Worshipers Who Pray Through to a Completion
“Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:13-14)
If you have been a Christian for very long you are very much aware of this chapter in Israel’s history. Most people even if they are not Christians have heard something of what happened at the Red Sea. The vessel the Lord chose to work through in preparing a people to be freed from bondage was Moses. God enabled Moses to do many great things before the Lord, one was being an intercessor. A Biblical intercessor gets involved by first interceding in prayer by making petition or entreaty in favor of another. (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary) A Biblical intercessor hears the voice of God and then moves forward in faith and gives others opportunity to follow.
In Deuteronomy 5 we see Moses interceding with the people of God, reminding them to “…be careful to do what the Lord [their] God directed [him] to teach [them] to observe…” (Deuteronomy 5:1-33) In Numbers chapter fourteen we read of God going to strike the Israelite’s down with a plague because of the their grumbling and desire to rebel against the Lord. (Numbers 14:2,9) However, Moses intercedes for them by trusting in the Lord’s great strength and loving character. (Numbers 14:17) Moses speaks to the Lord saying, “The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished… In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now.” (Numbers 14:18-19)
Moses was a worshiper who interceded for the Lord to God’s people giving them His instructions, he interceded for the Israelite’s urging them not to rebel, and he asking God not to strike the people with a plague, not because he had a hidden agenda, rather he had a zealous heart for the protection of God’s character among the nations. (Numbers 14:13-16) His response to Lord’s wrath against the Israelite’s was, “If you put these people to death all at one time, the nations who have heard this report about you will say, `The LORD was not able to bring these people into the land He promised them on oath; so He slaughtered them in the desert.’” (Number 14:15-16)
Just what made Moses the intercessor that enabled Him to enjoy the power of God? What is the character that enables the church of Jesus Christ to walk in step with the Holy Spirit and enjoy the power of God in her labors with the Lord? I would like to propose to you that Exodus chapter 14 and other Biblical records of the Lord working in and through the life of Moses present to us the foundation of making worshipers who pray through to the power of God in their lives and ministries.
What is in the heart of worshipers who have the ear of God
The first truth that the Holy Spirit wants you to grasp is what is in the heart of worshipers who have the ear of God. There is a heart attitude that must be present in the Body of Christ that shows all who see the Lord’s church that God listens when they pray. There needs to be that vessel who can allow people to see the power of God working in their lives. John 9:31 says, “We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who does His will.” (John 9:31) The English Standard version gives us this wonderful translation with, “We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, God listens to him.”
In John chapter 9 we read of Jesus coming across a man who had been blind from his birth. (John 9:1) His disciples asked him why the man was born blind. Jesus’ answer was, “…this happened so that the power of God might be displayed in his life.” As we continue to read through John chapter 9 we read that the man was healed (John 9:7) and this drew a great amount of attention from the people who knew him and especially from the Pharisees. The Pharisees questioned the man who was healed and his parents. They hurled insults at him and put him out of the synagogue. They told the man that they were disciples of Moses, and “we do not even know where this fellow comes from.” (John 9:7-34)
From studying the prayer life of Jesus, we know that God always hears Him because He was fully submitted to His Fathers will. (John 11:41-42: Hebrews 5:7) Listen to the words of a man who was touched by Jesus, the Son of God who accomplished His father’s will. (John 9:35-38) The man said, “…Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where He comes from, yet He opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who does His will. Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.” (John 9:30-32) The Bible says, “[When] Jesus heard that they had thrown him out…” (John 9:35) He went and found the man and then led the man to believe in Him. (John 9:35-38) After their conversation the man who had been healed by Jesus said, “‘Lord, I believe’ and [then] he worshiped [Jesus].” (John 9:38)
The Pharisees mention that they were disciples of Moses. Moses occupied a unique place as God’s friend. Exodus 33:11 says, “The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.” (Exodus 33:11) Another worshiper of God, Abraham, was also called “friend.” James 2:23-24 says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness, and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.” (James 2:23-24: Isaiah 41:8) At least two other times in the Bible Abraham is referred to as being God’s friend, one of those being when the Lord was speaking to God’s people, reminding them that they were chosen for a purpose. (2 Chronicles 20:7; Isaiah 41:8) The term “he was called friend” in James 2:23 is another way of saying that he was right with God. It was not that Abraham earned favor with God by his obedience, rather through his obedience he was showing what a real friend to God is. (The Expositors Bible Commentary) In Isaiah 41:8 Abraham was referred to by God through the prophet Isaiah as being “my friend.” “My friend” literally means “loving Me.” (A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory) It was a special privilege of Abraham to be known as God’s friend. A truth that must be grasped by all who want to be intercessors and true worshipers of the Lord Jesus is, Abraham loved God, and he showed his love by his obedience. (The Pulpit Commentary)
Jesus called His disciples “friends.” He elevated the disciples above mere tools and made them partners in His work. Christian friendship with Christ is much more than casual acquaintance; it is a partnership of mutual esteem and affection. Jesus defined friendship in terms of obedience to His commands. John 15:14-16 says, “You are My friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” (John 15:14-16) Warren Wiersbe was so correct when he wrote, “The first duty of every soul is to find not its freedom but its Master.” Mr. Wiersbe capitalized the letter “M” in Master, referring that true freedom is found in surrendering to the Lordship of Jesus Christ who is the only One who can teach you what truly liberty is.
