4/20/16 The Tarrying Bench
“Do you know that if you are Mine and you ask Me for anything, I would put all the infinite powers of heaven to work to accomplish what you ask? It’s true! You need to know, however, that this promise is not for the immature Christian. Many of you use the Name of Jesus as flippantly as you would use something you’ve basically discarded, when at one time it meant something to you. You ingest what is needed for your own pleasure and then set it aside until the next time it is needed. Because there is so much power in the use of His Name, and all of heaven must respond in covenant response when His Name is used, you have little idea how much harm you are doing when you invoke it unwisely.
You need to grow up so that you can be trusted with your covenant authority. It would be wise of you to step back and remember what your relationship with Me is all about. You are redeemed so that I have friends to work with for eternity, accomplishing My plans. Are there other benefits to you while you are doing this? Of course. In fact, the benefits to you are greater than you can ever imagine. If you have the mistaken idea, however, that your best interests supersede My plan, you will be greatly disappointed; and your relationship with Me will be out of order. Study Me; study My Word. Learn My purposes and flow in them. As you do that, all will be in order and you will be at peace. “
John 15:15b-16 NIV
15b) “…I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
16) You did not choose me, but I chose you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.”
James 4:2b-3 NLB
2b) “And yet the reason you don’t have what you want is that you don’t ask God for it.
3) And even when you do ask, you don’t get it because your whole motive is wrong – you want only what will give you pleasure.”
So many of today’s altar calls are an injustice to the work of God. To get a response from the listening audience and to build up churches, the one making the call normally paints a picture of health, wealth, and wisdom - not to mention eternity on streets of gold. Because of this, most Christians spend their days attempting to understand their salvation, instead of becoming mature vessels fit for the use of the Master.
I am convinced that the most important, missing piece of furniture in our churches today is the “tarrying bench.” The tarrying bench was a place where the one seeking salvation dealt with all the issues of salvation before making a commitment. Sometimes it took days as the person wrestled with the flesh, understanding its total depravity. Only after he understood that his life was no longer his own, and that he was bought with a bloody price, would the person be released to commit to Christ and His work on the cross. When he was finished, he understood his position in Christ with its benefits, but also its priorities. He was a servant, not a lord - especially of his own life and its needs. He understood that prayer was not a vehicle to accomplish his desires, but a two-way interaction. It was necessary to first find the will of God, and then be a surrendered vessel, who could be used to implement His will.
When a person in proper understanding of his relationship with the Lord prays, nothing can stop that prayer. A God-initiated, Holy Spirit-ordained prayer, presented in the Name of Jesus and designed to be in perfect unison with His plans, moves heaven, all of its powerful beings, and all of earth. Not only does it accomplish much for the will of God, it accomplishes much in the one who prayed. The seeking process, which occurs as the one who prays attempts to find the will of the Lord in a given situation, accomplishes untold benefits and multiple unseen changes in the seeker’s character. That, too, is in order with the will of God.
Needing to remember to seek first, then pray,