Lion and Lamb
Lion of Judah and The Lamb

 

In The Word
 
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning."
John 1.1

 

 

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EARLIER NEWSLETTERS

 

LETTERS TO INTERCESSORS

(Studies In The Word)

2007_04


The Instructions of God


Last time we wrote about how BIG God is. This time, there is the sense of real revelation that flows from the fact that God is God. It is incredibly, God knows what is best for us and that He is willing to tell us what is best for us. And tell us He does. The Bible is full of God’s words to us, telling us the best way to live and thus it seems that we just might benefit from doing some of the things that he suggests, requests, advises and commands. However, we seem to find this difficult, indeed, Jesus refers to this in Mark 7. 8

‘You have let go of the commands of God and are holding onto the traditions of men.’

How well He knows us! But His instructions are for our benefit.

Let me start with one of the most well known instructions, that we hear every week or should,

‘Do this in remembrance of me’ Luke 22.19.

And again in 1 Corinthians 11.23-34, Paul teaches us so clearly that sharing the body and blood of Jesus in the right manner, is vital for our continuing good health. But how does this relate to HIV/AIDS and our call to intercede to God about our condition that is creating this epidemic?

Our experience is that it is only when we focus on what Jesus has done for us, that we begin to understand, and become willing to live Kingdom Lives, to live as God has commanded us as a people to live, and that as we do this, as we become Kingdom Livers, so the risk of death from HIV/AIDS recedes and is beaten.

We have found that daily communion is essential for our work. Let me repeat that, daily communion is essential for our work! We have found that neglect of this way of communing with God through sharing in the communion weakens us and leaves us vulnerable.

Let us look at another well known instruction from God. You will find it in1 Kings 8.29ff and 2 Chronicles 7.14ff and it relates to the response of God to Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the first temple.


‘May your eyes be open towards this temple night and day, this place of which you have said, ‘My Name shall be there,’ so that you will hear the prayer your servant prays towards this place. Hear the supplication of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray towards this place. Hear from Heaven, your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive.’


God’s response to this prayer is in 2 Chronicles 7.12 (and in 1 Kings 8).


‘The Lord appeared to him at night and said’ I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices. ‘When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land, or send a plague upon my people, if my people, who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.’


God’s instruction is very clear, in the face of a plague (HIV/AIDS) humble ourselves (acknowledge who we are in the sight of God; acknowledge that we need God’s help) pray (call on His name) seek His face (commune with Him in the communion) repent (acknowledge individually and as a people that we have sinned and repent of it) then we will find that God moves in power with forgiveness and healing including healing of our lands.

I believe that God wants us to re-visit His many helpful instructions about how we are to live. These also include the instructions that have a clear ‘sacramental’ character, such as the communion, repentance and absolution. I am convinced, out of personal experience, that we will see a powerful outbreak of healing as we minister all of God’s word to our congregations and fellowships.

We are praying that the clergy, ministers, pastors, leaders, elders, will re visit the customs of their fellowships, clear out the ‘traditions of the world’ and lead and teach their flocks the ways towards Kingdom Living as the Christian response to HIV/AIDS. In this season of Advent, as we remember the coming of the Lord, and prepare for the delight and joy and wonder of Christmas, let us do our homework and teach and lead our flocks into obedience to all God’s commands and instructions. God’s response will astonish us and lead us to times of great thanksgiving at God’s manifest glory.

 

End Note
The calls of God are both compelling and progressive. We have found over the years that as we progress in responding to His call, so He reveals progressively more and more of the extent of the call. The call to intercede is has been like this and we are very conscious of the need to overhaul our intercession, to breathe new life into it, because there is a very real need to be obedient to God’s call for intercession.

We are asking for fresh dedication in our intercession because there is a growing awareness that this is the only way to mobilise and release the necessary behaviour change amongst millions of people.

During this Christmas season when we recall the wonder of the promise of salvation represented by the birth of Jesus, can we also pray for that self same message of hope to be released, heard and believed by the generations of young people most at risk from HIV. Can we pray for them that they be changed forever by Jesus, our saviour.