Joshua and the Apostle Paul were both one hundred percent saturated and fully driven by the radical love of the Father. From this we learn that the Old Testament and New Testament have a common focus and aim. Both of these men had the goal of making their Father, our Father, very happy. They pressed on regardless of how they felt, in spite of the intensity and severity of the test, trial, suffering, pain, and agony they were facing. Their aim was to hallow the name of the Father in bigger and better ways every time the opportunity arose. They could accomplish this because they understood our Father’s faithfulness and His unlimited sufficiency of grace.
The Apostle Paul was and is the most radical Christian in the Scriptures and in Christian dome. He was a serial killer of Christians and was the number one enemy of Jesus Christ and His Church. He had a profound encounter with Jesus Christ and had a radical conversion. He wrote thirteen books of the New Testament. Paul was and is the most radical missionary ever. He traveled over fifteen thousand dangerous miles in terrible conditions. He was put in prison for Christ.
Because of his actions before he became a Christian, Paul declared himself to be the chief of sinners. He professed this to be true because he did not know me, the real chief of sinners! He was a legalist of legalists, with no concept of grace until his conversion to Christ. He was a Jew, who had the knowledge, but not the heart.
Paul endured severe suffering as he served Christ. He was not a complainer and he counted it a privilege to suffer for Christ. In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, we find the account of a thorn in the flesh being given to Paul to keep him humble. Three times he asked God to take it away from him. God’s answer was that His grace was sufficient for Paul and His strength is made perfect in weakness. Paul accepted God’s answer and wrote that when he was weak, then he was strong because the power of Christ rested on him.
Paul presents important lessons for us in the 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 passage:
1. In verse 7 we find that our Father uses suffering and pain to keep us humble, consecrated, and one hundred percent dependent on Him alone.
2 In verse 8 Paul tells us that we must pray persistently and precisely. He says to listen and be confident to know that our Father listens to the prayers of His righteous children all of the time. He also tells us that he pleaded three times for God to take the thorn away.
3 In verse 9 Paul’s instruction is to teach us that our Father always answers the prayers of His righteous children. So, He told Paul that He was not going to heal him, but He wanted him to keep praying radically for His strengthening grace. Then with that strength he could persevere with joy, so he would not bring his Father any shame. Afterwards, his testimony would become even much more powerful.
4 In verse 10 Paul is saying that our pain and suffering must not and cannot paralyze us or stop us from our single mission of hallowing our Father’s holy name. They also must not hold us back from advancing and spreading the Gospel, the name of Jesus. We must endure with the greater eternal joy that is before us.
In the context of the Apostle Paul’s experience, I want to tell you a compelling story of what happened to my dear wife Barbara. I am not bragging about Barbara but I am boasting about Jesus Christ who dwells within Barbara and empowers her to carry out her responsibility to get the job done regardless of how she feels.
Barb is not one to complain. Rather, she absorbs a lot of pain daily, especially after she lost three fingers in an automobile crash. She suffers daily from phantom pain. When we have long days of ministry, she gets up very early to prepare her body to endure the pain she knows will be coming. But Barb also realizes that pain, suffering, and the absence of three fingers are not her major problem. Her biggest problem is her sin problem. She also acknowledges that she must not react in fear when the turbulent times come because that can paralyze her and bring shame to our Father.
I am a very intense and passionate person as I strive in ministry to do the most with the least for the least. I put in long and hard hours to do what it takes to get things done. I expect the same in others and get frustrated when they don’t meet my expectations. I am told that I can be difficult to live with or to be around. My biggest challenge is to not let my intense passion overshadow my authenticity for the Glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The day after we returned from being out of the office for sixteen days an intense rain flooded our office. It created a big mess and brought our work in the office to a halt. Barb was under intense pressure to get caught up and to get major projects completed. This created deep internal stress. With much expense and hard work, the office was put back into working order. Right after that another big rain came through and flooded the office again which put Barb even further behind.
Barb has been experiencing back spasms with some degree of intensity but not long lasting. I took dinner to Barb who was working late in the office trying to get caught up. As I was cleaning up after the meal, I brought up a couple of ministry issues and ministry related items that needed to get done. Suddenly, an avalanche of almost unbearable pain moved into Barb’s back, right on the center of her back, that totally paralyzed her. She was clinging tightly to the chair and she could not move. Her face was in total agony, and her eyes were closed. She even screamed a couple of times but she could not talk. This was the worst pain Barb had ever experienced and for two hours nothing could ease the pain.
I realized that I was the cause of her pain. In retrospect, I should have been more sensitive and should not have brought up those ministry issues or things that needed to get done because doing so brought more tension to her already stressed life. Not being able to do anything to ease her pain affirmed to me that the only effective thing that Christians can really do is to labor in agonizing radical persistent Biblical Prayer.
I prayed for Barb and she followed the Apostle Paul’s Biblical example and cried out in anguish to Jesus. The more Barb prayed in the name of Jesus for the pain and the suffering to be taken away, the more the pain intensified. The added stress had momentarily paralyzed her. Finally after two hours, the pain subsided enough so that she could slowly walk to the car.
Please pray that I will not cause unnecessary stress to Barb. Also pray that I will be much more sensitive in my prayer life to my wife’s needs for greater cooperation and partnership in ministry, especially in listening to her with much more acuteness.
