As children of God, we do not just take a passive role in following God. We are sons, intercessors, warriors and ALIVE in Christ. It is Christ who overcame, so we could overcome, Christ with whom we are co-heirs in the kingdom of God, Christ with whom our lives are hidden [1 Corinthians 15:20, Romans 8:17, Colossians 3:3-4]. We are called to live as sons of God, to be his holy priesthood, and to proclaim His kingdom. So, what does it look like to be a son and intercessor in the Lord’s household?
1. WE ARE ALIVE AND WE LIVE IN THE FULLNESS OF GOD
When the women visited Jesus’ tomb, they were told, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen!” [Luke 24:5-6] Jesus’ purpose did not end in death. His purpose was fulfilled in His resurrection, that He gained salvation for mankind and was raised to reign eternally with God the Father. 1 Corinthians 15:20-18 describes the authority of Christ and the victory He has.
“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He put an end to all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death… Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.” – [1 Corinthians 15:22-26, 28]
As intercessors and sons, we have something to live for. We have a Father who loves us, and who has made a way for us. We have a Father who loves to see us reach our full potential, who shepherds and encourages us, teaches us and spurs us on. When we know this identity we have in Christ, we are empowered to live in His fullness. We have purpose, a reason to live, and motivation to live it to the full. Let us know the all-surpassing love of Christ, and be filled with the fullness of God [Ephesians 3:19].
2. WE KNOW GOD’S DESIRES
In her song, “Soul Cry” Misty Edwards sings,
“You’re not so far away, it’s not too mysterious
You’re living on the inside of me, Your Spirit on the inside of me.”
God is not too mysterious. He has given us the Holy Spirit to make known to us the desires of His heart. We often wonder if we are “in the will of God”, if we are pursuing what He truly desires. It is something I fervently desire, something I think about, and something I ask Him about. At the same time, it is not out of my reach. I have the Holy Spirit, and the word of God to guide me. I know God is personal and I know He loves to tell me what is on His heart. It is more a matter of tuning myself in to listen to what God is saying, and to recognise what He is doing. In John 15:15, Jesus says,
“…I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.”
If we know God’s desires, we can intercede in accordance with His will. What do we intercede for? We may be given specific burdens or desires, but we are also given clear examples of what God desires in the Bible, His word. For example, 1 Timothy 2:1,3, says,
“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men… For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all men to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.”
God has shared with us the desires of His heart. He has made them known to us through His word, and though His Holy Spirit who dwells in our hearts. He invites us to intercede with Him.
3. WE ARE LED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD
The Spirit of God lives within us. He makes us alive in Christ, shows us the desires of the Father, and gives us the spirit of sonship. What does that spirit look like? Romans 8:14-17 says this:
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”
When we are led by the Spirit of God, there is both action and identity, understanding and purpose, obedience and freedom. From the passage above, I see the following characteristics of the spirit of sonship.
- We submit to the Father’s will in obedience
- We are not captivated by fear, but free in identity as God’s own
- We are heirs with Christ, and therefore entitled to share in God’s kingdom
- We can anticipate our heavenly inheritance as heirs and sons of God
While there is much we could explore in what it means to be led by the spirit, I want to highlight one aspect here – the spirit of God leads us into identity and inheritance. We have a right and a portion in our Father’s kingdom, so let us live as heirs, and not in fear. Let us rise up and claim our inheritance. Let us fight for our kingdom alongside Jesus, and under God’s authority, as intercessors and sons.
4. WE TAKE ACTION
Traditionally, the firstborn son received the largest portion of the inheritance, and assumed leadership of the household affairs over time. Sons would bear their family’s name, inherit land, vassals, livestock and other responsibilities. Being an intercessor and son of God requires action. It requires obedience, boldness, courage, perseverance, love, and a willingness to “go”. We grow in all these things as our faith matures, and we continue to walk and be transformed by Christ. However, it starts with action, and response. When He calls, will we answer and say, “Here I am”? When He says “Go”, will we go or run away? Will we be available, and will we dare to stand for the name of our Lord? In Isaiah 6:8, Isaiah hears God ask, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Isaiah responds, saying, “Here am I! Send me.” God then gives him instruction and words to speak. We need to respond to God, to be attentive to His voice, and to act according to His instruction.
I hope I have highlighted the attitude we have as sons and intercessors. When we make ourselves available to serve God in the capacity as sons, we are powerful. We carry God’s authority, the knowledge of His plans, and the assurance of His victory. Serving God with this kind of attitude presents differently from serving out of fear, or obligation. Knowing we are sons of God, and intercessors with Christ, gives us a strength of identity and a depth of understanding that we could not otherwise have. So, let us embrace what it means to be a son and intercessor in the Kingdom of God.