A Word on the Focus of God's Spiritual Warriors
© Terry L. Craig 2019
I believe every Christian is called to intercede for others, but for intercessors it's a road they choose to walk, a way of living out their faith. It's a dangerous journey at times—but then, so is being a missionary or going any other place for the Lord. If you want a guarantee of safety, of all going well for you . . . then you shouldn't go.
God called me to be a warrior before I was born (my middle name actually means "warrior") and, in many ways, that's what an intercessor is. A soldier standing in the gap. I was an intercessor before it was cool to be one. I was an intercessor when it was the "new thing" in the Charismatic movement . . . and I'm still an intercessor today. Because God said so.
Oh the glorious things I've seen as God made a way in places where people thought there was no way. He is SO worthy of all our praise and more! And I've seen my share of sorrows. Still, He is worthy of all my praise and more.
Being on the front lines can be exhilarating and rewarding, but beware of the pitfalls. For intercessors the temptation can be to make the enemy or self too big. Way. Too. Big. Intercessors can get so caught up staring into the darkness, looking for the next evil thing coming, that they neglect spending time in the presence of the One who holds all things in His hand. And when intercessors see a victory, there is always the temptation to allow the praise and respect to absorb inward.
Years ago, a friend of mine who was well-known in the intercessory movement died while on an assignment. It was an unexpected (untimely) death and it shocked everyone. What grieved me more than her death was a vision someone published (in an effort to stem any doubts that her demise might spawn among fellow intercessors regarding the work or the ministry). The reported vision was that as soon as my friend crossed the threshold of heaven, she went directly to a war room where angels breathed a sigh of relief because she'd arrived to help with the battle plan.
What does Scripture say? When believers die, they are present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8 : Phil 1:23), and they rest in His presence (Heb. 4:9-11, Lev 23:3, Rev 14:13). The angels aren't waiting for us to come and strategize with them—the angels receive their orders from the Captain of the Host, the King of Glory. The Lord is the only one who sees the whole picture and He is the one who directs the plan to accomplish it. Just as a perceived "win" here shouldn't be seen as a personal validation of the intercessor, a perceived "loss" in this realm isn't necessarily a failure.
It's okay to not know the answer to everything as long as you know the One who does. Although we can do our jobs well and please our Father, when the last day comes Jesus will be the only human who never made a mistake. That doesn't make me sad or fearful, it gives me comfort.
Beloved, the Lord isn't perched at the edge of His seat, wondering if we will succeed, if He will win the victory. Ultimate victory is a done deal. Our enemy is already defeated. And the glory for it is the LORD'S, not ours. While God allows us to participate in what He is doing within the framework of time, from His perspective (outside time), it's already over. The God who can make stones into sons of Abraham or cause rocks to cry out praises doesn't need us in order to accomplish the work. HE IS GREATER than the satan, darkness, death, or anything else we can imagine.
Right now, each of us can look around us and see sorrows, broken hearts, broken bodies, and shattered lives. There have been losses and changes in the landscape that we cannot fully fathom. Fear and unbelief are prospering in many places right now . . . but hold on. GOD IS STILL GREATER—and I believe we are entering a season when the Lord is going to bring mighty victories. The first to see them will be the faithful who are participating in what He is doing.
“Listen to Me, you who know righteousness,
A people in whose heart is My law;
Do not fear the reproach of man,
Nor be dismayed at their revilings.
“For the moth will eat them like a garment,
And the grub will eat them like wool.
But My righteousness will be forever,
And My salvation to all generations.”
Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord;
Awake as in the days of old, the generations of long ago.
Was it not You who cut Rahab in pieces,
Who pierced the dragon?
Was it not You who dried up the sea,
The waters of the great deep;
Who made the depths of the sea a pathway
For the redeemed to cross over?
So the ransomed of the Lord will return
And come with joyful shouting to Zion,
And everlasting joy will be on their heads.
They will obtain gladness and joy,
And sorrow and sighing will flee away.—Isaiah 51:7-11 NASB
Other articles on intercession:
Previous parts of the series on the Supernatural in the Church:
About Terry L. Craig
Scripture quote: New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, used by permission
 Technically, "satan" is not a formal name. Like "the devil," it is more accurately translated "the satan"—so there is no need of a capital letter.
In Hebrew (satan) means something like “adversary,” “prosecutor,” or “challenger.”― Michael S. Heiser, The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible, July 1st 2015 by Lexham Press, ISBN13: 9781577995562