The Bible, God’s Word, helps us as we define our legacy. It tells us that to be like Christ is to pray like Christ. We are directed to radically pray the very will of God with persistency, deep humility, burning love, fervency, and boldness, regardless of how we feel. Doing so compels us to pray in the Spirit, in agony and anguish, pushing like a pregnant woman until God our Father delivers the petition we are requesting. We do this for the Greater Hallowing of His Name.
As Christians, we are required to soak in the Word of God. When we are in the Word, we will discover that we are commanded, fully compelled, and irresistibly driven with a radical invitation from our good loving Father. He invites us to enter in the same perpetual relationship and love affair with Him that Jesus enjoys, without interruption and distraction.
The Bible makes it clear that we are engaged in a very ugly, evil, and destructive spiritual war. It is impossible for us to fight and win this war by ourselves because the Devil is more powerful than we are and he hates us with unlimited evil passion. When we do not have the full and constant protection and direction of our Triune God, we are very vulnerable prey for the Devil. Satan’s goal is to bring shame to God’s name. He knows he can accomplish this by keeping us away from our post and from our duty to pray radically and to love radically.
Therefore, in order not to bring shame to the name of our Great God, our legacy as radical Christians must be defined and constantly practiced. We must have an explosive, contagious, genuine, and sincere, individual and corporate relationship with our Father. It is essential that we be fully dressed in the armor of God, with radical vigilance, knowing that we have a very evil adversary, who knows how to scheme and confuse us. What a privilege it is to always be able to anticipate with full expectancy and assurance our Father’s eagerness to protect us and fight for us. He is willing to surprise us with His astonishing wonderful wonders, as we consecrate fully to Him in obedience through radical Biblical prayer!
Joshua is a type of Christ. He is the Jesus of the Old Testament. We must become like Joshua in obeying our Great God. The Book of Joshua is about war. God revealed to Joshua how to prepare for war and how to fight to win with the least number of casualties. He needed God’s help because the devil is very serious about his mission. He is extremely furious and he is radically relentless as he is after our souls and our worship (Matthew 4).
God made Joshua successful because he followed God’s orders. God requires that we take full responsibility, like Joshua, in not shortchanging or in cutting any corners in our uncompromising commitment to Him. It is our duty to obey our absolute sovereign Good Father one hundred percent of the time. It is essential that our obedience flows out of a relationship that aims at hallowing His name all the time and every time by becoming like Christ.
Remember that radical Biblical prayer is not one thing we do as Christians, but rather it is what we do and it is what defines us. It is who we are in Christ. Therefore, radical Biblical prayer must become for the Christian much more important and essential than the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the food we eat. We know with certainty, that our relationship with God our Father through Jesus Christ, is real. He not only listens to our prayers for as long as we want to talk to Him, but He acts on our prayers because we are praying His very will. How comforting to know that this is possible because He loves us radically and we are His child. That is great news! Our security as believers is found exclusively in our relationship with our Father that happens only through radical Biblical prayer.
This devotional is a continuation of Radical Christianity, Part 2, which started the process of helping us focus on defining our legacy as Joshua had done. Joshua’s legacy is clearly defined and displayed in Joshua chapter three and his legacy must become our legacy.
Epaphras was a disciple of the Apostle Paul. Paul was in chains in prison when he wrote to the church in Colosse about him. Paul’s desire was for us to become disciples of Christ Jesus just like Epaphras. His description of Epaphras is seen in Colossians 4:12. He tells the church in Colosse that Epaphras was a bondservant of Christ who always labored fervently for them in prayer. The goal of his prayer was that they would stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
The Apostle Paul and Epaphras were both bondservants of Jesus Christ. A bondservant is a slave with no rights to complain or argue. They were servants like Joshua, who obeyed without delay. Because Epaphras was a bondservant, he had no choice but to labor fervently in prayer. In the sentiment and words of the late Pastor David Wilkerson, Epaphras clearly reflected in his prayer life the baptism of anguish by the Holy Spirit, so he could labor in the painful anguish agony of others and for others, so they could stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
Therefore, it is our Christian duty to be involved in a laboring, exclusive, and effective ministry of fervent, agonizing prayer. This ministry in us must be true, consistent, real, transferable, contagious, and lasting as consistent disciples of Christ. This will provide a deeper capacity to suffer, so others may also stand perfect and complete in all the will of God, with impeccable integrity.
When that happens, it is like accomplishing the Great Commission, which every Christian is required to fulfill. Regrettably, this will not be fulfilled unless each of us and our churches become houses of prayer as Jesus commanded us in Mark 11:17. The Great Commission is an impossible mission that requires prayer!
I Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us to rejoice always, to pray without ceasing, and in everything to give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Notice how this passage synchronizes with Colossians 4:12. We are to rejoice, so we can pray with joy, fight for our joy and the joy of others, without ceasing, and with genuine gratitude because that is the exact will of God. We cannot pray to a God to whom we are not grateful.
Each of us should want to do the exact and precise will of God our Father, out of gratitude, to please Him, to make Him happy, to hallow His Holy Name, and to adore Him. Jesus has done this and continues to do this without interruption or distraction. When we do this it makes us followers of Him. Bondservants of Christ Jesus must obey without hesitation because there is radical and permanent transformative power in our obedience!
