Intercession

 

photo credit: favim.com

And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. Mark 2:4

And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.  Ezekiel 22:30                                            

When we have issues in our own lives it is so much harder to believe for a miracle, but when someone else is at stake, there is a faith that is greater. We are to bear ye one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ (Gal. 6:2). That sounds good, but do we actually know what this means. God can give us a passion and a desire to plead someone else’s cause.

O that one might plead for a man with God, as a man pleadeth for his neighbor! Job 16:21

In this place of intercession, nothing in our lives matter like the person we are praying for. They need a breakthrough and a miracle. Everything in my life is menial compared to what they are facing. I have come to the place where I just cast my cares upon God and go on. I go on praying and desiring a miracle for someone else. I know that God will take care of my cares and needs, I have work to do (1 Peter 5:7).

It is an honor to bear someone else’s burden, because you can literally ease their heart. Whether they know it or not, you can touch the hem of Jesus’ garment for them. You can stand in their place and earnestly and fervently seek the face of God. The thing is, God wants us to esteem one another more highly than ourselves (Phil. 2:3).

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

Lay down your desires, dreams, goals, and wants for a while. Place them in God’s hands and ask God to use you to help someone else. He will give you an assignment. He will allow you intercede for someone who needs your prayers and devotion. Get a passion and desire to press for that person.

Four men literally tore the roof off to get their friend to Jesus. What is it going to take for some people to receive healing and deliverance? It is going to take people like you and me to tear the roof off. Rip it off layer by layer. Determine and purpose in your heart that no matter what comes you are going to pray for the person to be healed, delivered, or to have their prayer answered.

God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7). Be a giver in the most sincere way. Give your life and devotion to the pursuit of someone’s else peace, someone else’s needs, and watch God work for them. Suddenly, your problems do not matter anymore, they become minute details in the background of the picture. You trust God will take care of you, but you have to tear the roof of for someone to reach Jesus.

These four men, no doubt they had jobs and families of their own. They had obligations to every day life, but something in them was determined to have their friend healed. They were willing to face the odds and tear up someone’s roof, destruction of property, to get him to Jesus. This is a love that God takes notice of.

You have the capacity to carry others to Jesus. Your prayers can become their strength in troubled times. This man had palsy, no strength in his body to lift himself or to get himself to where Jesus was, but there were those who wanted to push through for him. They did not go there wanting to ask Jesus to meet their needs. They did not go with their own agenda, “Well, since I am here let’s deal with my issues too.” No, they broke through for this man. I am not saying that it would have been wrong to ask Jesus while they were in His presence, but there is something about selfless intercession. They left their desires on the sideline. They asked nothing for themselves.

We need to live this by example, lay down your burdens at the feet of Jesus and leave them there. Do not go back and pick them up. Instead, pick up someone else’s load, someone else’s needs. Pray for God to go before them and pray down barriers that they will face. Obstructions that they will encounter. God will give you specific details on what to pray for and how to pray.

 

Growth Spurt

Throughout all stages of childhood, there are signs of growth. With the teenage years, there comes the horrible pains of growing, the mood swings, and much more. For my son, I have watched him experience a lot of leg aching and pains right before another growth spurt. He would complain about his legs aching and feeling cold inside. The next thing I know, he would shoot up in height and I was having to go buy him new jeans once again.

For my son, growth spurts require bigger shoes and a lot more food. I want to take a moment to look at this spiritually. You may be going through some struggles and pains, but hold on to God because you are about to hit a growth spurt. When you get that growth spurt, you are going to need more food, bigger shoes, and take on more responsibility.

God equips us as we grow. He will not lead you where you cannot stand. He will not guide you where you cannot conquer. God has already prepared the next level for you. He has already picked out your shoe size and your responsibility. Instead of carrying your own burdens, God is growing you up to start carrying the burdens of others. When you feel the pains of growing, be encouraged, you are about ready to hit a growth spurt!

