9-28-2019 WHAT IS SARAH?
What is Sarah? Does SARAH reference the wife of Abraham who bore him Isaac? Is it a reference to Sarah Vaughan, the renowned jazz singer from decades ago who was considered to have one of the best voices of her time? Or perhaps actress Sarah Jessica Parker? Or maybe even former Alaska governor and presidential candidate Sarah Palin?
Answer: none of the above.
OK, so what is SARAH then? (glad you asked)
The foundation of SARAH is
Matt. 7:7-8 Ask and it shall be given you, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives, everyone who seeks finds and knock and it shall be opened to you.
SARAH is an acronym that applies to every aspect of our Christian experience. In our ‘salvation, our calling, our Christian walk.
Matt. 6:33 Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.
First and foremost we seek the kingdom of God, letting Jesus into our hearts (John 3:16).
This is our salvation experience. Realizing our need for Jesus and that He is the only one who can guarantee eternal security. Jesus says “I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes unto the Father but by Me (John14:6).
So we put God before all else (Mark 12:30, Jer. 29:11-13).
When we don’t put God first in everything, we have one “hell of a battle” the rest of our lives meaning we fight alone.
When we do put God first, we still have one hell of a battle to fight (Satan and the powers of darkness are our enemy) BUT we have Jesus to help us with whatever we face and those things become a whole lot easier to deal with. Jesus said “Take My yoke for it is easy to bear” (Matt. 11:29-30). Because the Holy Spirit is “in us” (John 14:17), Father works through Jesus, through the Holy Spirit to accomplish things in our lives. Jesus says that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5). We can always count on Him. Father tells us that we should not be afraid for He is with us and shall strengthen us because He holds us in His right hand of righteousness (Isa. 41:10).
Then we seek the calling Father has placed upon our lives (Jer. 29:11, 1 Corinth. 12:27-31).
Father knows us before we are even conceived and assigns a task to us before we are born (Jer. 1:5). He has a plan for us (Jer. 29:11-13). We just have to come to know what that plan is. Father has given us a gift or multiple gifts through which we may serve. That gift reveals His assignment for our life.
Now seeking God’s help isn’t just for knowing the ‘calling’ He has placed upon our life, but applying it, that is taking action and pursuing it. If we desire to become a doctor, we don’t become one simply because we desire to be. We have to go to school and get training so we can more effectively use our gift.
We seek God for salvation and direction. His guidance is for every aspect of our life. The more direction we get from our Father, the smoother any of our roads in life will be.
Mark 11:22-24 Have faith in God. Truly, I tell you that whosoever tells this mount ‘be removed and cast into the sea’ and does not doubt in his heart, whatever he says shall come to pass. Therefore I tell you, whatsoever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive and you shall have.
Seeking God first brings positive results into our prayer life and paves the way for our asking of Him.
Notice the word ‘shall’ in this passage. Father isn’t saying it will happen at the snap of our fingers, but shall is the process of bringing it into existence.
So why don’t answers to prayer always come immediately? Daniel had to wait for the answer to one of his prayers because of spiritual opposition (Dan. 10:10-14). There are spiritual battles going on the ‘heavenlies’. The enemy does not want us blessed and resists God’s attempts to do so.
The man told Jesus “I believe, help my unbelief. (Mark 9:23-24)”. At times, our own doubt gets in the way.
The prodigal son determined (in his heart) to go ask his father for forgiveness so he went back to his father, confessed his error and asked for that forgiveness (spoke it out, Luke 15:21). We need to clear out any ‘dead wood’ (unconfessed sin) then speak out our requests before God. Think our core verse in the gospel of Matthew. And it sure helps to have already applied the “S” here.
We don’t have because we don’t ask (James 4:2). We don’t have because maybe we doubt or there is unconfessed sin yet in our lives.
Mark 11:23 Again, believe that we will receive.
Matt. 7:9-11 We know how to give good gifts to our children and do so. How much more so will God give good things to those who ask?
All believers are God’s children. We seek to please Him and He seeks to bless us. Once we’ve asked, we need to learn how to receive from God. Oft times we have asked, but we don’t really believe God will give us that for which we have asked. Especially when we don’t see an answer right away. It is coming. God has His timing. Again, remember Daniel and our own faith.
Now, in receiving, there is one catch. Yes, we absolutely have to believe, but Father also expects us to walk in His will. He told Israel to put Him first, keep His laws, statutes and commandments then He would bless them richly (Lev. 26:1-12). More pertinent to us, Jesus said seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these wonderful things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33). As we live in God’s will, expect to receive that (whatever) for which we have asked. Receiving is believing even when we don’t see it yet . Sound like the definition of faith (Heb. 11:1)? The lame man, Peter and John encountered, took Peter’s hand and stood up, receiving the healing from God (see the “A” next section). Jesus spoke healing to ten lepers but only one received as he turned and gave God the glory (Luke 17:11-19).
