Our Intercessory Place in Relation to the World,
and Our Attitude Toward its Present Conflict
John Bloore (from "Help and Food")

We may not be thoroughly awake to the mediatorial place which the people of God occupy in this world, and thus fail (as in everything we so much do) to fulfill its holy and blessed responsibilities.

There is one great intercessor in this world--the Holy Spirit, and He dwells in God's people; they alone receive Him--the world cannot. The world in its darkness received not "the Light;" and there is no light in it now, except as the Holy Spirit causes it to shine in God's people. The people of God are in a priestly position; therefore, having access to God's presence, to the throne of grace, from which mercy and help is obtained. The world is not in such a position. Intercession can alone be made by those who have been brought back to God, and whose privilege it is to draw near to the Throne. It is not that God's ear is closed to the cry or groans of a suffering world--suffering because of man's fall, because of sin--in all of which we must own our part, and groan in unison with all the creation; but it is not the world that is called upon or able to "Make supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks," but only God's people, who are in a priestly relationship to Him, and who are to "pray in the Holy Spirit," for only in them does He dwell.

But are we not to exercise our priestly function as intercessors on behalf of men who in their darkness know not their right hand from their left? Do we realize that if we do it not, there are none who can? Do we realize that if God is to beseech men to be reconciled, it must be through us? God has chosen us as His ambassadors to represent Him here. It will not do to say, "He will take care of these things." We are responsible, and He has put the responsibility upon us. It is a solemn, heart-searching truth for every one of us. Do we realize there is no light in this world unless we shine in its darkness as those in whose hearts (through faith and the Spirit's work) God has shone for the outshining of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ? "Ye are the salt of the earth," said our Lord to His followers, "but if the salt have become insipid, wherewith shall it be salted? It is no longer fit for anything, but to be cast out and to be trodden under foot by men. Ye are the light of the world: a city situated on the top of a mountain cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under the bushel, but upon the lampstand, and it shines for all who are in the house. Let your light thus shine before men, so that they may see your upright works, and glorify your Father who is in the heavens" (Matt. 5:13-16 JND). Used in the sacrifices, salt was a type of the preservative energy of the divine will; it hinders corruption. And such too is the relation of God's people to the world while He leaves them in it. But the salt must preserve its saltiness.

The injunction is, "That supplications, prayers, intercessions ["euteuxeis," personal and confiding intercourse with God on the part of one able to approach Him], thanksgivings be made for all men; for kings and all who are in dignity, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all piety and gravity; for this is good and acceptable before our Saviour God" (1 Tim. 2: 1-3 JND). At what time more than the present have men needed just this service on our part? What blessed results may be obtained if, in the energy of faith and the power of the Spirit, we fulfill our service in this way! May we be so thoroughly exercised about the need of men and their present condition that we may become effectual, fervent intercessors on their behalf, and so bring down a blessing upon them ere the day of grace close, and thus too the door of hope to so many. May our hearts and spirits be moved with the same compassion and love as that of God our Father, who so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, for we are called to show forth His character in the world, and to be His followers as dear children.

Has the side of separation from evil and from the world so engrossed our minds as to make us forget what it means to be His children in showing mercy, and seeking it for all men in their sin and need?--the mercy of peace where bloody strife reigns, if that be the mercy they need; mercy even as to meeting their physical needs, while ever seeking that, in ministering to physical wants, it may become the witness of God's salvation for the soul; that the temporal mercy may be the stepping-stone to the spiritual--God's goodness leading to repentance. Who can ask such things for men if God's children do not? Who intercede before God for the alleviation of men's need, both temporal and spiritual, if we do not?

Now, as to our attitude toward the present struggle: it must not be nationalistic, or we step out of our true place. To be those of whom it is said, "Ye are not of the world," and yet take a place of partisanship in the world's struggle, is to lose our distinctive character and fail to fill our proper place. We cannot rightly intercede for the victory of this or that worldly cause, of this or that nation or group of nations; and if national sympathy thus rise up in our hearts, it must be put where all of the natural man belongs-- under the sentence of death as having been judged at the Cross. How can we take into our hands what God alone is able to measure according to its true merits? How can we tell what He may have to say to one or the other of the nations involved, even apart from the merits of the actual conflict? We are so easily swayed by our natural sympathies that we cannot trust ourselves. How a condition like this tests us and shows us our need of being very much in the secret of God's presence, the only citadel of peace and quietness for us in the midst of this troubled scene. It is only as being there that we can in any true way be intercessors for men in their awful need, or faithful witnesses for Him to whom we belong.