Mom read the post I wrote last week and gave me a book to read. It was recommended to her when she was a new believer and was trying to understand more about prayer. The title is "The God Who Hears" and it was written by W. Bingham Hunter. I don't know anything about him, so if any of you know for sure that he is a heretic, let me know. So far, it's all been kosher.
I've only had time to read the first three chapters, but already have had some questions answered. And truly, like so many other things about God, we won't fully understand prayer in this life. But we can try.
This isn't a review about the book, but I must say I love how the author is approaching the concept of prayer. He is making the case that you must have a proper understanding of God before you can understand how to pray properly.
First, he talks about the Holiness of God. The Holiness of God is often symbolized as light.
God is Light; in Him there is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5
God the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom on one has seen or can see... 1 Timothy 6:15-16
Our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:29
If God's Holiness is light, just imagine what it does when it comes near us; it reveals our nastiness.
Darkness cannot comprehend light.
The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome[understood, comprehended] it. John 1:5 (The Light being Christ)
Also, when the Light comes, darkness must flee. Hallelujah!
The author goes on to say that our idea of holiness, the culture's idea, is a negative one. Being Holy is viewed as not doing wrong, or not having fun, not enjoying anything. I know that's the first thing that pops in my head still when I hear the term 'holy'. I'm still working on that Biblical Worldview.
But that's not what holiness is. Holiness does mean "to be separate", but to be separate from evil and separate to good. When we are saved, our sin is removed from us, but God's holiness is also imputed to us. We take off the sinful robe of our father Adam and are given Christ's holiness to put on instead.
Holiness is not a lack of activity; it is living set apart to God.
It is when we begin to have a better, more biblical understanding of God's holiness, which we have been given (if we have been redeemed), that we understand
how to approach Him,
our position in relation to Him
and our need for repentance and forgiveness.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51:17
I think I'd like to continue with what I'm reading over the next few Thursday's, so stay tuned.