The Role of Intercession
Coming over to us, he [Agabus] took Paul's belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, "The Holy Spirit says, 'In this way the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.' " When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. - Acts 21:11-12
In my own personal spiritual pilgrimage, God has allowed me to come into relationship with those in the Body of Christ who are called to a greater level of intercessory prayer. God calls each of us to be intercessory prayer warriors, but there are individuals in the Body of Christ who are called to be frontline warriors and who are more skilled in the area of intercession. These individuals often can have a gift of prophecy as part of their intercessory anointing. Such appears to be the case of Agabus in the Book of Acts.
Agabus seems to have received a word from God, and by way of a physical demonstration, tied his belt around Paul to let him know that he would be bound in Jerusalem if he went to this city. Agabus and the others immediately drew a conclusion that he was not to go to Jerusalem. Paul disagreed and proceeded to Jerusalem where he was, in fact, bound and beaten after giving testimony to the people and religious leaders of Jerusalem.
God calls intercessors to the role of seeing. He calls leaders to the role of interpreting actions.
God allows intercessors to see a more complete picture. However, actions are never left for the intercessors to determine. Conversely, leaders need to get the spiritual picture of what they are dealing with. This is why they need gifted intercessors. They must not make the mistake of believing they can see the entire picture without the intercessors. Once they have the intercessors' insights, they must determine the right course of action. This is their role. Conflicts arise when either tries to fulfill both roles.
Paul knew he was to go to Jerusalem, even if it meant being beaten. He did go and was beaten. However, we sense that he made the right decision based on Jesus' comments to him in Acts chapter 23, verse 11: "The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, 'Take courage! As you have testified about Me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.' "
Pray that God will bring intercessors and leaders into your life. He wants you to have a complete picture of the situations you face each day and to know the actions necessary for fulfilling His will for your life.
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