven. When, my beloved, you go and shake the very gates of heaven with the powerful battering-ram of holy passion, and sacred insistence, then will the kingdom of heaven forcefully advance. When first one, and then another, and yet another, throws their whole soul into the prayer, the kingdom of heaven is conquered and the victory is very great indeed.

“As I was sitting for a little while and thinking over this text I thought of the accumulated love of God which there is in a prayer-meeting, because God loves every one of his children. There is so much love for one, and here is another, and there is so much love for him, and then, if God’s love to one of his people is a reason for answering his requests, if there are ten present, there is ten times the reason; and if there is a thousand present then surely there must be a thousand times the force of love to move our Heavenly Father to grant the accumulated desires of the assembly.

“The prayer-meeting is an institution which ought to be very precious to us, and to be cherished by us as a Church, for to it we owe everything. When our comparatively little chapel was all but empty, was it not a well-known fact that the prayer-meeting was always full? And when the Church increased, and the place was scarcely large enough, it was the prayer meeting that did it all. When we then met at Exeter Hall, we were a praying people, indeed; and when we entered into an even larger arena, the Surrey Music-hall, what cries and tears went up to heaven for our success! And so it has been ever since. It is in the spirit of prayer that our strength lies; and if we lose this, the hair will be cut off from Samson’s head, and God’s Holy Church will become weak as water and though we, as Samson did, go and try to shake ourselves as at other times, we shall hear the cry, “The Philistines are upon you,” and our eyes will be put out, and our glory will depart, unless we continue mightily and earnestly in prayer.”

So spoke Charles Spurgeon. I hope we will all spend more time praying.

Here is the testimony:

I have a miracle son by the name of Matthew. He was born 14 years after an older son and is a real miracle since I had complications with his birth, which necessitated a life-saving emergency caesarean section at the beginning of the 7th month. The doctors were concerned about the baby being so tiny, but I responded that they needed to do what they needed to do, and that God would take care of the rest.

Matthew did well and was able to be taken out of the incubator by the 3rd week. After 2 days, however, he stopped breathing and landed in ICU because his lungs were underdeveloped. He was only 1.5KG after 5 days in ICU, and the doctor called my husband and I in, and told us there was nothing they could do.

I told the doctor that I was praying for Michael, and believed that God would raise him up. The doctor actually agreed that the only remedy was prayer. I don’t know why I used the word “raise” but I know I did not say, “heal.” This was on a Saturday. I chose to go to church on Sunday and afterward just relaxed at home. Monday I went to the hospital and chatted with my son and told him he was called Matthew because he was a gift from God. His 2nd name is Caleb, and I told him that I want to trust God the way Caleb did, and that he (Matthew) did not need all the tubes that were being used with him in the ICU since God was going to raise him up. The next day I returned to the Hospital and found there was still no change.

That night we had prayer at the church and I asked one of the ladies to agree with me for a miracle, and PRAISE God the next day when I went to the hospital’s ICU, I found his cot empty, which caused me to initially freeze! But a nurse soon came to me smiling, asking, “Do you know what your son did last night? I responded, “No. Please tell me.” She proceeded to tell about how Michael had pulled out all the tubes and had been breathing on his own, that he no longer needed the extra help to breath.

The doctor acknowledged that a miracle had taken place.

Matthew is a healthy teenager now serving the Lord and I am happy to say was baptized by immersion two weeks ago at a children’s camp.

You can learn more about prayer at the intercessory prayer link at path2prayer.com. Please write me at path2prayer@gmail.com to subscribe to the newsletter.

Thirsty No More…

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

Hudson Taylor was greatly used of God to bring the gospel to China. Raised in a pastor’s home, he sought to have a relationship with God, but gave up during his teen years because it seemed too hard. Then, at a time when his mother was specifically praying for his salvation, he read a tract in his father’s study where he came across the words: “the finished work of Christ.” As a result of reading those words, he gave his heart to Jesus and God began doing a great work in His heart. He soon felt a call to serve God in China, and began preparing by studying to be a medical doctor and learning to live in complete dependence on God there in London. If you want to read more about this I recommend his book Retrospect which you can find as a pdf at my web site.