Chuck Colson stated that Christian leadership is about three things: Number one: Integrity, Number two: Integrity, and Number three: Integrity!! Former Minnesota Governor and US Congressman Al Quie stated that he has lived his Christian life with aggressive integrity. Integrity is required in each of us as living gospel examples or living monuments to live what we believe. It is also required in the content of the Gospel we proclaim and believe. Our gospel must always contain Christ crucified and resurrected as seen in I Corinthians 1:18-2:6. It also must be fueled every time by radical biblical prayer in the biblical tension of truth and grace.
What is our legacy? What is required for each of us to become people of compassion with impeccable integrity, who are not paralyzed by human fear? How are we developed into people who are filled with grace, valor, truth, and courage? What does it take for us to be seen as loving, joyful, peaceful, real, fervent, genuine, transparent, giving, and obedient Christians? It all hinges on us becoming and being remembered as women and men of prayer! Remember that to become like Christ is to pray like Christ.
People of prayer are radically grateful, always teachable, enveloped with visible consistent meekness, gentleness, and compassion. They are driven by our Father’s radical love and are faithful ambassadors of reconciliation, always forgiving, and are trustworthy. These people are one hundred percent committed to persevering in Christ with unspeakable joy, and unfathomed peace. They never quit, nor leave anyone behind, and they never deny the grace of God to anyone. The aim in becoming people of prayer who demonstrate these spiritual qualities is that everything is done for the greater hallowing of our Good Father. (Mark 11:17; Romans 1:14; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Philippians 4:6; Hebrews 12:2; I Peter 1:8)
Recently, as I have been on my prayer walks, I have been asking God to reveal to me the one single focus and engine that will define and drive all of our ministries forward towards the Promised Land. One that will define my legacy and the legacy of all Koinonia House Ministries for the greatest hallowing of our Father with visible, explosive, eternal, effective, and tangible results.
Joshua is a great example to follow in this quest. When God told him to lead the Israelites across the Jordan River, he obeyed without delay because he had an unwavering trust in Yahweh. Yahweh was the exclusive object of his affection, because Joshua felt fully secure in God his Father alone. In Joshua 4:23-24, God told Joshua that his legacy of following Yahweh’s commands would be a testimony of God’s might to all the people of the earth. Joshua became a credible witness exclusively for Yahweh. Remember, Joshua is the Jesus of the Old Testament.
In Romans 8:26-28, we read that the Spirit helps in our weaknesses and makes intercessions for us according to the will of God because we do not know what to pray. Because of the Spirit’s intercessions, all things work together for good for those who are called according to God’s purpose. God the Spirit and God the Son, Jesus, hit the target of hallowing our Father every time because they pray the will of God. Our simple aim as Christians is to become like Christ in His humanity and learn how to pray radically in order to love the Father and His children radically. Jesus awaits to come back, at any moment, to rescue us, His bride, once and for all. For us to become like Jesus, we need to wait in expectancy with eagerness for Jesus’ return for us, His bride.
The discussion above now leads to the answering of the question posed above regarding the one thing defining our legacy. The Holy Spirit clearly told me: Manny Mill, here is your single legacy for your life in Christ. I want people to remember you exclusively as a man of prayer, for the greater hallowing of My name, to empower you and all the ministries of Koinonia House to do My will!
Joshua 3:17 defines Biblically what a radical Christian looks like in the context of the definition of our legacy. The priests held the Ark of the Covenant on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan until all of the people had crossed over to the other side. Let me remind you that every Christian must become a priest, whose responsibility is to intercede on behalf of others, before our Holy Father’s throne of grace just like Jesus and the Holy Spirit are doing right now. We need to have our hearts transformed and in tune with our Father, fully synchronized, as we make supplications on behalf of others.
A radical Christian believes what God our Father has said and stands in the gap and intercedes for others. Notice that the priests stayed in the middle of the Jordan until everyone had crossed. As my friend Chuck Colson told me, “A radical Christian must keep his or her post and do his or her duty without complaining or arguing, never leaving anyone behind.
In Joshua 4:1-7 we find that God commanded Joshua to have stones taken from the middle of the Jordan River from which a memorial was to be made. It would be a reminder for years to come of what God had done in bringing the Israelites safely across the Jordan River. Radical Biblical Christianity produces unforgettable and radical memories we cannot forget, but rather remember, because radical Christians are grateful, teachable, meek people, and ambassadors of reconciliation. They are one hundred percent committed to persevering in Christ with unspeakable joy, and they never quit, for the greater hallowing of our Good Father. They are committed to becoming effective and credible men and women of prayer. Note Hebrews 12:2 and I Peter 1:8. Are you in the habit of making memories that hallow the name of our Father?
There are three words that describe real, practical, consistent, credible, and radical Christianity: messy, but joyful. When one receives, believes, embraces, lives out, and proclaims Christ Jesus, the Christ of the Scriptures, one receives the Father’s radical love with the hope of glory that produces unspeakable Joy. We must fight for our joy and the joy of others!
Therefore, radical Christianity is about our radical obedience as Christians, rooted in the absolute truth of the word of God. Hence, we must not be driven by our unguarded feelings, paralyzing fears, unstable emotions, nor human opinions, but practice our radical obedience to our Father in a non-negotiable and non-compromising manner! Radical Christianity seeks and aims at cultivating and developing, through hard, precise, and specific training, our new heart that we received from God our Father the day we experienced our new birth in Christ.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) Based on this verse, we see our urgent problem: we don’t have the ability or the know how to change. Consequently, radical Biblical prayer is essential, urgent, and critical. Radical Biblical prayer that hallows our Good Father says, I cannot change myself, but I know and trust that God My Father can. He is able and He will, because He is a Loving Father and He has done it before.
