Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | June 27, 2011

I Am Not A Free Man

I see him once every few years — my old friend Gene Martinez. Gene and I met and became friends in San Antonio, Texas in 1990. He is one of those guys who sees the world a little differently, perhaps more clearly, than the average person. To listen to Gene is to hear echoes of the minor prophets, those guys who understood the times in which they lived and grieved as they watched their respective nations wander away from God. Gene is a man of prayer and cares about people, about the church, and about what Christ-followers are and should be doing to impact their culture for the sake of the kingdom of God. He lives a spartan life, travels a lonely road, and is not a free man.

Gene stopped by my office this past week. Although we haven’t seen each other for a few years, we picked up where we left off on our last visit — talking about the times and about what God expects of us in terms of advancing His purposes. Gene thinks deeply about things and challenges me with his insights. Thinking deeply requires being disciplined enough to turn off the noise and maintain distance from the things that so easily distract us from God. So, when Gene said that he was not a free man I could tell that he had been thinking deeply about this and asked him to explain what he meant by that statement.

Gene explained that as a person who intercedes in prayer he is not a free man. Many people pray, he explained, but then move on to the next thing. We most often are guilty of uttering a quick prayer for this or for that but are not so burdened that we lose sleep over what we pray for. However, a true intercessor stays connected to what he prays for until there is resolution or the answer comes. In that sense, an intercessor is not a free person. Intercession is not something you do and then check off your task list. The very act of intercession demands personal buy-in and ownership — bearing prayer burdens with or without the assistance of others. By its very nature, intercession is the kind of prayer that is characterized by passion, patience, and persistence.

So, after Gene and I prayed together and said our good-byes, I found myself in a pensive mood, soberly considering whether I am a free man or a man bound by prayer to the things that break the heart of God. Like Gene, I do not want to be a free man. I truly do want to be so in-tune with God’s heart that my prayer life is fully occupied with the things that concern Him. But, in order for that to happen I have to take an honest inventory of the things that distract me from God and cause me to look in other directions. And then I have to take any corresponding remedial action in order to become the kind of intercessor that pleases God. It’s one thing to intercede for another by uttering a prayer and then moving on. It’s another thing to be an intercessor who is so shackled to a concern that it is impossible to move on. Gene has challenged me to lose more of my freedom.


Responses

  1. Thank you so much for this post. I had, by my own selfishness, wrestled myself free and have missed the blessing of being bound to His heart in prayer. Today is my birthday, and I intend to spend it asking God to allow me the gift of resuming my loss of freedom. What a blessing this post is to me.

  2. Good message O, I am often guilty of this. Sometimes I have rationalized my behavior by the doctrine of “casting your burden to the Lord or laying your problems at the altar (feet of Christ);” sometimes I could forget and at other times I would not forget the intercessory prayer. This was a very timely message for me to understand that sometimes I need to continue with that intercessory and not just walk away.
    Gil

  3. As I read this my Friend & brother in Christ, I’m weeping. Prayer knows no language but a cry. An intercessor literally gives His/her life to God, to intercede for Whatever burden he lays on your heart. He has stricken me, has sent me to the Garden (Gethsemane) many, many times over the years, & continues to do so. (He’s not through with me yet).

    Broken Bread & Poured Out Wine, He said to me, come to me my son, & I will pour heart into yours, as I shared with my brother, Omar, Jesus said unto me one night—” Shall I weep & suffer alone, my son”. The Garden is were He sweat great drops of blood…..Why The Garden, you ask?…..”Hast thou No Scar, No hidden scar on Foot, Side, or Hand, I hear thy song is mighty in the land. I hear them hail, thy bright ascendance star, Hast Thou No Scar, Hast Thou No Wound, yet I was wounded by the archer’s spent. Lean me against the tree to die and rent by the ravaging beast that compassed me I swoon. Hast Thou No Wound, No Wound, No Scar, YES says the Master shall the servant be, Pierced are the feet that follow me…..But Thine are Whole, can he have traveled far, who has No Wound, No Scar?

    Down across shadowing lanes,
    across strange streams bridged over by broken dreams,
    behind the misty caps of years,
    behind the great fount of tears,
    the Garden Lies…..

    Strive as You may,
    you cannot Miss it on your way,
    all paths that have been or shall be,
    pass somewhere through Gethsemane.

    All those who journey soon or late,
    must pass alone in darkness there,
    and battle with some fierce despair.

    God pity those who cannot see
    the purpose in….Gethsemane….
    God had one Son without sin,
    but no Son without a cross.

    When God calls a man, He bids him: Come and Die! Toil and agony are called for, if a Man wants to be Godly! Are you willing to ask God to take You to His Garden.

    As among Trees, so among Men. The cypress tree seems to have been created specially to stand at the grave’s head and be a weeper…..and there are some Men, that have been created on purpose that they might WEEP before God.

    I really enjoyed spending what little time we had with my brother, my friend, Omar. He is a giant among men, you who have the privilege to know him, are greatly blessed. I will intercede for you, my friend, & please tell your church, I will also go to the throne & intercede for Kingsland Baptist Church. If anyone needs prayer, please let me know, Omar. 🙂

    Your Friend, Brother in Christ,
    Gene

    • Gene, thanks for your friendship across the years and for interceding for our nation. Thanks also for challenging me to lose more of my freedom to more of the things that break the heart of God.

  4. If I Weep for the Body, for which the Soul has departed…..Shall I Not Weep for the Soul (America) for which…God has Departed! 😦

  5. Good word brother. I found myself quoting you and your blog quite a bit the last two weeks as I challenged and encouraged our team in Colombia. Thanks for the sacrifices and investment you have made in order to know these things and for being faithful to share them with others.

    • Thanks, Matt. I have enjoyed keeping up with your kingdom adventures on your blog.


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