“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 (ESV)
God’s throne room has no nose bleed section, yet all too often this is exactly where we see ourselves and even worse, where we see others.
As His children, to live as though we are still on the outside looking in through the window of the Father’s house is to live in a false reality that denies His reality (Ephesians 2:19) and treats the finished work of Christ as well, not so finished. Do we really believe He is good? I am convinced that the majority of spiritual battles can be won, by simply convincing the unconvinced of this one truth!
Moreover, not only is there no nose bleed section, He has actually “seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” – Ephesians 2:6 (ESV) This means, we are called to not only approach His throne of grace with boldness, but to also co-rule with Him in extending that grace to the world around us! By His blood, not our achievements, God has now raised up the blue collar, the white collar, and the no collar priesthood. We have all been given the awesome privilege AND responsibility to host His presence here on the earth.
Hosting The Throne Of His Presence
To host His presence is to also host His throne, AND to host His grace. The more we draw people to His throne, the more we draw them to His rule over darkness. This is why I am so insane about hosting the presence of God! I step aside, God shows up, He does the work…and work I cannot do anyway. I like that. When we host His throne, we are hosting His salvation, His healing and His power to deliver!
However, I must also warn you that to host His throne can be risky business…well, risky to our business anyway. Since grace is released from His throne of grace, it’s in that environment of worship that the GRACE-gifts of the Holy Spirit begin to flow through His people,…his IMPERFECT people! And imperfect people will eventually make messes. That is why many opt out for something more “safe”. But hey, that’s why there’s a throne of grace! As leaders, we cannot allow fear, laziness or an unwillingness to practice discernment from allowing His gifts of grace to flow from the very throne of grace (1 Corinthians 12-14). Otherwise, all we are left with is a manufactured grace of self-help techniques, void of the Spirit’s power. Certainly, there’s nothing wrong with reading the latest book on “Seven Steps To Break Your Habit”, but let’s not confuse that with the actual power of the Holy Spirit to supernaturally set us free!
Hosting Our Throne
Who’s throne are we hosting then? If we’re not hosting God’s throne, then we’re hosting another throne and it’s usually our throne. Believe me, my throne is a decroded piece of crap, as Napoleon Dynamite once said, with no power to change anyone’s life. We need to get more people around His throne, not ours. One challenge we face however, is that we often see God’s throne room the same way we have structured the average spectator-friendly, concert-like church service. The focal point is the stage (Showtime!), then there’s the band and so on. Isn’t that where the throne is? Now, I love a good praise band that can rock out, however, we must also take spiritual inventory and ask, “Are we merely raising up Jesus-fans, or are we raising up an actual priesthood that can host the presence of the Lord, even while standing in the Walmart checkout line?'” In the man-made throne room built around spectatorship, the lines between clergy and laity can become more and more defined, until one’s own personal call to priesthood is no longer realized.
For me as a church leader, my problem was elitism. I was one of the few, the proud…I was one of God’s Marines. I was His own personal “guard” to the throne room…just like the Pharisees (Matthew 23:13). For instance, the closer you were to the stage in worship, the closer you were to the “throne” and the more committed you were. The backsliders, well, they just sat in the back, of course. Oh, and I pray a lot more than you too. I’m always in the throne room. This all may sound silly but it can be deadly serious, destroying the simple faith and devotion to the Lord we are called to. Elitism is a good sign we may be hosting another throne, man’s throne. And at it’s very core, is really nothing more than a cult. As for me, I was hosting my own throne of judgment, but certainly not His throne of grace.
When we host our throne, a couple of things must happen to keep the machine running. (1) Manipulate. Stuff just ain’t happenin’, so I’m gonna make it happen, even if it takes a little hype and/or spiritual abuse to get us there. (2) Cover. Behind the scenes, our lives suck. Sure there’s no power to change, but we’ve got to keep up the image because we’re supposed to be reaching people…or something. There is a better way. Let’s cease from our own efforts and instead, host the throne of His efforts, already finished on the cross for us!
Brought Near By His Blood, Not Our Sweat
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” – Ephesians 2:13 (ESV)
Frankly, I can’t think up enough filler to add to this verse, so for a more thoroughly exegetical and exhaustively detailed exposition on Ephesians 2:13, I now leave you with your old pal Grover. Good day!