Itís† a† Two-Way† Street
Our last three teachings involved Figures of Speech.† God felt it was best to get back to some simple teachings that have the same importance overall.† There is something about walking with God that most of us will never understand.† But the main point that I want to make in this teaching is that walking with God is a two-way street.† What do I mean?† Well, if I may come off with a joke that fits the purpose of this teaching, this is what I would like to say.
If you speak to God, it is known as prayer.† But if God speaks to you, it is known as schizophrenia.† Thatís the world for you.† Now my main point is that when you speak to God, God can speak back to you.† You do have to know the Word of God rightly divided to know which God is speaking to you.† As we know, the counterfeit god does just that Ė he counterfeits and imitates everything the true God does.† However, if we know the Word of God rightly divided, one of the greatest benefits is that we can separate truth from error.† Letís turn to the Word of God where we are certain that we are hearing and learning from the truth.
Turn to the epistle of James chapter 1.† This is Godís Will for us even though it sounds too good to be true.
But let patience have her †perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.† -- James 1: 4
We are to be a patient person and patience is the result of the operation of the nine manifestations of Holy Spirit taught in I Corinthians, which then results in the nine fruit of the spirit mentioned in Galatians 5: 22.† We can put together a complete teaching based on these two Scriptures.† God wants us to have everything that we need according to His Word.† He wants us to lack nothing.† In all ways, He does want us to be perfect which means we will desire nothing.† Isnít this truly amazing?† It is hard for our human minds to comprehend the greatness that God wants for us.† Now letís take it a step farther so that we can see how to acquire such greatness in our lives.
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men† liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. †-- James 1: 5
The word upbraideth may confuse some people so I would like to go over the definition.† It means to reproach or to chide.† Chide means to scold or to rebuke.
This verse is so important that it always has become one of my favorite verses regarding Revelation and a Two-Way Street.† First, we should mention that God does not scold or rebuke someone who is asking Him for wisdom.† In fact, and this is the big point that this Scripture makes, is that God gives wisdom to all men liberally.† The key word liberally means willfully without a second thought.† That always blew my mind.† But as we will see, youíre not going to get this revelation from the true God if you ask amiss.† What does this mean?† In the first place if you are playing the lottery, that is gambling and that is off the Word of God.† If youíre stupid enough to pray to God that you will win the lottery, you are asking amiss and your prayers will never be answered.† But we can ask for other things that help us to lead a godly life and God says in verse five that He will answer you without a second thought.† What a relief this is.† To know that we can go to someone in this life and be told the truth.† When we ask God to help us in the basic ways of His life, we are asking God for wisdom.† Wisdom will bring you much more in this life than winning the lottery.† I have heard of people that won the lottery and have no peace at all in their lives.† They become the property of the person who ran the lottery or the game.† They have to appear on television and in a nutshell, they never have any peace ever again.† You can check into that if you like.† I donít expect you to believe everything I say.† But you will find out that this is true.
Now I want to stress once again that God is not a respecter of persons.† He is a respecter of conditions only.† You will see this in the very next verse.
But let him ask in faith [pistis - believing], nothing wavering.† For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.† -- James 1: 6
There is a major premise here that you must understand.† When you ask God for something, you simply believe that He will bring it to pass for you especially if your needs and wants are parallel and you know what to do with the answered prayer.† You cannot pray to God for wisdom or for anything else and have this two-way street working for you if you have doubt or worry.† This becomes difficult for many believers.† I said this before and I will say it one more time.† Pick up your pencil or ink pen right now.† Hold it above your desk.† Now drop the pen or pencil onto your desk.† Let me ask you.† How certain were you that that pen or pencil was going to fall on your desk?† That is major believing.† God would prefer that you believe with such strength and have no doubt whatsoever that what you are praying for, He will absolutely bring it to pass.† Just like you are absolutely 100% sure that that pen or pencil was going to hit your desk when you dropped it.† You should remember the record of the man in the Gospels that had a withered hand and Jesus Christ told him to stretch it forth.† Do you know when that manís hand was healed?† It was healed when he made the effort, without any doubt in his mind, to stretch forth his hand.† His hand was not made whole UNTIL he stretched it forth.† You see that the law of believing is so major that we can literally move mountains.† We have a long way to go to get to such a point, but we must keep trying to believe without a shadow of a doubt that God will bring it to pass.† If this teaching gets you excited in any way, stay that way and have the zeal and enthusiasm and knowledge that a true believer should have today.† Remember, in verse six, the condition that God required and always requires is that we believe.† If there is a man who prays for something but he really does not believe for it, God will never bring it to pass.† God respects the condition of believing.