Jericho

photo credits: http://wels.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/711×400-FiC-BibleStories

Joshua Chapter 6

  1. Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.
    1. Sometimes the enemy will lock everything up. Sometimes we feel at a standstill, like we cannot breakthrough. God used his people to launch an offensive attack. Here is the enemy in defense mode. Jericho was straitly shut because of the children of Israel.
  2. And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.
    1. God made the promise right here. See, observe, understand, take heed, realize that it is already yours. Jericho is yours. The siege of the walls facing you is already yours.
  3. And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.
    1. For six days God wanted these men of war, men trained to fight, be on guard, these who were trained to ruthlessly take out enemies, were asked to walk around, compass, encircle the walls of a city.
    2. Let’s take a look from the inside of the walls of Jericho a minute. If I were inside a safe fortified city and I saw an army circling me, that would intimidate me. How would you feel if you looked out your window and an army is marching around your home?
    3. Enclose your obstacle, the hindrance that is blocking your victory. These walls were locked up tight and not showing any signs of breakage. We pray and pray and ready to fight and rebuke, but the walls are locked up tight.
  4. And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.
    1. God is asking Joshua to be consistent. No matter how strange it looks do it. No matter how it looks to the world, obey Him. They would walk around one time each day for six days and remain silent.
    2. Remaining silent before God. By shutting our mouths and listening consistently to God, we are working on the offensive attack.
    3. Breakthrough- an offensive thrust that penetrates and carries beyond a defensive line in warfare.
    4. God wants to prepare us for an offensive attack. We live in defense mode where we remain vigilant and sober-minded and sometimes that is the absolute best offensive measure, but sometimes God says, “Ok let’s break through the strong defensive, fortified barrier that holds inside what I have given you. Let me show you how to launch an attack that will cause walls to fall and bands of wickedness to be broken. You have some situations in your life that cannot just be broken by might. Walk, remain silent, and listen to me for the space of time that I give you, then you will know when to shout the battle cry.”
    5. We do not always know how to pray or what to pray, so God puts us into a position of listening and instruction.
    6. God will work but who will let him. Get into position and wait on God’s wind to blow.
    7. Getting into a place of listening is where these men were. Imagine how God told them to walk around these walls quietly, one time a day for six days. Through not saying a word, God fashions us into listening to Him and waiting on Him. He will bring the walls down.
    8. I wonder as they walked around the walls, did they think of strategies in their own mind to move these walls down? How many times are we faced with something that will not budge, God wants us to listen, but we are still contemplating how we can handle the situation, control things, do something so that we can feel like we are achieving something? No, walk around the walls.
    9. Compass the walls. Cirlce the walls. Walk around them. Know with confidence that they are coming down in a way that is not even humanly possible.
  5. And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.
    1. Let’s look at the priests in verse 4. We see God wants seven priests placed before the ark of the covenant with seven trumpets and on the seventh day they walk around these walls seven times.
    2. Why all the sevens? The number seven is God’s “perfect” number, any time we see the word “perfect” in the Word of God, it means complete. This is God’s complete timing, His perfect moment. At that moment when you feel that the night has grown darker and the air thick with fear, keep walking around your walls.
    3. The priests represent the Spirit of God. The priesthood was a sanctified calling, you were separated from common work and placed in a life of service. When Jesus came and he prepared himself as our sacrifice, He became our High Priest. He is the one that goes before us. We follow his lead.
    4. Breakthrough requires force. In order to push through something, past the enemy lines, there must be a force propelling us through. God said that it is not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit saith the Lord. His Spirit is the force that can cause breakthrough and utter demolition of walls.
    5. We think that there has to be this huge shaking for walls this massive to come down. We think that we have to build a weapon to take it out. We feel inadequate standing beside it, looking at it, but God… But God… God is wanting us to be still, listen, walk around your problem and do not say a word. Wait for His cue!
      1. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. John 3:8
      2. Listeth- G2309- thelo- To will, have in mind, intend, to be resolved or determined, to purpose, to desire, to wish, to determine
      3. The wind of God’s Spirit will blow when and where He determines. He must have a willing instrument, a willing vessel, that He can use.
