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Thursday, September 21, 2017

#144 Holy Pleadings and Argument Before God

Dr. Wesley L. DuewelThere is a sense in which prevailing with God can take the form of holy reasoning—yes, even presenting holy arguments before God.

   The Bible at times uses court terms for our face-to-face meeting with God. "Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD" (Isa. 1:18). (Google image, Praying hands with Bible).

   This is an invitation to a court-type hearing, a court appeal at the throne of God. God asked Israel to debate its case with Him. 

   Job lamented, 

    "If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his 
     dwelling! I would state my case before him and fill my 
     mouth with arguments. I would find out what he would 
     answer me: (Job 23:3-5).

Moffatt translates Job as saying,

   "Oh that I knew . . . how to reach his very throne, and
     there lay my case before him, arguing it out to the full."

   This holy argumentation with God is not done in a negative, complaining spirit. It is the expression not of a critical heart but of a heart burning with love for God, for His name, and for His glory.

   This holy debate with God is a passionate presentation to God of the many reasons why it will be in harmony with His nature, His righteous government, and the history of His holy interventions on behalf of His people.

  When you walk closely with God and are His constant companion in communion and constant partner in prayer, you have a Spirit-given freedom in prayer that enables you to place your pleas and arguments before the Lord without fear or strain.

   Your heart is so committed to the Lord in total devotion and in selfless intercession for God's glory and for all that advances Christ's kingdom that pleading with God is almost as natural to you as expressing your love to the Lord.

   After all, your holy argument with God and your Bible-based reasonings as you plead are largely for God's sake and are all accompanied with total submission to God's will. While there may be some personal interest at times because of natural ties, your plea is primarily for Christ's sake.

   Your holy arguments and pleas with God should be only for those things that on the basis of God's Word you believe to be God's will. You have become convinced that these prayer answers are willed by God because of the sense of God's nearness and blessing as you pray for them.

   You can pray "Your will be done," not as a trite catchall or sanctifying sentence or as a plaintive concession of pious submissiveness. You pray "Your will be done" militantly as you reason with God with all the holy and god-glorifying reasons you can command. You plead and argue for what you know is God's ultimate desire and for his ultimate glory.

   Watch Abraham plead for Lot and Sodom (Gen. 18:22-33). "Abraham remained standing before the LORD" (v.22).  When God announced His investigation and intended judgment on Sodom, Abraham detained God, standing longer before Him to plead for mercy He was audaciously bold, although he humbly acknowledged that he was "nothing but dust and ashes" (v. 27).

   Abraham approached still closer to God to plead personally with Him (v. 23).

   1. He pleaded and humbly argued the justice of God. How could God punish the righteous with the wicked?

   2. He pleaded for the wicked to be spared for the sake of the righteous and again pleaded for God's justice for the righteous. (Gen, 18:24). Abraham was sure God's heart was like his own. He had risked his own life to rescue Lot and in doing so had rescued the same people of Sodom for whom he was now pleading (Ge. 14).

   The people of Sodom were not worthy then, nor were they worth now, but Abraham had shown mercy. Would God not be as merciful as he had been? He appealed to God's mercy.

   3. Abraham argued from the righteous character of God. "Far be it from you to do such a thingto kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the judge of all the earth do right?" (Gen. 18:25).

   He humbly recognized that God was the Sovereign of the universe. As the righteous and final Judge, how could He do anything but the right?

   [Abraham repeatedly plead for both the righteous and wicked in the city of Sodom].

   Abraham proved himself the friend of God (James 2:23) by his holy pleading and bargaining for mercy.

   Moses too, with whom also God spoke "face to face, as a man speaks with his friend" (Exod. 33:11), engaged in reverent, humble but bold prayer argument with God (32:9-14)

   1. Moses argued from the history of God's redeeming acts for Israel. He told God that it would be out of character with His great acts of mercy if He destroyed Israel now.

   2. Moses argued from the glory of God's name. Why should God permit the Egyptians to think Jehovah was like their Egyptian gods, who had evil motives and vile and evil tempers and who had to be pacified by bribes in the form of sacrifice? 

   "Why should the Egyptians say, 'It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth?'"

   3. Moses argued from God's faithfulness to His loyal servants Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and from the promises He had given them. He boldly quoted back to God the promise He had made and held God to His own word (Exod. 32:13).

   Then God accepted Moses' holy and impassioned plea. Was God angry with Moses for having interfered? Did God charge him with disrespect or irreverence? No, far from it!

   These are two of the wonderful Bible examples of how prayer warriors who walk with God can argue their pleas before his throne and receive great and God-glorifying answers to prayer.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
   Used by permission of the author and Duewel Literature Trust, Inc., Greenwood, Indiana, (with Jean's impressions added).

Mighty Prevailing Prayer
#144 Holy Pleadings and Argument 
Before God
by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

(pp. 296-300)  Zondervan


   Father, our prevailing form of holy praying, even with arguments before You, have a court-feeling of face-to-face meetings.

   Thank You for hearing our petitions which come from humble hearts, to seek Your glory in situations that concern us.
   May our debates be passionately presented with our reasons why we believe the answer will be in harmony with Your character and very nature.
   As Moses and Abraham honored and pleased You, we humbly ask that Your Spirit will enable us to also come into Your Presence with requests for answers to prayers we have from time to time.
   I ask this in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.

Today's Bible verses-

Is. 33:6 (KJV) "Wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure."

Prov. 8:14 (NIV) "Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have understanding and power.

Today's quote-

Elaine Miller- "At the end of my race, I desire to watch the replay over and over and realize I ran well. Looking at the photos of my family cheering me on, I want no regrets. I got rid of the sin that slowed me down. I didn't destroy my life as well as theirs. I threw off all that entangled me instead of throwing away what God gave to me.
   There is One Who will help me run this race. He promises to run with me across the finish line. My eyes are fixed on Jesus. My hands are holding His, and He'll never let go.
   Sin never wins the victory. A heart filled with Jesus does." (Taken from p. 45 of her book, We All Married Idiots).

Today's popular post-

Frances Gregory Pasch tells us that "God sets a beautiful table for us. Throughout the Bible, He offers us a splendid variety of spiritual food for our souls. 

"Once you start to taste the food that God has to offer, says Fran, you’ll want to return frequently for more substantial food."

Today's question-

   Do you have a "can't, because" clause towards something God's asking you to do?

   We all have challenges that seem impossible at times, but what is important is to look to our Lord Jesus for extra grace to face them. He has ample grace for our every need, and He wants us to be successful in every venture He asks of us. His help is what gives us the "want to" as well as the "can do" to honor Him.

Upcoming posts-
23rd- Saturday's post by Lee Forbes

#145 How to Plead Before God (1-4)
26th- Tuesday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

#146 How to Plead Before God (5-7)
28th- Thursday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

Gathered Home
30th- Saturday's post by Lisa Buffaloe

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