Taylor was a pioneer in more ways than one. Not only was he one of the first missionaries to go to China, he was also the first Western Missionary to adopt the Chinese style of dress. He was convinced that the best way to reach the Chinese people was to be as much like them as possible so long as one didn’t compromise and sin. There was a blessed response, and many Chinese were won to the Lord Jesus. Hudson Taylor began recruiting volunteers and they came by the hundreds.

In spite of all this work for God, Taylor was a struggling Christian, and bemoaned his constant seeming defeats. Then things changed, and he found that receiving Jesus brought a new victory and joy into his life. As a result his prayers took on a new life. He had a new joy in reading the Bible. He also experienced a new freedom from care and peace that he had not known previously. He began to live a life on the highest plane. It is out of that experience that His preaching took a new joyful and optimistic tone. The excerpt I share on receiving the Holy Spirit comes from a talk He gave in Detroit Michigan at a great missionary conference in 1894. I am sure you will be blessed in reading.

Hudson Taylor: Learning that “Shall” Means “Shall”!:

“A full equipment is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. And how simply it is to be attained! You know where to go. That poor Samaritan woman did not know in whose presence she was. The Master said to her, “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldst have asked of Him and He would have given thee living water.” And she did ask, very ignorantly indeed, not knowing what she asked. He knew, and He gave her that which she so ignorantly asked. He said to her, before He had fully blessed her, a word that is recorded for your instruction and mine, “Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again.” Oh, how true it is; all the waters of earth, how thirsty they leave us, or how soon we become thirsty again! “But,” continued our Master, there is something better, “whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst” — shall never thirst!

“It may have been the end of 1868 or the beginning of 1869 when I discovered that “shall” means “ shall,” and that “never “ means “ never,” and that “thirst” means “ thirst.” I can’t tell you how delighted I was, for I was so thirsty [for spiritual power and fulfillment] at the time. And so hungry and thirsty was I as the Spirit of God threw his own Divine light on those words, that I saw that “shall” means “shall,” and “never” means “never,” and “thirst” means “ thirst.” I leaped from my seat; I could not sit still. How I did praise God that the thirsty days were all past! Well, you know, it is only a little over twenty years since then, and they haven’t come back since; and twenty thousand years hence, when you and I meet up there, I shall have the same story to tell you. He has promised it to me and I believe it.

“But don’t misread His Word. He does not say whosoever drank shall never thirst; but whosoever drinketh. It is in the present tense. We are not, with the appetite taken away, to stop drinking: “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst.” Isn’t it glorious to feel that every one of you may just take that living water now and drink now and thirst no more; and to find you have got the well, and that you haven’t to go and seek it — so different from the old pumping I used to try, and that was so ineffective? You cannot give people that which you yourself don’t possess. What is the use of going over the beds with an empty watering-can? But when the Lord fills it and keeps it full and gives you delight to drink day by day, it just overflows! Go amongst your beautiful hills and see a waterfall, and put a great barrel under the waterfall, and it will soon be full and it will overflow, and as much water will overflow from that barrel as comes down from above. Take that great barrel away and put a little bucket there. The bucket will soon be just as full as the barrel, and when it overflows it will overflow just as much. I am the little bucket; it is easily filled and the flowing is so easy; there is no toil, there is no labor.”

Read more about Hudson Taylor at path2prayer.com

Do Not Forsake Me Until I Declare Your Strength…

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

Greetings!

Introduction:
Among the precious blessings given me, are friendships with older, god-fearing saints. Though they may have physical and other limitations, their zeal continues unabated! Here are three thing you can count on with these people: 1. They are busy working for Jesus. 2. They experience more than their share of trials. 3. They know Jesus and He knows them. This time I mention one hero friend of the older generation. He always inspires me to be active for Jesus!

The Wise Soul-Winner (Prov. 11:30):
Psalms 71:18 “Now also when I am old and gray-headed, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come.”

