March 21, 2011
The Right Credentials
“In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3:12, NIV).
Friend to Friend
One of my favorite people is author and speaker Patsy Clairmont. We were discussing my first book on the telephone one day and trying to set up a time to meet face-to-face when she came to speak at a Women of Faith Conference in my hometown.
“Patsy, I’d love to spend some time with you before the conference, but I don’t have a backstage pass. I won’t have access to the part of the building where you will be.”
“No problem,” Patsy replied. “Just go to my book table and tell my son who you are. He’ll bring you to me.”
The day of the conference arrived, and I swam through a sea of women to reach Patsy’s crowded book table. After proper introductions, Jason and I were off to find his mom. First we passed through heavy mahogany double doors that led to an area called, The Crown Room, for the VIP’s who attended professional basketball games and other events.
Then we entered an elevator that took us to an area where the speakers were tucked away. As soon as we stepped into the elevator, a stern faced security guard rushed in, pointed his finger in my face and pronounced, “Where’s your backstage pass? You’re not supposed to be here, young lady. You’re in a lot of trouble.”
Then he whipped out his walkie-talkie and was not afraid to use it. Before I could force one word out of my dry mouth, Patsy’s son stepped forward, showed the guard his credentials, and gallantly stated, “It’s OK. I’m one of the speaker’s sons. I have a backstage pass and she’s with me.”
“That’s right,” I agreed when I had once again found my voice. “He’s Patsy Clairmont’s son, and I’m with him.”
“Oh, okay then,” the guard said as he put the walkie-talkie back in its holster. He exited the elevator and he was off to seek and find other dangerous Christian women like myself who were attending the conference.
I had a wonderful visit with Patsy and left the conference very inspired by each one of the speakers. But perhaps the most important lesson I learned was on that elevator ride. Revelation 12:10 says that Satan, “the accuser,” stands before God accusing us day and night. He calls us “unworthy” and questions our credentials as he points his gnarly finger and tells us we’re not good enough to pass through heaven’s doors. But just when we begin to feel unworthy to approach the throne room, God’s Son, like Patsy’s son, steps forward and says, “Leave her alone. She’s with me, and I’m all the credentials she needs.”
In the Old Testament, there is a sense that God was unapproachable because of His holiness and our sinfulness. In the temple a veil separated the Holy of Holies where God resided, from the other areas of the temple where the priests attended daily. The high priest entered the Holy of Holies only once a year, on the Day of Atonement. Before he could enter, the priest went through a rigorous ceremonial cleansing process. Bells were hemmed to the bottom of his robe and a rope was tied around his ankle. When the priest entered the Holy of Holies, the men outside listened for the tinkling bells to make sure he was still alive. If God was not pleased, and the sound of the bells ceased, they pulled the dead priest out by the rope.
But in the New Testament all that changed. God was and is still the holy great I AM, but He welcomes us into the Holy of Holies with the confidence of a child approaching her daddy. When Jesus died on the cross of Calvary, God tore the veil of the Holy of Holies from top to bottom, inviting all those who believe in His Son as Savior and Lord to enter with assurance and confidence. (Mark 15:38). The writer of Hebrews encourages us, “Let us then approach the 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). Paul reminds us, “In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3:12).
Just like the security guard who pointed his finger in my face and told me I didn’t have the right credentials to enter the secured area, Satan will tell us that we don’t deserve to enter into God’s presence. But just as Patsy’s son showed his credentials to allow me to enter the secured room, Jesus Christ stands to show his credentials that allow us to enter the throne room of God. As a child of God, your Father welcomes you into His presence. Not only that…He longs for you to come.
Heavenly Father, I know that there is no way I could ever be good enough to earn my way to heaven. Thank You that Jesus did it for me, and He is all the credentials I need.
In Him Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Has Satan ever tried to make you feel like you weren’t good enough?
If so, then here are a few verses that let him know exactly who and Whose you are!
- I am the salt of the earth. (Matthews 5:13)
- I am the light of the world. (Matthews 5:14)
- I am a child of God. (John 1:12)
- I am part of the true vine, a channel (branch) of Christ's life. (John 15:15)
- I am Christ's friend. (John 15:15)
- I am chosen and appointed by Christ to bear His fruit. (John 15:16)
· I am a joint-heir with Christ, sharing His inheritance with Him. (Romans 8:14-15)
· I am a temple of God. His Spirit dwells in me. (1 Corinthians 3:16)
- I am joined to the Lord and am one spirit with Him. (1 Corinthians 6:17)
- I am a member (part) of Christ's body. (1 Corinthians 12:27)
- I am a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- I am reconciled to God and am a minister of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:18,19)
- I am a saint. (Ephesians 1:1)
- I am blessed with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places. (Ephesians 1:3)
More from the Girlfriends
Today’s devotion was taken from Sharon’s new book, 5 Dreams of Every Woman and How God Wants to Fulfill Them(a new revised version of her previous book, Dreams of a Woman). Can you risk the hope that God still has dreams for your life? That He hasn’t forgotten you? Place your hand firmly in His-take a deep breath and begin the exciting journey to a place you thought you’d never find: the dream God planned for you all along. Sharon also has a laminated prayer cardfilled with verses to help you remember your identity in Christ.
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