God our Father gives a radical promise and a permanent solution to our urgent problem: He gives us a heart transplant. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (Jeremiah 31:33)
God is saying that He loves you radically and that He is going to deliver you one hundred percent from your slavery of sin. This includes all of your addictions to sin, to the world, and the guilt of sin, in order that all of your affections (one hundred percent) will be for Him. You are His child, and His alone. He expects you to trust Him and immediately obey His word alone, by consecrating one hundred percent of yourself to Him.
God is also saying that He will not abandon you and He will always provide for you and surprise you, because His reputation is at stake. He is sufficient for you. He is your security and protection and He will satisfy you fully. He will take you on an adventure that will last forever, beginning now, so you can marvel at His astonishing wonderful wonders.
That is what Yahweh commanded Joshua. Joshua’s aim and only objective was to make God the Father happy (hallowing His name) by training his ear to obey His word, His voice alone, without delay or hesitation. Therefore, Joshua obeyed without delay because he knew the WHO that knows the HOW and also because he had seen Yahweh accomplish this in the past. Joshua had tasted of the Promised Land that flowed with milk and honey and that was the only milk and honey he needed.
Joshua also knew that Yahweh did not promise a temporary freedom, nor a quick fix type of help. He had promised a permanent, one time freedom with a one hundred percent joyful deliverance and with no permission to ever go back to Egypt (the world, addictions, slavery and imprisonment.)
God told Joshua that since Moses was now dead, he was the new leader of the Children of Israel. God’s promise to Joshua was that He would help him and fulfill the same promises for him that He has promised to Moses. Yahweh wanted Joshua to radically trust and obey Him. He also gave him two radical promises. 1) He would give them all of the land the sole of his foot touched, and 2) He would fight for them and no one would be able to defeat them.
The secret for Joshua, and for you and me, to be strong and courageous, so we will arise and go every time we hear His voice is found in Joshua 1:8: This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. The only exclusive source from which the radical grace of God our Father flows with unlimited power and unlimited supply is The Word of God—the Book of the Law.
Every time God our Father gives us a mission with a command, He also gives us an abundant promise with a lot of benefits and blessings. Following His commands requires our absolute trust with radical obedience to arise and go. Joshua, a type of Christ, and then Jesus Christ clearly demonstrated for this us, as they both relied in the unlimited super powerful grace the Father supplied through His Spirit, to make them strong and courageous. If we want to be strong and courageous, we must do the same.
Yahweh desires us to become a radical partaker of his unlimited grace, by cultivating a much more intimate and effective life of radical, Biblical, bold, persistent, fervent, and passionate prayer and lamentation. Doing so enables us to become stronger and much more courageous in doing what is right in the eyes of the Lord, regardless of the consequences. It also empowers us to trust and obey our Father without delay.
Many nations have plotted and planned to annihilate the Nation of Israel but Israel still exists just as God promised. Become knowledgeable of God’s word, pray radically, and trust God one hundred percent for Him to fulfill His promises to you just like He has for Israel.
As Christians, we have been guaranteed a wonderful future! When Jesus comes back to this earth, we look forward to receiving our new bodies, having the consummation of our marriage to Jesus Christ, and living in the new heavens and the new earth. This fantastic future has been paid in full and will take place because God has promised that it will and He keeps His promises. He will never default on His name. He keeps his promises one hundred percent.
In Joshua 3:9-13, we find that God is about to repeat an astonishing miracle that He performed at the Red Sea when the Israelites fled from Egypt. It is not only that God keeps all of His promises that is wonderful, but the way He keeps them is amazing. Based on His promises we can keep anticipating and expecting greater surprising and astonishing wonders from Him. When He does things that can only point to Him alone as the only source, it serves for the hallowing of His name and holy reputation.
In verse 10, God promised that He would without fail drive the people living in the Promised Land out of the land. Later on in the Book of Joshua, we find that He fulfilled that promise. No one can stand against our God. He will defeat all of His enemies. We must depend on God to defeat our enemies. When we go against them without Him, we will be defeated.
The Israelites needed to cross the Jordan River in order to enter the Promised Land. Another of God’s mighty miracles loomed on the horizon. In verse 13, God promised that when the feet of the priests carrying the ark of the Lord entered the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan would be cut off and the waters coming down from upstream would stand as a heap. What happened at the Red Sea was repeated here. Once again God turned impossibility into possibility. Big things happen when Yahweh shows up. He went ahead of the Israelites as they entered the Promised Land. We truly desperately need and want Him to go ahead of us as we face life’s problems.
In verse 11, God is titled the Lord of all the earth. In other words, the crossing of the Jordan will not only impact Israel, but also will have worldwide and eternal impact for the greater hallowing of God our Father’s name. Likewise, we are witnesses of God’s wonderful wonders and He wants to include and use us as participants to proclaim His name to the world. We are His missionaries.
