For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: (2 Corinthians 5:14 KJV)
To be ” constrained” means to be tightly held, or to be surrounded so that one cannot escape. When someone is moved by love, he will experience such a sensation. Love will bind him. Love is therefore the basis of consecration. No one can consecrate himself to God without first sensing the compelling love of Christ.
It is futile to talk about consecration if this love is unknown to us, but once it is experienced
our self-dedication to him readily follows. The Lord loved us sinners enough to purchase us back to Himself at the supreme cost of His life. When the love that constrains us is such a love, how could our response of committal to Him be less than wholehearted?
In Worship, God imparts Himself to us. C.S. Lewis
Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10 NKJV)
The worst kind of life to live is the life of reactions, in which we are all the time affected by persons or circumstances. When we speak and somebody responds warmly to our words, we are full of joy; but we are the very opposite when our message is not well received. Being thus easily affected will inevitably produce an up and down experience. Don’t mistake me, it is natural to feel things deeply, but he who is governed by such feelings will always be lacking in divine strength.
It is when we lose our joy that our strength seeps away. The joy of the Lord Jesus when he was here on the earth never rested on the seeming success of His mission. It was not in fact attributable to anything outward, but only to His steadfast pursuit of the will of the Father-the joy that was set before Him. Thank God that we do not have to try to copy Jesus, but only to keep our eyes on His goal. His joy is ours by the Holy Spirit.
Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:5 NKJV)
“But the priests, the Levites, the sons of Zadok, who kept charge of My sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from Me, they shall come near Me to minister to Me; and they shall stand before Me to offer to Me the fat and the blood,” says the Lord God. (Ezekiel 44:15 NKJV)
One condition to all that can truly be called ministry to the Lord is that we draw near to him. He desires our worship; yet how hard we find it to drag ourselves into His presence! We shrink from the solitude, and even when we do detach ourselves physically from outside things, we find thoughts wandering back to them.
Many of us can enjoy working among people in the outer court, but how many of us give time to draw near to God in the Holy Place? To come into His presence and wait upon Him demands all the determination we possess, and even means that we may have to be violent with ourselves. But let me be very frank with you: it is impossible to stand afar off and yet minister to Him. You cannot minister to the Lord from a distance. In the outer court, you approach people; in the Holy Place you approach the Lord. Come nearer. It is your privilege.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Martin said, “There are ideas in our hearts, there are wishes, there are aspirations, there are groaning, there are sightings that the world knows nothing about; but God knows them. So words are not always necessary. When we cannot express our feelings except in wordless groanings, God knows exactly what is happening.”
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, (Jude 1:20 NKJV)
He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. (I Corinthians 14:4 NKJV)
There is one phase of speaking with other tongues in our prayer life that is not praying for someone else; it is not interceding for anyone else. It is purely a means of personal spiritual edification. It aids us spiritually. It edified us. It builds us up. We all need this kind of praying. We cannot help others; we cannot edify others unless we ourselves have been edified.
Take time to build yourself up by praying much in the Holy Spirit with other tongues. Spiritual things are similar to natural things. Jesus used natural things to explain spiritual things. In the natural, no one will be expert and keen in any area without working at it. In baseball, for instances, the good hitter did not get his position without batting practice. Likewise, things of the spirit don’t fall on us like ripe cherries off a tree. We will not be expert in spiritual things unless we take time.
Praying in tongues will help you to be keen to spiritual things.
For with stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people, To whom He said, “This is the rest with which You may cause the weary to rest,” And, “This is the refreshing”; Yet they would not hear. (Isaiah 28:11, 12 NKJV)
Praying in tongues is a rest.
Howard Carter, who was one of the Pentecostal world’s renown teachers on the subject of spiritual gifts, said that speaking in tongues is a continual experience to assist us in the worship of God. It is a flowing stream that should never dry up. It will enrich your life spiritually. And it will enable you to help others and to work with God Himself in the consummation of His work in the earth through prayer.
“Fasting with a pure heart and motives, I have discovered, brings personal revival and adds power to our prayers. Personal revival occurs because fasting is an act of humility. Fasting gives opportunity for deeper humility as we recognize our sins, repent, receive God’s forgiveness, and experience His cleansing of our soul and spirit. Fasting also demonstrates our love for God and our full confidence in His faithfulness.”
Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it. (Malachi 3:10 NKJV)
God is waiting to “open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing.” But it won’t happen by chance. It requires action! Job’s action proved God’s promise of blessing when, after losing everything, Job built an altar and offered a sacrifice of seven Rams and seven bullocks. In His darkest hours, Job’s sacrifice offering brought his breakthrough and God’s blessing, for the Scripture declares, “the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before” (Job 42:10) and “blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning”(Job 42:12).
God has issued a challenge to you and me to prove Him in the area of giving just as Job did and thereby experience His divine blessings beyond measure. Will you accept the challenge today? Accept God’s heavenly challenge now and begin to prove Him in the area of giving! Unlock the windows of heaven, and unleash God’s abundant blessings in every area of your
Iife starting today! When you do, God’s promised blessing will be inescapable!
Prayer makes a godly man, and puts within him the mind of Christ, the mind of humility, of self-surrender, of service, of pity, and of prayer. If we really pray, we will become more like God, or else we will quit praying.
E. M. Bounds