The Ministry of the Interior

"And the Lord turned the captivity of Job when he prayed for his friends." Job 42:10


As I read one of my favorite devotionals the other morning my heart was pricked by the Holy Spirit. We see in this verse that a significant act was performed by Job that changed everything! Job was in an extreme time of adversity and yet he prayed for the very people that were treating him wrongly and discouraging him instead of encouraging him in his time of physical pain and extreme loss. Job had every right to be bitter and to resent his friends for this treatment, and yet he did not sin. We know that the devil asked for Job by name...how he could tempt Job to sin and ultimately turn his back on God...and yet, Job remained faithful to God and trusted Him. Job 42:10 serves as an example of what can happen when someone is willing to go beyond forgiveness and enter into a higher calling. For it was when Job humbled himself and prayed for those that wronged him that he was forever changed.  Oswald Chambers calls this,"the ministry of the interior", meaning Job went to work interceding for those that hurt him instead of holding a grudge and allowing himself to become bitter. Do you want to know how to become better instead of bitter? Start praying for those that have wronged you, those who have mistreated you and hurt you. Whether they are your friends or your enemies...pray! Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 5...blessed are the peace makers for they shall be called sons of God, blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you." For if you love those that love you what reward have you?

The true test for the Believer is not loving those that love us, but loving and interceding for those that mistreat us. Intercession means to do battle on behalf of another...to go to war for them...to actually be the go between them and the enemy! As you inteceed instead of interject you will experince the true blessing of the ministry of the interior. This is a great and mighty tool that we have readily available to us. It will bless your marriage, your family, your friendships, and your life. You, like Job, will experience freedom from the captivity that words can hold and you will soar to great heights with the LORD!

D.L. Moody said; "I firmly believe a great many prayers are not answered because we are not willing to forgive someone." When we are bitter we will not experience freedom and victory...it's when we are willing to forgive and then go the extra mile that Jesus talks about that we will experience the blessing of the ministry of the interior...it truly is a ministry. It's hard work praying for our enemies...it takes humility and genuine love that can only come from Jesus Christ, but the results are worth it.  Let the Lord heal your wound as you pray for those that have wronged you! Let Him minister to you as you minister to others. In seeking to minister to others you will experience the true blessing of freedom from the bondage of bitterness.