Our act of love
- As lovers of Him, our act of love should be intercession. Intercession is love in action.
- As we come to minister to him, that is, to wait on Him, we realize our love for His bride is demonstrated in our intercession for her.
- Our intercession is an extension of His love and desire for His bride—the church.
- The favor we have with Him, like Moses and Abraham had, is for we may intercede for His bride the church. That was God’s intention for speaking to Abraham regarding Lot and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. God was looking for an intercessor.
Genesis 18:16-33 (NIV)
Abraham Pleads for Sodom
16 When the men got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way. 17 Then the LORD said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? 18 Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. 19 For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.”
20 Then the LORD said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21 that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.”
22 The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the LORD. 23 Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
26 The LORD said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
27 Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, 28 what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?”
“If I find forty-five there,” he said, “I will not destroy it.”
29 Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty are found there?”
He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.”
30 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?”
He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”
31 Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?”
He said, “For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.”
32 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?”
He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”
33 When the LORD had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.
The military—intercession is vital
- Each infantry soldier covers one another in ground fire so that they can advance. They can’t talk ground without the proper fire covering—cover fire for prayer buddy.
- Jesus can identify with our sufferings and our struggles.
- Our Lord stands in the gap for our behalf.
- His intercession paves the way for us to overcome.
- We too need to intercede for others, so that they can overcome.
- His desire is not that we, or anyone else should fall under His judgment.
- He is for His Bride. His desire is for reconciliation and restoration.
- We need to have the same heart for His Church.
- We need to intercede for her.
18 Corinthians 5:18 (NIV)18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
· Intercession fulfills the two greatest commandments in the Law.
Matthew 22:37 (NIV)37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
· The greatest enemy and determent to our intercession for His Bride is our selfishness. Accusation is an enemy; it is the tool of demons!
Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
- Our desire should be to advance the Kingdom of God here on earth, rather than to pray for God to bless our project.
Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV)
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
- The few Christians who pray usually spend their time on prayers on their own behalf. Read:
James 3:14-18 (NIV)14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
James 4:1-3 (NIV)
1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
· Servanthood is the opposite of selfishness.
Matthew 20:26 (NIV)26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant
- Jesus was our example,
Philippians 2:1-8 (NIV)
1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
- Is our model for being a successful disciple.
Matthew 25:21 (NIV)21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
· Humankind steals true humiliation.
· Intercession will cause you to grow in the Lord. It opens the door for you to grow in the Lord. It opens the door for you to move into the power of God and you begin to hear His voice. It gives you favor with God and it gets your eyes off yourself long enough to see God.
As we begin to move into intimacy and favor with the Lord, we should demonstrate our love for Him and towards His Bride. We demonstrate the perfect act of love through intercession. Intercession fulfills the two greatest commandments we have as friends of God. Pease remember that the greatest deterrent to intercession is selfishness on our part. And finally, without an adequate prayer covering we cannot expect someone to come into revelation. We need to stand in the gap for His Bride.