This Bible Study is taken from Chapter Five: Extravagant Devotion of "Working The Works of God" By Dr. Andrew M. Nkoyoyo
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. (James 5:16)
THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT COMPONENT of an extravagant devotion to Christ is your prayer life. Extravagant devotion and true intimacy with the Father are manifested in your communication with Him. Through prayer, you express your deepest desires, your passion, your zeal for your Beloved. Through prayer, He communicates His joy in you, His absolute, unconditional love, His perfect will.
I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day or night. (Isaiah 62:6)
The watchmen were not to rest, day or night, until God’s purpose was accomplished. That is the type of prayer life you must establish. You must pray persistently, without ceasing, for a breakthrough of God’s blessing.
When God delays the answer to our prayers, however, we can become disappointed. Oftentimes intercessors “burn out” because they are not encountering Jesus during the long years of waiting.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life. (Proverbs 13:12)
There is a purpose in waiting, however. God desires that you experience the greater reward in your heart while you wait on His blessing and power in outward circumstances.
An effective, extravagant prayer life can only be sustained and energized through active intimacy with God.
The Seal of Devotion
In ancient times, kings put a special seal on important documents. They pressed their signet ring into hot wax, sealing the document so that the recipient knew it came only from the king.
Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)
When we devote our lives to God, establishing intimacy with Him through radical, fervent prayer, He places a seal of fire on our hearts, setting us apart as special unto Him. The love that He pours out upon us in the process is strong and unyielding, and will conquer every area of sin as we yield to Him.
The Bride and Bridegroom
Scripture refers to believers as the bridegroom of Christ – the most intimate relationship. Jesus’ use of the symbolism of the bridegroom is a call to active intimacy with God. As sons of God, we are heirs to His power and authority; as the bride, we are privileged to experience His heart for us.
As the bridegroom, Jesus is filled with tender mercy. He is gentle with our weaknesses, but passionate in His desire and longing for us. This is the extravagant love that you must emulate, that comprises the new wineskin which can contain the power of God.
Enjoying intimacy requires living in the reality of our “belovedness” before God. A believer confident in love before God will be significantly more committed, resilient and persistent than others. Your core identity must be that you are beloved of God.
We will continue next week with part two.
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