Real Intercession


Last evening I had a revelation about intercession, and I wanted to share it with you, dear reader.

This is important to me because I have received a share of Jesus' heart of intercession ever since I first received Him as Savior and Lord on 5/15/76 at 3: 30 p.m. EST.  (I know the date and time because it was the most momentous event in my life, and was the beginning of an entirely new life and lifestyle).

So, what is intercession?  I don't want to just share with you my understanding or what someone else has taught me.  So let me tell you my story of intercession.

Years ago, when our older daughter was about five or so years old, she fell and cut her chin.  It was a deep cut, so I took her to the local hospital emergency room.  After waiting the customary time she was seen by an emergency room doctor, and was taken into a treatment room for the doctor to clean and stitch her wound.  I, of course, went with her into the treatment room.  I watched as the doctor gave her a local anesthetic around the wound area, and then proceeded to cleanse the wound and stitch it closed.

As I watched I heard the voice of my dad outside the treatment room, so I asked our daughter if I could go tell Grandpa what was going on.  She was brave and agreed that Grandpa should be informed, so I opened the door to the treatment room to go talk to my dad.

When I opened the door a wave of outside air hit me, and I fainted dead away!  Fortunately a nurse was right there pushing an empty wheelchair.  She scooped me up before I even fell to the floor, and wheeled me out of the emergency room to get some fresh outside air (and maybe so that others would not see the effects that watching their treatment might have - come to think of it).

So, as I sat in the wheelchair just outside of the hospital emergency room I was feeling ashamed of my weakness and guilty for not being able to go back to be with our daughter right away.  I asked Jesus why this was happening to me, and the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and said,

"Bear one another's burdens, and thus fulfill the Law of Christ."

I recognized this as a verse of Scripture, and later looked it up, and found it to be Galatians, chapter 6, verse 2!!

Then, as I sat in the wheelchair on the sidewalk outside the hospital emergency room, my dad and my daughter walked out of the emergency room door as if nothing had happened to her!!!!

My immediate reaction was the thought that it was worth the humiliation and foolishness I had experienced to see her restored to perfect condition so quickly!!!  And it was not prayer, it was God moving in and through me to bless someone else, completely unrelated to my thinking or understanding!

So, that is my first real instruction about intercession, although I had been praying for myself and others for years as the occasions arose, according to my understanding of my needs and others' needs.

MORE TO THE STORY

A buddy of mine, who I met in a Sunday School class some years ago, is one of the most spiritual persons with whom I am acquainted.  He works in heavy industry, so he is physically strong and a no-nonsense kind of guy.  Yet in that Sunday School class he wept openly and freely when another person in the class shared a prayer request for the rest of the class to pray about.  My buddy was complete shocked by his tearful reaction to the prayer request.  After the class I asked him what was going on in him, and he told me that he had never experienced anything like the burden he felt when the prayer request was made.  I told him that I believed that Jesus was sharing with him an intercessory burden which He (Jesus) was bearing to our Heavenly Father.

Since that time I have gotten much better acquainted with my buddy through fellowship, prayer and worship experiences.  I have come to the conclusion through our shared intercessory experiences that intercession is much different from prayer.  Prayer is based on what we perceive to need God's attention, and how we believe God should answer our prayers.  Intercession, on the other hand, is initiated by God in people who are open to His presence in their lives.  Only a true intercessor can know the difference.  And looking back, I believe that my buddy and I share one thing in common.  We have both come to the understanding that God created us (and everyone else) for His purposes, He owns our lives by virtue of creation AND by virtue of redemption, and WE ARE NOT OUR OWN!  As a result we have both surrendered our lives to Jesus and our Heavenly Father, and have not only told God that He can do anything He wants to do in us and through us, we WANT Him to do whatever He wants to do in us and through us!  It is one thing to grudgingly give God access to our lives, and something completely different to want Him to do whatever He wants to do.

So I challenge you, dear reader, to do likewise.  It begins with this truth:

1Co 6:19  Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a Price. So glorify God in your body.

Grudgingly giving God permission to do what He wants to do is really REBELLION AGAINST GOD.  It is rejecting the truth that we belong to Him, and continuing in our delusion that we own our own lives, and have the right to do what WE WANT TO DO with our lives.

