By Joyell Nevins – CFFM Blogger
“Before you say one word to God, imagine what it would be like to stand before His throne as you pray.” Francis Chan
I’ve never been to a king’s throne room (although I have stood in awe at the golden gates of Buckingham Palace), but I imagine it’s like the movies: a cavernous room, with a large throne chair at the end of a long hall.
Photo by Klapi courtesy of Wikimedia
God’s throne is probably a little less intimidating than the Game of Thrones style chair with swords, but still humbling. You’re brought to your knees out of reverence, or fear, or maybe a bit of both.
It is a common custom to bow before a king. In some cultures or time periods, a person could be jailed or even killed for looking a king in the eye. But our God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, with Jesus right there at His right hand, touches your chin, lifts your head, and looks you right in the face.
“So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.” Exodus 33:11 NKJV
The Power of Presence
Later on in this particular conversation, God offers to Moses, the leader of the children of Israel, to send them all into the Promised Land. God said He would send them with an angel and drive out their enemies, but “I will not go up in your midst” (Exodus 33:3).
Moses reply is ‘no deal’:
“Then [Moses] said to [the Lord], ‘If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.” Exodus 33:15 NKJV
That word “presence” is the Hebrew word פָּנִים pânîym, pronounced paw-neem. It most often translates to “face” (yes, like in Exodus 33:11). Moses said if I can’t be face to face with You in that kind of intimate relationship, then nothing else matters. Moses knew the power of the Lord’s presence.
The Psalmist King David knew it too, reminding himself and others to:
“Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually.” Psalm 105:4 NASB
“When You said, Seek My face,” My heart said to You, Your face, O Lord, I will seek.” Psalm 27:8 NKJV
The Psalms are full of David’s conversations with the Lord – he speaks to the Almighty like one would to a close personal friend. David shares his deepest thoughts and desires without fear, knowing the Lord is a safe place.
“…the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” Psalm 62:8 NKJV
Still Seeking – and Finding
But, that was David, a man after God’s own heart, and Moses, who helped establish a nation and wrote the 10 Commandments. Does this still apply to us, who are regular people in the 21st century?
Without a doubt. God through James promised:
“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8A NKJV
Plus, Jesus Christ has opened the door for ANYONE who desires it to have that personal, face-to-face relationship with God!
“For [Jesus] himself is our peace, who has made both [God and us] one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation…for through him we both have access by one spirit to the Father.” Ephesians 2:14, 18 NKJV (read the middle verses here)
God’s throne room is referred to in Hebrews as a throne room of grace. It’s because of Jesus, who understands every temptation we face, yet made it without sin, that we can walk with confidence into God’s palace.
“For we do not have a High Priest [Jesus] who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16 NKJV
When He Looks at You
Come back in your mind’s eye with me to that cavernous throne room. You’re in front of God and His honored son, you’ve bowed, and God has lifted your head to look you in the face.
What emotions and convictions envelop you? Are you reminded of your purpose? Are you able to let go of something detrimental you’ve clutched tight for too long? Are you finally at peace?
Whatever God brings to your heart, it is accompanied by love. Kneeling and seeing His face, you are overwhelmingly filled with His deep, everlasting love.
“The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying, ‘Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” Jeremiah 31:3 NKJV
“We love Him because He first loved us.” I John 4:19 NKJV
Loved ones, seek His face. Bask in His presence. Know that, as Pastor Kevin reminds us, God is closer to you than your very breath. You can commune with Him face-to-face as someone would speak to their friend.