God our Father is looking for credible, loving, and courageous witnesses that will carry on the legacy of hallowing His name with holy and consistent reverence. He does not want to use those who constantly complain, doubt, and compromise the gospel of truth and grace and argue with God about what they deserve. God cannot use people who keep going back to Egypt again and again with their idols, to become slaves to sin again. Those who look like the world and engage in worldly addictions, with self-satisfaction as their aim, cannot be used by Him: To be used as His witness God requires that we fear Him with a holy reverent fear.
God has given us His word to instruct us in living godly lives. It is important to read, know, and live God’s word. In verse 3, Joshua told the Children of Israel to listen to Him and hear the words of the Lord their God. In Deuteronomy 32:46-47, Moses instructed the Israelites to pass on to their children what they learned from God’s word. We need to soak in the word of God and become aggressive in collaboration with the Holy Spirit in training our ears to listen. Then we must put what we learn into action and act only on one voice–the voice of Yahweh manifested in Christ Jesus and revealed by the Holy Spirit.
What types of Jordan Rivers do you desperately need for Yahweh to open? Are you burdened with addictions, depressions, doubts, insecurities, disappointments, etc.? Yahweh can deliver you from them and put you on the road to the Promised Land so you can taste the milk and honey. Then when God has delivered you, your permanent response must be one of gratitude with constant joyful and exuberant worship in adoration of God our Good Father. Doing this will lead to the greater hallowing of God’s name.
What else do we need or want to satisfy us, if we are filled with the “how much more” of the overflowing powerful power of our Father’s powerful glorious presence? The one sacred duty of the Christian is to make certain not to bring any type of shame to God our Father. We must not violate the two essential and non-negotiable ingredients of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. Those two ingredients are truth and grace. Jesus Christ is the fullness of truth and grace. He was crucified and resurrected for the Father’s glory in order for His Father’s grace to abound in us and through us. Thus, others must see the Glorious presence of God our Father demonstrated in us.
Hallowing God’s name is essential to the walk of Christians. We are not left alone to figure out how to make that real in our lives. Jesus came to earth as God’s only begotten fully human son and also as our older Brother. He showed and told how to hallow His Father’s name. Joshua is a type of Christ. He was the leader of the Israelites. He was a mere human who understood, and was totally committed to not rob God our Father of His glorious glory. Unfortunately, the Israelites refused to follow his example and they did not hallow God’s name. They were double minded and lukewarm. They wanted Yahweh for the benefits, but they also worshipped idols of their own making.
We must be careful not be like the Israelites and make decisions that are not radically driven by radical biblical prayer with the affirmation, confirmation, and approval of God our Father. God expects our motivation to be pure and sincere to make our Father happier. When that does not happen, it robs God our Father of His glory. Hallowing the Father’s Name is what must motivate us and hence drive us as Christians.
As Jesus agonized in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, He demonstrated that He was one hundred percent satisfied in the Father alone and that He was one hundred percent motivated by the Father’s love for Him. When Jesus said, “Not My will but Yours be done” He was saying, I came exclusively to make sure that no one, not even Me, will ever bring You shame or be ashamed of You. We cannot afford to be disconnected from an intimate and inseparable relationship with God our Father through Jesus Christ for even one second. That is possible only by having a personal biblical prayer life that prays with boldness, persistency, and in the power of the Spirit. We have nothing to offer, nor can we do anything for ourselves or for anyone else, without the powerful power of our Father’s glorious powerful presence. His presence and His glory are inseparable.
Our aim in life should always be to live in the tension of truth and grace as commanded in John 1:14-16. God wants us to be sincere and not hypocritical. Hence, the Christian is required to live his/her life with impeccable, transparent, and visible integrity. What sets the Christian apart from anyone else is that we are required to love in the same way we have been loved by God our Father through Jesus Christ. We must not just talk but we must put what we learn into action.
Why does God our Father want us to listen to Him? It is because He does not want us to miss His surprising good news and wonders. It is our duty to hear God’s word so that we can obey it with no excuses. We are commanded to become doers of the word! In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 we learn that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and that God bought us at a great price. Therefore, we are to glorify Him in our body and in our spirit, which are His. As God’s purchased people we much listen to His word and obey it.
King Solomon’s prayer of dedication of the temple he built for Yahweh is recorded in 2 Chronicles 6. When reading chapters 5-7 for the full account, it can be seen by the number of times Solomon refers to the name of Yahweh that Yahweh was his motivation for that prayer. Chapter 7:1-3 show how God responded to His prayer. Fire came down from Heaven and consumed the sacrifice. This caused the Israelites to bow in worship and praise to Yahweh. Consider these lessons to be learned from II Chronicles 7:1-3:
Verse 1: Our radical prayer life must be biblical and carefully crafted to make us constantly aware of our shortcomings. Then the fire of the LORD can consume and burn our self/ego and pride. Doing so will make more room for His glory to fill our temples, our bodies, with fresh fire from the Spirit and to fire us up to make our Father greater.
Verse 2: The clear evidence of the glory of the LORD in our temples must be visibly noticeable, irresistibly attractive, and tangibly manifested through our radical prayer life.
Verse 3: The glorious powerful presence of God our Father in us, must attract others like a magnet, so they too will make radical prayer their priority and will hallow our Father’s name in worship because He is good and His mercy endures forever.