Unconditional, broken and contrite surrender to God brings our independent rebellion against God to the beginning of the end, and allows us to enter into a new, cordial relationship with God while He works out the details of perfecting us.  That is the point of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, coming to earth, living, being crucified, dying, being buried, and being resurrected from the dead.

God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:19

Regarding this truth, I have learned a lot about life from our children's two dogs.  One, a 100 pound Bull Mastiff, was as docile as the day is long.  Her name was Chloe.  Walking Chloe was generally an effortless experience. She walked at my pace, and went where I wanted to go.  On rare occasions she would get distracted by another dog, but that was unusual.

Our other 'grand dog' is a 40 pound most Australian Shepherd named Cooper.  Cooper is the perfect dog.  He doesn't smell like a dog, and is very friendly.  But on a walk Cooper wants to go where he wants to go at a pace which is rarely slow enough for my comfort.  He is willing to choke himself on his dog collar and leash while trying to pull me along at the pace he wants to go.

I see a lot of my old self in Cooper, and I am coming to see my new life in Christ of unconditional surrender to God in Chloe.  I hope that you get the point of this, dear reader.  This is not meant to be all entertainment, you know.

ANOTHER ASPECT OF INTERCESSION

During my 37+ years as a Christian, the most commonly quoted part of Scripture concerning intercession which I have heard is this:  "I am 'standing in the gap' for you", meaning 'I am praying for you'.  This phrase 'standing in the gap' turns out to be a very small part of a passage from the Jewish prophet Ezekiel:

Eze 22:29  The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery; yes, they have vexed the poor and needy, and have oppressed the sojourner wrongfully.
Eze 22:30  And I sought for a man among them, that should build up the wall, and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found none.
Eze 22:31  Therefore have I poured out My indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath: their own way have I brought upon their heads, says the Lord Jehovah.


I observed that God sent the prophet Ezekiel to warn the people of Israel, who were going astray from God after their own ways, and God looked for someone to 'Build the Wall' and to 'Stand in the Gap' before Him for the land, but He found no one to do so.  I also observed that the passage does not explain what 'building the wall' and 'standing in the gap' mean!

I have come to the conclusion that when the Scriptures do not explain what to do or how to do something, it is meant to draw us to God for those answers. That is what 'ruling and reigning with God' is all about.  He wants us to join Him in ruling and reigning, not our way, but His way. 

I find it helpful to regard myself as about five years old, asking my Heavenly Father if I can help Him do this or that.  Of course He could do it better without me, but I understand as a father myself the joy of having a child want to participate in the father's endeavors.  Yes, it slows Father down, and no - I don't get to do it my way (if it is dangerous), but any real father knows the joy of having a child who wants to help out, and is humble enough to know that he doesn't know what to do or how to do it!  That's better than pure gold!!!

More later, maybe.

MORE

Getting back to today's revelation, I mentioned 'building the wall' and standing in the gap'.  This morning I realized that even though I had asked Jesus to help me to build whatever wall Father wants to be build, and to stand in whatever gap He might want me to stand in, I had always considered the wall and the gap to be nonexistent until we build it with God's direction and assistance.  This morning I realized that we all build walls of protection and exclusion, and stand in the gap to control who gets in and who stays out of our lives (as much as possible).

So the question becomes, "What walls have we build which need to be torn down, what walls need to be built, and what are we doing in the gaps that exist?" 

Perhaps I should explain that the walls we build are in our hearts and minds as well as legal and social walls.  Some are good and some are not so good, and only God knows the difference.  We are unable to figure out which are which because we are not omniscient or all wise or all knowing as only God is.

With that in mind I realized that God's commission to the prophet Jeremiah dealt with these issues.  His commission was:

Jer 1:4-10  And the word of Yahweh came to me, saying,  "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you came out from the womb I consecrated you; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."
Then I said, "Ah, Lord Yahweh! Look, I do not know how to speak, for I am a youth."
But Yahweh said to me, "You must not say, 'I am a youth,' for to whomever I send you, you will go, and whatever I command you, you will speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you," declares Yahweh.
Then Yahweh stretched out his hand and he touched my mouth, and Yahweh said to me, "Look, I have put my words in your mouth. See, I appoint you this day over the nations and over the kingdoms, to pluck up and to pull down, and to destroy and to tear down, to build and to plant."