Another truth the Holy Spirit wants you to grasp is that an intercessor who has the ear of the Lord is a worshiper who wants to be taught of God and live in His presence
A foundational step to becoming intercessors who have the ear of God is to walk in the type of obedience that reflects we are His friends. Another truth the Holy Spirit wants you to grasp is that an intercessor who has the ear of the Lord is a worshiper who wants to be taught of God and live in His presence. The heart of the great intercessor Moses is so revealed to us in Exodus 33:12-13, “Moses said to the LORD, ‘You have been telling me, lead these people, but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, I know you by name and you have found favor with me. If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you.’” (Exodus 33:12-13) Here we read of Moses’ prayer and the Lord’s answer. Every great intercessor for the Lord has this heart. This was the cry of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 3:10, “…I want to know Christ… I press on to the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
The Lord God had called Moses to lead the people, however, we read in Exodus 33:1-3 that God said He would not go with Moses to the land of promise. His reason for not going with Moses to the promised land was that the people of God were so stiff-necked that He might destroy them. (Exodus 33:1-3) God said that He would send an angel ahead of them to drive out the people who lived in the land. This angel is different from the angel of His presence. A church that is going to have fellowship with God and give the true worship that enables them to enjoy His presence must understand that sin will exclude them from enjoying the presence of God’s Spirit. A true church will recognize when she begins to replace worship in spirit and truth with traditionalism, legalism, and denominationalism, and is worshiping the Lord in faddism. A true church has leaders who are led by the Holy Spirit and who do not look at the church through rose colored classes.
Moses does not argue with the Lord about the church of his time being stiff-necked. He relies upon what God told Him. Moses becomes that worshiper who knows and then clings to the promises of God. He speaks to the Lord saying “It is you who has called me to lead these people.” Moses is a bold intercessor here and he stands upon what God had already made known to him. His prayer is, “[Lord] You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’” “Know you by name” means that Moses belonged to God. The Lord had singled him out for a purpose and the Lord would see His purpose accomplished through Moses. “You have found favor with me,” meant that Moses had acceptance, enjoyed a special standing, or was given a privileged position to serve the Lord and be an intercessor for God’s people. Moses was to point and lead a people of God to the promised land, a land of abundance. (Bible Knowledge Commentary; The Expositors Bible Commentary; Commentary on the Old Testament; The Complete Word Study of the Old Testament)
The Holy Spirit moved through the Apostle Peter to write to God’s elect, those who are strangers in this world. (1 Peter 1::2) 1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9) True worshipers are chosen people, property of God, the blood purchased church singled out for the purpose of proclaiming the great work of God and declaring the praises of Jesus Christ to a stiff-necked people who want only their own way in life. (Easton Bible Dictionary) Through the blood of Jesus Christ Christians have favor with God, enjoy a special standing and have all the privileges that come with knowing and serving the Lord Jesus. Their standing is under the authority of Christ to go and make disciples and the privilege is enjoying the abundant life promised in Christ.
Moses sets the example of the heart that is to be found in the life of a worshiper who has the ear of God, Moses’ petition was “If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you.” (Exodus 33:13) Intercessors who see the power of God working in their lives and their ministries are those who have a teachable spirit. These intercessors have the heart of the Psalmist who knew the application of being taught of God. Their song of praise is a life drawn out from the control of sin, to that which proclaims, “Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD. Blessed are they who keep His statutes and seek Him with all their heart. They do nothing wrong; they walk in His ways. You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed.” (Psalm 119:1-4)
Ed Wood told the story about a woman who had read the Bible and stated that it was the dullest book she had ever read. When she became a born again Christian and fell in love with the author, she found the Word of God to be life giving. Those who have hard cold hearts to the Lord can care less about a relationship with Jesus Christ. They find the Word of God and the things of God dull. Worshipers who fall in love with Christ and listen to His teaching find the Bible inspiring, life giving and full of information on how to live for the glory of Christ.
In his prayer of intercession for the people of God, Moses prayed, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” (Exodus 33:15-16) The church who has the ear of the Lord open to their prayers is the church that knows unless the Lord is working in and through them they might as well as shut their doors. If He is not going to lead, protect and give empowerment to their labors done for Him they might as well as not do anything. There is nothing wrong with asking the Lord to show that He is pleased with His church and to work through her in a way that shows clearly that Holy Spirit is working in and through the church of Jesus Christ.
Worshipers who are taught of God and are hungry for the Lord Jesus’ presence in their lives and ministry are told what God told Moses about his ordained task, “My Presence will go with you.” (Exodus 33:14) “…I will do everything you have asked, because I am pleased with you and know you by name.” (Exodus 33:17) The church that worships in spirit and truth has the promise of God’s Word, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Her proclamation is, “So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.’ What can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:5-6) Moses, on many occasions, had stood before an army that desired to destroy the people and the work of God. As God’s people called upon Him in the heart of a true worshiper the Lord brought deliverance and victory. The church who is expressing a life of true worship will find that the Lord’s presence is with them.
