“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”
Matthew 6:5 – 6 NKJV
Jesus is teaching us about prayer. The hypocrites wanted everyone to see them praying. They probably practiced their prayers at home, and then went out and prayed in the open so people could see and hear them.
Jesus said we should pray in private. That doesn’t mean EVERY prayer should be in private, but we should have some private time with God to share what’s on our heart. We should pray out loud when we can, not so God can hear us, but so we can hear ourselves. We might be surprised at what comes out of our mouths!
Did you begin this devotion with prayer? The purpose of devotions are to draw us closer to the will and heart of God. Beginning with prayer opens our hearts to hear the voice of God. Once we hear His voice. we should also offer a prayer giving Him thanks.
Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”
Job 1:8 NKJV
God asked Satan if he considered His servant Job. The word “considered” was a Hebrew military term meaning “to study the objective to find its strengths and weaknesses”. In this case, Job was the objective.
Satan is not Omnipresent. He can’t be in two places at once. He is not omniscient. He doesn’t know everything there is to know. He is not Omnipotent. His power is limited to the power that God allows him to have.
Satan makes it his business to know as much about the children of God as he can. As children of God, we shouldn’t fear Satan or try to hide from him. James 4:7 tells us that we should submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from us. We resist…he flees.
Later in the book, Satan tells God that Job only serves Him because He has blessed Job greatly, and He keeps a hedge of protection around him. God gives Satan permission to strike all that Job has, but not to touch Job. This is important. Satan needed permission to touch a child of God. Have no fear. He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world!
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
Galatians 5:1 NKJV
The yoke of bondage mentioned in this verse is the law. The law doesn’t bring us closer to God; it reveals how far we are separated from Him. When we attempt to live by the law we believe we will become more spiritual by obeying the law. This leads to a false confidence that we can become spiritually stronger by following rules.
When we believe we have become spiritually mature, we begin to look down on others who haven’t reached our level of maturity. Instead of comparing our spiritual lives to the life of Christ, we compare our walk with other Christians.
If we set the standard of what a spiritually mature person looks like, we will drastically miss the mark. Jesus is our standard, and until we attain His level of perfection, we will never be good enough.
Standing in liberty isn’t easy. Our desire is to “do things” to earn our own way. Liberty removes the yolk of bondage. Ephesians 2:8 reminds us: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,”. Grace is the method God uses to bestow liberty upon us. It is a gift that we receive, and then apply to our lives.