Wednesday, 15 June 2011

The Spirit Leads

The Spirit Leads

“So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance (Romans 8: 26 AMP).

Welcome back as we move on today with “The Spirit Leads.” In both the New and Old Testaments we are told that Jesus is interceding for us right now. “Who is he that is condemning? Christ is He that died, yea, rather also, was raised up; who is also on the right hand of God--who also doth intercede for us” (Rom 8:34 YLT). “For this cause he will have a heritage with the great, and he will have a part in the goods of war with the strong, because he gave up his life, and was numbered with the evil-doers; taking on himself the sins of the people, and making prayer for the wrongdoers” (Isa 53:12 BBE).

What comfort to know that Jesus is praying for us still! But in addition to this the New Testament reveals that not only Jesus but the Holy Spirit also is interceding - for us and with us (which is mind-blowing!) Our only role is to learn how to pray WITH them. This involves communication and finding out what is on the very heart of God (1 Cor 2:16). Never again do we need to pray “off-target” or as Paul suggested, as one who beats the air! “I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air” (1 Cor 9:26 KJV). Or as another translation puts it in a more contemporary manner, “So I run--but not without a clear goal ahead of me. So I box--but not as if I were just shadow boxing” (GW).

We are all called to intercede and with the Holy Spirit’s help we can get it right each time. No more guessing. We can enjoy knowing how and when and where to pray, with His help! Knowing that both Jesus and the Holy Spirit “intercede” we can be sure that “intercession” is as much a powerful weapon in spiritual-warfare, as it ever was. Nothing has changed.

Lets continue by looking at a little Hebrew word called “paga” which was used for “intercession” (see Isa 53:12 KJV - Strong’s ♯06293) in the Old Testament, which meant: “to impinge with violence” & “to collide with.” The Vine’s Dictionary adds: “to strike up against, to be violent against, to invade, to come between, to cause to entreat, to meet with, and pray.”

We could say then that “paga” has a three-fold purpose: 1. Violence 2. Entreaty 3. Coming-between. This actually gives a very good definition of intercession: facing God and facing the enemy - on behalf of others.

Lets break this down further. The two main aspects involved in intercession specifically are “warfare” and “travail.” In terms of warfare this means facing Satan in the name and authority of Jesus Christ on behalf of people, thereby “striking up against” and “colliding with” him (in violence). Then in terms of travail, this is where we “come between” or where we “face the Father” on behalf of people (in entreaty). Intercession has then two main features that are done on behalf of others: facing Satan (warfare) and facing God (travail).

While “paga” is the word commonly used for “intercession” in the Old Testament, in the New Testament it is “enteuxis” (Strongs ♯1783) which means: a petition, supplication, prayer, intercession, (lit: approaching the king). Cognate: 1783 énteuksis – properly, intervention (intersection which literally "hits the mark"); intervention led by God, marking intersection between heaven and earth as it reflects the Lord's specific will. See 1793 (entygxanō). [The root of this term is 5177 (tygxánō) which means "to strike, hit the bulls-eye" ("spot on"). Accordingly, it is used in classical Greek as the antonym of harmartia ("to miss the mark, sin"), so Lucian, Xenophon, Homer, etc. (see Thayer, 5177 /tygxánō).

Thus biblical intercession centers in waiting upon the Lord to learn what hits the mark (is His will) – i.e. guiding the believer to act as His agent. Intercession is not "the tool in and of itself" to act according to the mark, of the intercessor! It always builds on faith (learning God's persuasion).] 1783 /énteuksis ("Spirit-directed intervention") refers to the petitions (intercessions) of believers as they "fall in line with" God's will – revealing how the one intervening should get involved after drawing near to God and agreeing with His revealed will. True intercession (1783 /énteuksis) seeks to act only as the Lord directs, i.e. following His will to act as His hand extended (cf. 1 Jn 4:17). (Greek from: http://strongsnumbers.com/greek/1783.htm)

Although lengthy, the definitions above, given for “intercession” in the Greek – give such a well-rounded view of intercession as denoted in scripture. We can’t escape its original meaning.

However in context with “spiritual warfare” in the New Testament - let me bring out the following scriptures that showcase just how much direct conflict is involved: “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds” (2 Cor 10:3-4 KJV). “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7 KJV). “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph 6:12 KJV).