      4. You cannot tell when it is coming, you cannot discern it like you can the rain or storms. You cannot tell where it will go. You cannot control the wind. The wind, the Spirit of God.
  6. And Joshua the son of Nun called the priests, and said unto them, Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the LORD.
    1. A Ram’s Horn takes much time and work to form into an instrument of sound.
  7. And he said unto the people, Pass on, and compass the city, and let him that is armed pass on before the ark of the LORD.
  8. And it came to pass, when Joshua had spoken unto the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns passed on before the LORD, and blew with the trumpets: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD followed them.
  9. And the armed men went before the priests that blew with the trumpets, and the rereward came after the ark, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets.
  10. And Joshua had commanded the people, saying, Ye shall not shout, nor make any noise with your voice, neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I bid you shout; then shall ye shout.
    1. Do not shout until I tell you to. Do not make a sound until I tell you to. Do not speak one word. What does this mean in regards to us today? God wants us to walk around these walls and listen. When we are not allowed to talk, it is so that we can hear. We must put away our abilities and desires to do and say what we want. This is a time of sacrifice. Remove yourself from noise. Remove yourself from relying on the faculties of your senses and be still. Listen to God, he will sharpen your hearing and your sight. What is God trying to say, we must listen in order to be able to hear and understand, and know.
    2. In order to be in God’s will, we have to be quiet enough to hear His voice. Walking around the walls without talking gives us a chance to actually learn the voice of God. Study to be quiet.
    3. When we wait upon God, He renews our strength, meaning we do not rely upon our strength to complete it.
    4. Pushing aside what we want, like leisure activities, entertainment, food, and things that our flesh desires for a short period of time, will be worth so much more.
    5. Driven by God to find Him above all else, to hear Him above all else, this is the offensive plan of attack on the walls that we cannot seem to break with what we have.
  11. So the ark of the LORD compassed the city, going about it once: and they came into the camp, and lodged in the camp.
  12. And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD.
  13. And seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the LORD went on continually, and blew with the trumpets: and the armed men went before them; but the rereward came after the ark of the LORD, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets.
    1. Rereward- rear guard (defense)
    2. Why would they need a rear guard now? Now, you are getting somewhere. God said he would be your rereward.
  14. And the second day they compassed the city once, and returned into the camp: so they did six days.
  15. And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they rose early about the dawning of the day, and compassed the city after the same manner seven times: only on that day they compassed the city seven times.
    1. Were they marching around the walls, becoming familiar with how strong and fortified these walls were? The more you are exposed to your walls, the more you see how big these walls are. Then ultimately when God causes them to fall, you see how great your God is. If you never the extent of the problem or the magnitude of its impact, you may not truly appreciate God’s power to be awesome.
    2. Monday, keep quiet and walk. Tuesday, keep quiet and walk. Wednesday, keep quiet and walk. Thursday, keep quiet and walk. Friday, keep quiet and walk. Saturday, keep quiet and walk.
    3. One of the greatest fears that satan has is a child of God who closes their mouth to listen. There is a time to shout, but there is a time to keep still and wait for instruction. A child of God that is just blasting off at the mouth about this and that may not be a threat if that child is not led by God to pray exactly what God wants.
    4. A child of God who is quiet and just keeps marching. Marching around your walls, marching around your territory, marching in silence, marching while listening. Obeying God. Keeping silence before God. That is a child to be afraid of.
    5. God is preparing you to open your mouth and He will fill it. The wind of God is going to blow through the trumpet with a sound that no devil in hell can stop. That no manmade institution can silence.
    6. Walking and not speaking, is submitting your will to God. God I am gonna march, I am gonna keep still, I am going to listen. The moment of completeness, when Your Spirit is ready to blow through me, these walls are gonna come down. It’s mine, but there is a way to watch walls fall flat. Wait, listen, walk, and watch God. Keep your eyes on the ark of the covenant, that promise that God knows exactly what He is doing.
  16. And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the LORD hath given you the city.
