Children, Young Men, Fathers
The priest-intercessor is the Bible description of all of us born of the Intercessor-Spirit. The intercession is the driving of the Spirit in us/as us which simply immerses us in the necessity of others having the Christ we have in salvation and fullness.
In our earlier ‘little children’ stage, there is the drive, and we respond to it with a mixture of much ‘fleshly’ energy, which is God using our soul-body engergies enroute to our learning the ways of operations by Spirit-leadership. This is like Moses starting off his rescue of his enslaved brethren by killing the Egyptian mistreating an Israelite, a vast contrast to Moses 40 years later overcoming Pharaoh by the word-of-faith activities which produced the plagues and the release of the nation from its captivity. We then go through the process of our own inner settling into the ‘young man’ stage of Galatians 2:20, where we become ‘established, strengthened, settled’ (1 Pet. 5:10). And now we are consciously in our ‘father’ stage, where we have, like Paul, ‘won Christ,’ and thus the highest privilege of being leveled with Him as co-saviors (1 Cor. 9:22), co-commissioned, co-laborers, co-sufferers, co-doers, co-risers in co-resurrection, which with us brings ‘many sons to glory.’A Missionary Mother’s Intercession
This priesthood-intercession may take a multitude of different forms in the originality of the Intercessor-Spirit in us and by us. But it now means a commission no longer in ignorance of the fact that I am an intercessor. I am grabbed by some involvement in God’s saving purpose, maybe starting in one life and on to many. There it is. I can’t help it. I am ‘in it to win it,’ to use my friend Roy Putnam’s phrase. This is my Spirit-given commission, small or great, which may last long or short until it has been gained. It may be as ‘simple’ as one mother of a missionary I knew, Mrs. Scholes, both a widow and blind, who so gladly gave her only child, her son Jack, to be a pioneer missionary in the Congo. When she became blind (in the days before state support in Britain of such a condition) and her friends said her son Jack must come home to care for her, this was her reply” ‘His homecoming is just what would kill me! My life is in Jack taking Jesus to the Africans.’ And he never did come home except for furlough visit. ‘Mother Scholes’ was an intercessor.
The cost is the battle of faith and works. I am a soldier in my front line. The heat of the battle is what Paul called ‘fighting the good fight of faith.’ All the lives of the great men of faith in the Bible illustrate that battle. Do I confront some apparent impossibility and have to move into some word of faith on the basis of Mark 11:20-24, which must be maintained, persisted in and confirmed by the inner confirmation of the Spirit? Watch that often swaying battle of faith in those faith-victories of Hebrews 11. That is the heartbeat of intercession. There is then the further cost of whatever form of activity-involvement the Spirit takes us into. I am a ‘missionary in action’ in some field of action.
The final is the gaining of the intercession, the persistence in the commission until we see the completion: Jesus’ ‘I have a baptism to be baptized with and how am I straitened until it be accomplished’ (Luke 12:50) and Paul’s ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course.’ Prayer may…intercession must! Commission, Cost, Completion.