What is intercession? Intercession is the act of standing in the gap or taking the place of another person so that person may be saved and know the fullness of the Spirit-filled life. Norman Grubb explains that Intercession is revealed in the Bible as God looking for special men by whom He will give some special deliverance (Yes I Am p.207). An intercessor then is one who stands in the gap or takes the place of another so that that person may receive some special deliverance.
I realize definitions are sometimes hard to understand so maybe an example will help clear up what I mean. The ultimate example of an intercessor is Jesus Christ, and He performed the ultimate act of intercession when He died on the cross for our sins so that we might be saved. Isaiah 53:12 explains that Jesus poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors, for he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Jesus stood in the gap for us. He laid down His life for ours and paid the price for the sins we have committed and will commit in the future so that we could be saved. Jesus did not need saving, nor did He commit any sin for which He needed forgiving. He did this for us because He is a self-for-others and, as such, He wants to see us saved. It is amazing to think that He who knew no sin became sin for my sake and suffered a body/soul death so that I might know the Father and be saved! (2 Cor. 5:21) And all I have to do is to recognize that Jesus did this for me personally as well as for the rest of the human race. By accepting this reality for myself, I became bornagain. By being born again, I became a different personnot in the body/soul sense, but in the spirit sense. The spirit of Satan left my spirit core forever and the spirit of Christthe Holy Spiritjoined to my spirit forever as one spirit. In 1 Cor. 6:17, Paul explains that he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
The idea of me being one spirit with the Lord is a very important concept to grasp when contemplating the idea of intercession. Before I became one spirit with Christ, I was one with Satan. Satan, as we know, is a self-for-self so as long as he was operating me, I had no choice but to be a self-for-self. Because intercession involves standing in the gap and paying a price so that someone else might know God, then only a selffor- others (i.e. Christ) can fulfill this job. But now that I am joined to the Lord in spirit, I have become a selffor- others. Not because I am some good person who wants to do good things, but because that is what Christ is through me. I have nothing to do with it except to believe the fact that I am merely a vessel for Christ to live out through me as He wishes. As a self-for-others, Christ already chose to lay down His life for us sinners, so this must be part of how He lives out through usstanding in the gap for others. All we can do is to say Yes Lord, I make my body and soul available for you so that you may fulfill whatever purpose through me that you desire.
Once we have made this commitment of our body/soul to God for His use, He is likely to have a very specific cross for us to bear. This is how we become intercessors. God makes it very clear for what we are to intercede, and we say Yes, I am willing. This may sound scary, but all we are really saying yes to is that Christ can live through me in this specific situation to bring forth the specific thing God put before us. Norman Grubb calls this specific thing our commission. He explains that a commission is not something we look for or make up. It must come for God. In Hebrews 5:4, when explaining the intercession a priest is called to, the author states that no one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God just as Aaron was. Trying to find or drum up something for which to intercede would be selfeffort, which is sin. Instead, we trust that Christ in us will make clear any commission for which we can make our body/soul available. Then, as Norman explains in Yes I Am, Such a commission is no passing thing. It is not a prayer I can take up or put down. It is This one thing I do. It will be the main drive of my life until it is gained.
Jesus made Himself available to God on our behalf and the result was a body death for Him. So we must pay the same price. Once we are clear on our commission from God and say yes to it, we must pay a cost like Jesus didalthough ours is not likely to require an actual body death like Jesus. But it may mean the literal sacrifice of all that goes with our body living: our time, our faculties, our possessions, our finances, our homes, and usually most costly and common of all, our reputation (Yes I Am, p.209). The possibility of sacrificing any of those areas of our lives may seem scary and extreme but as C.T. Studd once stated If Jesus Christ, Gods Son, gave His life to save me, I can only be an honest Christian if I give my life for Him. It is this cost that we pay that makes the difference between a prayer and intercession.
With prayer, we ask God to do something. But in intercession we demand that God do something and we know it must come to pass, we must see completion. We can say must for two reasons: 1) God gave us our commission himself, so what we desire must be His desire and 2) a cost has been paid. Once we have paid a cost, we get the glory of witnessing completion. First we see this on a faith levelwe become settled in our inner consciousness that the Lord has done it ( Yes I Am, p.209). Then by remaining involved and continuing whatever action we agreed to, God will bring it to pass!
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 20 No 2
- No Independent Self
- The Real Problem: Satans Lie
- Tape Talk
- Editors Note
- Sin Ruled My Life
- Reminiscences of Rees Howells The Village Years, Continued
- For the Shame of Christ
- A Look at a Book
- BIBLE STUDY:The Letterto the Romans
- Yes, I Am
- The Faith Life Has Its Tight Times
- Letters from Norman