In the Presence of God
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
It is a great paradox that while God is everywhere and while He has gone to great lengths to restore us to himself, we do not always enjoy his presence. Grace means that we have been given this gift of a restored relation to God. We have been given access to mercy, love, and help in our time of need. We cannot earn this thing, but we can stubbornly refuse to appreciate it.
God says, boldly and confidently draw near to me. I will draw near to you and I will give you that which you need most. I will fulfill your desire for meaning and purpose. I will give you peace and rest. In me you will find the strength to handle the worst life has to offer.
What would ever stop us from enjoying this gift? The distraction of self is the answer. Our flesh nature is our own worst enemy, distracting the gaze of our soul from that which we need most. It is the pursuit of our shortsighted, defective appetites that prevents us from basking in God’s throne room of grace.
It is a cheap grace (or false grace) that says, God’s mercy means I can do whatever I want and still enjoy his forgiveness and love. While we cannot earn God’s gift with our behavior, we can spoil that which we were meant to enjoy. We were meant to possess love, grace, and life, but we instead pursue self to the end of misery and destruction.
This self-inflicted exile from God’s throne room is not always so obvious. Many of us, sadly, have grown accustomed to it. It is the unseen indulgence in bitterness, envy, pride, lust, anger, and the subtle focus on self, that distracts so many of us. Pursuit of self is our default mode and if we do not consciously choose to pursue God daily, we pursue self. We then wallow needlessly in our own sorrow, growing comfortably miserable outside God’s throne room of grace. Today however, I will boldly choose to enter the presence of the living God.