I have been impressed by Holy Spirit to provide this brief overview of the gift of suffering as an all important weapon in the ministry of intercession. I need to give a warning right here – that this is for mature, Spirit-filled believers desiring to go deeper into ministry of Holy Spirit. This is not for spiritual babies!
Holy Spirit has placed urgency in my heart that now is the time to prepare for His coming tsunami move. I believe His move will come in two phases; the first being a harvest of harvesters – those who will become intercessors, evangelists, and teachers which will be needed for the final harvest. My part is prepare Spiritual Warriors who know their mission, know their weapons and enter the battle in triumph and victory enforcing the victory that has already been won through the Finished Work of Lord Jesus Christ. This requires pulling down demonic, religious strongholds of ignorance, fear, doubt and defeat.
The following are scriptural references regarding the gift of suffering:
Rom. 8:16-17 – “The Spirit bears witness with our spirit, that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”
Gal. 6:2 – “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
Phil. 1:29 – “For to you it has been granted in behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake.”
Phil. 3:10 – “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of his suffering, being conformed to His death”
Col. 1:24 – “Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His body’s sake.”
Intercession means “to live on behalf of others.” Heb. 7:24-25 describes intercession as the present day ministry of Lord Jesus Christ as our Great High Priest. We believers have been given this same ministry (1 Jn.4:17; Rev. 1:6). Our most effective intercession is praying through Holy Spirit, allowing Him to release His words through our physical facilities causing kingdom reality to manifest in earth (Rom. 8:26-28). In fact, as we pray in Holy Spirit, we are in partnership the Lord Jesus Christ in His present day ministry bringing His will to earth. Should there be any wonder why so much controversy exists today over tongues – praying in the Spirit? It is one of the most powerful intercessory weapons available to us. Satan has no defense against it – other than releasing some religious spirit to say that it’s of the devil! Imagine that – Satan himself taking credit for the most powerful weapon we can use against him. Talk about ignorance in the church!
2 Cor. 1:20 confirms that all God’s covenant promises have been answered “Yes” in the Spirit realm and that they must be transferred to earth ‘through us”. That is where intercession comes in as the bridge which connects the Spirit realm with the natural. Faith then transports God’s promises from the invisible, eternal realm to the natural. Suffering is the cost of intercession as heaven’s reality invades this natural realm.
Once again, this topic of suffering is for grown-up, big boys and girls; not spiritual babes! The gift of suffering is an intercessory weapon like none other. This has nothing to do with a demon bringing disease or sickness and attacking your body and you calling that the will of God that you have to suffer through – that’s simply your basic covenant promise to command that thing to go from your body. You don’t have to put up with it! No! Again this gift is for those mature enough in the faith to understand the difference between an attack of Satan and an intercessory assignment.
In Gal. 6:2 above, the scripture calls for us to bear one another’s burdens.” The original word for “bear” is “bastazo” meaning to carry that burden away and dispose of it! The gift of suffering often puts a physical demand on those called to this ministry. I’ve suffered through heart attacks, kidney stones, severe depression, and many other physical and mental ailments which were not mine, but for others. I was used by Holy Spirit to intercede and use the spiritual authority I have as a believer to cause those demonic attacks to cease their operation, not just in me but for whoever else was suffering at that time!
Here’s how it works for me. Whenever I experience an attack, I pray in the Spirit and the symptoms leave; when I stop praying in Holy Spirit, symptoms return. It is then that I know I have a divine assignment to intercede for someone. At times, Holy Spirit reveals the person I’m to intercede for; but, most times I have no idea. When I first began this ministry, I would often have to battle it all night long. Over a short timeframe, I’ve learned to push through to victory in a matter of minutes. I simply intercede until a release comes, then I know I’ve done my part. Although a physical toll is involved in the intercession, Holy Spirit brings a supernatural refreshing after the victory has been enforced. Some call the gift of suffering – travail, as in childbirth. Pain and suffering is involved in birthing God’s purpose into the earth just as a mother giving birth to her child. These gifts are spiritual brother and sister.
I’m certain many reading this have no idea this type ministry existed. On the other hand, when I’ve taught on this gift, many have come and thanked me for explaining exactly what was going on in their lives. They say that they were experiencing strange pain and other symptoms and had no idea what was going on in their bodies. They had been praying for Holy Spirit to lead them into a deeper walk in Him – yet they had no idea He was bringing His answer to their prayers in these manifestations! Now, they felt armed and dangerous, ready to go on the offensive against Satan’s attacks. My hope is that some reading this right now will feel that very same way. Amen.