Intercessors: Why Intercede? [Poem]

Angela Interceding in IndiaEarly on in my ministry as a prophetic intercessor, I wanted to put the calling God had given me on the shelf. If you’ve ever asked the same question of your calling as His intercessor, I pray this dialogue between Father and myself encourages you.

Why Intercede?
Originally written January 2008 

Sleepless nights, weird interactions, people leaning on you when they’re weak
Being weighed down by emotions that belong to the one you’re called to intercede for
Being drawn into situations that aren’t yours
Being praised when things go well and blamed when they don’t

Why Intercede?

Recipients who are thankful and warm
Then distant and cold
It seems like a personal invitation to being ill-treated and misunderstood

Why Intercede?

People want one-sided prayer
People want someone who will listen and say a verse or two
That reminds them God is around and aware
But are easily scared by
Specific direction, prophetic words, and explanation of future happenings in their lives

Why Intercede?

“HOW CAN YOU KNOW?” they scream

The messages God gives me to share
Are often unwanted things that recipients find suspect and want me to explain

Why intercede Father?

One day, My dearly beloved, you will see all the ways
I worked through you as you obeyed and interceded and spoke My messages
To brothers and sisters who were trapped, hurt, alone, sad and afraid

You keep strengthening, encouraging, and comforting them with My words of truth (1 Cor 14:3)

And when they call it “sweet-smelling crap”
Remember you’re the messenger and I AM the Message Giver

You’re responsible for sharing; I AM in charge of bringing about
And doing what I said I would do (Is 46:9-11)

I’ve got your back, My dearly beloved
You won’t be disgraced or put to shame (Is 50:7) even when they say to you
“This is 99% through and what you told me didn’t come true.”

Give My gifts and translate My truth to My daughters and sons
You’re perfectly who I made you to be and I enable you to do what I’ve called you to do

In eternity you will see how I honored your sacrifice and your willingness to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor 5:7)
And that’s why you intercede My dearly Beloved

For More:
Prophecy Isn’t a Formula
When Father Speaks  (see “Receiving and Testing a Word of Prophecy” section)
Obey or Disobey 

 

Is God Perfectly Faithful in Everything?

When things are going well, it’s easy to affirm that, “Yes, God is perfectly faithful in each and every circumstance.” And yet, when our lives are filled with difficult circumstances and trying situations, it’s harder to believe.

Even still, God either is perfectly faithful in each and every circumstance or He is not.

Isaiah 25:1,9: O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago.

In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”

Especially in the tough seasons of our lives, it’s easy to affirm that God has been perfectly faithful in the past, but affirming it in the midst of hard circumstances is more difficult to do.

When your . . .

  • friend or family member doesn’t get healed though you’ve prayed fervently for their healing
  • bills seem insurmountable with the money you make
  • job applications get rejected one after another
  • health continues to worsen though you continue to fully believe in and ask for God’s healing
  • best attempts to heal and mend the broken relationships in your life seem to bring more agony, distance, and strife
  • prayers seemingly go unanswered
  • attempts to be freed from the depression, emotional turmoil, or grief you’re going through seem leave you unchanged

The list could go on and on, and yet in every difficult and hard circumstance our continuing forward steadfastly in faith or falling into doubt and despair lies in our choice of perspective.

Go back and read the full text of Isaiah 25:1-9, and notice the phrase that introduces verse 9:

In that day they will say. . .

2 Corinthians 5:7 affirms the reality that, “We live by faith, not by sight.”

Many circumstances of many days, we will have to choose between affirming by faith that God is being perfectly faithful in a circumstance that seems to our human eyes that God has forgotten, overlooked, or left us on our own to deal with it.

Bethany Hamilton shares her story of learning to walk by faith, not by sight in her movie Soul Surfer.

Nick Vujicic lives each day without arms or legs and still lives a vibrant testimony of walking by faith, not sight.

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lion restingJesus is the Lion of the tribe of Judah. In The Chronicles of Narnia, the person of Jesus is depicted by the character of the lion Aslan. One of the most poignant quotes made in the movie is spoken by the character of Mr. Beaver:

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

We want Jesus to oversee our lives in a safe, predictable way, according to our comforts. Yet, what we will find instead is that His goodness is what we ultimately desire.

For in His goodness, regardless of what the seen circumstances around us scream, we come to know that He truly is the Blessed Controller of all things and He does everything in perfect faithfulness.

And so we look to that day when we will see with 20/20 eyes of faith. In that moment, we will fall to our knees in praise and in awe and worship say along with the rest of the saints:

“Surely this is our God; we trusted in Him, and He saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in Him; let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.”

And until that day, we will walk by faith, not by sight with the tenacious and unyielding belief that He is perfectly faithful in everything.

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Guts: What It Takes to Go Forth Victoriously

Finishing StrongGuts. . .

is what it takes to run this race of faith and finish victoriously.

So how do we keep going strong when faced with opposition and difficulties?

. . . with our God-given GUTS.

G – Go towards God

Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. – Phil 3:13-14

U – Use His strength

The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]! – Hab. 3:19 AMP

T – Treasure the Immaterial (def.)

