The prophet stood in front of me, an ecstatic glow emanating from his whole being. He had died, but he was alive again. His eyes wide with wonder, he exclaimed, “I saw Him!” He then wrapped his arms around me. This supernatural embrace was a living power encounter. In it, I felt God’s overwhelming glory, light and energy sweep through my being.
When I woke up from this dream, I knew it was a weighty one. The brother it featured had graduated to heaven a few weeks prior. I have come to understand that the Lord deposited something vitally important into me through this nighttime experience. Holy Spirit was further awakening in me His gift of seeing into the heavenly realms. This man of God proclaimed to me, “I saw Him,” and then symbolically passed that seeing to me through his embrace.
This is the third installment of the series in which I’ve been sharing with you about partnering with God in intercession. Today, I want to delve into the practical “how to” aspect of this co-labor with Him in response to the groaning of creation. As Holy Spirit emphasized in my dream, we need to see Him. Central to effectively becoming God’s channel, releasing His purposes into the earth, is this crucial matter of seeing into the Kingdom realm. (To read this series from the beginning, click here).
Look at the Throne
Has it ever happened to you, that you set aside time for prayer, and ended up more discouraged by the time you were done than when you began? There is a reason for this. Our prayers will always follow the focus of our heart’s eyes. Frequently, our spiritual eyes are fixated on the problem instead of on the Solution (God!). As a result, we end up pointing our expended energy towards the dilemma instead of towards the Lord.
A particular prayer gathering I attended recently sticks out in my memory as an illustration of this principle. At the beginning of the meeting, an intercessor went through a long list of dire prayer needs. Each and every one of them was real, legitimate, and troubling. The result of reading them all out at length was that the atmosphere of the meeting began on a very low note. Trying to move from there up into a place of faith after that was like trudging through mud.
A much more effective way to start out any prayer time, whether corporately or alone in the privacy of your bedroom, is to purposefully focus on Jesus sitting on His throne. Fixing our spiritual eyes on Him is a discipline that take practice; however, if you keep at it, you will gradually find it coming more and more naturally to you. (For further insight into how to get started with this practice, read here.)
As you fix your gaze on Him in His beauty and His glory, your spirit lifts. I imagine you have heard the expression, “it lifted my spirits?” That’s a real dynamic in the invisible realm. We find its description in this verse: “To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul” (Ps. 25:1, NKJV). As we get our focus on Him, our soul begins to lift. We begin to operate out of the spiritual position He purchased for us with His blood: that of being seated with Him in the heavenly places (Eph. 2:6). This places us with Him, high above the troubling earthly circumstances that are needing attention in prayer. From this vantage point, we are able to connect effectively with His own intercession and release its power into the physical realm.
In the last two parts of this series, we talked about the Holy Spirit’s groaning as He expresses the pain He is experiencing, intermingling with all of creation’s turmoil. When we are operating out of our position seated with Jesus, He can readily pour through us His intercession for those problems happening “down below” in the earthly realm, where He has His “boots on the ground.” As we continue to fixate the eyes of our heart on Jesus reigning on His throne, Holy Spirit discharges His prayers through us. Those prayers hit target like flaming arrows. They penetrate Father God’s heart, and in turn, His power floods through us, releasing His purposes into the earth through those very petitions that Holy Spirit is sending through our spirits.
Seeing in Spirit Enhances Effective Intercession
The book of Revelation vividly portrays this dynamic flow happening between heaven and earth as we stand in our intercessory position:
“Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel's hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake” (Rev. 8:3-5, NKJV).
In this scene before God’s throne, we see both upward and downward movement. Our prayers are moving upwards from the earth, ascending before Him as fragrant, pleasing incense. In response, Heaven throws fire from the altar downwards, into the earth. That fire is what God’s mighty power looks like visually in spirit. He hurls this unstoppable power down to move situations on our behalf. The stunning force of His answer to our intercession, in the heavenly realms, looks like brilliant flashes of lighting, sounds like deafening thunder, and feels like the overwhelming shakings of an earthquake.
When our spiritual eyes connect with these extremely real dynamics, we become much more effective in our synergy with Holy Spirit’s intercession. In this way, we become His living ladders, connecting the high and holy place with the plight of the lowly and broken (Gen. 28:12, Is. 57:15).