I want to introduce you to my friend and hero Ben. Ben is 81, has serious health problems—diabetes, and pernicious anemia are only two of them, but is busy working for Jesus. Visiting Ben I have personally seen the motor home He modified into a witnessing vehicle. I have heard his stories of answered prayer and am so grateful to be on his prayer list. I have also heard about his long-term efforts to reach his former tilling clients. Ben invented a tiller—a tiller on steroids, it can grind a stump several inches thick while going through a wheat field—but that tiller was used for more than just tilling up fields, it was also Ben’s witnessing machine. You see, he gave all his customers books and invited them to yearly catered dinners at the Legion hall where he lovingly shares Jesus with them. Recently the tiller was retired, but Ben didn’t retire, for he is still planning to invite his clients to the catered dinners, and now visiting his neighbors and passing out books—he has 400 books to share, and has already given 150 of them away. He does more than most of us who are much younger. Why? Well he loves Jesus. He knows God has a supreme witnessing purpose for his life. He maintains a simple life. and He uses his time and his funds wisely. I recall hearing of a student missionary who was going overseas who Ben promised to help. He had a bit of money in a bank account and promised to help the student with that money. He figured he had $66 Canadian. Going to the bank he asked the teller for the money in cash. She checked his account and then whispered, “How do you want your money?” He was a bit perplexed. How many different bills could a person request for such a little bit of money. Turns out, there was more than $2,000 in that account. Ben is certain the Lord put the extra money in his account. Ben never has much money, but God keeps taking care of him and he uses what he has for God. I think he is what we would call a wise soul-winner! Why? He is doing what he can. He is touching the people he knows. He is investing his resources wisely. And since he can’t serve Godin other places, he is making it possible for others to go in his place.

Ben isn’t the only one doing this, by the way. Another one of my retired prayer partners sent 2,500 Christian books to her neighbors, and is busy praying that the books will be silent messengers kindling a new interest in Jesus.

On Overcoming:
Isaiah 43:1,2 “But now says the LORD that created you, O Jacob, and he that formed you, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed you, I have called you by thy name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you: when you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; neither will the flame kindle upon you.”

The following may be a new thought: It is because God IS blessing us that we sometimes find ourselves enduring pruning experiences. And remember, surrender is not only about allowing God to put His hands on us, but also about taking our hands off. Note the following:

Christ says to (us), You are mine. I have bought you. You are now only a rough stone; but if you will place yourself in my hands, I will polish you, and the luster with which you shall shine will bring honor to my name. No man shall pluck you out of my hand. I will make you my peculiar treasure. On my coronation day, you will be a jewel in my crown of rejoicing. The Divine Worker spends little time on worthless material. Only the precious jewels does he polish … cutting away all rough edges. This process is severe and trying; it hurts human pride. Christ cuts deep into the experience that man in his self-sufficiency has regarded as complete, and takes away self-uplifting from the character. He cuts away the surplus surface, and putting the stone to the polishing-wheel, presses it close that all roughness may be worn away. Then, holding the jewel up to the light, the Master sees in it a reflection of himself, and he pronounces it worthy of a place in his casket. Blessed be the experience, however severe, that gives new value to the stone, causing it to shine with living brightness. RH, March 7, 1912

We all want to be witnesses for Jesus. Just remember that fruit-bearing and pruning go together. It goes without saying, that bear MUCH fruit means MUCH… (you know the word AND the experience I suspect)!

Prevailing In Prayer:
“And Enoch walked with God.” Gen. 5:24

What does it mean to “walk” with God. Someone recently wrote of taking walks and imagining that Jesus was with them; even mentioned thinking about what He might be wearing. Many of us take walks—a good thing—and meditate and do various things as we walk. My two favorite things are listening to sermons—easy these days with an mp3 player and a downloaded sermon from audioverse.org, or sermonindex.net/; or memorizing the Bible—I copy the chosen chapter from a small print Bible I have, cut out the verse from the copy, tape the verses of the chapter to a 3×5 card, cover the card with plastic mailing tape so it doesn’t get soggy if it rains, and bring the card with me. I’ve learned several chapters of the Bible this way.