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Mt 6:19-21

S – Steady your Eyes on the Eternal

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. – Heb 12:1-3

Few of us will go through the physical training that Dre Parker went through in The Karate Kid (2010).

But rest assured, all believers will go through a similar spiritual training with Father as our Guide and Coach. The circumstances and situations He brings us through in our lives are His training tools to strengthen us and to transform us into the image of His Son, Jesus (2 Cor 3:18).

Getting and then keeping guts is a tough process. Yet, our personalized training regiment lovingly and wisely comes through the nail-pierced hands of our Savior and Leader who loves us perfectly (1 Jn 4:18), knows us intimately (Psalm 139), and sovereignly controls everything (1 Tim 6:15).

May you take heart as God continues to develop in you — guts.

photo credit: United States Marine Corps Official Page via photo pin cc

5 Treasures to Keep You Going Through the Tough Times

Start of the RaceAt the beginning of the race, we are raring to go (def.), especially when we first come to know Christ or when we first become certain of the calling He has given us in the body of Christ.

It as time goes on and the . . .

  • race becomes harder
  • run becomes more grueling
  • our running partners begin to drop off
  • our enthusiasm begins to wane
  • criticism from the crowd starts to overpower the cheering from the sidelines
  • we start to wonder if it’s truly worth all the blood, sweat, and tears

In our race of faith, the point at which we are starting to grow weary and faint is exactly the point when we need to fortify our spirit and mind with these 5 treasures from God’s Word.

1. Don’t Give Up

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. – Gal 6:9

The Enemy seeks to try to get us to give up right before the harvest if not sooner. The more he is able to do so, the more he can get us to believe the lie that what we do for God really isn’t worth it. 1 Corinthians 15:58 is a vital truth to have in our mind’s arsenal for doubting times such as these.

With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.1 Cor. 15:58 MSG

2. Take Heart

 Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. – Is 50:7

Pastor Joseph Tan of The Living Way Church in Singapore does a phenomenal job of explaining how to tangibly do this in his message, “Set Your Face Like Flint” (video also at the end of post).

3. One Thing You Seek

One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. – Ps 27:4

Determine in your heart that this truly is the one thing you desire in life. This is your one necessity. Your relationship with Father and your eternal destiny are the only things that cannot be taken from you in this earthly life (Rm 8:28-39).

4. One Thing You Do

Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. – Phil 3:13-14

It’s one of the hardest and yet the most freeing things we will do in life and ministry. Forget what is behind and strain toward what is ahead. Press on toward the prize God has awaiting you.

As long as you’re seeking the prize of people’s approval (Gal 1:10), accomplishment, and fame, this freeing truth will be far out of reach. It is only through true abandonment and surrender that you find the strength and humility to embrace Jesus as:

  • The One you are accountable to and who is in charge of your credibility – 1 Cor 4:5, Zech 4:6, 1 Cor 2:1-5
  • The Redeemer of circumstances and situations you have done everything you could to bring peace and resolution – Rm 12:18
  • The Blessed Controller who is at work in those people and places He has told you to let go of and continue on with the calling He has given you – 1 Tim 6:15

5. Run with Guts (aka perseverance)

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. – Heb 12:1-3

If you haven’t hidden these treasures in your heart, I encourage you to make it your goal to memorize and mediate on one verse a week for the next five weeks.

For more encouragement, listen to Pastor Joseph Tan’s message: Set Your Face Like Flint.

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Invincible (Promises & Prayers series)

Psalm 24:8 is one of my favorite verses:

Who is the King of glory?
The Lord, strong and mighty;
the Lord, invincible in battle. – NLT

Invincible literally means incapable of being conquered, defeated, or subdued. 

Monumental Arch at ancient city of Tyre, Lebanon

How many of us live our Christian lives with that powerful truth as the crux of our living?

Sadly, more often than not we tend to take an “ancient ruins perspective” on our God and on our walk with Him.

We know and read the amazing victories He brought about in the lives of our biblical brothers and sisters during Bible times.

And yet, somehow we see ourselves more as observers of great experiences of faith of yesterday rather than as participators in the great experiences of faith of today.

In our lives, difficult situations, and impossible circumstances, He is invincible.

He longs for us to believe Him to be that in our lives.

How many of us miss out because we lack faith? Our lack of faith is directly tied to what Father will and won’t do in our lives.

And He did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith. – Mt 13:58

A powerfully amazing verse to start praying over the difficult situations, impossible circumstances, and fierce battles you are facing is Psalm 35:1-3 —

Contend, O LORD, with those who contend with me;
fight against those who fight against me.
Take up shield and buckler;
arise and come to my aid.
Brandish spear and javelin
against those who pursue me.
Say to my soul,
“I am your salvation.”

Father longs for you to take Him at His word to do those very things on your behalf.

Will you ask in faith and believe Him to do so in your life?

An excellent resource to help you dig deeper and grow stronger in your prayer life is:

Pray Big: the Power of Pinpoint Prayers by Will Davis Jr. Pray Big by Will Davis Jr.

