About four months ago, I started writing some of my prayers in a prayer journal. This has really helped me to be more “real” with the Lord. These written prayers, while respectful, have been more open and honest and less formal, more like talking to a close friend.
At first its was a little scary to be less formal with the Lord. I thought that if I was going to talk to the Lord, it should only be about important things. But I have learned that this is not true. I can, and should, talk to Him about all my hopes and fears. I can ask Him about anything because he cares about me and He loves me.
“Casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully]. 1 Peter 5:7 AMP
Jesus calls us His friends. “I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. (John 15:15).
Is Jesus really my friend? James 2:23 says that “Abraham … was called God’s friend.”
In John 15:14 Jesus said, “You are my friends if you do what I command you.”
Yes, Jesus wants to be your friend.
A relationship with God is about being real. Jesus explains that no matter how hard we try, we can’t hide who we really are from God anyway.
Jesus taught His disciples saying, “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” (Luke 12:1)
In other words, be on your guard against hypocrisy! Don’t let yourself become a hypocrite! Be vigilant in guarding yourself against it. Why? Because it’s a trap easily fallen into.
So let’s talk about the Pharisees. Do you think the Pharisees knew they were hypocrites? I don’t think they did.
If they started out as “Godly men”, what happened? God sent the Messiah and they hated Him! How is that possible? What happened between the time the Pharisees decided to live a holy life and the time they killed the Messiah?
Maybe they hated Jesus because He (basically) threw a monkey wrench into their whole way of life (what they did and how they thought about things).
The word hypocrite came into English from the Greek word hypokrites, which means “an actor” or “a stage player.” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
Yes, I could walk around acting like a Christian. But actually letting God change me on the inside requires that I spend time in His presence. This is how we guard against hypocrisy.
It is impossible to be real with God and at the same time put on an act. You can do one, but not both at the same time.
If we pray to know Him better, He will answer that prayer. He will teach us. He will do it! Our part is always to ask for His help. I believe that the key to avoiding the trap of hypocrisy is to be real with God, to ask Him to help us in all things.
For example, “Lord, help my unbelief. ”
“Lord, help me to hunger for your Word. ”
“Help me to spend time in prayer. ”
Wherever you struggle, He will help you. You don’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not. He knows already where you struggle to be obedient and He loves you anyway. Don’t be afraid to ask Him for help.
“Behold, God is my helper and ally; The Lord is the sustainer of my soul [my upholder].” Psalm 54:4 AMP
This is My Journey Unscripted.
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“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever— ” John 14:16 AMP
“But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you.” John 14:26 AMP
“So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently say, “The Lord is my Helper [in time of need], I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?” Hebrews 13:6 AMP
“I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:15 NIV
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! … On the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” Matthew 23:27-28 NIV
“But there is nothing [so carefully] concealed that it will not be revealed, nor so hidden that it will not be made known. For that reason, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops.” Luke 12:2-3 AMP
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