About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
From my earliest
recollection as a child I recall being in countless prayer meetings. Prayers
have been offered from the full gamut of prayer styles; from simply
talking to Jesus about anything and everything to heavy-duty, Spirit
One thing I have
observed over the years is that many, if not most of our prayers, are
requesting Jesus to do something for us.
We ask Him to speak to the hearts of our families, our friends, and
our neighbours. We ask Him to
bring change to our governments. Our
lists of requests are endless. In
the midst of all our petitions, I believe Jesus is asking some things from
us. Look at what Ephesians 2:6
"And God raised us
up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ
Now read Colossians 3:1.
"So if you have
been raised with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is, seated
at the right hand of God."
These verses, and others
like them, tell us that a true Christian is now seated alongside of Jesus
in the heavenly realm. This
seating arrangement would have taken place when the Holy Spirit came into
the life of the believer. As
Christians, we exist in two worlds. We
exist on earth in physical form and we exist in the heavenly world in
spiritual form. In contrast,
Jesus exists in the heavenly realm in some kind of superhuman form and He
exists on earth within us in spiritual form.
Further to this we
should understand this seating arrangement in terms of the cultural
environment in which Paul lived. In
the first-century, Greco-Roman world, the term "seated alongside
another" was a term denoting one sharing the responsibilities with
one who was in a place of authority. In
Biblical terms, it means that Christians share in the responsibilities
with Jesus, the One who is the ultimate universal authority.
We are, in fact, co-workers with Jesus in the implementation
of God's will on earth. As
co-workers with Jesus, we have our duties to perform and Jesus has His
duties to perform as we advance God's will on earth.
When we fail to do our part, Jesus is limited in doing His part.
Of course, Jesus could do it all, but that would defeat the reason
why we, the church, exist.
So what does our seating
arrangement have to do with our corporate prayers?
Our prayers should reflect the reality that we are seated alongside
of Jesus, and being so seated, we don't ask Him to do everything for us.
We seek clarity and direction from Him as we work together in
advancing the rule of God on earth. This would mean, for example, that when we ask
Jesus to speak to someone's heart, He would expect us to do some speaking
to that someone as well. It's a co-operative effort. The
degree to which we understand and implement this in our prayers, will be
the degree to which our prayers will become more Biblically balanced and