Standing in God’s Way

intercedeOne of the privileges of my pastoral work is getting to be an ‘advocate’ for others.  Occasionally I am asked to help out with some snarl in government bureaucracy. “Pastor Jerry, could you help me, make a phone call, find a way?” And, I love to try.  More than a few times standing at the side of someone who was unable to make their own case, together we have found a way to keep the heavy hand of the law from crushing them, to get a license restored, to cut through snarls of regulation.

The Bible says that we have an Advocate who stands on our behalf before the Throne of the Almighty. “We have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:1-2, NIV) Is that not a wonderful thing to know? Weak, prone to failure, dealing with Self and Evil, we are not alone in the struggle. Our Brother and Savior is now seeking God’s mercy and favor for us, eternally.  And, we are called to become advocates for those who live around us. Only Jesus, our great High Priest, can make us right with God, but all of us are given the privileges of priesthood, to offer God’s mercy to those who will receive it.

Our role is not passive! We are sent into our world with this message – “Be reconciled (at peace) to God!”  At the same time, we speak to God on behalf of others. Our prayers need to be more than ‘Lord, bless Pete. Amen.’  Instead we passionately ask for God’s mercy to be shown. We pray for eyes to be opened. We pray for hearts to be softened. We pray for situations to bring an awareness of God and His goodness to those who are living in ignorance of His grace.  On our prayers of intercession (standing between) bring results.

Exodus 32 tells the story of Moses and Israel. He had gone to the mountain to hear from the Lord.  His stay lasted a long time and the people grew afraid and restless. He was their only connection to God.  They approached Aaron, Moses’ brother, and asked him to make them a representation of God.  So he took their gold and fashioned a calf idol! This was a defiance of God’s rule that His people should revere Him without any idols or images.  Anything they could create would reduce Him, steal His majesty.  But, they asked and Aaron acquiesced.

God spoke to Moses about it while he was still on the mountain.  “Quick! Go down the mountain! Your people whom you brought from the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves. How quickly they have turned away from the way I commanded them to live! They have melted down gold and made a calf, and they have bowed down and sacrificed to it. They are saying, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.’ ” (Exodus 32:7-8, NLT)  God’s anger was stirred by their faithlessness, their lack of gratitude, their rejection of Him.  And He told Moses He was prepared to destroy Israel and make Moses the father of a new nation!

Moses stood up to the Lord! It is an amazing scene in Exodus, one that challenges some of theology, some of what we think we know about God. “I have seen these people,” the Lord said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked people. Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.” But Moses sought the favor of the Lord his God. “O Lord,” he said, “why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand?” (Exodus 32:9-11, NIV)   God says to Moses, “Now leave me alone!”  In other words, “get out of My way!”  Yes, Moses so loved the people, that he became their advocate, offering himself to make things right with God!  Scripture tells us that God relented and the nation was saved, though many perished in the judgment that followed.

Do you love God in such an intimate way that you can hear His heart and speak to Him on behalf of people who are erring, who need His grace?

Is there a holy boldness in you that would stand up to Him, an advocate for those who are slaves of sin and failure?

Imagine the Lord saying to you, “Get out of my way,” but there you stand – an advocate, an intercessor, whose love becomes a pipeline for mercy!

Here is a word from the Word. Love it. Live it! “Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-20, The Message)

Oh, Lord, help us to love others to life.
Help us to love You and to love others,
Connecting the lost with their Father,
The sinner with their Savior.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

___________

 

Come As You Are

Come out of sadness from wherever you’ve been.
Come, broken-hearted, let rescue begin.
Come find your mercy, O sinner, come kneel.
Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can’t heal.
Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can’t heal.

 (So) Lay down your burdens, lay down your shame.
All who are broken, lift up your face.
O wanderer come home,
You’re not too far.
So lay down your hurt, lay down your heart,
Come as you are.

 There’s hope for the hopeless,
And all those who’ve strayed.
Come sit at the table, come taste the grace.
There’s rest for the weary,
Rest that endures,
Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can’t cure. 

Come as you are.
Fall in His arms.
Come as you are. 

There’s joy for the morning, O sinner be still.
Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can’t heal.
Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can’t heal.

Ben Glover | David Crowder | Matt Maher© 2014 9t One Songs (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)Ariose Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)Inot Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)sixsteps Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

CCLI License # 810055

 

Jerry D. Scott, Pastor

Faith Discovery Church

www.FaithDiscovery.com

 

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