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Identification

We do not identify ourselves with God’s interests and concerns for others, and we get irritated with Him. Yet we are always ready with our own ideas, and our intercession becomes only the glorification of our own natural sympathies. We have to realize that the identification of Jesus with sin means a radical change of all of our sympathies and interests. Vicarious intercession means that we deliberately substitute God’s interests in others for our natural sympathy with them.

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (4 May,"Vicarious Intercession")


Push me to the wall and, depending on the wall and the push, the last thing my flesh wants to do is pray. I'll go for thinking and overthinking, trying to fix things, running away as if my life depended on it, or running after any addiction or sin that makes the empty promise of deliverance for a time. Prayer isn't in that list. Amazing how pitifully I pray, in fits and starts, running before the Throne of Grace to shout or whisper a couple of feverish, hurried sentences, then running away to go do what I want and to avoid the possibilities: hearing Him if He speaks or the silence if He does not.

Still more amazing that His Spirit intercedes for me, in my weakness, turning my groans into something holy and pleasing to God. He hears me because He wants to, because He loves me. That's amazing grace.

He's changing what I want, too, for myself and for others. What it means to love is sometimes so very different than the ways my affections want to go. To want what God desires for others always involves a cross, sooner or later. He took His up willingly, and so must I. He died there, and so must I. He trusted His Father, my Abba, to raise Him from the dead, and so must I.

Comments

I pray as you do in fits and starts. I see it as being pitiful also, but I hate feeling that way about it because I tend to escalate that pitifulness into the rest of my life which leads me into the "arrogance of the lowly". I am pitiful so I am not worthy so I cannot pray, I cannot do good works, God does not want me, etc, etc. Somehow we've got to accept the fact that we are unworthy and yet still accept God's love and forgiveness so that we do not become paralyzed into inaction.