He Ever Lives to Intercede for Us

May 29, 2011

When we are in the midst of difficulties, it is comforting to know that someone cares and that we are not alone. We can be emboldened to face whatever challenges that might come our way. This is particularly true to all believers, because we are told in the Scriptures that “Jesus is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them” (Heb. 7:25). Jesus is our advocate to the Father. He pleads our case before the Father, not only once but always, because he lives for this purpose.

When Jesus was still here on earth, petitions and requests were directed to him. On one occasion, a beggar cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”, and he healed him (Luke 18:38). Likewise, when Lazarus died, his sister Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” He then restored back Lazarus to life (John 11:21). This is how Jesus ministered to those who were in need at that time. But now that he is in heaven, what is our hope? Before he departed, Jesus said, “In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete” (John 16:23-24). Jesus intimated that though he will be taken away, he will continue in his ministry in an equally powerful manner, an advocate to the Father. He will intercede on our behalf as we invoke his name in our prayers to the Father.

Many have been denied of life’s blessings because they have not asked. They are the ones who always say that God knows their needs and therefore they do not have to ask. However, this kind of thinking is contrary to the Lord’s instruction. He repeated said that for us to receive blessings, we have to ask. But there are also those who keep asking, but do not receive what they have been asking for. In his letter, the apostle James explained, “You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:2-3). Wrong motive is the reason why many are not blessed. If the motive is for self-indulgence and not for the glory of God, it is often not answered. But while many are able to get what they want, even to the point of twisting the arms of God, they will eventually suffer the consequence.

Because of his love, God withholds blessings when the motive is not right. In illustrating this truth, Jesus said, “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:11-13). Outwardly, we can project good motives in our asking. We can justify it as a need when, in fact, it is to cater to our lustful desires and our sinful nature. We certainly cannot fool God. He discerns the thoughts and the intents of our heart. If he perceives that our motive is not right, he will not grant our petition, because this will only lead to our own destruction. Besides, he will not give us something that will not only destroy us but draw us away from him. 

The best way to be assured of God’s blessings is to stay close to the Lord Jesus Christ. He said, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (John 15:7-8). If we are close to him and his word is in us, there is no chance that we will ever ask with wrong motives. His word will so saturate our hearts that even before we ask, we have already settled within us that our motive is pure and it is for his glory. Friends, it is time for us to check our hearts. May the Lord forgive us if we have been asking with wrong motives. Meantime, let us invoke the name of Jesus when we pray. He ever lives to make intercession for us. He is seated at the right hand of God for this very purpose. Therefore, let us boldly come before God and present our request in the name of Jesus. He said, “Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” Hallelujah!