by Pastor Tim Burt
Forty-three years ago and prior to my receiving Jesus personally as my Lord and my Savior, I held an ignorant belief. I ignorantly believed that Almighty God was high in Heaven on His throne having to respond to billions of people. He couldn’t possibly think about or care about all that I was concerned with. He was up there. I was down here. He was busy. I was insignificant. My thinking was, I’ll only bother Him only in extreme emergencies and even then, I won’t get my hopes up. That was ignorant and wrong thinking formed through the non-biblical ideas and input of others, unbiblical religious training, and my own imagination. Hosea 4:6 KJV says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” At that is why I was misguided in my thinking—because of a lack of knowledge of God’s Word. Lack isn’t even the right word. I had zero knowledge about that the Bible said. Can you imagine that? 12 years of religious training and no one ever taught me a thing from the Bible? If that sounds crazy it is! And because of it, my ignorant thinking had nothing to do with the reality of whom God is, how He thinks, or how He works in our life. That kind of ignorance hurts and robs us of the critical knowledge of God that He wants us to know of Himself, and that under-girds our faith.
It is almost automatic to feel inadequate in the presence of God. In every Bible instance, everyone always has. But He doesn’t want us to feel that way! That’s why I love the verse Hebrews 4:16 NIV that says, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” This throne is God’s throne. It is something as a believer, that we can approach with confidence—not the feeling of inadequacy. Prior to receiving Jesus as our personal Savior, we did not have this available to us. But as a believer, we now do!
Before Jesus died on the cross for our sins, man was separated from God by sin. We couldn’t enter into His presence. When Jesus paid the price for sin, the barrier of sin between God and man was removed. We only had to do two things. First, believe Jesus was who He said He was, and second, receive Jesus as our Savior and Lord—as the sacrifice for our sins. If we did so, we could then enter God’s presence forevermore. Then this truth would become true for us. Isaiah 43:25-27 (NIV) “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”
When Jesus gave His life as a sacrifice for us, He cleansed us from our sins. He removed the flaws and blemishes of our life that make us feel shame and inadequate in His presence. He removed all that separated us from a intimate relationship with God.
No longer would I think, He’s up there and I’m down here, and I’m too insignificant for God to think about. That was never true!
I am told to approach the throne room of God, prepared to boldly receive mercy, and to ask God for His grace—(His supernatural mercy and help) for living my life out before Him. I can do this boldly because I live by faith in the fact that Jesus has washed my sins away and put His robe of righteousness on me. Because of Jesus, God sees me as righteous because of what Jesus did, not because of my own worthiness.
When you stop to spend time with God and pray, you may feel woefully unclean and woefully inadequate. But if you did, you’d be rejecting what Jesus did for you. It is His gift to you. My thoughts and actions too often fall short of what they should be. I am humbled in His presence. His loving me despite my shortcomings, and His sacrifice that cleanses me from unrighteousness, makes me love Him that much more. It makes me want to live according to the instruction of His word. And my love for Him continues to grow knowing that He desires to help me, love me, and continually offer His grace—His mercy and supernatural help. I may have walked ignorant of what God did for me and has offered me at one point in my life, but never again!
God alone is God because of His ability to love and help countless billions of people—each one personally and with great affection—and all at the same time. That is what makes Him God. We don’t need an appointment with God. He is not too busy. We aren’t inadequate—we are acceptable and we are His beloved. And we are invited anytime and always to His the throne of grace. Glory to God!
Philippians 4:6 (TLB) “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for His answers”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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