    1. Mighty men of war are going for a walk. They were probably used to going in and wiping enemies out. Used to taking a knife to the throat. Used to shooting blazing arrows. Precision and detail in their battle plans. But God comes along and says, “This city is locked up tight. You couldn’t get in if you tried.” What do you do when what you were promised is locked up tight? Everything that you have always used to gain victory is useless now. All of their training by their fathers before them, their guerilla warfare tactics and skills, theirs understanding on how to use the territory for your advantage, such as if there are trees and rocks, you know how to position yourself to hide and prepare to fight. All of that is useless. God is sending you on a hike.
    2. You learned things one way and were strengthened and instructed to fight, now God is putting you on path. By the time you get finished walking around your walls, that path will be beaten. You may get a little dizzy. Walking around the same walls everyday. Patience is acquired. “God, if we are going to do this let’s do this, why do we have to keep walking around for six days. If you have all the power, if this enemy is literally scared to death of us, then why can’t we just go on in and bust a move. If you have already given us the city, then why are we walking?
      1. In the previous chapter, God tells Joshua to circumcise the children of Israel. These were the descendants of the children of Israel that complained in the wilderness. So, this is a new generation.
      2. Then, we read how they were sent to their camp and that they abode in their places until they were whole.
      3. We see after this that they are residing in the plains of Jericho, just in sight of Jericho, living their lives, and doing what they always do.
      4. We may be living just in sight of our promise, our victory. We look right at it every day. God will move us to the right direction at the right time.
      5. God did not want these men fighting, they had healed up, but they were regaining their strength. Walking and listening, obeying God’s voice, learning to recognize God’s voice. These are all a part of the victorious process of walls falling flat.
      6. You know that the promise is yours, you know God has already showed you that He has prepared this for you. Yet, it is locked up tight, but God has a plan completely out of the ordinary attack methods.
    3. Now, let’s look at something. Under the law everything was exact and precise all the way down to the intricate detail of how many priests and trumpets and days. When we study the tabernacle we can see God was exact and descriptive and He wanted things a certain way. On the other hand, if we read in the New Testament a transformation happened, mostly everything done is by God’s leading, by His spirit. When and where He wants it to happen. He gives people instructions, but under the new dispensation it is all about His leadership. He will determine the time, the circumstances, and we do not see people dipping in the river seven times or laying a fleece out before God. I may be mistaken, but something changes when Jesus comes. Somehow, now it is as your faith is be it unto you.
    4. Faith is the surrender, the trusting, not in mannerisms or details, but in fully trusting God. If we have a set of rules and formulas to go by, then we trust the formula. We trust the process of diagnosis, the medicine, and the healing. However, now under the grace dispensation we learn to solely rely upon a Healer. There is no set formula for forgiveness with tedious productions. There is simply relationship and faith in a Savior not a saving procedure.
  17. And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.
    1. Rahab and her family was the only ones saved from the city. Sometimes God will break things just to carry one family out. He will destroy a whole host of bondage and fears, just to get you out of generational curses and ties to a broken and shameful past.
    2. Because of her honesty and her ability to hide the Israelite spies from the men of Jericho, she and her household were saved. In the middle of commotion, do the right thing. In the middle of chaos, always do what is morally right and good. Do good unto others. Overcome evil with good.
    3. God may use you to help someone, meanwhile because of your obedience, He is setting up your future for destiny, health, prosperity, and strength.
  18. And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it.
  19. But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.
  20. So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.
    1. Is there something that you are facing that it seems that it is locked up tight? That even though pray, you do not feel anything budging?
    2. Maybe God is calling you to come closer to Him, so that you can hear His voice more clearly. Maybe He is calling you to fast and set aside some distractions in your life, so that you can know exactly how He will work for the breakthrough.
    3. There is no set formula for fasting, but the scriptures in the Bible. Believe me, God will tell you exactly how long you should fast, and He will draw you into a place of greater understanding of His word. He may use your silence as a means of holding a conversation with you. Listen and wait for His cue, the city is already yours, the breakthrough is already planned by God, just ask Him what you need to do. Be still and see the salvation of the Lord. He is all about teaching you, leading you, and better equipping you for the journey ahead.