Before we move on to verse seven, I would like to mention what can be referred to as another condition that God expects us to fulfill.† When God says Ďnothing waveringí, he is talking about the attitude of the person who is praying.† He says that that person who wavers is constantly changing their mind.† At first, they believe, and then all of a sudden something changes in their mind.† We are not to be that way.† If we make a decision we are not to second-guess that decision.† We are to stick by it believing that God will honor our prayer.† The results of wavering is discussed in the next verse.
For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.† -- James 4: 7
That verse is self-explanatory and I donít think we need to say anything else about it.
A double minded man is† unstable in all his ways. †Ė James 1: 8
I wanted to get to this verse because it is seriously important.† I have heard it said that a double minded man is like a person with two different personalities.† That man is unstable.† He can be said to be mentally ill when he thinks one way and then in an hour or day, he thinks another way.† And he keeps going back and forth.† So we donít want to be full of doubt and always change our mind.† We want our thoughts to be stable so that God knows we believe in a positive manner for our prayers to be answered by Him.
In verses 9, 10, and 11 of James chapter 1, God is really stressing the fact that He is not a respecter of persons, but of conditions.† God speaks about the rich man and a poor man and the intricacies of their lifestyle.† Let us wrap up our work in the book of James Chapter One with these three Scriptures and let us let them speak for themselves.
Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:† But the rich, in that he is made low:† because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.† For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth:† so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.† Ė James 1: 9, 10, 11
These are beautiful Scriptures of truth and reality.† A person who has no money can still be happy and be exalted.† But the rich man is down and out because he realizes that he cannot take his riches with him and they shall pass away.† The sun is beautiful and it gives out great light and life, but sometimes it burns with a burning heat and burns the grass and the flowers and its beauty then seems to pass away.† This is the faith of the rich man who was an unbeliever.† All that he has shall fade away.
My point here in most of what I stress in the book of James is to show you that if you pray to God, and then you read James chapter 1 or any part of the Word of God, God, through His Word is speaking directly to you.† Every time we read Godís Word, it is part of that Two-Way Street where God is now speaking to you through His Word.† But I want to point out that there are other ways where God will speak to you - if we ask Him questions that are not specifically mentioned in His Word.
I am going to mention one principle that I learned in an advanced class in biblical research.† I am not going to look for the Scripture right now, but it is in the Old Testament.† If youíre listening in your mind very closely for God to speak to you, He will speak to you in a still small voice.† You must remember this because it is very important.† Possibly I will do a teaching based on this one principle Ė thatís how important it is.† Remember, A STILL SMALL VOICE.† That is a big part of this teaching on a two-way street.† I do not want you to ever forget that principle.† Youíll be able to weed out a voice that may come from the god of this world.† Now letís go to the gospel of Matthew and continue learning about the two-way street.
If we have a question for God, it is only rational that we must ask Him.† When He gives us an answer we must seek it out and find out where the information that God gave us is located. †If we do so, then we will find what God has told us after we asked Him.† I am sure you heard this before, but I am going to go over it again.† Sometimes, a principle is so simple that we overlook it.† This is one of those principles.
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:† -- Matthew 7: 7
How many times have we done something or started a new project and we do not do not do this first?† That is to ask God if it is His Will to carry out this project.† I have struggled with this in my younger years until I heard a teaching about the subject.† The man who was teaching stated that we were just spinning our wheels when we carry something out and we did not ask God FIRST.† We complete a project and then we ask God if it was okay.† This is a major mistake in your walk with God.† Always ask God first if you should carry out your plans.† God says that He will answer you without a second thought as we learned in James.† First you ask and God gives you Revelation from that Two-Way Street as to whether you should carry out your project or idea.† If so, you seek it out and you look for your tools and materials until you find what you need to complete your project or idea.† In the process of seeking out what you need, you are knocking at a number of doors and if you do, one of those doors shall be opened unto you.† Now this Scripture exemplifies our teaching about ĎItís A Two-way Street.í† You can make this mistake time and time again by your own free will until you realize that you must go to God first.† After that, your problems will be over.† God assures us of this in the next verse.
For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.† Ė Matthew 7: 8
You should know by now that when God says something twice, it is absolutely established.† Revelation or communication with God can change if itís given once.† But once it is given the second time, it will never change.
