9 April 2015 by Mindy Oon CM-
FGA Ipoh was blessed to have Pastor Dr Frikkie Bekker speak at services throughout the Easter weekend. All the way from South Africa, Pastor Bekker has been called to minister in Asia, giving up two churches, a bible school, and everything that he had in South Africa. And while God asking him to give up everything that he had worked for to serve him in Asia was not what he wanted to hear, Pastor Bekker heeded the call of God and landed in Singapore in 2005. He has also served the Lord in Indonesia for many years.
Pastor Bekker’s message on Good Friday was simple and powerful – that we not only need to pray, but also we need to both pray and watch.
In Habakkuk 2:1, the prophet Habakkuk said, “I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint.” In this verse, watch refers to prayer, and the ramparts or walls were for the protection of the city. When Habakkuk was on it, he could see both what was happening on the inside and the outside. Likewise, it is only when we watch and wait on the Lord that we will receive an answer.
Keeping watch was also one of the last things that Jesus taught his disciples. Matthew 26:36-46 tells us about the time just before Jesus was arrested, Jesus was praying in the Garden of Gethsamane and asked His disciples to watch with Him.
6 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” 39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” 40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” 43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. 45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
Many times, when we do not get our answer to our prayers, we are ‘alright’ with it. We try and make sense of our unanswered prayers by saying, “Maybe it’s not God’s will”, “Maybe it will happen soon, the timing is not right” or “Oh, I do not know why He did not answer my prayers, maybe I am being impatient and the answer is coming soon.”
Jesus gave us the secret to getting answers quickly just before He was arrested. As Christians, many of us are experts at praying. However, though many of us pray, we do not watch after we give our petitions to God. At times, we go on and on and on, but when we finish out prayer, we stand up, and we continue on with our lives. We do not hear the voice of God because we have not learnt how to watch. We know very well how to pray but we have not learnt how to watch. This may sound very basic, but when we do not watch, we will not know what God is saying, simply because we do not give Him the chance to speak. Had the disciples watched with Jesus in Gethsemane instead of falling asleep, it is very likely that God would have revealed to them what was going to happen and how they should react to Jesus’ arrest. Like the disciples, most of us would have fell asleep when we should be waiting on God. Our eyes grow heavy and we tell God, “Oh God, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak!” However, we need to keep on pressing in, both praying and watching, and watching and praying if we want to know the heart of God.
God wants to reveal many things to us, and He is longing to do so. Sometimes, we rush to meetings when we know a prophet will be there because we want to know what God wants to speak to us. However, a prophet is there to confirm what God has already revealed to us. When we wait on God and learn to watch, we will be able to get to our God-given destinies quicker because we will be in step with what God wants to do with us, through us and for us. It is never too late to start listening to His voice. And as we do, we will step into what God has for us.
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