The Throne Room

Imagine you are walking down the corridor of an enormous throne room.  The walls are made of gold, draped in precious jewels of many colors.  As your eyes follow the wall up, you are taken back by the enormous gold arched cathedral ceiling adorned with more stones and pearls.  It is the backdrop of a host of angelic beings encircling above shouting “Hosanna to God in the highest!”

Your heart pounds furiously and your steps grow smaller as you approach a doorway into a vast room.  The light radiating from it is blinding, but you squint, trying desperately to see inside.

God, in all His glory, sits on the throne, surrounded by more angelic courtiers and attendants.  Some stand before Him, some bow at His feet but all have reverential respect on their faces as their eyes are focused on one thing, the King.

Access to the throne of God is available only through proper protocol, like any earthly king.  His enormous white robes flow onto the golden ground and His radiance is so bright you are forced to turn away.

Fear over comes you.  Your chest is heavy and you can’t breath.  You feel faint, thinking, “How can I come to God?  I am, but a sinner.  I am unworthy to even be in His courtyard.  I’m unsure of what to say or even how to say it.  Thou’s, thee’s, thus’s, I cannot speak in such holy words…maybe I should go back.  He already knows what I need, what I desire.  He doesn’t need me to pray.  He’s omniscient, omnipresent, omnipowerful.  But if I do speak, will he even hear my simple words?”

Then a figure walks out from behind the flowing robes.  A crown of many crowns adorns His head, three, four, five tiers high.  Royal angels surround Him as He walks towards you, they are ready to execute any command He speaks.

His radiance is glorious as His arms widen and the scars on his wrists become evident.  You fall to your face but soon feel the warmth of His hand on your back, then on your arm, as He helps you up.  He leads you to the throne of God, assuring you that He is “your advocate and will speak in your defense.” (I John 2:1)

 

To know that Jesus stands before God to intercede with us is so utterly awesome.  It assures me that when my anger flares and I barge into the throne room, forgetting all etiquette, Jesus is up there defending my actions.  After all, He is a High Priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses.  He has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet without sin.  (Hebrews 4:15)    He understands our human nature and goes before God, fighting our battles, voicing our causes, asking for the fulfillment of our desires.

Can you think of anyone better to approach the throne of God with then Jesus Himself?

For many years I skated along with a somewhat simple prayer time.  I prayed, but shamefully, not very effective.  It wasn’t exciting, it wasn’t life changing.  But the old cliché is ever true…prayer DOES change things, only there is one hitch…you must pray.

It’s a simple concept.  Why it is so difficult at times, I don’t know.  1 Thessalonians 5:17 says “pray continually.”  And we must, where ever we are and whatever we are doing.

I used to believe my words weren’t eloquent enough to approach God, and that used to keep me from going to the throne.  But I’ve learned to not get hung up on how to pray, but to just pray.  Yes, He is God and He deserves every ounce of our fear, reverence and respect.  But He asks one thing, for us to come to Him just as we are.

Jesus does the rest.

If you remain in me and my words in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you.  John 5:7

Glorify Him through your prayers!  Give Him a reason to answer!

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A Dark Place

Last week I had made a decision that I had been praying about for months, I was excited but also afraid because I never feel good enough to do what God calls me to do. With the encouragement of many Godly people I admire and trust, I had decided to move forward, to take the leap, to venture out with God.

Before I could even take an outward baby step, Satan hit me hard and before I knew it I was in a dark place. He played the same ol broken record he always plays for me. Telling me I’m not good enough, I’m not smart enough, I’m not spiritual enough. I tried not to listen to it but through some physical circumstances and mental attacks I totally backed away from where I believed God was leading me.

It’s scary the influence Satan can have. I was in a limbo for a few days, a dark place. I wanted to crawl into bed and hide. I didn’t. I couldn’t. I know enough about Spiritual warfare to know that I have to continue on with God’s work even though I wasn’t sure about anything anymore.

After a couple of days the dark cloud began to lift but my world was a still a dark shade of gray. Satan wounded me. I am very apprehensive and even now, I am limbo on my decision. I even question whether it was Satan stopping me from doing something for God or God stopping me from making a big mistake. It’s something I continue to pray about, waiting for some confirmation from God before taking that step out.

I would say the majority of the time I never feel spiritual enough to do the things God calls me to do and maybe I never will. Maybe if I ever did feel spiritually good enough I’d be swimming in the sin of pride.

As I continue on, the gray is turning a lighter shade and I try desperately to see His will I am remind of a quote by Vince Lombardi, “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”

I was knocked down, I was even knocked out for a while but I got up and I believe it’s not just the getting up that’s important but it’s continuing on with the next play.

“I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 3:14 NIV

John Journal

We had an assignment in a Bible study. We were to read the scripture Mark 5:35-45 then pretend we were John, the beloved disciple, and write a journal entry for the day’s events.

Mark 5:35-45 NIV

While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher any more?” Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James.  When they came to the home of the synagogue ruler, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly.  He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.”  But they laughed at him.

After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was.  He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”).  Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.  He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.

My journal entry as John:

I have seen many miracles since I began to follow Jesus but I was not prepared for what happened today.  The crowds were pressing into us but Jesus continued to heal the sick.  He never looked exhausted but He must’ve felt it.

But when the news came to Jairus that his daughter had already died, my heart dropped.  You could see the sorrow and disappointment on the ruler’s face.  He had believed Jesus could save her, but now it was too late.

I was surprised but thankful Jesus called Peter, James and myself to go with Him to Jairus’ house.  Frankly, that crowd had worn me out.  Jesus walked with His arm around the heartbroken man. He repeated what He had said earlier in front of the crowd, “Do not be afraid, just believe.”

I was behind them and wanted to ask “believe what” but I kept silent.

When we got to house there was already a crowd of mourners.  Jesus surprised us when He told them that the child was only sleeping and I cringed when their tears turned into laughter.  It didn’t seem to bother Jesus one bit.  He went inside and took the mother’s shaking hand, gently wiping the tears from her cheeks before motioning for us to follow Him into the room and close the door.

He went to the child and knelt before her.  He took her cold, lifeless hand and spoke with an authority that made me fall to my knees.  He said, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”

I was astonished beyond words as the twelve-year-old girl immediately stood, embracing Jesus first, then her parents.   We were all caught up in the excitement and forgot that the little girl had been sick for weeks and was sure to be hungry.  Jesus laughed and danced with Jairus and his daughter as her mother prepared a banquet in celebration.  Jesus told them not to tell anyone but the news spread anyway.

Later that night I overheard Peter talking to James at the fire.  Peter said Jesus had to distinguish her by holding her hand and calling her “little girl” or all the dead would’ve rose at His command.

If I ever had an inkling of doubt, I don’t anymore.  Jesus truly is the Messiah.