[forthright] Draw Near With Confidence

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Sat, 29 Jul 2006 11:37:41 -0500
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross


COLUMN: Field Notes

Draw Near With Confidence
by Michael Brooks

"Since then we have a great high priest who has
passed through the heavens, Jesus the son of God,
let us hold fast our confession. For we do not
have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our
weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all
things as we are, yet without sin. Let us
therefore draw near with confidence to the throne
of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find
grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:14-16).

When I first began traveling in the more remote
areas of the world, communication with home was
rare and difficult. Talking with my wife meant at
least a fifty-mile drive to the nearest government
telephone station, usually a wait of up to several
hours, and then hoping for a clear connection.
Rates were high and reception usually poor.

Technology has changed that greatly. Now there are
abundant telephones in most parts of most nations,
plus internet, satellite communication and much
more. Rates are much more affordable and reception
is often excellent. Formerly I was fortunate to
hear from home one time on a journey. Now, by one
method or another, I communicate nearly every day.
And I do communicate. This blessing does not go
unappreciated or unused. I can talk to those I
love, so I do, often.

What does it say of our spiritual relationship
with God when we go days, weeks or longer with
hardly a word between us? We have his Word (the
Bible) readily accessible almost anywhere and any
time. But how often do we listen to him (i.e.,
read our Bibles)? We can speak to him whenever we
choose –- anytime and any place -– but how often
do we utilize this opportunity.

The Hebrew writer reminds us that it is Jesus who
is our link to God. He is our perfect High Priest,
always in the presence of the Almighty and ready
to convey our thoughts and concerns. He loves us,
he knows us, and he gives help to us. We can draw
near to the throne of God with confidence, not
shame or guilt or fear. Why do we not do so more
often?

Perhaps it is sometimes that we do not perceive
the need. Life may seem good. We may experience
few problems and may feel that we are able to
handle those that we have. Why pray for that which
we don't need or perhaps even want? Why ask
another for what we think we can provide
ourselves?

Again it may be that we are not lonely. We don't
hunger for God's company or long to hear his
voice. The companionship of the world is
sufficient for us. There is much to do, many
distractions to enjoy, and no need to "trouble"
our Creator.

Frequently it seems that we are simply not
comfortable in God's presence. We have little to
say, perhaps not much common ground. His interests
are not ours, his goals are different from our
desires. It is not fear or guilt or shame that
make us uncomfortable, but simply that we have
grown apart. In this case we must always remember
that it is not God who has changed. And it is not
his goals for us that are suspect.

Regardless of our indifference, God's throne is
open, and Jesus continues to offer us access. If
we will return to him, he will listen. There will
always be that time of need, and he will always be
able and willing to help.

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