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Our whole life—the way we act and talk—should be in line with what we're asking of God. If you kneel down on your knees and pray and then get up and talk as if God is dead and did not hear you, what good does it do? Everything we do, everything we think, everything we say should be a prayer and should be in line with God's Word.

Sometimes Christians try to justify what they are doing, and they have a battle down inside themselves. Maybe they have allowed some things in their lives that shouldn't be there, but their born-again hearts just won't allow these things to stay. In a case like that, there will be an aggravation in a person's spirit that just won't let him rest.

Unsaved people can live in sin, but saved people can never live in sin and be comfortable. We are ruined for the things of this world. We are born of God. His seed remains in us and we cannot enjoy sin. We have the nature of almighty God! We may make a lot of mistakes, but we can't habitually practice sin and enjoy it. We can never love it.
And, beloved, if our consciences (our hearts) do not accuse us—if they do not make us feel guilty and condemn us—we have confidence (complete assurance and boldness) before God; and we receive from Him whatever we ask for, because we (watchfully) obey His orders—observe His suggestions and injunctions, follow His plan for us—and (habitually) practice what is pleasing to Him.
(1 John 3:21-22 AMP)
This scripture clearly spells out four specific things that we should be doing in order to receive from God.

First, watchfully obey His orders. God delights in answering the prayers of those who are always interested in obeying Him. He ordered us to evangelize the world, to teach and train others, to be baptized in water, to be endued with power from on high through the Baptism in the Holy Ghost.

God ordered husbands to rule their families with love and to guard them from the evil one. God ordered the husband and wife to be heirs together of the grace of life. God ordered children to honor their parents. The Scriptures are full of ways we are to obey the Father. And that is one of the things we must do in order to have prevailing prayer in our lives.

Second, observe His suggestions. Now, most Christians strive to obey God's orders. But as our relationship with Him grows, God has enough confidence in us that He sometimes makes suggestions and lets us make up our own minds.

It is a wonderful thing to be so in tune with God that we respond to His slightest suggestion: "My son, I wouldn't do that," or "My daughter, that's not best."

Third, follow His plan. The most important thing in the world is for you to get into God's plan for your life. I remember how a former pastor came to the youth group I was attending and taught us about God's blueprint for our lives.

He said, "God has a will for your life.  It has your name on it.  He has thought about you.  There is a divine plan for you.  And you should find that plan." Oh, how that thrilled me—to know that God had a plan specifically for me! And I started searching for God's plan for my life.

God is the architect of the universe.  If He can put together a universe as intricate as ours and see to every meticulous detail—surely He can draw a plan for our lives.

There is a good, acceptable, and perfect will of God. I want the perfect will of God. I don't want just the permissive will of God—just His acceptable will. I want the perfect will of God.

Some people don't really care what God's will is for them. They never ask, "God, what do You want for me? What is Your will for my life?" They are just going to live and die and do what they want to anyway. But in order to use the power of prevailing prayer, we must follow God's plan for our lives.

Four, habitually practice what is pleasing to God. Make it a point to find out what is pleasing to God and make living that way a priority in your everyday life.

Some folks seem to want to live as close to the world as they can.  They say, "Well, I can be a Christian and do this." But why would they want to? You can find a biscuit in a garbage can, but who would want to eat it?

Listen to what the Bible says about how we are to live:
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.  If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
(1 John 2:15-17)
Those who will be friends to this world are the enemies of God. The world is the enemy of God. And it seems to be getting worse and worse every day. But thank God, we are the salt and we are the light. And if it weren't for this preserving power, the world would be in total bedlam.

So we are to habitually practice what is pleasing to God. In this way we can be the kind of people God can trust with anything.

Lakewood Church
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

John Osteen
Web site: Lakewood Church
The late John Osteen served the Lord Jesus Christ as pastor, evangelist, author, and teacher for sixty years. Ordained as a Southern Baptist, he received the baptism in the Holy Ghost in 1958, an experience which revolutionized his ministry into a worldwide outreach for Jesus Christ.

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