I heard Him praying for me as I followed Him. Though I couldn’t hear His words, He was intently interceding for my journey. His head was bowed as He led me to an opening alongside a rocky mountain. As I continued to follow close behind, He led me down some stone steps into a small cave.
Then, He kneels in front of me in prayer, head bowed down as His hands cradle my feet. He is still interceding and praying for this journey. Knowing it is HIM, I long to see His face. I reach out and pull Him to His feet so I can look. As He stands before me, I am struck by His small stature. He is not noticeably tall or large. He is a simple man with dark hair and medium build. It is too dark to see His face clearly, yet I see His eyes. They are dark and piercing, yet looking at mine with a longing and earnest desire for me to know what this means.
I always wondered what it would be like the first time I saw Jesus. Though I have interacted with angels in my dreams and heard the voice of the Lord, I have not seen Jesus face to face. I had always imagined seeing Him as others have described – in light and glory and majesty. Yet, in my encounter, He did not appear as I had supposed. He did not reveal Himself in His glory, but in His humanity. Though I was expecting a demonstration of His kingship and authority, He took the form of a Servant. Where I was hoping for an invitation to His throne, He was inviting me into the darkness.
“I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.” (Isaiah 42:6-7 NIV)
Even as many believers have been praying for heaven to come to earth, it is evident that Jesus is calling us into the darkness to deliver those who are in bondage and captivity. Where we might think the fullness of His love is seen in His glory, perhaps it is best seen in what He left in order to reach us. He is not fixated on His equality with God (Philippians 2:6-8). His heart is fixated on those He loves and passionately longs to be with. It is because of this that He calls us to go where He would go and reach those who have not yet heard. Our only qualification is to serve, not to be served. It is the humble heart of a servant that will have the most authority to overcome the works of the enemy.
I was not intending to go into the darkness. I was simply following Him. I was close enough to hear His prayers and to feel the burning in His heart. This is critical in our walk because He alone knows where we need to go. Even as He led me down the steps, a part of the stone railing had come off and He reached out to fix it so I could get a handle to where I was going. For many of us, the places of darkness that need to be reached will not be familiar nor understood. Yet, He will give us a handle on what we need to grasp in order to take the necessary steps. It is His love within us that will compel us to follow His lead into those places of captivity so we can bring the lost into the light.
I never realized the intensity of Jesus’ intercession for us. Romans 8:34 states He is sitting at the right hand of His Father praying for us. Hebrews 7:25 says He lives to make intercession for us. We may be longing for HIM, but HE is longing for us. His love is what consumes His heart and He will not rest until all have heard of the power and victory He secured for us through His death and resurrection. He invites us to join the journey and to follow Him; ever more closely with ever increasing faith.
Glory will come soon enough. Until then, let’s take His hand and follow Him into the darkness.