Too many times we don’t have because we haven’t asked or really don’t expect Father to give it to us. Perhaps we ask amiss, to consume it in our own lusts (James 4:3).
As our life lines up with God, we don’t doubt and understand God’s timing, ask. It will come.
1 Peter 4:10-11 Even as every man has received, minister the same one to another as good stewards of the many graces of God. If any man speaks, let him speak as a representative of God. If he ministers, let him minister with the ability God has given him.
Once we have asked, we need to believe. Once we have believed, we will receive. Expect it, but then, we may need to take some sort of action on what we have requested and believed. Peter and John encountered the lame man at the Beautiful Gate. They said “Look on us.” Looking at them, the man expected something from them. Then Peter said “I have no silver nor gold, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus stand up and walk.” Then Peter took the man by the hand and helped him up (Acts 3:1-7). He didn’t just pray then walk away. He took an action. This works when we pray for others. This works when we pray for ourselves. Are we bold enough to take action on what we have confessed and believed.
Sometimes, there may not be anything we can immediately do (except pray), but often, Father uses us to fulfill our own requests. If a man sits in a chair in a room and he desires to leave the room and he believes God to get him out of the room, does the man just stay, sitting in the chair and say “God, get me out of this room”? No! He needs to get up out of the chair, walk over to the door and open it and walk out of the room. When the man is fully capable, Father will not “Scotty, beam me over.” We just may have to do something.
There are times we may have to wait. Yes, we do have to understand God’s timing for us. All things are done in His timing (Eccl. 3:1-8).
There may be something in our own life which is blocking God’s response or spiritual influences (Daniel again?). Unconfessed sin, doubt … When we ask Father for something for the wrong reason, He won’t answer (James 4:3). When I consider doing evil, in my heart, God will not hear me (Psalm 66:18). Or when I continue in sin (Isa. 59:2). Or when I continue to live contrary to God’s guidance, evil will befall me (Jer. 14:10-12). God does not hear sinners, but when we worship Him and do His will, then God hears us (John 9:31).
However, there is one prayer anyone can pray and God will hear. The sinner’s prayer (John 3:16), when one confesses Jesus and receives Him into his heart. God does not desire that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9). When someone seeks God and truly repents his sins, God WILL honor that request every time.
We need to understand God’s timing and those things that hinder our prayers. We need to believe God will answer our prayers and even then, we just may have to still take an action. We may have to do something. We need God’s discernment to know when to do what. Just ask Him.
H (be) Holy
1 Peter 1:14-19 As obedient children, don’t follow those lusts you learned in your ignorance. But He who has called us to be holy as He is holy, so be holy in all the ways you talk (or walk). For it is written “Be holy for I am holy.” And if you call upon the Father, who does not respect anyone’s position in life but judges each man according to his (own) works, spend this life in fear (reverence and respect of the Father). For you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things such as gold and silver or by your own vain conversations, which you received from your fathers. But with the precious blood of Christ who is the Lamb of God without blemish and without spot.
Jesus is holy, that is set apart from the world. Even though He was in it, He didn’t live His life according to world standards. As His followers, we should set ourselves apart from the actions and traditions of the world – even though we are still in it, we don’t act like it. God is not a respecter of our titles or position in life (Rom. 2:11-13), but He does judge us for the works we do (or don’t do) for Him (1 Corinth. 3:12-15). Do our works glorify the name of God? Proclaim His mighty works? Express His love for/to those around us?
How can we be holy? Live in God’s love. How do we know God’s love? The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17) give us a basic understanding of love. As we read through the bible, we see God expressing His love in many different ways. From His relationship with Adam through Israel and culminating in the ministry of His Son, Jesus, whom we call the Christ (Messiah, Emmanuel). The apostles continued expressing that love through the writings of the New Testament and should be expressed by every Christian, even through today as an example for those yet to come.
We are holy (set apart) because we live in God’s love. When people look upon us, it should be clearly evident we are different from the world. So, being ambassadors of Jesus Christ, we should be careful how we conduct ourselves in the world. When we ae truly living holy, we may not even realize it but those around us will. WE can live a holy life because the Holy Spirit dwells within us, being our help.
So, should we implement SARAH in our lives?
SEEK Father through Jesus Christ
ASK For what we need
RECEIVE And believe we have
ACTIVATE Our request by putting our faith into action and ‘doing’
HOLY Living in and for Christ Jesus while we are yet in this world
It is your decision.