Intercessors live on the frontier of change. We are positioned to stand between the needs of man and the provision of God. Because we are the agents of redemption, Satan will use a variety of methods to offend, discourage, strike or otherwise steal the strength of our prayers. The wounding we receive must be interpreted in light of God's promise to reverse the effects of these attacks and actually make them work for our good (Rom. 8:28). Since spiritual assaults are inevitable, we must discover how God uses our wounds as the means to greater power. This was exactly how Christ brought redemption to the world, for it was by His wounds that we are healed (1 Pet. 2:24).
Jesus knew that maintaining love and forgiveness in the midst of suffering was the key that unlocked the power of redemption. Isaiah 53:11 tells us, "By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities."
Jesus possessed revelation knowledge into the mystery of God. He knew that the secret to unleashing world-transforming power was found at the cross, in suffering. At the cross, payment for sin was made. As Christ forgave His enemies, heaven's power rent the temple veil in two. Christ's stripes purchased our healing. I am not just talking about suffering, but the suffering of love.
The terrible offense of the cross became the place of redemption for the world. Yet, remember, Jesus calls us to a cross as well (Matt. 16:24). Wounding is simply an altar upon which our sacrifice to God is prepared.
Listen again to Isaiah's prophetic description of Jesus' life. His words at first seem startling, but as we read, we discover a most profound truth concerning the power of woundedness. He wrote, "But the Lord was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand" (Isa. 53:10).
How did the power of God's pleasure prosper in Christ's hand? During His times of crushing, woundedness and devastation, instead of retaliating, Jesus rendered Himself "as a guilt offering."
The crushing is not a disaster; it is an opportunity. You see, our purposeful love may or may not touch the sinner's heart, but it always touches the heart of God. We are crushed by people, but we need to allow the crushing to ascend as an offering to God. The greatest benefit of all is the effect our mercy has on the Father. If we truly want to be instruments of God's good pleasure, then it is redemption, not wrath, that must prosper in our hands.
Adapted from Francis Frangipane's book, The Power of One Christlike Life, available at www.arrowbookstore.com