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The Heart of an Intercessor

"I never asked you to be perfect. I only asked you to be willing."

Broken bridges don't need to be repaired, because sometimes they need to be rebuilt. When a gap appears on a bridge, it's very ineffective to simply put new wooden planks over the hole and have it surrounded by much older wood that could pose a problem in the future. So, there is a need for bridge-builders. The bible calls them intercessors.


Intercession - (verb) act of interceding between two or more parties through the use of prayers, petitions, or an entreaty requesting God's presence and help.


If you are like me, then you understand me when I say that I question my calling a lot. Doubt is an ever-going battle in my mind every time I am faced with a challenge to act. It's always right before I need to step in and do what I need to do. The enemy loves to mess with my confidence when I only want to go further. The weight of my assignment is costly and is not light. What I carry is heavy, but understanding how to carry it involves knowing why I must carry it. Too many people in this world are connected to my obedience. If I don't do what I am called to do as a bridge-builder (intercession) someone could very well fall through the holes and cracks. Most of the time, I have no idea why I doubt because I know the truth. I know that God is the one enabling me as long as I am walking in His will for my life. Every weakness I have is already known and accounted for in the eyes of a God that can see in the future and prepare the way.


So, what do I really have to fear?


It very rarely makes sense and most of the time it will feel like you are out in the middle of the ocean at the mercy of what comes from any direction. It's hard to see how it is, in fact, the other way around. Because God is with you, you are the force to be reckoned with. You are not without purpose, because you are doing God's work by taking care of His people. You seem off balance like you are neglecting yourself in the name of selflessly giving to others. You put other's needs before your own, and the return is minimal. But it is God's job to take care of you. That is what unconditional love looks like. You will never have to be selfish and refocus your survivalist tactics on yourself, because God covers you. You keep His people and He will keep you. He's given you the heart of a shepherd. The heart of an intercessor who stands in the gap for those who can't stand. You are on mission. Keep going. You are so close. You are almost where you need to be...


Most of the time, we are called to areas that not everybody can go, but that's the whole purpose of being called. It's like a fantasy where a dragon is destroying the town and the villagers choose one brave soul to don the armor and grasp the sword to face the fire-breathing, flying dragon. Every villager doesn't suit up, because they lack something that you have. Being an intercessor is kind of like this. It constantly feels like you're going where others can't because you have what it takes to stand in the gap.


This reminds me so much of Peter walking on water in the book of Luke. He's steps out of the boat in the middle of a storm because Jesus says, "Come." While he closes the space between him and the Lord, I often wonder why the others on the boat didn't also come. It dawned on me that maybe Peter was walking on water for them. Not just to set an example, but to set precedence, rebuild a bridge that was once broken and a mangled mess. The process wasn't something everyone could take on, because it required you to be consecrated and fully atoned. The veil had yet to rip, allowing anyone to approach, so sin was revealed and shed the closer one got to God. The more access we have to God, the more our own weaknesses are revealed in comparison. His glory is far greater than our flesh. His light exposes darkness and, then, expels it.


The whole mentality of "I'm willing, but the closer I get to Jesus, the more I see of why I need to keep going," is the very reason Peter might have begun to sink. Nobody is called to go where you go, so you have to be willing to do what others can't.


It's truly amazing, because while you've become this living sacrifice, all logical explanation of why you still go evaporates. To explain why you still do it, knowing the pain of it, and the grace of suffering it takes, is impossible. It doesn't make sense why you feel the burdens of others' grief or sorrow or distress, but what you are experiencing is the weight of someone else's need that only you are capable of taking to God. It is an honor to be called. Just like Esther, who patiently waited until the king took notice of her before entering his throne room, you have what His people have need of - forgiveness, atonement, and humility.


Forgiveness - (verb) The act of pardoning an offender; "to let go" (Greek); when a person does not demand payment for a debt.


Atonement - (Noun) The needed reconciliation between sinful mankind and the Holy God.


Humility - (Noun) Genuine gratitude and a lack of arrogance, a modest view of one’s self; a critical and continuous emphasis of godliness.


Forgiveness, atonement, and humility all take a measure of sacrifice in order to achieve. You are meant to take on a role of sacrifice, because you step in front of those who are beaten, bruised, and battered so that they don't receive the punishment of death for sin. As an intercessor, you are a judge. Not in the sense where you dictate punishment, but you morally guide those who are unaware towards the ways of God and away from the path of destruction they were on.


You, just like Abraham concerning his nephew Lot, are an intercessor. It's interesting because God was going to destroy the same city that Lot lived in. It had to weigh on him in such a way that he had to consult God on the matter. A lot of times, it is our calling that brings us to the point where we absolutely cannot fight going to God. It hurts, because we know what God's judgement would be if we didn't step in on someone's behalf. The thought of those we love being destroyed is horrible. Feeling this way is not a bad thing, either. As Abraham interceded in prayer for Lot and his family, he knew that he had to do all he could to find a sliver of hope. "Let not the Lord be angry for I will speak once more: Suppose ten should be found there?" Interesting enough, there was not ten, but because of the relationship that Abraham had formed with God, Lot and his family were ushered out before the destruction. I think a lot of times, the weight is only revealed when we are in the knowing, when we become aware of our position to God.


There's this sense of duty where we can't afford not to be obedient because there is so much riding on it, but then there's that sense of denying ourselves, of dying. That is what becomes the painful part. In order to be intercessors we have to be empathetic. We don't just put ourselves in someone's else's shoes. We understand them by feeling what they feel as if it were our own. We can't fully do this without denying our instincts to give into the principle of flight or fight. Our natural instinct is to shy away from the pain, to find a way to survive, but that is the very thing that God wants us to give to Him.


The beautiful thing about being an intercessor is that you give voice to those who have be silenced or weakened by life. To be an intercessor means that God trusts you with intimacy. Jesus, the Great Intercessor, showed us how much care God took with him in all the 30+ years he was on earth. Being who he was is every reason why we consider him to truly be beloved by God.


Sometimes, it's hard to see why God would place you in such a position to endure so much, but the real question should be -


"Why not?"

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Writing is both what I love and what I am good at. I began writing as a child as my way of venting in a journal. Poetry quickly became my favorite, and I joined a few clubs in my school that helped me to get better and learn more about my passions. Now, I write for both the love of it and the love of sharing it.

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