Our Role as Kings and Priests
We learn from John’s revelation of the risen Jesus that He “…loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father” (Rev. 1:5-6, NKJV). Truly, this is a stunning privilege. To be called His kings and His priests is not just pretty, poetic language. These two titles describe the crucial role He has given us here on the earth as we await His return.
The other reference in the book of Revelation to being His kings and priests is in conjunction with the “…golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints” (Rev 5:8,10, NKJV). Our function in these two roles is intercessory. As kings and priests, we are to fill those golden bowls full of incense, setting in motion the spiritual lightnings, thunderings, and earthquakes that will transform the world around us.
What does this mean? In order to understand, let’s examine each of the two functions separately.
Kings: This word reveals the authority that God has delegated to us in the earthly realm. To sit in this position means to rule, to exercise dominion. As we employ our spiritual eyes and fixate on God’s throne, He will release His decrees through us. We find an example of this in the Old Testament figure of King Cyrus, put into place by God to enforce His purposes for His people.
The book of Isaiah, describing Cyrus, provides a fascinating look into how God operates through us as kings. Let’s dig into these verses:
“[The LORD] says of Jerusalem, 'It shall be inhabited,' of the towns of Judah, 'They shall be built,' and of their ruins, 'I will restore them.’ …[He] says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,” and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid”’” (Isa. 44:26b;28, NIV).
First, God announces to us what His divine decrees are: Jerusalem shall be inhabited and the towns of Judah shall be built up again. Immediately afterwards, He announces that He will implement these decrees through Cyrus. This king, chosen by His hand, will be His earthly mouthpiece, uttering the decrees of His heart: “Let it be rebuilt!” and “Let its foundations be laid!”
Remember, now that Jesus has washed our sins in His blood, you have become His chosen king (or queen)! Whatever His intentions are for the earth, His will is to utter those decrees through you as you inhabit your place in the heavenly realms seated with Christ. Whatever problematic circumstance that He brings you into intercession for, allow Him to cry out through you, “Let these ruins be rebuilt! Let the foundations be laid! Let restoration come forth, in the mighty name of Jesus!”
Look what this same passage of Scripture guarantees: “[The LORD] carries out the words of his servants and fulfills the predictions of his messengers” (v. 26). I love how the Living Bible renders this one: “When they say Jerusalem will be delivered and the cities of Judah lived in once again-it shall be done!” (bold emphasis mine). When you are carried along by Holy Spirit in intercession, releasing His kingly decrees into the earth, it shall be done!
Priests: God has also called us a “royal priesthood” (1 Pet. 2:9). To understand this part of our intercessory role as believers, we need to look at the responsibilities He entrusted to the priests in the Old Testament. Their function foreshadowed what we are to be doing now as ministers of the New Covenant. (We are all ministers of His covenant! Holy Spirit urges those without ministry titles to rise up into this universal call to all true believers in Him!)
We could do an extensive, lengthy study on this subject, but for today’s purposes I only want to highlight the priest’s most central duty. That is, to apply the blood for redemption. Aaron and his offspring held the solemn duty of presenting the shed blood of the sacrifice in the presence of God. Representing the blood that Jesus would shed for us, this crimson flow was for the atonement of sins.
We, as God’s chosen new covenant priests, are to apply His precious blood as we stand before Him in intercession. As His Spirit leads us and prays through us, we plead His blood over each person and circumstance that is stirring in His heart. He has given us authority to apply it in the heavenly realms and to loose its power to break the hold of sin, darkness, and the curse in the lives of those He dearly loves.
Will You Respond?
Dear one, you have been chosen by Him. He looked out over all His creation, and He saw you. He carefully, lovingly, powerfully selected you. He is brimming over with excitement for the partnership He foresees with you that will literally bring transformation into His beloved earth. He is calling you to be His living ladder, where the activity of Heaven will ascend and descend… connecting His glorious, unlimited power with the cries and groanings of His precious ones. Will you gaze at the Throne today and allow Him to release through you into this world what is stirring passionately in His heart for them?
Royal, priestly intercessor, take your place!
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