Are you desperate to see a genuine Biblical revival breakthrough in your lifetime where the powerful power of our Father’s powerful presence will be manifested through the body of Christ and spread like a wild fire? We must take regular radical time outs in order to experience a fresh, noticeable, and undeniable radical revival that will be characterized and witnessed by others with a:
1. Consistent deep hunger and
2. Burning radical desire
3. For Jesus Christ to become our all in all,
4. To Experience a consuming fire of self and pride from the Spirit,
5. That will burn deeper within our souls, to
6. Awaken us and drive us in exuberant worship of our triune God, where
7. Radical, Biblical, intense, intimate prayer becomes much more important than the water we drink, the food we eat and the air we breathe, to
8. Experience the “how much more” of our father’s irresistible, lavishing, and relentless powerful, loving presence, and grace, for
9. The greater hallowing of our Father.
Our Father desires and keeps pursuing us in order to enter into a permanent relationship with us, without interruption or distraction. His longing is for us to stop running away from Him and make it our desire to worship Him and Him alone, not for what He will give us, but rather for who He is. He is our Good Father! That is why our Father makes it clear in Isaiah 42:8-9, with a firm, yet tender voice, that infuses us with great hope, that He wants to surprise us with His wonders, because today He wants to make us great so we can make Him greater.
When Yahweh says in Isaiah 42:8, “My glory (My powerful presence) I will not give to another”, He is saying, I have created and chosen you for my glory, before the foundation of the world, as my children alone! Therefore, I will not deposit nor share my glorious seal of my Powerful Presence with anyone else. It is either you or no one else. I have My eyes fixed on you alone. I will not leave you nor forsake you. I will wait here for you while you are in captivity, until you get tired of running and sinning against Me, and become fully repentant. Only I set the captives free, open the eyes of the blind, release the prisoners from their prison cells, and bring light to those who sit in darkness.
Because of who He is, our good, holy, and loving Father requires our radical consecration with a consistent vigilant one-hundred percent commitment to take radical time outs for personal inventory and purification in our relationship with Him. Hence, Radical Prayer is essential!
The Ark of the Covenant, in the Old Testament, was the most sacred object of the tabernacle and also of the temple in Jerusalem. It was kept in the holy of holies. It represents and reflects the powerful power of the powerful, glorious, and holy presence of God our Father, which has been deposited in us, His temple, through the Holy Spirit. All Christians are priests who, according to Joshua 3:8, have the responsible duty and sacred function to hallow the name of our Father. This is accomplished as we stand in the gap and labor in love, interceding for others in prayer (Colossians 4:12) with the sacred truth of the holy word (The Ark of the Covenant). God our Father can then use us as His vessels of His mercy who carry the presence of His glory (Romans 9:23) to accomplish great things for Him, making Him greater.
It behooves us then to pray that the Holy Spirit will:
1. Awaken in us a deep desire and hunger that will devour the scriptures with prayer, so that we will become
2. Consumed with the fire of the Holy Spirit, in each of us, our churches we represent, and beyond, as we
3. Become a house of prayer for the nations, where
4. Christ then becomes our all in all, moving from the center to the all, and moving from first place to all.
5. That only happens when we brake unbiblical human traditions and human protocol, as we arise, go, and prepare for Biblical prayer to become not the one thing we do, but become what we do and who we are. As Christians, this needs to be part of our DNA. This is clearly commanded in scripture by Jesus Himself in Mark 11:17 and it takes place when we cultivate a radical, deep, personal, and corporate prayer life in relationship with our Father, Eph. 1:23.
During the Children of Israel’s journey in the wilderness, Moses begged God to go with them. In Exodus 33:14, God responded that He would go with them. Joshua was now the leader of the Israelites after the death of Moses. He must have found it very comforting when God told him in Joshua 3:7 that just as He had been with Moses, He now would be with him. He also told Joshua that He would make him great in the sight of all Israel. We need to understand that Yahweh is telling us that just as He was with Joshua, He will be with us.
It is interesting to see how God began to validate Joshua to Israel. Moses brought the Israelites to the Red Sea. With Pharaoh’s army closing in on them, they needed to cross the Red Sea. God opened the waters and they safely crossed. Now under Joshua’s leadership, the Israelites needed to cross the Jordan River to enter the Promised Land. God opened the waters and they crossed into the Promised Land. The New Geneva Study Bible’s notes state, “The LORD, Yahweh, validated Joshua’s leadership by repeating the wonders He did at the Red Sea through Moses. The God of Joshua is the God of Moses.”
Are you in need of a radical and powerful freeing truth? Here it is: The God of Joshua and Moses, Yahweh, the Deliverer, is also our God! He wants to make us great so we can make Him greater. This is accomplished through the irresistible powerful presence of God our Father residing in us.
God our Father is telling us with an urgent firm voice, in Joshua 3:7, that:
1. His mission, the gospel, of calling and radically consecrating His children back to Himself, has not changed or died just because Moses died. Hence,
2. We must then be the type of Joshua to arise, go, and always be prepared to defend, proclaim, value, and cherish our Father’s holy presence. This is accomplished through a one hundred percent committed radical holy Biblical prayer life that is characterized by radical intimacy and consecration with our Father. Consequently,
3. His presence will validate, empower, and give credibility to our ministry, like it did with Joshua, of hallowing His holy name among His people and leading others to do the same.
4. Therefore, we must be fit to serve Him, not tired or sleeping, or complaining, or amused by this world. We must not forget what our mission is or who we represent. We do not have the luxury of waiting any longer to fulfill His mission, because TODAY He wants to make you great, so you can make Him Greater.