Now you should remember that we talked about praying amiss when we were working James.† Letís go to James chapter 4.† We are now going to focus on this point specifically because many of us are praying for things from God that are not available.† To give you an obvious example again, many people pray for riches and money.† It is Godís Will for us to prosper, but not in excess.† Letís say a person has a lot of money and they are praying to God for more money.† They are never going to get it.† The following focuses on praying amiss.
From whence come† wars and fightings among you?† come they† not hence, even† of your lusts, that war in your members?† -- James 4: 1
Ye lust, [over desire] and have not:† ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain:† ye fight and war, yet ye† have not, BECAUSE YE ASK NOT. [EMPHASIS ADDED] - James† 4: 2
Letís stop right here.† I have to admit that many times wars are necessary.† The United States is free because it fought in two wars and came out victors.† However, in most cases wars are the result of a countryís lusts Ė which are over-desires.† You must understand this, that these desires are not normal, but are to an extreme.† In the second verse, we see that this one side has this over desire, but yet they cannot win their war.† They kill people and have a desire to have everything, but they cannot obtain.† Again it says they fight and war, but they have not and why?† This is the major idea of these two verses.† It is because they did not ask God whether they should be in this war in the first place.† They probably asked after they were involved in this war.† So what did they do?† They asked AMISS.† Do not feel bad if you have done such a thing as asking God after you completed a project.† We are all human and we all make mistakes.† I myself, have done this many times.† I would think that God would bless whatever I do, but God, in His great wisdom, knows ahead of time what we should do or what we should not do.† God is all-knowing and even more importantly, in this situation, He has foreknowledge.† Foreknowledge means that God can see the future.† Thatís quite a Father we have, isnít it?† And yet we go ahead with our own fleshly ideas, many times based on lust and then we wonder why we fail.† We think God has forsaken us which the Word says He cannot do.† We need to learn to respect God to a much greater extent and realize that He is the supreme intelligence pertaining to anything that we do.† So we ask first, and we make sure that we do not ask amiss.† The next verse gets specifically into that subject.
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it† upon your lusts.† Ė James 4: 3
You ask God for the wrong things so that you can consume it upon your over desires.† Could it be any more simply stated?† We ask God for more money or more cars even though we have more than enough.
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity [in conflict] with God?† whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.† Ė James 4: 4
Adulterers and adulteresses are those who live by lustly desires Ė by the worldís standards.† They are friends of the world Ė Satanís world Ė and are in conflict with the true God.† There is no two-way street here except with the devil.† They get their revelation from the devil.† And make sure you donít become friends with these people because you will become enemies of the true God.† Itís tricky Ė stay sharp spiritually.† The people mentioned at the beginning of the verse always ask amiss.† Yet they think they are worshipping the true God.† Satan is a master of deception.† The rest of the record goes on to say that God gives grace unto the humble, but resists the proud.† God respects that condition of being humble and gives grace to those people.† Grace is divine favor and revelation is grace.† I now want to stress verse 7 of James Chapter 4.
Submit yourselves therefore to God.† Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.† Ė James 4: 7
This is a great key to receiving correct revelation.† When your heart tells you that the thoughts you are getting are from the wrong god, you are to resist, by your own free will.† God assures us that if we resist the devil, he will flee from us.† It takes some discipline to resist him, but we can do it.† It takes an effort.† God would never tell us to do something if it couldnít be done.
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.† Cleanse your† hands, ye† sinners; and purify your† hearts, ye †double minded.† Ė James 4: 8
By making an honest effort to learn and apply Godís Word, you will draw close to Him and He will speak to you more often.† But the sinners must purify their hearts and stop being double-minded.† As you remember the term double-minded from earlier in the teaching, these are the people that second guess their decisions all the time.† We must know that those people will never receive anything from God.† Getting prayers answered requires unwavered believing.
Another very important principle is not to think evil.† If you think evil, God will never give you revelation.
Speak not evil one of another, brethren.† He that speaketh evil of his† brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law:† but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.† -- James† 4: 11
God is the judge Ė not us.† We are not to speak evil of one another because the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation thinks no evil.† When we judge our brother, we contradict Godís Word and do not adhere to it.† This makes our two-way street a dead end.
Remember to pray to God with believing and do not change your mind.† When you draw close to God, He will draw close to you and you will put that Two-Way Street into operation and this will be your lifeline to God.