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Praying for God’s Mission in Light of the Old Testament-Part 7
The Nation of Israel Today
In my last hub, I talked about the times of the kings, especially King David. Well, David was a good king (yes he sinned, but he repented). The kings that followed, most of them were bad kings and they didn’t repent (for an exception, read about Manasseh in 2 Chronicles 33.1-20. He repented after being taken prisoner). God stepped in with judgement and sent Israel into exile. It was a dark time in their history. But God showed that he is faithful to forgive by allowing Israel to return to the land. This is where we pick up the story about God’s mission in the Old Testament. We enter into the time of post exile.
We will see, once again, it is God doing the work. He gives us roles in it, but it is mostly up to Him to complete it. Mostly, the role for us is to be available to Him to work through us. This is my hope for myself and for all of you, my readers, that you will allow God to work through you. I’m going to share with you a story from the book of Zechariah that shows God doing the work and the people, in this case, allowing God to do what He is doing. In this story, it is God pointing to His plan.
Before I get there, I suggest that you familiarize yourself to the period of exile and return. I really like the book of Nehemiah and Ezra, where you learn the story of rebuilding the temple and the wall around Jerusalem. For the exile, read the first half of Daniel. While you are reading, ask God to reveal to you what he wants to show you. This my friend, is an act of prayer because you are taking the time to listen to what God has to say. And as you listen, you will get a clearer picture on how to pray for God’s mission.
Jesus Crowned with Thrones
Crown the Priest
In Zechariah 6.9-15 we find an interesting story. Zechariah is told by God to crown the High Priest, whose name is Joshua, with a crown of gold and silver (Joshua is the Hebrew version of Jesus). Usually, when someone is crowned, it is because he is going to rule. But why would a priest rule? Priests are here to help us connect to God, so they don’t usually rule. The crowning the priest is a foreshadow, pointing to Jesus. Jesus, in Hebrews 5.6, is referred to being a priest in the order of Melchizedek. If you remember from my last hub, he is also the King who will always be on the throne of David. Jesus is both our King and High Priest.
Let’s think about this idea of Jesus being both our King and High Priest. For starters, Jesus is the King. He is in control and will one day judge the world. For the life of the Christian, those of us who are in the kingdom, it is His way we follow. As for being the Priest, He made the perfect sacrifice in order to bring us into His Kingdom (priests make sacrifices). Jesus also intercedes for us. He is making the way possible for us to come to God. In other words, the Ruler, Jesus, is being our Priest in order for us to be a part of His Kingdom. He is the King that is for us and not against us. This is a king that I want to follow.
More Information on Joshua the High Priest
I don’t know about you, but I find this amazing, this idea that Jesus is both our High Priest and King. I love it that the King of my life is also helping me to encounter the Father. I love the fact that He does this because I need the help and because He loves me. The King is also calling people into His Kingdom, and deeper into His Kingdom - deeper into fellowship as we walk together in the faith. It reminds me how God is the one really doing His Mission. We are along for the ride because he is calling us into partnership and he is working through us. Partnership plays a very big role in C-Rev, a ministry that I'm a part of.
Here is my prayer list in response to all of this:
Pray that the sacrifice of Jesus will be proclaimed. Who do you know that is an evangelist and is sharing the gospel? Commit to praying for her/him and get their newsletter so you know specifically how to pray for them. Take the time to read the newsletters of the missionaries that your church supports.
Pray that the sacrifice of Jesus will be accepted by many people. In other words, pray that the Priest will change hearts. That is why he died, to change the hearts of people and invite them into the Kingdom.
Pray for Christians to be willing to listen and obey King Jesus. Each of us have a role to play in the God’s Mission. The King gets to decide and because he is the Priest as well, He will equip us. Pray also for this equipping for you and others who are working for the Kingdom.
What would you add? Please share thoughts on how you might pray into that Jesus is both High Priest and King. I want God’s Spirit to be released for the benefit of all mankind and that happens through the prayer of His followers.
Jesus is our High Priest, making a way for us to come to Him and to the Father. He is also King, drawing us into His Mission, calling all of us into partnership with Him. He and the Holy Spirit work through us calling people to the Father. Our job is to be willing to allow God to equip us.
Above all, we are called to pray. Once you are done praying, pray again and pray a third time. Early and often.