Matthew 15:1-20Some Pharisees and teachers of religious law now arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus. They asked him, “Why do your disciples disobey our age-old tradition? For they ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat.”Jesus replied, “And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God? For instance, God says, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’ 6In this way, you say they don’t need to honor their parents. And so you cancel the word of God for the sake of your own tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’” Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear.“Listen,” he said, “and try to understand. It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.” Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you realize you offended the Pharisees by what you just said?” Jesus replied, “Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted, so ignore them. They are blind guides leading the blind, and if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into a ditch.”Then Peter said to Jesus, “Explain to us the parable that says people aren’t defiled by what they eat.” “Don’t you understand yet?” Jesus asked. “Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer. But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you. For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. These are what defile you. Eating with unwashed hands will never defile you.”
Youth With A Mission in DC is one of the most intense experiences. It’s also always a learning experience, especially in the prayer room. I not only work for the YWAM ASL team but I also work under Washington House of Prayer. Often we have corporate prayer meetings but it’s challenging because the ASL ministry isn’t leading. Because of that, it creates resistance and tension in the atmosphere when our team enters the room.
One of the things I’ve been praying for breakthrough for awhile was this: how can I enter into a corporate prayer meeting as a model to simply be there serving God? How can I stop myself from caring about what others may be thinking when I walk in? Does it even matter what they think? Should I be continuously worried? How do I lay down my pride of my culture and not expect others to serve me first before I serve God?
The last question struck me a little hard this week as I’ve been reading, Making Jesus Lord by Loren Cunningham. It not only challenged me but I began to realize that even though I don’t consider myself to idolize my culture before myself, I do care about what man think in terms of it. I begin to follow them and lose myself to them rather than God.
I’ve been evaluating the purpose of the prayer room this week. Why am I there? Because I need God to serve me, to heal me, to show me His throne room? Because I need to be holy through repentance? Because I need to worship God and let HIm know I think of HIm daily?
I realized it’s so much than that being in the prayer room. I find myself ignoring my peers in the room and focusing on Jesus, serving Him and only Him. Yes, having an interpreter is beneficial because I begin to know what’s happening. But I should not limit God in the prayer room because of my hearing, or lack of accessibility to language. I don’t speak in tongues because I don’t know how, I don’t because I think I want to support my peers. The problem: I’m not serving God through this, therefore: I cannot serve my community to the fullest.
I hate knowing I’ve missed opportunities to minister to God’s heart and hear His heart for me and my community. But slowly I will learn to give up my rights and simply follow the Holy Spirit, not man’s wants, needs or rights. I want my own pride to be broken. To to simply make Jesus Lord in the prayer room.