Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
The title of this discussion was picked to challenge our thinking. It has been a while since a discussion topic has been placed in this group--but this is one that needs thinking caps--much prayer over an answer--and most of all a willingness to openly discuss how each of us deal with the issue being presented.
We intercessors faced many issues. We are used to doing battle. We grow weary when what God has shared with us is not headed. It is often resisted witn the leader's or pastor's 2 cents- what they think. That statement can be considered a statement of non-respect--it is not intended to be that at all--however--when an intercessor is not listened to--emotions can fly. That is a danger that intercessors face sooner or later. Situations like this can lead to a spirit of heaviness in intercessors.
When decisions are made that go in a direction that potentially - opens the door to actions that can take away from being able to share the Gospel - it can makes it extremenly difficult to give praise or to bless or let a long be thankful. In essence a spirit of heaviness can result.
This next thought may not seem related actually is. Perhaps part of our struggle is learning how to bless the way God wants. I have read where blessing moves the Heart of God and can change a situation. Still how do you bless when an action moves to being social gospel where the next step is to minimize over time the Gospel?
Here are just 2 examples of actions that could lead to minimizing the gospel:
We appreciate Worship Dancing and it has a place - but the some cloud 'social dancing' with 'Worship Dancing'. They do not distinguish the difference between the two. They look only at the word dancing.
Social actions in the community-help but don't share the Gospel.
In looking at social action--Social action can be a means to share about Christ-but the enemy wants to water down our message of what Jesus did on the Cross of Calvary and in many cases of social action, the enemy has been successful.
What are your thoughts dealing with heaviness--and about these and other related issues--how has blessing made a difference?
I hope several will respond--There is opportunity here to encourage and help each other.
Phil--Good question--The danger does exist when compromise occurs when reaching out through social actions. Some of this has roots in fear--fear keeping us way--not allowing God's spirit to lead us with out compromise.
I also raise the following issue about Intercessors. They tend to be protective—and slow to endorse every change that blows our way. There are some things that we are protective about that we do need to reexamine—scripturally—a refocus if it was an imposed belief or principles that were not based on God’s word—but were based on fear, not showing God’s love. There are many things that intercessors do through prayer to protect based on issues that can arise—that could lead us into temptation, or items/events that will draw people away from prayer and worship.
We do not want to see the opportunity for compromise to weaken the ability to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Yes -> we must seek God's Holy Spirit to show us how Christ views "social issues". Christ did go where sinners were. He was criticized for this. He talked with women involved in adultery. These were things that many good Jewish men or at least the Pharisees may not have done.
The above--does present a struggle that many do go through--concerning how far we go on social actions.
I appreciate your challenge--it makes us think--I have given my thoughts--and would like to hear from other intercessors and their thoughts.
Here are a few more thoughts following up on the thought that Pastor Phil shared on my original post.
Reaching out to people to help them learn about the Lord is a social action that is needed and when it is focused to show that God loves those to whom we are ministering, can bring eternal results. It is a horizontal social action that is also vertical.
There are other types of social actions that have a focus that are horizontal--not directly looking to God in the action--but a social action that could meet a need.
There are needs of human relationship, Government building infrastructure—such as roads and services needed for our well being, and also other areas in addition to Governmental actions.
The danger with social actions is—what perspective are we taking. A person who is involved in social issues and keeps a central focus of being ready to share the Gospel, is one who is focusing on what God wants us to be doing. On the other hand—a person who does not keep his God given responsibility to share God’s when reaching out to needs of others, could open the door to compromise. Usually compromise comes one step at a time starting off with what seems good. Then, eventually that approach leads away from what is good whatever the justification.
This can happen in churches. It can happen in politics. It can happen on jobs. It can even happen in families.
Now back to Intercessors. They sense when something can go astray. They sense a possible problem that could give the opportunity for the potential of straying, they are often disturbed. Yes, we as intercessors should take it to the Lord and leave it there, but in reality, when an intercessor is part of a group—emotions follow, and yes they give it to the Lord, but it is hard to let go.
Also, we need to realize that many intercessors have been in battle for a long time and are simply very tired. When something comes up that might open the door to eventual compromise, they go into action—but when they do, they get weary fast, and often get discouraged. It sometimes seems like they alone are standing for God’s direction.
Let’s examine this for a moment. As we examine this area and what might happen, we must realize that intercessors are focusing on covering God's people in prayer. Interceding for that the Church will be an example of encouraging a focus on Christ (Vertical) can become wearisome over the years, especially when some areas of action that could allow compromise to enter are pursued. This intercessory work is an intercession of protection. Without encouragement, the fatigue that an intercessor experiences can bring about a heaviness that is like depression. Soldiers in battle do also experience battle fatigue, and need the help of fresh troops. This same thing happens when intercessors remain solitary and do not join together. There are no intercessors who come along. A spirit of heaviness can result. When intercessors do join together, they can encourage each other, and provide insight that can help them understand what God might be doing, or understand what dangers that are involved.
What I am trying to convey in this discussion is that intercessors are focused on protecting against that which does not honor God. The potentials for actions that do not honor God, are all around us.
I encourage any who know an intercessor who has a spirit of heaviness, to ask the Lord how to come alongside of them and encourage them.
These are a few more thoughts on this discussion.