There are things in our lives which need to be plucked up, broken down, destroyed and overthrown in order that we might build and plant according to God's will.  (He who does the will of God will be saved!).  But the church (as distinguished from the body of Christ) has failed to clear the land before planting, or to dig a proper foundation before building.  As a result our fields have both weeds and crops, and what we build is unstable.

This must change if weed-free lives and stable lives are to be build and planted for God's pleasure.

How?  It's easy and virtually painless. [grin]

Simply as Jesus Christ to help you to pluck up, break down, destroy and overthrow anything in YOUR LIFE which needs to be gotten rid of.  You will probably also need to ask Him to work in you both to WILL and TO DO whatever it takes to accomplish these projects.  The ask Jesus to help you to build and plant whatever Father wants to be built and planted in your life to bring forth good fruits for God's pleasure.

And please don't try this on anyone until you have tried it on yourself:

Mat 7:3-5  And why do you look on the splinter that is in your brother's eye, but do not consider the beam that is in your own eye? Or how will you say to your brother, Let me pull the splinter out of your eye; and, behold, a beam is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First cast the beam out of your own eye, and then you shall see clearly to cast the splinter out of your brother's eye.

P.S.:

On January 19, 2015, I had an interesting experience.  That evening I felt nauseous.  This is a very, very rare sensation for me, and I have always prayed, "Oh God, please help me to NOT vomit!"  So when I felt nauseous on 1/19/15 it triggered in me that same prayer that I had prayer beginning in 1973 - the last time I remember vomiting.  I had prayed 'Lord, please help me to never vomit again!'  As a result (I believe) I have not vomited for over forty years.  But on 1/19/15 when I felt nauseous I remembered that I had written the above memoir that morning, and felt that I needed to release that prayer request. So I said, "Heavenly Father, if You want me to vomit or do anything, then I not only am willing to let You do whatever You want to do in me and through me, but I WANT You to do whatever You want to do in me and through me, including vomiting."

Dear reader, if you are squeamish, stop reading now. 

Immediately after I finished that prayer I vomited what I thought was a lot more volume than I could physically contain.  It was not as unpleasant as I remembered from forty years ago.  When I was done the nausea was gone, and I got the impression that this might have been what I consider to be 'intercessory vomiting'.  With that strange thought in mind, I did a quick mental search of the Scriptures for anything on the topic of vomiting, and the obvious reference I thought of was Revelation 3:14-21 - The Message of Jesus to the Messenger of the Out-Called group in Laodicea:

Rev 3:14  "And to the messenger of the church in Laodicea write: "This is what the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the originator of God's creation, says:
Rev 3:15  'I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot!
Rev 3:16  Thus, because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I am about to vomit you out of my mouth!
Rev 3:17  Because you are saying, "I am rich, and have become rich, and I have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and pitiable and poor and blind and naked,
Rev 3:18  I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire, in order that you may become rich, and white clothing, in order that you may be clothed and the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed, and eye salve to smear on your eyes, in order that you may see.
Rev 3:19  As many as I love, I reprove and discipline. Be zealous, therefore, and repent!
Rev 3:20  Behold, I stand at the door and knock! If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, indeed I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me.
Rev 3:21  The one who conquers, I will grant to him to sit down with me on my throne, as I also have conquered and have sat down with my Father on his throne.


I wonder if the Lord has begun a period of purging the body of Christ of the lukewarm condition.  And with that thought in mind I remembered that somewhere in Rick Joyner's Final Quest Trilogy there was a reference to the army of God's people being in three divisions.  The first division passed through the land and left the land in pristine condition. The second division passed through the land and left it better than it had been, but not as good as the first division.  And the last division of God's army passed through the land and left it desolate and worse than before.  As a result the Lord's anger was kindled, and He vowed that He would no longer put up with His people who remained uncircumcised in heart and mind!

Purge everything that needs to be purged, Lord, for Father's Name's sake!!!!

More later, maybe.

2/12/15