But there is something to be said for spending quality undistracted time communing with Jesus—realizing He is next to me while I am walking and talking with Him. Sometimes we are so busy we don’t take the time—something that isn’t good for us and I am sure frustrates Him! It reminds me of a time when I was speaking in a city about an hour away from where I live. The pastor also lived in my town, but we independently drove to the church because our schedules were so different and because we had so little time to spare before departing—gas was also cheaper:) On one occasion we happened to leave at the same time and eventually found ourselves driving side by side. We followed each other the entire trip, waving and smiling to each other from time to time. We should have stopped to ride together but we were running late and I didn’t know if he was coming back immediately after the meeting. Sometimes my relationship with Jesus is the same way, so busy that I don’t take the time to surrender and invite Jesus to be a part of my day in the serious earnest say that is so necessary every day, which means I don’t have much time for Him during the day either. On those days I probably have a perfunctory prayer to get the day going and figuratively wave at Him from time to time, and I am sure He waves back, but I am also sure He has a sad smile on those days. I think He would rather be in the car with me, so to speak, or walking next to me, and helping me, and enjoying the day with me. So, whether we are walking in the quiet of the day, or we are commuting to work, or we are studying in some class, let’s make sure Jesus is a part of every minute of every day.

“Waiting upon God. Just think—that He may reveal Himself in us; that He may teach us all His will; that He may do to us what He has promised; that in all things He may be the Infinite God…. This is the attitude of soul with which each day should begin. On awaking in the morning, in the inner chamber, in quiet meditation, in the expression in prayer of our ardent longings and desires, in the course of our daily work, in all our striving after obedience and holiness, in all our struggles against sin and self-will-in everything there should be a waiting upon God to receive what He will bestow, to see what He will do, to allow Him to be the Almighty God.” Andrew Murray The Secret of Adoration Christian Literature Crusade, p 70

Goals:
A prayer partner is a wonderful gift. Do you have a prayer partner?

Coming Up:
I am in Nashville, TN the weekend of January 17, speaking on prayer.

Path2prayer.com:
You will find some links on god-honoring music in the new resources section. Sometime soon there will be more audio files having to do with August Francke, one of three “spiritual fathers” of George Muller, and the Welsh Revival.

Would you like to receive this newsletter directly? Please write!

A Final Prayer:
Father, I want to thank you for Ben and people like him, who are not letting anything—age, sickness, intimidation, the press of daily life, resources or finances—get in the way of serving you. Thank you that we can all follow Ben’s example in shining brightly for you wherever you have planted us. Help me be such a person, and help the one reading this to be that kind of person too. Make us the people that you can happily use. To that end we give you permission to prune us so that we can bear much fruit. And do the same kind of good work in our families and in the members of our churches. I ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

God bless you!

Dan

Newsletter: With Both Hands Joyfully

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

Greetings

Introduction:
We have just held Thanksgiving here in the US. Considering the economic and other challenges being faced, I suspect this year’s thanksgiving celebrations were muted compared to past years for many families. But we are admonished to give thanks at ALL TIMES and for ALL THINGS no matter what is going on! I know doing so isn’t easy but it is still God’s plan, and we need to recognize His presence in our lives, and accept what is going on, as one person put it, “with both hands joyfully.” If we count our blessings, we will find plenty to praise God for; if we remember how God has worked in the past, we will also trust Him for the future!

The Wise Soul-Winner (Prov. 11:30):
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15

I recently read of three kinds of “go” when it comes to missions: 1. Young people MUST go. 2. Parents must LET go. 3. Those who cannot go must HELP them go. I have modified the three a bit, but I think L.E. Maxwell is on target with this. I want to ask three questions:

1. If you are younger, have you already gone, or are you planning to go, as a volunteer missionary. You should. Your life will be changed as a result!
2. If you are a parent, are you encouraging the young adult in your family to spend time in missions? Remember, we are either “no limit” Christians, or “limit God Christians.” The same holds true for parents.
3. If you are in neither category and are unable to go, what are you doing to make it possible for someone to serve in your place? Supporting can include prayer, encouragement, finances, or whatever else God puts on your heart.

