I was reminded today, as I was attempting to get help on a digital lock at the church, of our immediate access to God. First, I had to look for a bit to find the phone number. I was a little surprised that it was actually on the “Home Page!” The balloon of enthusiasm lost air once I attempted to navigate the phone tree that required me to leave a message. We all know how that works, with our messages floating around in the digital ether. The sad reality is that this has become a norm in just about every area of our lives. This unfortunate truth makes the Creators immediate access to you that much more significant.
I know that all of us have been in situations like the one mentioned above. The truth be told, we could probably share something from each day of this past week. This current reality of self-support or no support emphasizes one of the great truths about our Creator. It is that He is available at any time, at any location, twenty-four hours each day. It is not only that He is available but that He is committed to help individuals grow and develop a personal relationship with Him!
The Apostle John alludes to a few of the blessings for those that have chosen to follow of Jesus. “To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (Revelation 1:5a–6) There are some profound realities listed here, but I want to focus on one phrase. If you are interested in the others, you can check our last week’s message here. I want to draw your attention to the phrase, “made us a kingdom, priest to his God and Father,” The kingdom emphasizes the importance of corporate ministry of the local church, while the priesthood reminds us of the importance of individual ministry.
The Old Testament priests were the mediators between God and man. They were the connecting point between the two. They made God available to the people and helped the people to come to God. The intercessory role of the priest has been replaced by direct access to God. The Apostle Peter puts it this way, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9) What these verses and other reveal is that you not only represent God to those that do not yet know Him. You also have direct access to God.
Think about the last time you, or someone you know, attempted to visit a doctor. The reality today is that you are given the chance to make an appointment. It is sad that it takes binoculars to see the scheduled date! Just imagine, in just about every area of our lives we are put on hold. But we have direct access to God, immediate access, no matter where we are and at any time! It is a shame that we fail to take advantage of his strength during those tough times. We ignore his wisdom during times of uncertainty. And we squander the joy that would overflow from times together. The final reality is that others are isolated from God because of us. The writer of Hebrews states it best, “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 )
-Pastor Joe Parkinson