The Kiss of God
Effective prayer happens when the legal requirements are met and there is the kind of spiritual connection that leads to transfer to God and back from God to those who have prayed. In the New Living Translation, Psalm 86:10 says, “Unfailing love and truth have met together. Righteousness and peace have kissed.”
Love is experience. It is connection. Truth is the legal side. Righteousness is the legal side. Peace is the experience that comes out of spiritual connection. In Christ, the legal and the experiential “kiss.” They “have met together.”
Jesus died on the cross to meet the legal requirements of the law. But Jesus also endured the experiential side. His quotation of Psalm 22:1, saying “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me” (Matt. 27:46) is not just for show. Jesus experienced being spiritually cut off from God. He was totally alone, totally forsaken by the disciples and by God. That was part of meeting the legal requirement. He had to totally experience what we experience.
When we come to Christ, we need both the legal side and a true spiritual transfer to have effective prayer. Romans 10:9 tells us that we have to “confess with the mouth” and “believe in the heart” to be saved. The verbal confession is legal transfer. Jesus cried out to God and then “yielded up His spirit” (Matt. 27:50). Words and actions complete the legal side. He lived through the experiential side of being cut off, but then also experienced being welcomed back into the presence of the Father as a triumphant King (Psalm 110:1 and the gospels!)
Salvation needs both the mouth and the heart. Confession meets the legal requirement. Heart connection completes the experiential side. In 2 Samuel 21, David and the people had been crying out to God in prayer—to no avail. The famine continued. When David approached God, He spoke that the reason for the famine was because of how Saul violated the oath of Israel with the Gibeonites. There was a legal reason for the famine.
Many times, we give up saying things like, “I guess it is not the will of God.” How long would the famine have continued if David had taken that approach? Our God is a legal God. If we have handed Satan authority through our sin, God will not intervene on our behalf until the legal requirements are met. In this case, blood was required for the famine to come to an end.
For salvation, the mouth needs to speak. And it cannot just be the mouth. In Isaiah 1:13, God says, “I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting” (NKJV). In verse 14, He continues saying, “My soul hates” the appointed feasts. God wants the heart and the words to be in sync. The legal requirements of words and actions need to line up with what is happening in the heart.
When the two line up, there is a “kiss” of righteousness and peace.” Some people stop with a legal experience of prayer. Some try to cultivate only an experiential type of prayer. One does not work without the other.
Confession of sin meets the legal obligation, but it does not complete the “kiss.” When we confess our sins, there needs to be a real sense of transfer from us to Christ, to the fact that His death on the cross legally paid for our sins. If Satan comes calling with shame or taunts, we need to know that “it is finished.” The transfer is complete.
That knowing is not likely to happen unless the loop is completed. When we hand things off to Christ, we make room for His Holy Spirit to minister life back to us. If we stop, wait, and observe, there will be a moving of Christ on our spirit. We will experience love or peace. We will feel His mercy in our hearts. If, at that moment, we give praise to God and celebrate the work He is doing in us, we legally seal the work of God to our own hearts. If we don’t stop and observe His work, and don’t speak about what He has done, we leave room for the devil to come in and attack us with the idea that no transfer of sin really happened.
By shifting our focus from the confessed sin to the work God is doing in our hearts, we also effectively change our future. Worship is intense focus. We become what we worship. If we confess our sin and then get our eyes back on our sin, we worship that sin and renew its power in our lives. If instead, we let His mercy “kiss” us experientially, and we celebrate what He has done, we change focus. We worship His work in our lives. We give Him more legal authority to bring change into our lives.
Effective prayer requires legal and experiential transfer to God and back again into our hearts. Most people stop with confession and then continue to meditate on their own sinfulness. Woundedness works the same way. We legally forgive—legally hand the wound off to God, then stop. We don’t wait for the transfer back. We don’t see and celebrate the release that could come if we would only cultivate it by expecting it. There has to be transfer to God and then back from God for prayer to be effective—for it to fully meet the legal requirements for breakthrough.
Many people worry before God for hours and then wonder why nothing changes. The only thing that has changed when a worrier prays is that the stronghold of worry has been strengthened. Unless or until He transfers the thing he is worrying about to God, his words have only strengthened the authority of the enemy over him. The worrier often believes he is doing something effective, but without real transfer, he is only deceiving himself. Same with the wounded person who cries out to God, staying in the place of being a victim. The wound must be transferred and healing must be received. We often stop with some kind of ritual prayer and hope for the best.
Mercy and truth. Righteousness and peace. Do you want the “kiss” of God? Don’t settle for a spiritual walk that is far less than Christ wants for you! Declare with confidence on the basis of the legal work of Christ on the cross, then wait and expect the touch of God. If it doesn’t come, do what David did and cry out to God to find out what is hindering the answer. If God doesn’t answer you, join with others until an answer comes. We are way too quick to settle as if God truly was a God who did not answer. That is not who He is. He answers when we come in a way that has a sincere heart and also meets the legal obligations.
Don’t settle for ineffective prayer. Seek the “kiss” of God!