One day in prayer the Lord showed me a vision (nothing grandiose, just a mental picture) of athletes running a 100 metre hurdles race. A race where they have to leap over a number of waist-high barriers before they get to the finish line.
In my heart, I felt an impression from God, saying ”take the barriers away from My people that stop them entering My Presence.”
What barriers do you have to leap over to get to God and enjoy His Presence and His fellowship?
Man-made religion erects barriers between God and man.
Jesus breaks them. Correction. He has broken them.
Here’s some barriers that I’ve experienced personally and I’ve heard from other people:
- I’ve sinned today, this week, this…
- I haven’t spent enough time with God
- I need to be praying an hour a day
- I need to earn His Presence through a consistent prayer life (this is a very common thought which has, at its heart, a devilish lie).
With regard to the last one, I know people who feel like they can’t “press into God’s Presence” at a church service during worship because they haven’t prayed that day, that week or for a consistent period.
What is this quick, simple way to enjoy God’s Presence much more?
Realise that there is nothing, yes, absolutely nothing, you can do to earn God’s Presence. Jesus earnt it for you. Completely. Forever. Joyfully. Willingly.
The alternative to this is frightening.
If Jesus did not earn and merit and open the way for your full and confident and bold approach to God, who can?
If you are left to your own prayer life – its intensity or consistency, your moral perfection, your behavioral record to earn and deserve God’s Presence, or a greater measure of God’s Presence, answer me this…
What is enough? When is enough?
What will you exchange for a measure of confidence and boldness to enter His Presence – anytime, anywhere – and enjoy Him forever?
The truth is God never ever meant for you to earn His Presence, for such a gift, such a privilege and such a honour cannot be earnt.
It must be graciously given and bestowed. And it has. In Christ. And it will not be taken away from you.
So what does the Word of God say about this? Here’s 3 scriptures that have meant an enormous amount to me and to others:
- “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,…” (Heb 10:19)
- “In whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.” (Eph 3:12)
- “15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb 4:15-16).
What these scriptures convey will revolutionise your prayer life.
Notice where your boldness and confidence comes from. Not from the regularity or intensity of your prayer life, your moral perfection (or lack thereof), not even your behaviour today or any other day.
Your boldness to enter His Presence comes from the blood of Jesus and faith in Him!
What does this mean at its simplest?
Your boldness and confidence before God was not founded on your life, it was founded on His life. His record is what ‘gets you into’ the Presence of God, not yours!
This means you are relying on Christ’s perfect record to approach and enjoy God, not your own imperfect record.
But many of us look to things we are doing or not doing to dictate to us our confidence and boldness before God.
This is not relationship with Christ, this is man-made religion and it will make a fearful coward out of you.
Romans 5:1-2 highlights this exciting truth of our approach to God, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
Justified by faith. Access by faith.
Not justified by faith and then access by works or your record.
When you understand this, you can come boldly and confidently before Him. Why? Because your eyes are on Christ and not on yourself!
So, this weekend, when you go into church and the praise and worship music starts, remember this…
You have boldness, confidence and sheer unadulterated joy to enter His Presence because of Jesus Christ alone. His Work will never be undone.
Honour Christ today.
Put a smile on your face and come before Him unashamed! Enjoy Him and His free and bountiful Presence this day!