Do you need ideas for where to serve? In addition to serving in the orphanages in Cambodia and Thailand, there are also service opportunities teaching languages in Southeast Asia (this is a very interesting situation), working with schools in Central America, or working with a school or orphanage in Eastern Europe.

On Overcoming:
“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.” Ezek. 36:26

One of my favorite songs is closely linked to Pastor E. L. Minchen, a much loved evangelist of former times. At his revivals they would always sing the song, “I want dear Lord…,” the words of which follow. I traded a few letters with Pastor Minchen shortly after I graduated from college. In addition to asking how he came to know Jesus, I asked what were his favorite books. He mentioned a few, confessing that he still cried in reading over some of them, particularly mentioning one on the cross of Christ. I hope to have some of his sermons on path2prayer.com before too long. I mention the song because it shares the way of victory in very simple terms: A heart-felt desire for a pure and clean heart, a desire to have a heart where there is no cloud or other barrier, a desire for a heart that comes from heaven, a heart that only God can bestow. Here are the words of the song:

I want, dear Lord, a heart that’s true and clean,
A sunlit heart, with not a cloud between;
A heart like thine, a heart divine,
A heart as white as snow;
On me, dear Lord, a heart like this bestow.

I want, dear Lord, a love that cares for all,
A deep, strong love that answers every call;
A love like thine, a love divine,
A love to come or go;
On me, dear Lord, a love like this bestow.

I want, dear Lord, a soul on fire for thee,
A soul baptized with heavenly energy;
A willing mind, a ready hand
To do whate’er I know,
To spread thy light wherever I may go.
George Galloway Jackson (1866-93)

Prevailing In Prayer:
“Giving thanks always, for all things….” (Eph. 5:20)

Jonathan Goforth, who served with Hudson Taylor in China, tells of a “Miss Gregg,” a single missionary, who at a point of discouragement determined that she was going to return to England. She had been promising the ladies at her mission station that when he came to hold meetings, the missionaries would all come into harmony. But instead of things changing as a result of the meetings, they had remained the same. Desponding, she stated: “The meetings are all over and the quarrels remain unsettled. I’m so disappointed. I simply cannot face those women again. They trusted me so implicitly. So the only thing I can do is to go back to England.” Goforth was eating with her at the time, and relates how she also shared how a motto that had been given her one year previously had become, in her words, “blurred.” The motto went as follows: “Whatever my Father sends me, be it joy or disappointment, no matter how hard it may be to bear, since I know it comes from my Father, I’m going to receive it with both hands joyfully.” Under the circumstances, however, the motto sounded hollow and though a friend had recently repainted it, she had in fact turned it around at this time of disappointment. Goforth reminded her that she had been insisting that God work in a particular way to bring about the solution. As he put it, “In other words, as far as you were concerned, God had no option. He must please you in your own way or else lose your service. Remember that God is sovereign. He can never lay aside His sovereign will and authority. I understand that Mr. Green is out there now in the tent holding a prayer‑meeting with the Christians. How do you know but that at this very moment every hindrance has been removed?” The words had hardly left his mouth when “Mr. Green” bounded in crying “Hallelujah! All quarrels have been made up, and every hindering thing has been laid away, and they’re all waiting out there in the tent for you people to come and rejoice with them over what God has done.” Needless to say, the hallelujahs began while people began getting up from the table. Miss Gregg didn’t leave the mission either. She remained and was mightily used by God all over China, receiving the things in her life as blessings, no matter what they were, joyfully with both hands.”

Presumption versus Faith:
Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Psalm 19:13.