God our Father wants to deposit His permanent glory in you, His consecrated cleansed house, TODAY. Without God our Father’s powerful presence, we have nothing to offer. Hence, we would have no ministry. We need to ask God our Father for the impossible. Not to do so offends Him.
My Father and my God, I am desperate for your presence NOW. I want your presence to be much more valuable to me than all the material possessions of this world. So, Father make me hungry for your presence. Make me desperate for your presence. Father, empower me with the same power and love for you, that empowered Jesus Christ to endure the cross with joy, for the greater hallowing of Your holy name. Give me a distaste for this world, and the things of this world. Increase my burning desire to be one hundred percent saturated by your presence. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Radical Consecration will produce radical and permanent deliverance with lasting transformation that will lead to personal revival. Consider this example from the Bible. Paul, a former serial killer, was surprised, delivered, transformed, and revived when confronted by Jesus Christ as he was on his way to kill more Christians. Through God’s grace, Paul became radically consecrated to the Father and His gospel. The body of believers today needs to experience this same revival and radical consecration!
Radical consecration requires us to soak in the all-sufficient, all-reliable and yes, all-delicious, Living Word of God, our play book, so we are enabled to pray the Word of God with boldness.
2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that all of the Bible is inspired by God and it prepares us in every way for every good thing God wants us to do. We must know the Word of God in order to live the Word of God.
Jesus was radically consecrated when He came to earth. He came primarily to vindicate the holy name of his good and holy Father. He was crucified in order to save us from the guilt of our sin. Consequently, we are required to be one hundred percent consecrated, vigilant, and super radically aware that at any moment, Jesus may come back. We must make every effort to be pure, clean, and spotless when He returns to take us to the home He has prepared for us. John 14
In Isaiah 6:1-8 we encounter Isaiah’s very painful yet marvelous, radical, and glorious consecration ceremony. When he saw the awesome holiness of God he said that he was undone, meaning that he had totally fallen apart because he was a man of unclean lips. God’s provision for Isaiah’s radical consecration was to have a seraphim take a live coal from the altar and touch Isaiah’s mouth and lips with it. This act took Isaiah’s iniquity away and purged him of his sin. Because of this, Isaiah was filled with radical consecration. When God asked who would go Isaiah said, “Here am I! Send me!”
Please note two important practical applications and deep insights for us to immediately apply to our lives in Christ, as we compare Joshua with Isaiah in verse 8 when Isaiah said, “Here am I! Send me.”
1. Isaiah, just like Joshua, responded with a radical consecrated response of immediate obedience, as he arose, fully prepared and ready to go when he said, “Here am I! Send me.”
2. Furthermore, in verse 8 we read that Isaiah responded with “Here am I.” He did not say, Here I am. Here am I is not only a geographical position like we saw in Joshua, but most importantly it is also a personal consecrated position indicating that he is all in; one hundred percent in!
Isaiah and Joshua were both totally and radically consecrated and devoted to fulfil Yahweh’s mission, not their own, without ever giving up, regardless of how hard, difficult, or discouraging the mission became. That is exactly the position we should be in. It is Jesus we utter out of our mouth and through our lips. Hence, like Isaiah, in order to cleanse our hearts, tongues, minds, and lips, we need to experience the same radical, painful, yet glorious and marvelous consecrating ceremony.
Psalm 96:9 announces that we are to worship the Lord in the beauty of His holiness and tremble before Him. That requires radical consecration in every area of our lives, including our marriage. We are told in Hebrews 13:4 that marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled. It goes on to say that God will judge fornicators and adulterers.
We must be one hundred percent radically consecrated to our Father. Doing so will cause us to believe and behave with meekness as chosen by the Father, purchased by the Son Jesus, sanctified and set apart radically by the Spirit, to become exactly like Christ. We must then value, cherish, adore, revere, esteem, exalt, worship, glorify, sanctify, and lift up real high the majestic, holy name of our great and good Father. This is accomplished as we bow our knees to Him with deeper humility, meekness, a gracious attitude, and a burning love for Him and for our neighbors. Then we are enabled to fulfill His great commission in the context of the first and second greatest commandments for the greater hallowing of His holy name.
We read in Deuteronomy 32:44-47 that Moses spoke all of the words God gave him to the people of Israel and told them to make those words their life. He followed this up by telling them that God would bless them if they did so. We need to follow Moses’ instructions and consecrate ourselves radically by making the Word of God our very life so, we can pray the Word radically to love radically.
For God, our Father to surprise us with His wonders and unlimited blessings, He requires our unwavering and intentional, radical consecration to Him, with a commitment to obeying Him with a willing and grateful heart. Doing so will then make us realize our desperate need for radical, fervent, bold, and specific Biblical prayer, to infuse us with the necessary power to make our Good Father happier as we do His will, not ours.
What did Jesus Christ do when He experienced temptations, trials, abandonment and betrayal by others? We find in Luke 22:44 that when He was in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then in verse 46 when He found the disciples sleeping he told them to rise and pray, so they would not enter into temptation. He was repeating his command from verse 40 which the disciples had ignored. They were to follow His example. Jesus asked the Father to take away the cup he was facing yet he also said He was willing to endure the suffering if it was His Father’s will. He was willing to endure the suffering and not skip the cross. We must be willing to endure the hardship and suffering God allows into our lives just as Jesus did. This is accomplished through radical prayer and by staying consecrated fully to our Father.
