As I mentioned to you last week, intercession is all about being intimate with Jesus Christ. But there are things that you must consider when you are expecting God to get close to you. This is why true intercessors must be willing to change much of their personal character and attributes that they might of be proud or protective about. Let me explain.
Years ago I invited a famous evangelist, Billy Cole, to preach for us. He had held world-famous revivals in Thailand and in Ethiopia, and now he was coming to our church in San Francisco. I asked him up to the platform but he politely refused. He continued standing until he had finished speaking prophetically to the church and then we took him to his hotel. I never quite understood why he did not sit down on our stage, and it later caused me to remove all the seats on the platform that we had reserved for ministers.
Later, when I was visiting Billy Cole at his church on the East Coast, he told me that he never sits down at people’s houses when he visits them. He explained to me that because his personal weight was so heavy (over 400+ pounds) that he was afraid we might break the chair if he sat on it. Years later, when I ran across the Scripture where Moses described the ark of the covenant, where the presence of the Lord would descend upon the holiest of holies, I remembered the incident with Billy Cole.
On top of the ark of the covenant Moses placed, between two cherubims, a “mercy seat.” This was where the presence of God would fill the holiest of holies. I could see the divine picture that was being shown to us in this biblical metaphor. The weight of God’s glory is so great that only mercy is strong enough to support its weight.
As I mentioned last week, only the person that has a close relationship and intimacy with God is someone who can be considered to be an intercessor. But this close relationship with God requires personal holiness. This is not achieved by obeying religious rules, but it is achieved by extreme obedience to God’s will. You cannot find this type of purity by reading someone else’s religious book or copying some other person’s example. It is only by your observation in obedience to the little things that God asks you to do.
For example, God has asked me to personally make sacrifices concerning little things that other people usually do as parts of their lives. But when you give up the little normal things that other people do, you can start to think that you are personally holier than they are. Suddenly pride begins to take control and mercy has no room in your spirit. If God’s glory was to rest upon you at that time you would collapse under its weight because there is no mercy in you to support the glory.
What I have just described to you is a complexity in the spiritual world that is hard to understand. It has been especially hard for me because I have met many powerful men of God who do not possess the mercy of God. As a result they are very judgmental concerning others and it has caused confusion in my spirit.
Now I understand that at this place of God’s power and glory my mercy must be even greater and I must depend upon obedience to God to a high level. When He says, “Be friends with that person and treat them with love and kindness,” I must move aside all of my human intellect, reasoning power, and sense of personal justice and bathe myself in God’s mercy and forgiveness led by obedience to His perfect will.
I realize that what I’ve just said may cause a few of you some difficulty, but I feel it is time for us to enter into a new level of Christian maturity where we can be around sinners, powerful transgressors, and still love and treat them with God’s love and mercy. That means we must lay aside all issues of judgment and self-righteous justice. These things must be turned over to God Himself, for God is the Judge ~ not me, the church, or anyone else. Only God.
Some of you who have a clear intellectual understanding of right and wrong may read what I am saying and feel troubled by it. Just remember this: the goal of intercession, and the reason for this article, is for you to experience the glory of God’s presence. It is easy for you to determine if what I am saying is true. When you come to our church, “A Place To Meet Jesus,” do you feel His glory? Are real genuine miracles happening? That is the test!
This Sunday morning, on January 25, 2015, we are having a special service just for you ~ to introduce you to A Place To Meet Jesus. The service will start sharply at 12 noon and will end at 1 PM. Please come and meet us there this Sunday and see if you feel His glory. If you do, then God’s mercy is in the house!