Living in Troubled Times - David Mitts
but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore, He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. (Heb 7:24-25 NASB)
Yeshua within us, the author of the conversation of our heart, lives eternally as the voice of intercession. What is the voice of intercession? How do we attune ourselves to that voice? What is our appropriate response? How do we live in troubled times?
First, I think we need to dive deep into what it means that Yeshua lives eternally to make intercession. Look with me at Isaiah 59:14-16
There is an essential evil that accompanies troubled times. It impacts justice and righteousness. Truth is distorted by it and as we courageously face this in ourselves and others, we become a target for evil. The solution of the Lord is found in intercession. How?
The Hebrew word for intercession is paga and it means to meet. One of the most frustrating things about this current period is the way it has disrupted our meeting together. We must do things virtually which is OK but meeting together has an impact with respect to power. Let’s look at this impact together and get an insight into what actual intercession could be.
Intercession is the foundation stone for authority. Let’s look at the establishment of kingdom authority with the anointing and intercession for the first king of Israel, Saul. In 1 Samuel 10, Saul is anointed as king over Israel, the first king and so is a prophetic picture of what God’s anointing and authority can be. The anointing and the activation of authority came through Samuel the prophet of the Lord. Turn with me to 1 Samuel 10:5-7.
"Afterward you will come to the hill of God where the Philistine garrison is; and it shall be as soon as you have come there to the city, that you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and a lyre before them, and they will be prophesying. "Then the Spirit of the LORD will come upon you mightily, and you shall prophesy with them and be changed into another man. "It shall be when these signs come to you, do for yourself what the occasion requires, for God is with you. (1Sa 10:5-7 NASB)
This reminds me of when I was pressing in for God to direct me regarding our move from Florida to Seattle. The intercession, the paga finally came after months of seeking the answer. I kept looking for a “no” or a “yes”. I wanted God to make the decision for me. Now part of that was, I believe, sound reasoning. I didn’t want to go against God’s will for my life. This was especially true because to make the move would require me to move my entire family with no strategy for the outcome beyond selling all and going to a land where I knew no one. Day after day I sought the answer from the Lord with no clear response to my questions. Finally, at a Fire and Glory meeting, a paga gathering, as I lay on the floor under the power of God, I thought to ask again. What I heard rocked my world. Instead of yes or no, I heard, “whatever you decide, I will be with you”.
Like Saul, I was given a green light to what seemed right and that God would be with me. Little did I know at the time, that One New Man Ministry and the School of the Spirit would be birthed and the ministry to Israel and then living in Israel as dual citizens. Now, having returned to the US and the current epidemic, I am feeling the need for another paga.
What I want to make clear is that the paga, the intercession, while it includes prayer, worship, and maybe fasting, is something beyond these actions. It is the place where the will of heaven is done on earth and the kingdom comes in power and authority.
In this hour where the plague has begun to dismantle the earthly systems as we know them, we need to be pressing in for a new paga moment where we won’t just be told what to do but transformed in the process. At the center is the kingdom and the authority of the king.
Paga is not simply prayer. Prayer is powerful but paga, intercession implies a meeting with God. In the wilderness, Israel had a place of paga. It was called the Tabernacle or Tent of Meeting. Look with me at Exodus 33:
Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, a good distance from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting. And everyone who sought the LORD would go out to the tent of meeting which was outside the camp. And it came about, whenever Moses went out to the tent, that all the people would arise and stand, each at the entrance of his tent, and gaze after Moses until he entered the tent. Whenever Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent; and the LORD would speak with Moses. When all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would arise and worship, each at the entrance of his tent. Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses returned to the camp, his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent. (Exo 33:7-11 NASB)
We know that these meetings with the Lord weren’t just about information. No, they were about transformation. The scriptures call this process going from glory to glory.
But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was, how will the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory? For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory. For indeed what had glory, in this case has no glory because of the glory that surpasses it. For if that which fades away was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory. Therefore having such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech, and are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel would not look intently at the end of what was fading away. But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. (2Co 3:7-18 NASB)
Encounters with the Lord’s Presence are “glory encounters”, paga. God’s glory is His Face. Face to face, panim a panim is transformative in nature. It is called glory to glory. What does that actually mean? It means seeing ourselves as God sees us. When He sees us and calls us by name, we are transformed into that image and likeness.
When we come into paga, into intercession, we have an encounter with the Glory of God. This is called beholding with an unveiled face. The veil is the defense mechanism of the flesh. This is what Yeshua called loving our own lives.
For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. (Mat 16:25)
True paga, is about being willing to surrender to Him in the intercession. It begins with a desire to see some change happen in our lives, in our circumstances. We want to see the kingdom, come. Our sincere desire is to see His will be done in our lives. We want the healing to happen, we want the killing to stop! This is how the paga begins. But then there is a point beyond the answer where we hear a new question. “Are you willing to trust Me?” “Do you believe?”
This is where our Moses encounter can happen. I know we are supposed to have a better experience but lets at least shoot for the place wherein our heart of hearts, it is a transformation. You see Moses after He engaged at the Tent only wanted to know one thing. He expressed this with the cry to know the Glory of the Lord. We think that was about a physical experience with the power of God. Yet it was really about dying. Look with me at Exodus 33:12-23
Then Moses said to the Lord, "See, You say to me, 'Bring up this people.' But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, 'I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.' Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people." And He said, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest." Then he said to Him, "If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth." So the Lord said to Moses, "I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name." And he said, "Please, show me Your glory." Then He said, "I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion." But He said, "You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live." And the Lord said, "Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen." (Exo 33:12-23)
The face to face would kill the old man. You see prior to Yeshua there was no one to die as the old man and not die physically as well. But after the cross, we die with Him and therefore we all can see His face and live in the new reality which is what we need to navigate these times.
We need to be transformed to come to the paga. In that place, we cast our cares upon Him. It isn’t that we just give Him our concerns. No. It is that we encounter Him and become the answer to our own prayers.
The burdens of our hearts are the places we need to be healed in and be transformed through.
Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. (Isa 53:4-5)
This is the place of the paga, the intercession. There are things to do in the intercession, prayers and actions. The heart of paga though is the transformation, the newness of identity, the coming into the authority that we have been brought to the kingdom for. The worst thing about this time is the inactivity in our realm of authority. Get into the paga. Let Him show you His Face and be transformed.
"Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." Rom 12:1-2 (NASB)
Activation: Present yourself a living sacrifice. Be willing to die to who you think you are. The world has stopped. All of the illusions of how big it is have come crashing down. It’s time for a new paradigm to come forth. It’s time for the caterpillars who have been comfortable in the trees and leaves, to fly! Ask Him to make you the intercession, the solution to the desires of your heart.