In yesterday’s post, I spoke of representing Christ. A representative derives their authority from the person or entity they represent. The word means “to re-present” or “present again.” A representative “presents again” the will and desires of the one who authorized them, speaking and acting on their behalf. In legal terms, this would be similar to a “power of attorney.” This is the arrangement Christ has established with the church.
We have personal authority to implement our will and desires, of course, but in order to operate in Christ’s authority - in His name - we must be implementing His Word and will. As we do so, His authority and the power of Holy Spirit back up our efforts.
In 1977, while praying late one night about an upcoming missions outreach to Guatemala, I heard the Lord say, On this trip, represent Jesus to the people.
I really did not fully understand spiritual authority at the time and questioned what this statement might mean. In response, I heard the words, Be His voice, be His hands, be His feet. Do what you know He would do if He were there in the flesh. Represent Him.
Suddenly, I understood. I was not going to the jungles of Guatemala to represent myself or primarily the ministry with which I was going. In the same way that Jesus had represented His Father, speaking His words and doing His works, I was to represent Jesus. And if I truly believed I was His ambassador, then I could believe it was not my authority or ability that was in operation, but His. I would be re-presenting Him and what He had already accomplished at Calvary.
Arriving in Guatemala, I traveled with the team to a remote village, far from any modern city. There were no vehicles, no electrical power, plumbing, phones - no modern conveniences. Our purpose in being there was to build primitive shelters for the villagers whose adobe homes had been destroyed in the devastating earthquake of 1976. The quake had killed 30,000 people and left 1 million homeless! We trucked in materials and during the day, built small, one-room “homes” for them. At night we powered up our generator to run a small sound system and held services in the center of the village, preaching the gospel of Jesus. The entire village would attend. We explained that His love was what had motivated us to spend our time, money, and energy to help them.
After doing this for a week, no one had come to Christ. The people listened intently, but did not respond by receiving Him.
I was 23 years old at the time and was not the team leader, but I was asked to preach on the final night. Just as the service was about to begin, a team member told me about a scenario he and others had come across on the far side of the village. A six or seven-year-old girl was tied to a tree in her backyard, where she lived like a dog, filthy and alone.
When asked why this was happening, the parents replied, “She is insane. We cannot control her. If we release her, she wanders off into the mountains, sometimes hurts others, and is completely unmanageable. There is nothing else we can do for her, so we just tie her up.”
My heart broke as the team member shared what he had seen. It was heavy on my mind as we began the service. After a few songs, I began my message. A few minutes into it, while standing on a folding table underneath the stars, the same voice that had spoken to me under the stars prior to the trip began speaking to me again.
Tell them you are going to pray for the insane little girl tied to the tree on the other side of the village. Tell them you are going to do so in the name of this Jesus the team has been preaching about. Tell them that through His victory at the Cross and the authority of His name, you are going to break the evil powers controlling her. And that when she is free and normal, they will know that what you are preaching is true. They’ll believe that the Jesus you are presenting is who you say He is.
This conversation was taking place in my mind while I was trying to speak - through an interpreter, no less. I responded to the voice with fear and trembling, screaming internally: What did you say????
Being the man of faith that I was, I replied to Holy Spirit, What is Plan B?
Disobedience and failure was the response. But then I heard that still, small voice again, Remember what I said to you before the outreach began? Represent Jesus. Do what He would do if He were here. Be His hands, feet, and voice.
Faith began to arise in my heart. The responsibility to accomplish this miracle is not on me, I thought, but on the One who sent me, the One whom I represent. I am merely His spokesman. I simply release what He has already accomplished. He has finished the redemptive work of delivering this little girl; my prayers release His work. I’m a distributor of what Christ has already produced. Be bold! Enforce Christ’s victory!
With new assurance, I informed the people of what I was planning to do. They nodded in recognition when I mentioned the little girl. Expressions of intrigue turned to astonishment as they listened to my plans.
Then I pointed across the village and prayed a simple prayer.
On a moonlit night in a tiny, remote village in Guatemala, with a handful of people as my audience, my life changed. Jesus came out of the past; He became alive, relevant, sufficient, and available, emerging from the cobwebs of theology. A “yesterday” Jesus became a “today and forever” Jesus. A Galilee Jesus became a Guatemala Jesus.
I finally understood God‘s plan. We, the church, re-presenting Jesus. I understood the heavenly pattern: Jesus is the Victor; we are the enforcers. He’s the Redeemer; we are the releasers. Christ is the Head; we are His body.
He set the little girl free.
The whole village turned to Christ.
Jesus received all the glory.
(I can assure you that no one in the village knows my name, and it doesn’t matter. They know His.)
There are many wounded and bound individuals tied to trees around the world. You work with some, others live across the street, another might sleep under your roof. One of them may have just served you in a checkout line, seated you in a restaurant, or served you food. Their chains are alcohol, drugs, abuse, broken dreams, rejection, fatherlessness, sexual perversion, gender confusion, love of money, a false religion - you get the point. God wants all of them loosed.
Plan A is for ordinary people like you and me to wholeheartedly believe in the victory of Calvary, and rise up in our role as Christ’s authorized representatives. Plan B is to leave the tormented in their torment - to scream with our silence “There is no hope;” to hear the Father say, once again, “I looked for someone to stand in the gap, but found no one;” to hear the cry of the Lord of the harvest, “The laborers, where are the laborers?” (Ezekiel 22:30; Matthew 9:37-38)
You have His authority - now use it.
Pray with me:
Father, when Jesus said, “Go…in My name,” hell must have trembled. Satan no doubt knew what that meant. Christ was multiplying Himself. Not only did You have Your family back, but they would now be Your ambassadors on earth, just as You intended in the beginning. Awaken the church to this reality. Show her that she is more than a bride, a family; she is Your Ekklesia, Your government, on earth.
We are not powerless. We are not at the mercy of satan‘s activities. We are representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ! We are called to set captives free, liberating them through the power released when we preach the gospel and pray in Christ’s name.
Father, we know our prayers are powerful. Holy Spirit responds to the name of Jesus Christ and the Word of God. When we decree the King’s will, in His name, all of heaven comes to attention on our behalf. Angels respond. Holy Spirit responds. And the powers of darkness submit to this. So, in His name, we decree revival in America and around the world. We decree the breaking of demonic strongholds over people and nations through the power of God. And we decree, with great confidence, America shall be saved!
We decree that we will represent Christ, being His hands, His feet, and His voice.
Portions of today’s post were taken from my book Intercessory Prayer and published by Baker House.
Click on the link below to watch the full video.