As we have already seen in the Old Testament with paga “colliding with” is part of spiritual warfare! “OUR warfare…” “WE wrestle…” and “flee from YOU” is all direct contact. In addition to this is the passage from Rev 12:11, which says, “they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” They overcame him... implies direct contact and reveals above all that God (the Holy Spirit) is NOT going to do our warfare FOR US!

Instead the Holy Spirit guides our praying. Goes to meet our prayers and prays through us (Rom 8:26 AMP). God gave us weapons to do our own fighting! Many people don’t understand why spiritual warfare is necessary. To this I say consider this fact: we definitely don’t need battle armor to face God! We only need this when facing Satan.

Everything God gave us must be applied by faith including, “the weapons of our warfare.” We must lift up our own sword and use our own mouths to inflict the enemy. It is our job to “enforce” the victory of the cross. God did His part – we must do ours.

The fact that He (Christ) still prays - does not negate ours. The fact that He is still interceding for us at the right hand side of the Father, coupled with the fact that the Holy Spirit intercedes, does not let us off the hook from interceding ourselves. In fact there should be a “smooth-cooperation” between heaven and earth. As Jesus taught His disciples, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:9-10 KJV).

Another instance where we see heaven and earth in cooperation is where Jesus said, “if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven” (Matt 18:19). The position of heaven and earth appeared to be of great importance to Jesus, as he mentioned this numerous times throughout scripture. Nevertheless there must be collaboration between the two. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to help us do this correctly according to truth (Jo 4:23, 24; 14:17; Eph 5:9).

We have been given authority on this earth to do the Father’s will just as Jesus came to do the will of the Father. We must execute the will of God by the Spirit. No one knows the mind of God but the Spirit of God (1 Cor 2:11, 16; Rom 11:34). We MUST allow the Holy Spirit to guide our praying, otherwise we are guaranteed to pray amiss.

In closing I quote an excerpt from Myles Munroe, who implies that God is illegal on this earth without our cooperation and needs our permission to work here! In context read this interview with Benny Hinn,

“Even God Himself is illegal on earth. Why? Because, He is a spirit and the law He set up by His own mouth was that only spirits with bodies can function on earth legally. Why can't God take care of Pharaoh by Himself? Why can't God invade that government and disrupt that process and set them free by Himself? He is illegal. So God then has to get the attention of a human first. Then spend hours, maybe even days trying to convince this one human to work with Him.”

“Moses came up with every single excuse he could find and gave them. And Almighty God tolerated him, saying, 'Look, if you can't talk, I will speak for you. If you got problems, I'll solve them for you. If you're afraid, I'll give you courage. In other words, whatever you need, please work with me! Cause I want to do something. Give me your body.' So, even though God can do anything, He can only do what you permit Him to do. If you study the Word of God, you will see why it makes so much sense. For example, God has done nothing on earth without a human co-operating with Him. He had to find a human.” (Myles Munroe, "This Is Your Day," Benny Hinn, July 12, 13, 2004)

Final thought: If we take into consideration what Miles said in this interview we can see that Christ indeed “had” to become a man, (he was both son of man and son of God) so that He could cooperate with His heavenly Father from earth. Today we continue this through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who is the divine administrator of the Body of Christ. We continue to cooperate with this sovereign God who chose to work with man and to limit Himself to our prayers, a mystery unfathomable yet undeniably true!

We cannot deny that throughout the Bible God needed man to operate on this earth. I dare say that God needs our obedience and cooperation still today. Therefore we must work together with His Holy Spirit - just as Christ did during His earthly ministry, so that the will of God can be “released” on this earth as it is in heaven.

PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Thank you Father for the Holy Spirit who helps me to intercede. Help me work with Him so that I can be effective for You. I don’t want to “beat the air” but to make great power available. Amen.

CONFESSION OF THE DAY
I AM A TRAINED AND SKILLED INTERCESSOR
To collide with, entreat and to come between. I cooperate with the Holy Spirit – in prayer.

THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO MAKE THIS MINISTRY POSSIBLE! WE LOVE YOU…!
Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’
Copyright 2011 © Alan Pateman Ministries

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