Having free and unfettered access to the immediate Presence of God is truly awesome in the richest and deepest meaning of the word.
We talk about it often, people express it in their prayer ‘sermons’ (forgetting that they are supposed to be talking to God and not the congregation) that we can now come into the holy of holies not as sinners (not that we could ever have done that) but as those adopted by God as sons.
But as the singing, shouting, praise and dancing is joined by an ever-increasing throng of those are being added by God’s unrelenting, amazing grace the question has to be asked, now that you have all this access to God, what are you going to do?
For a moment some silliness will surely prevail. Realising something wonderful has happened, many have mistakenly took the opportunity to make it a season of declaration, proclamation and most oddly, ‘making decrees’. Much of this is just imagination and nothing more – heaven is not at hand to do our bidding.
So, we stand in God’s Presence whilst living here on earth. What can you actually do? In the natural nothing has actually changed, and you certainly don’t have any super-powers at your disposal. But there definitely is something remarkable – and you may not have considered it.
We are welcomed and propelled by God’s grace into God’s presence as more than just sons. In Christ, and because of his efficacious work we are the redeemed of the Lord. We have been purchased for God by Christ’s redeeming blood. All of our sin has been forgiven, atoned for and removed to such a degree that God in all of His holiness looks on us and sees nothing but the righteousness of Christ both imputed and imparted to us. (It’s worth considering the implication of those words.) No shame, no guilt and totally reconciled to God. We were enemies of God, now we are enjoying more than friendship, we are the sons of God – infinitely loved, accepted and approved by Him i
In the garden of Eden history suffers a malfunction and we find in the chaos of the exceeding sinfulness of sin as God calls to Man, that Adam hides himself, covering himself with the leaves of a tree that he was free to eat of. Here is man hiding from God, knowing (as Jonah did) that God is everywhere, knows everything, sees everything. John 1:3 tells us that everything was made for him and through him, and nothing exists that was not made by him. (Col 1:16) It’s a big issue because God did want us merely as the redeemed, reconciled and spiritually adjusted people. God does not need anything and you have nothing that can tip that balance.
There is something that grace teaches us – we don’t have to praise God, we want to. God’s grace stirs our hearts to radical action. We want to bless Him, praise and honour him, not just with words and thought, but with deeds, expressing our love for him by serving and ministering to others. But it all starts by the truth that we have direct and full access to God. Where Adam is found to be hiding, we are now in the worshipful place of discovery where we say like Isaiah, “Here am I!” It’s a place where we now should be and are, and we now belong there.
That intimacy, is prime factor of it all. Access to the most holy of holies without having to go through all of the rituals that the high priest had to go through, speaks of relationship. We are unhindered by our past or present sinfulness. That is a difficult pill for some to swallow, but Christ died for our sins once. We were not forgiven just our past sins to enable us to have another go at life with a fresh start. There is no fresh start for any of us. We were dead in our sins and in Christ He made us alive, having removed our sin and then enmity that was between God and us. We are a new creation and now find ourselves, like Peter and John at the passover and many other times, sat with Jesus, enjoying His Presence.
People assume that everything should have purpose, reason, focus. If we have access to the immediate Presence of God there must be something that we have to do. Right now in His presence you can do nothing other than be thanking, blessing, praising and adoring Him. When Jesus died on the Cross the curtain that kept both God and man from each other in the temple, tore open from top to bottom. It was an act of God, welcoming man into His wonderful Presence.
In His presence there is an overwhelming atmosphere of the possibility of miracles, healing, reconciliation and answers. The air is thick with providence, sovereignty, wisdom, holiness and love. Unconditional, deep and infinite love. It’s the place where you say “Here I am Lord”, and He responds, “I Am’, and like real friends, you enjoy each others presence.
Being in His Presence has consequence, your life changes. That’s why we are being changed from glory unto glory. (2 Cor 3:18)
- Oops! I had to correct something here – I originally wrote that we are enjoying more than sonship, we are the friends of God. I quickly realised my mistake, hence this revision. Nothing is greater than the deep intimacy that comes not just of being friends with God, but being adopted, welcomed and affirmed as the very children of God – the sole initiative of God. (back)