Jesus’ promise in the giving of the “Great Commission” is “And surely I am with you always…” (Matthew 28:20) “Always” (pasa tas hemeras) means “all the days,” or “day in and day out” or rather “the whole of the day.” The application is that the presence of Christ is with His church through the Holy Spirit as Companion, Friend, and Guide. He is with them in private and public prayer meetings, during the giving of exhortation, while applying disciplines, in trials of persecution and affliction, and in the administration of our Christian duties. Literally the Lord Jesus’ presence will never be withdrawn for us for a single moment. (Word Meanings; The Pulpit Commentary; Vines; Word Pictures in the New Testament)
Worshipers pray through to completion what the Lord calls them to do
True worshipers enjoy the Lord Jesus’ presence and pray through to completion what the Lord calls them to do. The Bible says, “…my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house.” (Numbers 12:7)
In Exodus chapter 3 we read of God seeing the misery of His people in Egypt. The Lord said to Moses, “…I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. …I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelite’s out of Egypt.” (Exodus 3:7,10) Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” (John 8:34) A true worshiper of Christ has the same calling as Moses. They are to take a message of freedom that Christ can bring (John 8:36) to a people in the world who are held captive to the slavery of the flesh, the world, and the lies of the devil. Worshipers will make every effort to be interceding for those in bondage of sin, petitioning God to send the Spirit of Christ to bring deliverance to family members, friends and co-workers. They will be faithful to their call no matter how powerful their adversaries are and no matter how much the people of God grumble, complain and or lose faith.
In Exodus 14 we see this faithful intercessor, Moses, praying and following through to a healthy completion what God told him to do. As they are encamped at the Red Sea God tells Moses all about what is to take place. God is going to bring glory to Himself. (Exodus 14:4) He is going to harden Pharaoh’s heart and Moses is going to have to suffer the results of an unbelieving people who see Pharaoh’s army coming after them. This is where Moses shows himself a worshiper who prays a plan through and can hear the voice of God to get clear direction. Moses authenticity is shown forth at the edge of the Red Sea. True worshipers are found authentic in the heat of battle only as they prayerfully trust in the Lord and walk in obedience to Him.
Exodus 14:10-12 says, “As Pharaoh approached, the Israelite’s looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the LORD. They said to Moses, ‘Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, `Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” (Exodus 14:10-12) From Exodus chapter 7-11 we read of God showing the Egyptians and the people of God that He is greater than any of the gods the Egyptians worshiped. In Exodus chapter 12 we read that Israel did not get guns and blast themselves out of Egypt in battle. As a matter of fact they were summoned to leave by Pharaoh. (Exodus 12:31) The Egyptians urged them to leave (Exodus 12:33) and as they were leaving, “The Lord had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave [the Israelite’s] what they asked for, so they plundered the Egyptians.” (Exodus 12:36) Now here at the Red Sea the unfaithful are making faithful Moses’ life difficult.
How often has the church seen the Lord show Himself faithful and as soon as Satan, the great big adversary of the church raises up a force against the work of God, the people begin to grumble, begin to complain, and show lack of faith. Not only was Moses’ character being exposed at the Red Sea but that of the people of God as well. Too many churches and pastors are being exposed in the heat of battle today and being found to have Israel’s faith. True worshipers are found genuine in the heat of the battle of the Lord. They have the heart of Moses who interceded for God, giving the Word of the Lord, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. …The Lord will fight for you…” (Exodus 14:13-14)
As we continue to read we notice that a true intercessor for the Lord has ears to hear and a heart obey the Lord’s instructions. The Lord tells Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the Israelite’s to get up and move on.” (Exodus 14:15) The rest of the story is that God fought for Israel and brought them through the Red Sea on dry ground and when it was all over “…the Israelite’s saw the great power the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, they feared the Lord and put their trust in Him and in Moses His servant.” (Exodus 14:31) True worshipers pray through to completion what the Lord has told them to do, just as Moses did. The end results are that they enjoy the power of God in their lives and ministries before the Lord. The people of God walk in a reverent fear of the Lord and see God’s hand doing a work in their families, friends and co-workers. Trust is established in the church of Jesus Christ.
Worshipers are like
Worshipers are Christians who have the ear of God because He knows they are His friend, they long to be taught of the Lord and enjoy His presence, and they pray through to a healthy completion of what they are told to do. Worshipers are like, “Moses, faithful… [servants] in… God’s house, testifying to all that Christ has and will do “in the future.” Their trust is in, “Christ [who] is faithful as a Son over God’s house. [They] are His house, [if they] hold on to [their] courage and the hope of which we boast.” (Hebrews 3:5-6) They are worshipers because of what Christ did on the Cross of Calvary. Jesus’ death on the Cross tore open the curtain in the temple, symbolizing that all who have faith in Christ may enter into the presence of God. Thus the prayer of Christians is, Holy Spirit, “Make Us Worshipers.”