When the editorial staff of The Intercessor began looking for contributors for this issue, I volunteered to do a tape review. I’ve written a few tape reviews in the past, so I thought I could commit to doing one. As always, once I got into the midst of listening, I began to kick myself thinking, "Why did I volunteer to do this? How am I going encapsulate these two tapes into an article that has some sense and meaning?" These thoughts as well as other negative thoughts and feelings became the impetus to make a choice many times during the process of writing this article. My choice was to believe that Jesus Christ was living His life through me for others and that the pain of producing this article would benefit others.
I know this seems an awfully strange way to begin a tape review, but in a small way (and let there be no mistake about how small this is compared to what others have endured) this is an example of what I believe Norman Grubb brings out as the main theme of Paul’s 2nd letter to the Corinthians. This letter is an intimate view of our brother Paul as an intercessor.
So what is an intercessor, anyway? That is a great question and a very appropriate one given the name of our magazine. Norman explains on this tape that someone who is in inter-cession has a sense of being set some-place for a specific purpose and that this purpose must come to pass. There is no "may" about it. The intercessor will see it through whatever the cost. As Norman winds his way through the book we see that, indeed, Paul was an intercessor for the Corinthian church. With much embarrassment, Paul gives a view of some of the physical, mental, and psychological pain he has endured for the Corinthians as well as for others, in order to bring them to a substantially greater understanding and experience of their life in Christ. This testimony gives Norman an opportunity to expound upon a subject so essential to a "more than conquerors life"-that death must occur in order to have life and that there must be a negative in order for the positive to be manifested. I’ve read and listened to much of this fundamental truth in the 15 years since I first heard Norman speak, but listening to this tape still gave much refreshment to my outlook on life. It also brought me much pain and sadness as I thought about how often I have sinned in refusing to pay a price for others. Thankfully, by His grace, God has given me additional opportunities to be for others.
As I listened to this tape, I found so many nuggets of God’s wisdom gained from Norman’s steady walk with the Lord. I felt encouraged when Norman refers to a verse in Ezekiel in which God says he’ll "put His spirit in us and cause us to walk in his statutes" This is such a relief knowing that God will be the one actively living out His life through us. Of course, it is up to us to believe that fact; otherwise, we allow Satan to operate in our members.
Further, Norman points out that the world often hides behind false humility. Many people pretend to downgrade themselves, but they really are seeking to be upgraded. Personally, I have been guilty of this many times, so I know this one by experience. What a wonderful thing to know-I possess all in Christ, and therefore I need not be proud nor falsely humble. As Norman says, we’re just pots and that’s it. There’s no improvement on that function. But what marvelous treasure we contain within ourselves.
As Paul winds up this letter we see that the key to all of Paul’s "boasting" is not about himself but a testimony about the God he serves. Paul is told by God that His "power is made perfect in weakness." So much of who Paul is and so much of what Norman talks about in this tape is summed up in this verse. It is through negative circumstances that God intercedes through us for others. This is truly a profound truth and one that Norman Grubb not only personally experienced but labored to pass on to others.
Are there negative circumstances in your life? Do you have negative thoughts and feelings? Do yourself and those around you a huge favor. Get this tape and listen to it. Your view of life might dramatically change.
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 17 No 1
- Faith, Fellowship and Fun
- The Key
- A Challenge
- Be Careful…
- Words to Live By
- Suffering: Its Secret
- Editor’s Note
- A Look at a Book
- Bible Study: With Bended Knee and a Broken Heart
- To Put It All Simple Yet Radically
- Questions & Answers
- Zerubbabel Focus: Zerubbabel Press–Republishing Norman’s Books
- Excerpt from The Intercession of Rees Howells
- An Awesome God
- To Think About…
- Tape Talk
- British Autumn Conference
- Sunday School
- Don’t Learn the Hard Way
- Illuminating Body, Soul & Spirit
- Could I Be Pharaoh?