LOOKING FOR A VESSEL
God is always looking for a willing vessel. “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will” (Acts 13:22). God found a willing vessel in David who would obey, follow and carry out His will.
I pay particular attention when God asks the question “Who” because not everyone qualifies to be a “Who”. To be a “who” for God there is a price to be paid and conditions to be met. Very few are willing to pay the price, meet the conditions and qualify to be a “…vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the Masters use, and prepared unto every good work” (2 Timothy 2:21).
2 Chronicles 16:9-For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him.
God is always looking for those whose heart is perfect towards Him so He can show Himself strong through them and to them.
Psalm 4:3-But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for Himself.
God sets apart those that are godly, those He can trust, unto Himself.
God says “Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? Or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity” (Psalm 94:16). Here God is looking for a vessel to stand up for Him against the wicked workers of iniquity and speak out against it. Not many volunteers for that. They often tell God or say in their hearts “That was not what I had in mind”.
After Isaiah saw the holiness of God he humbled himself before God and God took a coal of fire and put it on Isaiah’s lips and purified his sin and purged his iniquity, he heard the voice of the Lord saying “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” (Isaiah 6:8) and he responded “Here am I; send me”.
God was looking for a willing available vessel and He found one in Isaiah once Isaiah got purged and purified. He was bold as a lion (Proverbs 28:1). This is the real reason more do not avail themselves to go for God to whom God needs them to go to.
It seems God always has a shortage of willing, available volunteers He can trust.
God is looking for people He can speak to and share His burden and His heart and who will obey what He tells them. These people are rare. No wonder He says, “For who hath stood in the counsel of the Lord, and hath perceived and heard His word? Who hath marked His word, and heard it?” (Jeremiah 23:18).
Here again is another “who” God is looking for. It seems everyone claims to want to hear from God yet God wonders who can He speak His counsel to. Men lost their lives and had their blood shed for hearing from God and obeying what they heard.
Psalm 24:3-5-Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in His holy place? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart; Who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteous from the God of His salvation.
Here again God is looking for and asking “who” will cleanse his hands and purify his heart and get into the presence of a thrice Holy God and wait upon God, hear from a thrice Holy God, and faithfully obey and carry out what he hears.
Another area God has few volunteers where there should be many is the ministry of worship.
John 4:23-But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him.
Not all have the ability to preach or sing talent wise but worship requires no talent or ability only character and heart. All are capable of worship and worship should be the first ministry of every believer, before intercession, before witnessing, before preaching, etc. This should be the first ministry of every believer and every believer is capable of this ministry yet the Father is still seeking those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth.
Not too many interested in God for who He is. Most who claim to be believers will pray some, but most of the prayers are maintenance prayers. Maintenance prayers are legitimate in and of themselves but sinners probably do the same. People pray about their needs, their job, getting through their day, their family, their salvation, their ministry, etc. All these in and of themselves are legitimate but sinners will do even the same.
Who waits on God to worship Him in spirit and in truth, to hear from Him and obey and carry out what they hear?
Moving closer now to the real subject at hand, another group God is seeking and is probably the most difficult to find but yet the most necessary. It seems many times the tasks that are most necessary and important have the fewest volunteers.
Isaiah 59:16-And He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor:
God looked out at how wicked society had become (Isaiah 59:1-15) with truth failing, lying fallen in the street, judgment turned backward, justice failing, and he that departeth from evil making himself a prey (sound familiar?) and He wondered there was no intercessor. No one concerned enough to stand in the gap and intercede. Most probably caught up in their own affairs (Mark 4:19) with no concern for the things that concerned God.
Isaiah 64:7-And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee:
Here again God is looking for someone willing to stir themselves, to call upon His name and take hold upon Him so He can fulfill the cry of Isaiah 64:1-3.
You will have no Isaiah 64:1-3 without a Isaiah 64:7 person. God will not rend the heavens, come down, cause the mountains (strongholds and pride of man) to flow down at His presence, and cause the waters to boil because of the fire of His presence (waters are multitudes of people-God is consuming fire-Hebrews 12:29), until someone is stirred enough, concerned enough, burdened enough, hungry enough, desperate enough and dissatisfied enough to stir themselves to call upon His name and take hold of Him.
Ezekiel 22:30-31-And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them;
God was searching for a man, a vessel who had the heart to stand in the gap but found none. It seems to indicate all He needed was one suitable man to give himself to standing in the gap before the Lord and the land to intercede for it to prevent God’s judgment from coming on the land but He found none.
We are to pray for laborers of course.
Matthew 9:37-38-Then saith He unto His disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest.
This certainly includes praying for God to raise up intercessors and those who will stand in the gap, and stir themselves to call upon the name of the Lord and take hold of Him to pour out His spirit (Isaiah 64:1-7).
This certainly includes praying for God to raise up intercessors who will stand in the gap so that in the midst of a wicked and perverted society God’s hand will not be shortened that it cannot save and His ear heavy that it cannot hear (Isaiah 59:1-21).
We live in a day of virtual prayerlessness and a church that is practically prayerless except for maintenance praying and prayer for personal needs, family, job, ministry, etc. This is not the type of church or type of prayer God desires.
2 Chronicles 7:14-If my people, which are called by name, will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
This scripture is often quoted but rarely obeyed. We are to pray for an agonizing church, a burdened church, a concerned church, a desperate church, a dissatisfied church, a hungry church, an interceding church and a travailing church.
Isaiah 66:8-For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.
Excuses abound everywhere for lack of fruit, lack of souls born into the kingdom, lack of advancement of God’s kingdom, lack of churches established, etc. but above is the real problem. Lack of burden. Lack of concern that translates into lack of desperate, agonizing prayer. Lack of soul travail. Lack of time given to intercessory prayer due to a lack of concern. The Bible talks about there being a spirit of prayer.
SPIRIT OF PRAYER
Zechariah 12:10-And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and supplications:
God speaks of pouring upon His people a spirit of grace and supplication to intercede, to stand in the gap, to stir ourselves to call upon His name and take hold of Him until He comes and rains righteousness upon us.
This is a praying beyond our natural ability and allowing the Spirit of God, the Holy Ghost who is the Spirit of prayer to pray through us. It is not worked up but comes through yielded vessels who allow the Lord to share His burden and heart with them.
Romans 8:26-27-Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
The Spirit of God knows the will of God and the mind of God and wants to bring forth the will of God in the earth but He must have an available yielded vessel who will allow Him to pray through them. Groanings means to agonize, to labor, to travail. The Bible likens this to a woman giving birth to a child (Isaiah 66:8).
Galatians 4:19-My little children, of whom I travail in birth again, until Christ be formed in you.
Paul seems to indicate he travailed in birth once for them to be born into the kingdom (1 Corinthians 4:15), and then again for them to grow into maturity in Christ. This is not something worked up, performed or put on. It is not a taught formula. It is as the Spirit of God leads and by His work but this is so foreign to so many who have no clue or concern to know the Lord’s heart or share in His burden.
Charles Finney said prayer was not effectual unless it was offered up to God with the agony of desire.
Hosea 10:12-Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy, break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, til He come and rains righteousness upon you.
A spirit of prayer and burden to stir ourselves to call upon the Lord, take hold of Him and seek Him until He comes and rains His righteousness upon us.
to be continued….