Prayer Service in Surabaya, January 28, 2015 (Wednesday Evening)

Speaker: Pastor Dadang Hadi Santoso

Peace and grace in the love of our Lord Jesus Christ. Good evening, let us hear the Word of God. Let the peace, grace, and joy of God be in the midst of us abundantly.

We are learning from Matthew 10:38.
10:38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.

Who is worthy for Jesus, which is worthy to follow Jesus and be His bride? Those who are willing to take his cross, not a rich man, or intelligent, or anything.
Willingness to take the cross means willingness to have a physical tribulations with Jesus.

2 Corinthians 6:4-5
6:4 But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses,
6:5 in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings;

One of the practices is to minister God or to be the priests and kings.
We are not talking about a physical cross. If we were talking about the physical cross, it would not be fair if we do not bear the same cross as what Jesus did (with the same weight, the same wood, and everything else), while everyone wants different things (different kind of wood, different size, weight, and everything else).
If we use a spiritual measurement, we can have the same cross.

If the Gentiles can minister God by being priests and kings, this is God's mercy. This is why we have to be earnest in our ministry to God.

The characteristics of being earnest in our ministry to God are as follows.

  • Being faithful and responsible in the position that God has entrusted us.
    "We do not minister only when we can or we want, and then forget it when we do not want to do it."

  • Being willing to sacrifice anything to be able to keep on ministering to God.

    "According to my experience; once I was young, we all once were young. Do not leave the ministry because of a boyfriend/girlfriend. If before you have a boyfriend/girlfriend you are earnest in your ministry and then you forget your ministry after you have one, it is not from God."

  • Being obedient to God or the true Word, no matter what the risks are.

2 Corinthians 6:4-5
6:4 But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses,
6:5 in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings;

In the ministry, Paul had a lot of tribulations and distresses. We need to know that we have to be earnest in our ministry. If we do it half-heartedly, we will not be acceptable to God; we are like a man whose right hand was dead (one half is ministering while the other half is dead), a lukewarm ministry. We have to be faithful, willing to sacrifice, and obedient to God.

We know that to be faithful, willing to sacrifice, and obedient to the true Word is NOT EASY (Paul had to face tribulations, be put in prison, and many other things because of his ministry).
Even after being faithful, willing to sacrifice, and following God's will, we will have tribulations and challenges in our ministry to God. We have to be PATIENT, we surrender and entrust ourselves to God through worshipping Him and fasting.
Do not forget to worship God and fast.
Without praying and fasting, we will not be able to do it.

A testimony:
"I remember when we had a fellowship in Ciawi, Mr. Hendro told me to fast and I said that I wanted to learn fasting. Fasting is a key. There are many sufferings in our ministry to God, I saw our pastor in his ministry, it is not easy, there are a lot of challenges and sufferings. We need to worship and fast a lot. Now, as I have been sent to Ngawi, I experience it too; there are a lot of sufferings and challenges both from the inside and the outside. Our power is from praying, worshipping God and fasting."

Ezra 8:21-23
8:21 Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions.
8:22 For I was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king, saying, "The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him."
8:23 So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer.

In verse 21, it is explained that when we can do nothing else, the solution is fasting and humbling ourselves before God.
The phrase 'His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him' explains that it is dangerous if we are arrogant in the ministry, suffering, or challenges (by thinking of ourselves as clever or anything so that we do not need to fast).

Even if we have been faithful, willing to sacrifice, and obedient to God, it is still not enough. There are suffering and challenges in the ministry. Let's pray, worship, and fast.
The result is God will fulfill our prayers, God will stretch His hands to do the things as follows.

  • Helping and protecting us.
  • Delivering us from our enemies.
  • Nurturing us until we have a beautiful, successful, and happy life in God.
  • Ezra 8:31-32
    8:31 Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go to Jerusalem. And the hand of our God was upon us, and He delivered us from the hand of the enemy and from ambush along the road.
    32 So we came to Jerusalem, and stayed there three days.

    The fourth thing is 'So we came to Jerusalem', which means God does not only help, protect, nurture us until we have a beautiful and happy life, but He will also lead us to the New Jerusalem. The peak of our success is to be God's bride, we minister Him days and nights forever and ever.

    "Many people are earnest in their ministry to God. However, when they have some small tribulations, they are not faithful anymore, they are afraid to sacrifice, and they are not obedient. It means, they fail; they fail before they reach the New Jerusalem."

If God stretches His hands to help, protect, nurture our lives, and to make our lives beautiful and happy, He will also stretch His hands to bring us to the New Jerusalem. We minister God days and nights forever and ever.

If God has helped, nurtured, protected us up to this day even though there have been a lot of tribulations, challenges, and temptations, we should do the things as follows.
Ezra 8:33-35
8:33 Now on the fourth day the silver and the gold and the articles were weighed in the house of our God by the hand of Meremoth the son of Uriah the priest, and with him was Eleazar the son of Phinehas; with them were the Levites, Jozabad the son of Jeshua and Noadiah the son of Binnui,
8:34 with the number and weight of everything. All the weight was written down at that time.
8:35 The children of those who had been carried away captive, who had come from the captivity, offered burnt offerings to the God of Israel: twelve bulls for all Israel, ninety-six rams, seventy-seven lambs, and twelve male goats as a sin offering. All this was a burnt offering to the Lord.

We have to offer burnt offerings to God, which means we should give thanks to Him for His mercy and kindness, so that we will not be arrogant but we always remember that it happened because of His power.
Giving thanks is not only in tongue, but there should be proofs.

"As I have told you earlier, I have reached this place safely although there were a lot of problems. I should have been in Bungurasih at half past four, and I should have been here af half past five. Apparently it was not the case, because I departed from Ngawi at one o'clock. Luckily, the bus was fast and I reached Bungurasih at some minutes to five. I took another bus, and I reached this place at half past six. It was by God's grace, 'Thank You God for Your guidance.' It is great that you can also minister to God in the middle of your business."

Psalms 27:4-5
27:4 One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple.
27:5 For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.

A proof that we can give thanks is that we dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of our lives, we are deeply rooted to the true system of the shepherding, we have no more doubt.

Psalms 23:1-2, 6
23:1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
23:2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.

God will show His mercy and make us say 'I shall not want', we are perfect and as glorious as Him.

God blesses us, may we understand the Word and His name be glorified.