Thursday, 23 July 2009

Personal Prayer life leads us on to Intercession

Ezekiel 47:1-12
How deep is your prayer life - are you ankle deep? God wants you to go knee-deep. Are you knee-deep? God wants you to go up to your waist. Are you waist-deep? God wants to take you into waters deep enough to swim in.
Walk into the river. Ezekiel gives a picture of walking steadily deeper into the river until, by his own strength, he could no longer navigate the current. We are to walk increasingly deeper in the Holy Spirit, releasing ourselves entirely to Him.
As we develop a relationship with the Lord God (Jehovah Elshadai) my supplier, Gen 17:1, our flesh dies like Abraham and God becomes God Almighty to us. Dependent on flesh will kill us. (emphasise) Eg: If we depend on our talents and gifts we will not last long. We must learn to get into the deep waters.
I strongly believe true intercession comes when the flesh dies and the spirit of God takes over. We are witnesses for Christ but where are we in Him. We are created to have fellowship with Jehovah. Is your heart like that of Moses when he prayed,” show me now Your way, that I may know You…” (Exod. 33:13)
He's calling you to intercession. Moses was an intercessor. He had two periods of 40 days and 40 nights with no bread and no water. He lay prostrate before the Lord.
The ministry of intercession is not just for women; it's for every Christian. Intercession is not about coming to God with a shopping list. Intercession is about falling before God in humility, seeking his face, seeking his voice. It's not about us talking; it's about us listening. We need to listen, close our mouths and open our ears. God will speak to us.
There are many men as well as women of God in the bible who interceded for the people. Abraham pleaded with God at Sodom and his nephew Lot was saved together with his two daughters, Genesis 19: 29 Nehemiah wept, fasted and prayed before the Lord on behalf of the people of Israel, even confessing their sin, Neh. 1:1-10 Esther risked her life by approaching the king, pleading for her people and the Jewish nation was saved, Esther 7:1-6
After Moses spent these 40 days and 40 nights on the mountain, he brought down the tablets of stone. But the people had fallen into sin and made for themselves a golden idol in the shape of a calf and they worshipped it. Moses was angry and threw down the tablets of stone and they broke to pieces.
How quickly people turn away from the Lord into sin. When things are not going the way we want them to be, we take our eyes off Jesus. We build our golden idol of gossiping, complaining, unforgiveness or bitterness etc. When did you last go up the mountain? If we stayed longer on the mountain, perhaps we wouldn't go into the valley.
What does the valley represent? Sin. We lower ourselves, take matters into our own hands and lose our dependence on God. We lose our relationship with Him, we lose our intimacy with Him. This leads to us losing our joy, our peace and we return to striving. This is what happened to the Israelites. They took matters into their own hands and very quickly forgot how God had miraculously delivered them from the hands of the Egyptians. Don’t forget what Jesus did for you and me by saving us from our sinful ways.
Not only was Moses distressed to see the sinful condition of the Israelites, he was robbed of his blessing - that precious time he'd spent in God's presence. Many of us have God given promises, prophesies and gifts that we received thru servants of God or God Himself. However, we lost them because we focused on problems and so the anointing and fire of God has left us. Our sin affects not just us but other people.
But Moses went straight back up the mountain and lay prostrate before God for a second period of 40 days and 40 nights. He interceded for the people who'd sinned. Genesis 9: 25-27 shows us how Moses pleaded with God for the people. His intercession was not for himself, it was for others. What does that tell us about our intercession? We can fall prostrate before the Lord and cry out for others, for our families and friends who don't know Jesus or who have walked away from him, for our churches, for our nation.
Intercession is not about going to God to get something for yourself. It's about going to God on behalf of the people. It's about standing in the gap, it's about confessing their sin before God and asking him to intervene.
What does it tell us about Jesus' intercession for us - scripture tells us he intercedes for us continually, Heb. 7:24-25 Even though we sin, even though we disobey, even though we forget him sometimes in our busy lives, he still intercedes for us because of his great love for us. The King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, intercedes for us; my Jesus, my Saviour, intercedes for me, for you, continually, before his Father in heaven.
God hears our prayers; he hears the cry of our hearts. He wants to bless us. He wants us to spend time with him - that's when he speaks to us, gives us guidance and direction.
How vital it is that we abide in God's presence. If we spent more time in his presence, then maybe we would spend less time striving, struggling and worrying. Then maybe we wouldn't go into the valley, or into sin.
Let us, like Moses, spend precious time with our God. When he came down from the mountain, Moses' face shone with the glory of God - people knew he'd been in God's presence.
God wants us to deepen our prayer life. It's costly, it involves sacrifice, and it’s risky. As we move into intercessory prayer, God will deal with us first. He will have to purify us. He will need to burn up things from us lives that are not pleasing to him. Are you willing for this? Will you go deeper into him?
Ask the Lord to take you deeper in the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit.
Receive the Holy Spirit’s fullness in your life today. Understand that “the river” in Ezekiel can represent the outpouring and blessing of the Holy Spirit given by Jesus to His Church (John 7:37-39). Allow the living water of God’s Spirit to touch you and flow out of you. It will bring healing and abundant fruitfulness (Rev.22:1-5)

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