Someone wrote asking the difference between faith and presumption? Note the following points:
1. To insist that every one of our prayers is answered is presumptuous. (1 John 5:14)
“The assurance is broad and unlimited, and He is faithful who has promised.  When we do not receive the very things we asked for at the time we ask, we are still to believe that the Lord hears and that He will answer our prayers.  We are so erring and short-sighted that we sometimes ask for things that would not be a blessing to us, and our heavenly Father in love answers our prayers by giving us that which will be for our highest good-that which we ourselves would desire if with vision divinely enlightened we could see all things as they really are.  When our prayers seem not to be answered, we are to cling to the promise:  for the time of answering will surely come, and we shall receive the blessing we need most.  But to claim that prayer will always be answered in the very way and for the particular thing that we desire, is presumption.  God is too wise to err, and too good to withhold any good thing from them that walk uprightly.  Then do not fear to trust Him,  even though you do not see the immediate answer to your prayers.  Rely upon His sure promise, ‘Ask, and it shall be given you.’”  Steps to Christ 96

2. To minimize Satan’s success to tempt us to presumption is presumptuous. (1 Peter 5:8)
“Beloved, Satan being fallen from light to darkness, from felicity to misery, from heaven to hell, from an angel to a devil, is so full of malice and envy that he will leave no means unattempted, whereby he may make all others miserable with himself… makes use of all his power and skill to bring all the sons of men into the same condition and condemnation with himself. Satan has cast such sinful seed into our souls, that now he can no sooner tempt, but we are ready to assent; he can no sooner have a plot upon us, but he makes a conquest of us. If he does but show men a little of the beauty and finery of the world, how ready are they to fall down and worship him! Whatever sin the heart of man is most prone to, that the devil will help forward. If David is proud of his people, Satan will provoke him to number them, that he may be yet prouder (2 Sam. 24). If Peter is slavishly fearful, Satan will put him upon rebuking and denying of Christ, to save his own skin (Matt. 16:22; 26:69-75). If Ahab’s prophets are given to flatter, the devil will immediately become a lying spirit in the mouths of four hundred of them, and they shall flatter Ahab to his ruin (2 Kings 22). If Judas will be a traitor, Satan will quickly enter into his heart, and make him sell his master for money, which some heathen would never have done (John 13:2). If Ananias will lie for advantage, Satan will fill his heart that he may lie, with a witness, to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3). Satan loves to sail with the wind, and to suit men’s temptations to their conditions and inclinations. If they be in prosperity, he will tempt them to deny God (Proverbs 30:9); if they be in adversity, he will tempt them to distrust God; if their knowledge be weak, he will tempt them to have low thoughts of God; if their conscience be tender, he will tempt to scrupulosity; if large, to carnal security; if bold-spirited, he will tempt to presumption; if timorous, to desperation; if flexible, to inconstancy; if stiff, to impenitency.” Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies from Satan

Presumption is a common temptation, and as Satan assails men with this, he obtains the victory nine times out of ten. Those who profess to be followers of Christ, and claim by their faith to been listed in the warfare against all evil in their nature, frequently plunge without thought into temptations from which it would require a miracle to bring them forth unsullied. Meditation and prayer would have preserved them and led them to shun the critical, dangerous position in which they placed themselves when they gave Satan the advantage over them. The promises of God are not for us rashly to claim while we rush on recklessly into danger, violating the laws of nature and disregarding prudence and the judgment with which God has endowed us. This is the most flagrant presumption.” Lift Him Up, p. 80

3. To claim God’s promises even though we are disobeying is presumptuous. (1 Sam. 15:22)
But faith is in no sense allied to presumption. Only he who has true faith is secure against presumption. For presumption is Satan’s counterfeit of faith. Faith claims God’s promises, and brings forth fruit in obedience. Presumption also claims the promises, but uses them as Satan did, to excuse transgression. Faith would have led our first parents to trust the love of God, and to obey His commands. Presumption led them to transgress His law, believing that His great love would save them from the consequence of their sin. It is not faith that claims the favor of Heaven without complying with the conditions on which mercy is to be granted. Genuine faith has its foundation in the promises and provisions of the Scriptures.” Desire of Ages p. 126

