How many carry burdens for loved ones unsaved or backslid-den? We cry day and night like the importunate woman calling on the unjust judge. But suppose we kind of "gather up our garments about us" and speak the word of faith: "It is done." We know that we should do this because we can have what we want. Well, do it! By faith see God at work in that precious one, beneath all the appearances of sin and flesh and maybe antagonism and contempt. Don’t see him or her in those fleshly appearances. See him as a precious and loved son of God, though still a prodigal son. See him as a marred son of God, just as I was–prodigal, but a son. Tell him you have seen him in your faith and that God will get him, for he is His. And see all the positives you can in his life, which you can appreciate and for which you can be thankful.
Always remember our true perspective: God is the All in all. Therefore, when I am confronted with this or that situation it is He who put me there, and I know why" He is going to come through with some new and glorious manifestation of Himself–the positive through the negative. He only works through His sons, an din this case He is telling me, "I am going to do it through you." My hurt and disturbance is His way of stirring me to move into my word of faith. That is why in Isaiah there is that upside-down statement, "Before they call, I will answer" (65:24). "No," we would say. "Call first on the phone and then get the answer. Not answer before call!" But God already has the answer–and He has in me a son whom He can trust not to be knocked down by the problem, but to turn it into a call on Him; and my way of calling will be my word of faith…and through the faith will come ths substance. Indeed, He deliverately puts me in my "hot spots" to cause me to want deliverance, and to speak that deliverance-word of faith. That is how He finds me–and you–to be a profitable son.
That loved one is saved. We may have often to repeat that to ourself or to others, when nothing seems changed. But we repeat it–not the prayer of request, but the word of faith. What burdens that takes off our heart, and how it changes our attitude toward the one we have believed for, because we practice seeing through to who he is by the eyes of faith, rather than being obsessed by the unpleasant present appearances; and our change of attitude is what God uses to change him, for beneath the facade of defense there is really a hungry, watching heart. And by taking such positions of faith for those nearest to us, we then are ourselves freed to reach out in faith for others. St. Augustine, when he found the Lord after his dissolute life, asked his mother where he had been all those years. "In my faith and love," she answered.
When someone asks me to pray with them for a loved one, maybe a husband or wife, I say briefly to her (supposing it’s a wife), "It isn’t your husband who is the problem. You are the problem. You as a daughter of God have the right to speak the word of faith that God your loved one saved or delivered." I give her the scriptures and the promises. Then I say, "I won’t pray for you more than this one time. But if you like–and you see that you have this right to believe–I will join you now in your word of faith." That is much more help to her than my just praying a prayer with her. It is helping her to be the wife of faith.
And if someone says, "But how can you say by faith that God has your loved one saved? Hasn’t he a will of his own?", my answer is that his will is not what controls him. It is his wants, and his will will follow his wants. And God has His own clever way of changing our wants. He can make us sick of what we used to want from this world, and can make us want Him. Then our will will follow our want. Our relationship to our fellow Christians radically changes also, when we know who we are, for then we know who they are. I first see my brother just as a human person, who may or may not appeal to me. I always start like that, but then the change. I know who I am, so I know and see who he is. He is Christ to me, even in his human form. More than that, we all have mannerisms, habits, ways of saying and doing things in which we are different from each other, and this can rub each other the wrong way. But since I know that I am as God me to be, warts and all, so I know my brother is as God means him to be, and we love and accept each other as we are, for we are Christ to each other.
And when clay feet appear in us (and they do), in habits that we have which at least as flesh turning up, we still say that is how God means my brother at present to be. He will be taking care of any changes that are needed. We are all being "conformed to the image of His Son." My part is to have it fixed in my faith that God that is doing that in my brother, as I see Christ perfect in him. That saves me from being judgmental of him. The time may come when the Lord gives me the freedom to talk things over with him. This is where what Jesus said about the mote and beam takes effect. If I have the beam in my eye, it means that I am seeing my brother’s weak spot more vividly than enjoying Christ in him. I cannot then take out his mote. But if my love and esteem of my brother is greater than any lesser shortcomings, and he senses that, then he is likely to hear me about his mote. So this is the beautiful way in which our brother is always Christ to us in his human form; and whenever he is less than that to me and the clay feet are obsessing me, I am the one off-center more than he. I adjust myself to who I am, and I have nothing then which obscures my clear sight of him as who he is. Always the single eye to my brother, as to Christ.
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 25 No 3
- Harmonious Relationships
- Editor’s Note
- Fellowship In Philadelphia, PA
- I Was a Fool
- "If we walk in the light…"
- C.T. Was Right & We Were Wrong
- Fellowship on the Mission Field
- Fellowship in the Body
- "Let us love one another…"
- My Personal Discovery of Total Truth
- How Do I Look at People?
- Long on Faith, Short on Love
- "Make my joy complete…"
- Applied to the Daily Life
- Fellowship of Believers
- Difficult People
- Walking with My Brother
- The Standard is Perfection
- Many Members, but One Body…
- Words to Live By