In Pray Big, Will Davis:

  • Explains the struggle we often have with prayer
  • Gives great examples of how he and others have been transformed through praying BHAPs — Big, Hairy, Audacious Prayers
  • Details specific steps of how to strengthen our prayer lives by praying specific, pinpoint prayers
  • Challenges us to consistently believe God to powerfully work on our behalf.

I highly encourage you to read it!

Our God is an invincible God of both yesterday and today. He invites us to tenaciously believe Him to victoriously contend, arise, and fight on our behalf in the difficult situations, impossible circumstances, and fierce battles we face.

Our God is incapable of being conquered, defeated, or subdued. 

May that truth embolden how we live today.

photo credit: -RejiK via photo pin cc

Spirit Rising by Jim Cymbala [book review]

I just read Jim Cymbala’s and Jennifer Schuchmann’s new book, Spirit Rising. It brought many great questions to mind:

  • Have you ever felt something was missing from your walk with Jesus?
  • Have you ever sensed in your gut that there was more?
  • Have you ever been saddened by your complacency and disturbed by your apathy, but still felt powerless to make the necessary changes you’ve tried 1,000 times to make on your own?
  • Do you feel that you’re always missing the mark?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, I encourage you to read Spirit Rising by Jim Spirit Rising Jim CymbalaCymbala available via Kindle, Audible, or hardcover.

I have walked with Jesus for 33 years, served in ministry, and taken a theology class. In all those years, I have never heard the clear, concise teaching on the Holy Spirit and His role in our lives that I read about in Spirit Rising.

The personal testimonies that Jim, pastor at Brooklyn Tabernacle since 1971, intersperses throughout the book are miraculous and encouraging testimonies of what the Holy Spirit is able, willing, and overjoyed to do when we are yielded to His leadership in our lives.

One of the most visited pages on my site surround dealing with personal spiritual battles. In many cases, half the battle is we aren’t living in the power of the Spirit.

Father has given us the Holy Spirit as:

  • Author of the Bible — Acts 4:25, Acts 28:25, 2 Peter 1:21
  • His Gift to us — Luke 11:13, Acts 2:38
  • Helper — Romans 8:26, Philippians 1:9, 2 Timothy 1:14
  • Teacher — Mark 13:11, Luke 12:12, Acts 14:26, Hebrews 10:14-16
  • Convictor — John 16:7-9
  • Guide — Acts 13:2-4, Acts 16:6, Acts 20:23, Acts 21:11
  • Spiritual Gift Giver — Hebrews 2:4
  • Power Source — Acts 1:8, Acts 10:38, Acts 11:24, Romans 15:13, 1 Thessalonians 1:5
  • Leader — Luke 4:1, Acts 20:28, 1 Corinthians 6:19
  • Joy Giver — Luke 10:21, Acts 13:52, Romans 14:17
  • Love Infuser — Romans 5:5
  • Counselor — John 14:26, John 16:7-9
  • Enabler — Acts 2:4, Acts 4:31
  • Someone who we can resist, grieve, & treat with contempt — Isaiah 63:10, Acts 7:51, Ephesians 4:30, Hebrews 3:7-8, 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21
  • Encourager — Acts 9:31
  • Prophecy Giver — Acts 19:6

Do you have consistent personal experience with knowing the Holy Spirit by these traits in your life?

If not, I highly encourage you to read Spirit Rising. It will invigorate your faith, embolden your witness, strengthen your spirit, and renew your faith in our God who still moves mountains.

Hear Jim’s interview on the 700 Club on Spirit Rising.

Where is Our Faith?

I love the account of Elisha and his servant when the King of Aram sent his army to capture Elisha (2 Kings 6:8-23).

“When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. ‘Oh, my lord, what shall we do?’ the servant asked. ‘Don’t be afraid,’ the prophet answered. ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’

And Elisha prayed, ‘O LORD, open his eyes so he may see.’ Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”

Where is Our Faith?How many times are we like Elisha’s servant with shaky legs and melting hearts asking ourselves and others, “What shall we do?”

Where is our faith?  Where is us taking God at His word to be our Savior, Defender, and to rescue us if we only ask?

Isaiah 19:20, “It will be a sign and witness to the LORD Almighty in the land of Egypt. When they cry out to the LORD because of their oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and he will rescue them.”

Our God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Heb 13:8)

We follow the One who says, “I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me? (Jeremiah 32:27)

Jehovah Jireh — my Provider.  He is perfectly faithful in coming through with His power and bringing Himself glory through the impossible situations of our churches that need cleansing, our marriages that need strengthening, and our ministries that need the wind of the Holy Spirit’s fresh empowering . . . if only we would pray and believe that He is who He says He is as in Zephaniah 3:17.

“The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.”

We can be utterly secure in His love, attention, care, protection, and His victory over the vast armies that are coming against us (2 Chronicles 20:12-17).

Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” (2 Kings 6:16)

Let us reconsider the power that has been given us through prayer and then let us reconfigure our lives and purposes accordingly.

Photo on Flickr by spaceodissy

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