It is clear that you and I live in an environment in a world that has been contaminated by sin bringing about a smelly way to live. A polluted world which leads Jesus to identify a widow in a parable, a woman to make an astounding principle.
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Here are some highlights from Tony’s message about the world we live in:
When you are in a putrid environment because you’re breathing it and so there’s no way to get away from it, in Luke 18:1b it says, “Men are to always pray and not to faint.” Men are always to be in communication with God because your ongoing breathing in prayer will keep you in good air even though you may be living in a bad atmosphere where the vultures are circling. Men are always to maintain contact with God like breathing. It should be so normal that you’re doing it even when you’re not conscious you’re doing it. Prayer is an atmosphere of operating in connectivity with God. If prayer is an atmosphere, if it’s a breathing, then that means you’re in contact with God as a normal way of functioning, not just as a scheduled activity that you do.
At 7:46, Tony talks about a judge who does not fear God nor men:
In Luke 18 we’re told there is a judge who does not fear God nor men. In other words he doesn’t care what God thinks and he doesn’t care what people say because he is the judge. There is a widow in the story and we know that her husband has died. When Jesus tells the story he picks the weakest scenario he can pick because in the Bible the lowest of the low are the orphans and the widows. The fact that she has to plead her own case means she has nobody in her circle of influence who can stand up for her, she must stand up for herself. This widow needed legal intervention, she needed the law to work for her. For awhile the judge was unwilling and didn’t want to be bothered. The judge didn’t fear God nor man, but if he didn’t do something about this lady’s problem she’s going to keep coming to me. Every time I show up, she shows up, every time I have another person’s case she brings up her case. He said I’m going to give her legal protection, not because I want to give her legal protection, not because I care about this woman, I want her off my back and I want to protect my reputation. So therefore, I’m going to intervene in her circumstances.
At 20:19, Tony talks about how God brings justice to his children:
Luke 18:7 says, “And will not God bring about justice for his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them?” If an unrighteous judge who doesn’t care about God nor men will bring legal protection to a stranger to protect his reputation, how much more will God bring about justice to his children.
Luke 13:11 says, “And behold, there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself.” Jesus saw her and said to her, woman you are freed from your sickness. He heals her on the Sabbath and she began glorifying God. But the synagogue officials indignant because Jesus had healed her on the Sabbath began saying to the crowd in response that there are six days in which work should be done. They’re saying Jesus you’re out of order for healing this lady on the Sabbath. Jesus said there is a legal relationship I have to this daughter, because there was a covenant made with Abraham by God that God would bring healing to his people in covenant with an Abrahamic agreement when the problem came from a spiritual source. The woman was bent over, but her medical condition was tied to a spiritual condition. Jesus told them this woman is a daughter of Abraham who Satan has bound for eighteen long years. The devil had so intervened in her life that her physical problem was tied to a spiritual dilemma.
We wonder why God hasn’t come through yet because we have not yet appealed to our legal right. Why haven’t we appealed to our legal right? We don’t know our legal right and if you don’t know the law you can’t appeal to the law. The widow knew the law and says because the law is in place I am going to bring the law to bear. If an unrighteous judge will submit to the law, even though he doesn’t have regard for God or for man, how much more will a righteous God who is committed to the law appeal to the legal cause of his people.
At 23:48, Tony concludes his message on Claiming Your Legal Rights:
What gets God’s attention is not him simply feeling sorry about you in the situation you’re in. It’s not merely Him seeing you cry. It’s not merely him seeing you’re depressed. What brings heaven down to earth in the situation you may be facing is calling down your legal right.
God has obligated himself to his own word. God is always going to operate in concert with his own law.
Some of us have been struggling a lot longer than we should be struggling. Why? Because we’ll talk to God about stuff, but we will not call on God in terms of what he has written. God is committed first and foremost not to your feelings, not to your circumstance, he is first and foremost committed to his rules, his regulations, his guideline and his law.
So you ought to speak to your situation, but in the name of God. By your words you ought to speak his words into the situation because God is not bound to what you think, he’s not bound to what other folks think, he’s not bound to how you feel, he’s not bound how other folk feel. He’s not bound to what you’ve been raised to believe or what other people think you ought to believe.
He’s bound to his own words and that’s the only thing that he will commit himself to.