The Throne Room

Hebrews 4: 16

Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.

I do interactive journaling for I recently asked God about this verse and what He would like to reveal to me about it. Click on the link above to see what He said to me. As I pondered all that He said to me, I knew I wanted to use this same verse for a Word of the Day.

The Protestant Reformation was supposed to usher in a time of approachability to God. No longer do we need a priest to speak to God for us or to tell us what God says to us. This is not to minimize the operation of spiritual gifts; that is another topic entirely. This discussion focuses on the necessity of another human to facilitate the conversation between us and the Father. You can speak directly to Him and more importantly you can hear from Him yourself.

Before Christ, only the High Priest could go into the Holy of Holies where the presence of God resided. Even then, he could only enter at the appointed time and after the proper preparation. Jesus tore the dividing veil asunder, literally, and now each of us has an open invitation into the very presence of God. We have a pass which entitles us to enter into His throne room at any time of the day or night, weekdays and weekends. There is not one minute of one day when the doors of the throne room are closed to us. Don’t you find that amazing?

We all need more of God. We need Him morning, noon and night and this verse shows us that we have availability to Him. Whatever you are doing right now, pause and take a moment to see yourself walk through the giant doors, which equally gigantic angels hold open for you. See your Father on His throne, beaming with His smile of welcome. Go to Him. Enjoy His presence and return frequently.

Preach It!

Acts 18: 9 – 10

And the Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent; for I am with you, and no man will attack you in order to harm you, for I have many people in this city.”

Whatever God gives you to say, speak with confidence and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said that he has many people in the city. He is telling us that he has people who are praying for the word to be preached, for the word to be taught. He has praying people whose prayers are supporting you and pulling on your anointing.

I heard a story told by a bible teacher of a man that had been involved in the occult. He was a witch doctor and his father was a witch doctor. The man is now a Christian but was telling how his father trained him in the things of the occult. The father pointed out one little village and said, “We will not be putting any curses on that little village.” When the son asked why, the father responded, “Because a Christian lives there.” Because one Christian lived in that village, the whole village was protected from the curse.

Brother, when someone goes to attack you because you are spreading the gospel, they are in for some trouble. Go forward in faith and courage for the God of all creation is on your side and he has assigned praying people to guard your back. Obey the Lord in everything he has given you to do and do not fear.

Shake, Rattle and Roll

Acts 4: 29 – 31

“And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.

I am very much encouraged by the number of pastors who are breaking out of restrictive molds and are preaching the Word of God with boldness. I have been meditating on this scripture for a couple of months now and I am convinced this is a word for today. It is not for pastors only and we err gravely if we think so. This prayer came out of a gathering of believers where they were all in one accord with a hunger for God and passion for His power to be made manifest in their lives, but not only in their lives but through them too. That is big. Shall we yield ourselves to speak with confidence? Note that the first thing said was the acknowledgment that they were under threat. As a matter of fact, this episode occurred when Peter and John were released from jail so the threat was real. Their response to being jailed was to pray for confidence and boldness to do more. 

Lord let your power be seen! The next thing the believers asked of God was for His hand to accompany their bold speech. So they had a picture in their minds. They envisioned speaking the Word of God with confidence while God complemented their speech with miracles of healing and signs and wonders. Can you see the image that was in their minds of what their meetings should look like? These guys were ready to take the world.

Then the best part of all. God answered and He answered in a big way. Because of their boldness in prayer, because they were passionate enough to ask God for big meetings and powerful moves, He answered them loudly. His presence came in that building and touched every person there and the whole building shook from the power and presence. Was the building just not designed to hold that much anointing, that much power or was the building rejoicing? I don’t know but what I get out of this is that God got excited! He answered them immediately. He gave them what they asked for and He did it with such personal zeal that everything shook. Man, I want to be in that meeting.

Does your heart leap at this idea? Does your spirit crave Holy Spirit encounters? Are you desperate for God to get loud in your meetings? Brother I am. Today’s passage shows us what we need, what Peter and John did that made God want to be in their meetings. Let’s do it too. Let’s get up off of that pew. Shake the building. Why not?

Audacious Faith

Romans 14: 23

But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin.
I’ve got to tell you the truth about this verse. I have been avoiding it for weeks if not months. I wrote it down on my verse list a long time ago and every time I look at it I decide it just seems too negative to write on. I like bringing the good news and words of encouragement. None the less, there is something our Father is trying to say, especially when we combine it with yesterday’s Word of the Day.  

Okay, so now we can finally nail down exactly what sin is. It is everything we do or say that is not from faith. Wow! Pardon me while I go repent……. Alright, I’m back. That is a lot to bite off isn’t? But we just learned yesterday that these are the very things which end up putting us in chains. So, here is why the out pouring of the Holy Spirit was so critical. We are to live every single moment in faith and we can only do that when we become acutely aware of the indwelling presence of God in us and with us. God, in His three persons, is with us every minute of every day. The problem comes in when we do not acknowledge His presence.

What is faith anyway? Well, Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Did that clear it up for you? Perhaps not. I like that definition and I draw upon it often but I also have to translate it for my personal application and this is how I use it. At its base, faith is simply “trust in God.” It is that assurance that God is proactive in my life. I love the word assurance. The American Heritage dictionary defines assurance as freedom from doubt, certainty. You’ve got to love that. It even goes so far as to use the words boldness and audacity. I love it! Am I audacious enough to simply believe God? Or even to believe that God is God? 

People of faith have resolved these big questions in their hearts. Many of us have assented to the idea intellectually but faith arises from your spirit. It does not issue from you mind. Those who walk in faith have a deep, abiding trust in God in their gut. Now, you cannot reason with these people. Don’t even try. Their assurance is not a product of reason. No matter how cogent your argument, it will not prevail because they are not listening with their minds. God has persuaded their hearts and the heart muscle is much stronger than the brain.

How can we become as bold as they? How can we learn to walk step by step in faith and trust? It all begins with that relationship with the Father, doesn’t it? Think of anyone you trust. Haven’t they proved their trustworthiness through the course of your relationship? But also, didn’t you have to extend a little trial trust in the early stages of that relationship? You didn’t begin trusting them with the big things, did you? So it is with God. We try to trust him to give us a new car when we haven’t even trusted Him with finding our car keys yet. So start small. Run some experiments. I literally trusted him to find my car keys once. Then you can try a little bigger test. Keep going. You will soon trust him for big things. Don’t worry if you miss it now and again. You will find that practice helps you hone your hearing and your ability to follow his leading.

I want to live in this space that Paul intimates in today’s passage. Can you imagine if we all walked in audacious faith 24/7? Even when we sleep we would sleep in faith. Let’s give it a go. It sounds like a great way to live.  

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