Radical Biblical prayer is not just one thing we do. It is what we are to do all the time. It is who we are. It is our devotion, culture, and lifestyle! It is our very life! We exist, so that in every breath we take seven days per week, twenty-four hours per day, we aim at being consecrated to our Father, so we can be true to our commitment to make our Father happier.
Jesus taught in Luke 11:2 that we should pray for the hallowing of God’s name. When we pray in that fashion big things happen. This is the prayer that drives every other prayer we pray. It is the prayer of priority. In order to hallow God’s name we are required to be one hundred percent consecrated to our Father as we value, cherish, adore, revere, esteem, exalt, worship, glorify, sanctify, and lift up real high His holy name. It also requires that we bow our knees to him with deeper humility, meekness, a gracious attitude, and burning love. It is necessary that we be committed to obeying Him without delay.
If we are not consecrated to the Father, then we are consecrated to the devil. That is deadly! Our Father is eager for us to get rid of all of our messes and all of our idols. He is zealous for us to ask Him to perform a deep power cleaning within our spirits, to hit all the corners and clean the entire house. He purchased this cleansing for us with the very expensive sinless blood of Jesus Christ. His command is for us to repent with godly sorrow. He will not approve our behavior that is not in line with His clear specific commands.
We must not do the right thing in the wrong way like Uzzah in 2 Samuel 6. God prescribed very specific guidelines for how the Ark of the Covenant was to be moved. Long poles were to be inserted through the rings on the Ark and it was to be carried by the Levites. It was not to be touched. Instead of following God’s guidelines for moving the Ark, King David had it set on a new cart. The oxen pulling the Ark stumbled and Uzzah took hold of the ark to steady it. God’s anger was aroused against Uzzah and he died right there by the Ark of the Lord. He didn’t want the Ark to fall yet he did not follow the precise guidelines of the Lord. An important lesson to be learned from Uzzah is that excitement and zeal for the Lord can never replace simple obedience. Our lack of consecration and our disobedience devalue the gospel. We must be convinced and believe that Yahweh means all He says, and then comply in obedience to all He commands.
What sin and idols in our relationship with Yahweh are preventing us from one hundred percent consecration, so our Good Father will surprise us with His wonders and unlimited blessings? Let’s make King David’s prayer of confession and consecration in Psalm 51 our prayer as well.
God is eager to surprise us with his wonders when we pray radically to love radically. We need to pray with great anticipation, radical expectation, and unwavering confidence in the finished redemptive work of Christ Jesus. Then God will surprise us saying, “Here my son, here my daughter, this is what you really need!” God expects us to be one hundred percent strong, real, set apart, consistent, resilient, obedient, humble, teachable, and dedicated. This leads to a readiness to arise, go, and be prepared to engage and lead others into any battle He sends for the greater hallowing of His name.
Joshua 3:5 does not leave any room for negotiation with God. It eliminates any excuse for bringing shame to our Father’s name or for hurting the people we say we love. It presents a very critical, urgent, and super important message for today because the church is being defiled, the gospel misinterpreted, and America is in spiritual ruins. The key is consecration to God. The definition of consecration is to be set apart for a holy use; to dedicate to God our Father and to Him alone. It involves being sanctified and purified; to devote ourselves one hundred percent to our Holy Good Father alone!
Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, because the LORD will do wonders among you tomorrow.” This also is a personal invitation from Yahweh Himself to Christians today and we must obey without delay. Yahweh means the God who delivers. Yahweh is making you an amazing irresistible promise today. He wants to deliver you and free you from whatever handicap, slavery, addiction, oppression, falsehood, misconceptions, or imprisonment you are experiencing. He is offering to heal you from mental, emotional, or physical handicaps by transforming the disposition of your heart, which is the central station or the control room, for a Christian.
Yahweh delivers one time without any type of recovery program. Jesus came to make us brand new. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ (one hundred percent consecrated), he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
It is sad to see a great number of Christians allow their emotions to control them and paralyze them with fear. In Ephesians 1:17-20 God tells us that He will open our eyes of understanding so we will know that His power that raised Jesus from the dead is available for us. We have no excuse to live in spiritual paralysis.
We find the account of Moses leading the Children of Israel out of Egypt in Exodus 14. Moses told the Israelites to stand still and see the salvation of the LORD (Yahweh.) When they crossed the Red Sea and saw the dead Egyptians on the seashore they believed in Yahweh and in Moses. How sad that their belief lasted only three days. Then they went back to their complaining.
For God, our Father to bless us and to surprise us with His wonders time after time, we must consecrate ourselves to Him and to Him alone. He will not share us with the world or with the things of the prince of the world. It is either all or nothing; one hundred percent in or one hundred percent out!
Since God has offered us the help we need to live consecrated lives, why do we continue to live in the danger and misery of uncertainty and insecurity? We must stop bringing shame to our Good Father and stop being a double minded agent. We need to consecrate ourselves to Yahweh immediately so we can enjoy His transforming powerful wonders. Ask Him to make you hungrier and thirstier for His righteousness. You do not need to keep faking it or continue to live in the dumpster. Take your mask off, surrender now to our Good Father, repent with godly sorrow and become real because Jesus is the real deal.