Attributes of God: The Intercessor

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, August 21, 2015 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

“Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.”
~Romans 10:1

As I have been going through my series on the attributes of God, I hope you have been learning about who God really is and what he is like. And I am not even halfway finished. Today’s attribute is this: God is the intercessor.

What does it mean to be an intercessor? For the longest time, when I heard of intercession, I would think of nothing more than simply praying on the behalf of someone else. While this is true, that intercessory prayer is praying on the behalf of someone else, it is actually so much more. To intercede means to step into a situation on behalf of someone else and take action to protect that person from harm. It is a term we hear in schools. Schools often have “intercession” for struggling students so they can get the extra help they need to pass their classes. When a person stands between a bully and a victim, that person is an intercessor. The greatest form of intercession is when one person takes the hit for another, even at the cost of his or her life.

Eric Ludy showed me an image of intercession that I had never thought of but it made perfect. Listen to this 8-minute video talking about how Jesus himself is the ultimate Intercessor. The image I want to point you to is the image of a walled city. Think of a castle or fort. When a piece of that wall is broken down, we call that a breach. It is easy access into the fort with no need to address the front door. What an intercessor will do is stand in that gap when the enemy is charging and hold his ground. I never truly understood intercessory prayer until I got this image. When we pray in intercession, we advance to stand between the person, organization, or nation we are praying for and stand ready to fight the battle the person, organization, or nation we are praying for is fighting. Intercessory prayer is when we move to take on the demons those we are praying for are fighting. And that can come with a cost.

Do we have intercessors? Isaiah wondered that. Isaiah saw that truth had fallen, as though it was in the streets, trampled and mocked. He wondered if there would be an intercessor, someone who would make a stand and defend the truth. And no one would do it. Isaiah himself was doing it by speaking the words of God, but ultimately no one was really doing it. So God himself became the intercessor. God himself came down from heaven to intercede for his people. And he took the form of a man: Jesus Christ.

Jesus did what no man since Adam could have done: He lived the perfect life. Adam had the opportunity to stand up and defend his wife from the wiles of the serpent. Read that account in Genesis 3. He did not do it. He relinquished his role and fell into sin. But Jesus did it. He stood in that gap. He stood between us and our accuser and single-handedly took on not just Satan, but sin and death itself. And he won the battle with his resurrection. To this day, Jesus stands at the throne interceding on our behalf.

But what Jesus did was to be an example of how we are supposed to live. Jesus was an intercessor. He stood between the crowd and the woman caught in the very act of adultery. Why not us? Why don’t we stand for the weak, the lost, and the destitute? Some of us actually do. Some of us think we do. In reality, most of us don’t. Why? Two reasons often come to mind. One is that it does not affect us. By doing nothing about it, what happens to them has no impact on us. There are many who only act to aid those in need because of selfish reasons, because it makes them look good or feel good. Or they do it because if they don’t do anything, the inaction will come back to haunt them. The motive for doing it is self, so for the most part, few actually do help those in need.

The other major reason people use is because they know there is a cost to selfishly stand for the needs of others. It could be reputation, that being associated with those people won’t look good. Jesus felt that pressure. He was mocked for associating with tax collectors and sinners, the outcasts of society. He stood for up for them, at the cost of popularity, at the cost of respect by the big names out there.

What about us? Are we willing to go up and bat for those that society rejects? Are we willing to fight the powers that be so that they get their justice? And are we willing to that even if we never receive a single benefit for it? I’m speaking to myself here just as much to everyone else. Where is the intercessor? Where is the one that will rise up to the task and take on those who would keep the destitute in their poor state? This is what Paul is doing in Romans 10:1. He is fighting and striving that his own people, the Jews, would be saved. We’ve been talking the last few weeks how it is not about being raised in the church or having a Christian heritage that makes you saved, but it is only by leaning upon and depending upon Jesus as your LORD and Savior. Do we have that drive? That mentality? Do we have the yearning to save the lost as men like Hudson Taylor or CT Studd or Amy Carmichael had? They were missionaries who despite knowing the dangers to body and health, some of whom were already battling severe health, STILL longed to go to foreign missions to save the lost.

I will wrap up this post with a quote frequently attributed to English preacher, Edmund Burke: “All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

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