I am doing a Review of the New Testament (still a work in progress) and one thing that jumped out at me this time (isn’t it wonderful how that happens!) is how often Jesus indicated that He could do nothing by Himself during His ministry.
John 5:19-20 “Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed.”
John 4:34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”
John 5:30 “By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.”
John 8:28 “So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.”
John 12:50 “I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”
John 16:13 “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”
In summary, today, this very minute, the will of God the Father is expressed to and through Jesus the Son and is made known to us by the Holy Spirit.
I don’t know about you but that puts the Trinity into a functional reality for me that really sinks home.
1 John 5:14-15 “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”
Hebrews 4:14-16 “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
John 14:12-14 “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
Now it is our turn to listen daily, hourly, even moment by moment for that distinct prompting of God the Father, given to Jesus and passed onto us by the Holy Spirit. We are to personify Jesus who personified our Heavenly Father.
It’s not just prayer that works. It’s prayer “according to his will” that gets results. Each day, and throughout the day, ask God to give you personal direction for His specific desires to use you for His glory. Make it a frequent daily prayer to ask God the Father for ministry guidance. I suggest two simple prayers that will follow the model of Jesus Himself and how He ministered consistently and effectively under the Father’s direction while on earth.
“Heavenly Father, what is your will in this matter?”
“Heavenly Father, what are you saying?”