Come with Confidence (Hebrews 4:16)

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

Several years back, we had a changing of the guard in my department at school. John, our dean for some 10 years, retired, making way for Andy, who had been a professor since before I arrived on the scene. Although I always got along wonderfully with John, others had a hard time with the man. They found him difficult to deal with. Pretty much everyone agrees that Andy is terrific in the role.

Recently, I had to beg off of attending graduation since I had managed to book myself doing something else that evening. Penny worried about this, assuming that I’d be in deep difficulty as a result. I knew better. I walked in to Andy’s office and, confident of his response, said, “I’m going to need to skip graduation tonight. I’ll go twice next year if you like.” He smiled and nodded, reminding me to return my rented regalia so the school would receive credit.

It’s nice to be able to approach the permission-giver with confidence. It’s nice to be able to ask, even when you know the response is in question, and still be certain that you won’t come out both with a “no” and feeling a fool. It’s especially nice to be able to approach, knowing that you’ve earned the right to be given strong consideration for whatever you ask.

That’s never how it will be with God. I will never have earned any rights from God. Like Isaiah, I should be terrified at prospect of standing before my God, knowing that I’m a man of sinful lips (and hands, mind, and feet). That’s what is so great about Jesus.

Confidently, I can approach the throne of grace in the name of Jesus. That’s it. In the name of Jesus, I have standing. Without it, I’m reduced to a cinder in no time.

How often do we remind ourselves as we come to pray just how amazing it is that we can bring that petition in the name of Jesus? I’ll confess that I don’t keep that idea in the front of my consciousness. What about you?