By: Richard Gazowsky
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There is a concept that many of us have a hard time with. It concerns the idea of freedom. That’s because when God sets you free, He means complete freedom. Unlike man, who gives you money and then requires you to report daily on how you’re to spend it, God truly trusts you with this power. He will even let you make mistakes if you want to. This is why spiritual intercessors are so important in our lives of success and the gaining of power.
David went through years of preparation to be king over Israel. When he finally achieved the position of power that God had selected for him, he used that authority in many ways ~ including the opportunity to make grievous mistakes. For many years I wondered why God trained David so carefully and then, after David sent his men off to war, God didn’t warn him about Bathsheba, who was bathing nude on the roof, next door, in full view of David’s bedroom window. Why was it that God was so free in not stopping David from committing a sin that ended up causing him so much harm?
This question was based out of my own ignorance because I thought God’s ways were like man’s ways. When man gives you a position of power, he is always checking on you. He watches you to make sure that you don’t abuse that power (or so he says). But the truth is, even with man’s watchful eye upon you, if you desire to sin you will still find a way. But God’s position is completely different than man’s. God actually gives you complete unrestrained freedom to use, or abuse, your position of power. He showed us this truth in David’s life.
David used his unfettered power to impregnate another man’s wife, and then tried to cover up his sin. When this didn’t work, because of the purity of Uriah (the lawful husband of Bathsheba), he had him killed on the battlefield, again by the abuse of his power. David had covered up his sin completely, at least what man would’ve thought was complete. But David had an intercessor, Nathan the prophet. He discerned David’s sin, at the peak of his cover-up, and exposed it to David. He did this by telling David a story.
There was a poor old man who had only one ewe lamb, which he loved so much he had it sleep with him. Next door to the old man was a rich landowner who had thousands of sheep in his flock. One day a visitor came and visited the wealthy landowner. Instead of choosing a sheep from his own flock to make the evening dinner, the rich man took the old man’s one little lamb, killed and cooked it, and fed it to his guest.
When David heard this story he blew up with righteous indignation and said, “Whoever did this shall pay with his life!” Nathan’s famous reply was, “Thou art the man.” David’s sin was exposed, and he quickly repented in sackcloth and ashes. David’s repentance was so complete before the Lord, that though God took his firstborn son from Bathsheba, He later gave him a second son, Solomon. It was this son who would one day become king, and also part of the direct lineage of Jesus Christ.
When I first glanced at this scenario, my first thought was to question, “Why did God allow David to sin in the first place?” But my question was answered when I understood how willing God is to give us freedom. But it also showed me how God’s justice is demanded, even when His favorite people sin. They still have to pay the punishment. But a higher truth was also revealed. God knew David was going to do this sin, and predetermined that Bathsheba would be the blessed ancestor of Jesus Christ. This shows us that even when satan means to bring evil against us, God is so clever. If we are willing to respond to the intercessor’s prayer, we can have that evil turned to good. Joseph mentioned this truth, in the book of Genesis, when he said to his eleven brothers, “What you meant for evil God has turned to good.”
The phenomenon I’m really dealing with here is how easy it is to sin, and make mistakes, even after you’ve just received God’s blessing and favor. Years ago, when I first received the revelation of casting lots before the Lord, I was amazed that God answered me with the lot, just like He did in biblical times. But then something started happening. Many of the answers I was getting from the lots turned out to be wrong, and this sent me into a spiritual spiral. My wife, Sandy, discerned what was happening, and the confusion that was inside me.
“Richard,” she said, “you’ve got to take time to pray and to ask God for His perfect will. Then ask Him to guide the lot, instead of you just throwing a coin in the air and treating it so mechanical.”
Now, I didn’t always just cast lots. God also spoke to me through dreams, visions and sometimes just a word in my heart. But it was through the casting of lots that God exposed an incredible vulnerability in my ability to hear God. When I actually began to pray about Sandy’s statements to me, I realized that many times my strong will had overshadowed my heart’s desire. Instead of God giving me the answer that was His will, He had given me my own heart’s desire. But it wasn’t His perfect will. My saving point in this situation was Sandy, my intercessor, and boy did I need her.
Many times in the Scriptures God steps away from leaders and allows them to go through temptations and make wrong choices. That’s because He is a God that demands freedom for you, and won’t circumvent your own will. But this freedom puts you in a very vulnerable position, especially if you are in a position of power. I can fool myself and think I’m doing God’s will, when all the time God is not even around. I’m actually calling my own stubbornness the will of God. It really takes humility to look at yourself and see how weak and susceptible you are to your own desires.
This has been especially true lately in my own life, and has required me to apply more caution then I’ve ever used before. I’m now making decisions, in areas which involve my company, about which I’ve had strong opinions for a long time. If I’m not careful my personal opinions could shut out the perfect will of God. I have to be extremely careful to listen to His voice, and the voice of intercessors that God puts in my path. These intercessors are not “yes people” who are afraid of me. They are men and women of God who love me so much they have no problem in telling me the truth.
Anyone in leadership knows that you cannot open up yourself to a volley of criticism, just for criticisms sake. There are many people who would love to call themselves intercessors. But they are really just critics, and distractors from God’s purpose in your life. It was because Abraham was a relative of Lot that he had a personal interest in not seeing Lot destroyed. This is why God chooses people to be advocates, who have a personal bias in favor of the person they are interceding for. Nathan the prophet loved David dearly. It was this love, pure and undefiled, that gave him the ability to be a true intercessor and save David’s kingdom. May all of us have intercessors who are willing to go into heaven’s prayer court to intercede on our behalf. Don’t ever confuse an accuser with an intercessor.
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Richard Gazowsky pastors a church in San Francisco called The Voice of Pentecost, and is also president of Christian WYSIWYG Filmworks. He has directed the films, “Guardians” and “The Roman Trilogy.”