Can We Ask God to Hurry?

Make Haste O God…

There are seven scriptures in the Psalms where David prays for God to make haste in helping him. If we ask with the right attitude, not primarily asking because of impatience, but out of concern and desperation. It wouldn’t hurt to ask. James 4:3 says you have not because you ask not. Maybe the Psalmist David was pleading for God to act fast on helping him. This is specifically what he was praying for, for God’s help to come fast. He was not asking for his promotion to happen tomorrow, he was not asking for things, but he was asking for help. What was he asking help for? Help from God concerning his enemies.

Ps 22:19…haste thee to help me, Ps. 38:22 Make haste to help me, Ps. 40:13 …make haste to help me, Ps 70:1 Make haste, O God, to deliver me; make haste to help me, O Lord, Ps 70:5 …make hastes unto me…make no tarrying, Ps 71:12 …make haste for my help, Ps. 141:1 …make haste unto me

Haste in these scriptures comes from the Hebrew word chuwsh which means to act quickly. In another place we see David state:

Ps 40:17 But I am poor and needy: yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God. 

Ps. 70:5 But I am poor and needy: make hast unto me, O God: thou art my help and my deliverer; O Lord, make no tarrying.

These two scriptures state, “make no tarrying,” meaning do not hesitate, delay, tarry, defer, procrastinate, or hinder. We do not suggest that God procrastinates, but we can pray for Him to not delay. James 4:2 states, “yet ye have not, because ye ask not.”

What if God’s whole purpose for lengthy trials is get us moving in the right direction faster? He wants us to mobilize and get into our positions. Are we waiting because we have to, because ultimately there’s nothing else we can do, or are we actively waiting on God?

There is a difference between passively waiting and actively waiting. When we are passively waiting, we are not looking with hope and expectation; but through active waiting we expect it at any moment for God to bring this to pass.

Passive Waiting

Look back at one of these Psalms 71:12-14:

12 O God, be not far from me: O my God, make haste for my help. 13 Let them be confounded and consumed that are adversaries to my soul; let them be covered with reproach and dishonour that seek my hurt. 14 But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.

When we are passively waiting, we are not hoping it is going to happen, or looking anxiously for it to happen. We are not focusing on the journey, but only the destination. If a mother gave birth when she wanted the baby to born rather than going by the birth date, she would soon see that the baby was not ready to be brought into the world.Sometimes we can become so impatient with a process that we can stop the full growth of it, the full strength of it. However, when it comes to needing God’s help and fast, God wants us to call on Him and actively wait upon Him to come to our aid.

Active waiting

We can become excited, expectantly waiting. When a woman is pregnant, she goes through cycles of anticipation.There is a cycle of sheer joy and excitement and then there is a frustration where she just wants to give birth because of all the negative side effects of pregnancy. The journey of pregnancy is much better when you can just enjoy the journey. Enjoying the milestones, from the first kick, the first ultrasound, and buying the baby’s things for the nursery. All of these are precious moments of an enjoyable journey. Process reuires patience.

Final Thoughts

When we go through a lengthy trial and we need God’s help, we can and should ask Him to “make haste” or put a rush on the help. It would not hurt to ask. We want God’s will to be done in our lives, and so we always pray with that in mind, but sometimes we need God to rush to our aid.

Desperate prayers call for urgent response. When we come to the place of desperation, we begin to cry out as David did in these prayers. Are you truly giving it all you’ve got in prayer? Are you giving up food, sleep, and leisure time just to seek God for who He is? Try this. We can pray for God speedily come to our rescue, but let us also show God how we long for His presence. Let us push aside food and leisure to spend more time seeking the face of God.

Ask and ye shal receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you. When you do not get the answer you are asking, seeking, or knocking for; keep asking, keep seeking, and keep knocking. Do not give up. Keep on keeping on. Whether God can put a rush order on our answer or not, He can rush to our aid and hasten help in our time of need.