And when Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people. Acts 12:11 NKJV
There's an old song that says, "He touched me ... something happened and now I know, He touched me ..."
We've all been touched by God. We just might not realize it. We all got touched (so to speak) when we were created. God was hands on in the designing and creating of each of us. (Read Psalm 119:73) I just don't remember that one!
But, sometimes in life, God gives us a special moment, where we actually have a sense that He has come down and touched us.
Peter had that. He was in prison (again) and an angel jolted him out of his sleep. The image I have in my head as I read this is actually comical, for the angel was not passive. The Bible says that the angel 'struck' Peter on the side and pulled him up! Ha! So here's what my brain sees ... Peter sound asleep. An angel shows up with tons of light happening. Peter stays asleep. The angel gives him a boot in the side and yanks him up. He tells him to get dressed, put his shoes on and follow. Peter thinks he is dreaming. They go by the 1st and 2nd guard posts and when they come to the exit, which happens to be a large, iron gate, it opens all by itself! They walk out, go down the street a bit and the angel ... vanishes! Peter wakes up. (Read the whole story here)
Have you ever been touched by God? Has He delivered you from something that held you in a prison of sorts? I have. He has touched me. He has delivered me and led me past the 1st and 2nd guard posts. He opened the massive iron gates without me even lifting a finger. He touched me and healed me. And I wasn't dreaming.
So, I ask you again, has God touched you? If He has, tell someone about it. If He hasn't, ask Him to.
A Chinese Soldier rests on his shovel during an effort to dig out victoms...
What does this mean? I am inquiring, personally, for I know that God is trying to teach me, to woo me toward this place of intercession. I should have written a month ago when I first heard this. He reminded me again today.
Let's look at these verses...
"He saw that there was no one, He was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so His own arm worked salvation for Him, and His own righteousness sustained him." Isaiah 59:16 (NIV)
"I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none. 31 So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them with my fiery anger, bringing down on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign LORD." Ezekiel 22:30-31 (NIV)
BOTH of these guys (Isaiah & Ezekiel) were prophesying (speaking God's view point) about the sin and injustice in Israel. After laying out the details of the problems in the land, it seems that God looked first for someone who was interceding - or as Ezekiel puts it, making a wall and standing in the gap before Him 'on behalf of the land' - so He would not destroy it!
So, God sought. And He could not find one person doing this.
And God 'wondered'. He was stunned, appalled, astonished.
He found no one. What does this mean?
He personally moved in. With strength, judgment and wrath. He repaid people according to their deeds. His salvation came dressed in holiness & fury, but with a promise of mercy for those who would turn & repent.
Remember he was talking through Isaiah & Ezekiel. Were they not even interceding?
Oh, how my heart broke when I first heard these words; I mean, really heard. Do you hear the heart of God? Intercession is more than declaring, prophesying and praying. It is standing on the corrosion of sin, applying the blood of Jesus to it and calling heaven to earth. It is doing what Jesus did. It is compassion, empathy, good deeds and prayer. It is 'building a wall and standing in the gap'.
Intercession is getting dirty, feeling the pain, helping the hopeless, crying out on their behalf before our righteous God.
Please inquire for the word of the LORD today. 1 Kings 22:5