4. To seek after anything less than GOD’S COMPLETE WILL lends itself to presumption. (Prov. 3:5)
“I never remember, in all my Christian course, a period now (in March 1895) of sixty-nine years and four months, that I ever SINCERELY and PATIENTLY sought to know the will of God by the teaching of the Holy Ghost, through the instrumentality of the word of God, but I have been ALWAYS directed rightly. But if honesty of heart and uprightness before God were lacking, or if I did not patiently wait upon God for instruction, or if I preferred the counsel of my fellow men to the declarations of the word of the living God, I made great mistakes.” George Muller Counsels to Christians

5. To limit oneself to only ONE voice lends itself to presumption. (Isa. 8:20)
When God reveals His will, he will speak first and foremost through His word, then through the impressions he places in our hearts, through the providential opening and closing of doors, the counsel of friends and spiritually mature individuals—sometimes, and His peace. Note all of these—or maybe I should say MOST of these will point in the same direction. Note that anything that is contrary to the teachings of God’s word CANNOT be according to His will. Fleeces only confirm God’s will; they do not reveal it. And by all means take enough time to clearly hear his voice. In the desire to be bold for God, some individuals are jumping off presumptuous cliffs—so to speak—and finding that the landing is a bit hard if not disastrous. If you are serious about knowing God’s will, and open to whatever He wants, you can be assured that He will carefully and clearly reveal what He has in mind. And if you are not sure, wait until it becomes clear.

6. God’s bidding are His enablings. (Php 3:12,13)
“As the will of man co-operates with the will of God, it becomes omnipotent. Whatever is to be done at His command may be accomplished in His strength. All his biddings are enablings.” Christ Object Lessons, p. 333

7. God will lead us forward one step at a time. (Isa. 30:21; John 7:17)
It has been pointed out that God will generally lead us one step at a time. If God has called you to a particular service or task, He will clearly open doors and bring resources that make that next step possible. Faithfulness in that step will open the way to the next step. If you study the lives of great Christians—George Muller and Hudson Taylor, for example—you will find they went forward taking incremental steps, for which God had prepared them with prior, often small, preparatory testing experiences ahead of time.

8. Genuine faith will result in the impossible! (Php 4:13)
Heavenly intelligences are waiting to cooperate with human instrumentalities, that the world may see what human beings may become through a union with the divine. Those who consecrate body, soul, and spirit to God’s service will constantly receive a new endowment of physical, mental, and spiritual power. The inexhaustible supplies of heaven are at their command. Christ gives them the life of His life. The Holy Spirit puts forth its highest energies to work in mind and heart. Through the grace given us we may achieve victories which, because of our defects of character and the smallness of our faith, may have seemed to us impossible. To every one who offers himself to the Lord for service, withholding nothing, is given power for the attainment of measureless results.” Heavenly Places 62

Goals:
Are you spending time with Jesus each day? What about a prayer partner? Are you still praying that God will allow you to lead at least one person to Jesus and last day truth this year? Did you write a letter or call that person you are trying to reach?

A Special Meeting:
A special gathering of young adults will take place in San Jose, California from December 17 to 21. Get more information on these meetings at http://www.gycweb.org.

Service Opportunities
Asapministries.org is seeking volunteers for a short-term—I believe a two week—mission trip to Cambodia in February.

Path2prayer.com:
I have added a document on evaluating a marriage partner and some audio sermons, including the Romanian translations of my More Abundant Life series.

Communicating with me and Requests
Please let me know how you are doing, and feel free to send prayer requests.

Do you know friends who would benefit from this newsletter? Please have them write me in that regard.

Father in heaven. Thank you for for my friend. Thank you for reminding us that you know what you are doing and that your providences can be joyfully received with both hands. Might we seek to hear your voice. Might we then carefully obey you. Help us learn to trust you with the easy things and the not so easy things. Please provide the resources, the direction, and anything else that is needed to assure that my friend will meet every demand of truth and duty. I ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

God bless you!

Dan

Dan Augsburger
path2prayer.com
God’s will; nothing more, nothing less, nothing else!

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