I remember there were two things that the intercessors who gathered weekly have when JREV started as a movement in the Philippines – two things aside from (of course) the vision of JRE V.
One was a hunger for God’s presence. Oh yes, the text message from the JREV Executive Board would often come. *Beep beep* Most of the time, it’s from the finance head. You guessed it right! We need money — a fairly huge amount that would cover the open air event in Luneta. We didn’t bother to compute how many months wages it would cost. The moment we start praying – BOOM. We want Your presence Lord! That was it. That was all we could pray. We’d lose our voices. We’d lose our poise. We’d ‘waste’ time groaning for it. We’d shed tears and cry even until there’s none left. We would cry invisible tears, our faces distorted. Nobody told us to do so. We just felt the need, the intense longing, deep calling unto deep, we need God. Nothing else would satisfy. Not even straight uno’s in our report cards. (In my case, straight A’s.) We prayed weekly inside UP Diliman Campus then. We came, rain or shine. It was uncomfortable. And honestly, it was risky at times because we were never without school requirements to accomplish. Sometimes, I’d come with the burden of an exam the following day. Sometimes the stressful thought of having to finish a paper would still be haunting me until we start praying. And then God shows up. And it’s all worth it. God responds to hunger.
The second thing I could remember was that we sacrificed. God’s presence always had a cost. For mankind, it was Jesus’ suffering and death. Now, it’s free but there is more of God when we are in fellowship with His sufferings. At that time, for me it was a chunk of time from my busy student life. For others that time, it was prioritizing God’s presence over becoming a university scholar or whatever merit they were striving for. I am not saying we should belittle pursuing excellence in our studies. All I am saying is that, which reward grips our heart more strongly nowadays? Are we gripped by a hunger to pursue God’s presence at all cost? Or are we still counting the cost of following Him? From what I was taught, true Christianity is about giving ‘all or nothing.’
But then hunger can only be cultivated, not forced. The more we eat God’s word and the more we soak in His presence, the more hungry we become. But also, it is by God’s grace that we are able to recognize our DEEP HUNGER for the things of God. And it is by grace and revelation that we are able to realize that depths that we are missing. Because most of the time, we… (and most people I meet today) are already satisfied. And that brings sadness to my heart.
I pray and I really pray this today, that we would be awakened to the reality of a God pursuing us in intimacy. That we would awaken to the call to go deeper. That we would realize that if hearing the words ‘hunger’ and ‘intimacy’ no longer wrecks us, then something is yet to be stirred up (again…). One song goes like this, “Yesterday’s depth is really really shallow; I wanna go deeper and deeper still.” If we think we’re so OK then we’re not OK because God’s presence would always leave us wrecked. It’s the tension between having God and not having enough. It is the paradox of dissatisfaction of a life for a God who satisfies. This is one dangerous cliche, the word ‘intimacy’ spoken religiously.
I am praying for those who want to go deeper and seriously are willing to pay the price in sacrifice.
I am praying for those who will commit to become intercessors for this revolution. Because in case we’ve forgotten, the revolution is not yet over.
Yeah, and I’m praying for grace because intercession is like what Winston Churchill said to the RAF in August of 1940, Never was so much owed by so many to so few. My question for us is, Who would dare take this glorious task of breaking through for others to break through?