Unstaggering Confidence at the Throne of Grace Part 1
- Mark Altrogge Senior Pastor, Lord of Life Church, IN
- 2002 10 Jan
"Who is this that dares to call me?" the voice erupts. "What is your registration number?"
Sweat trickling down my neck, I mutter, "I...um...forgot to mail it in."
Last summer I bought a new computer for my little home-recording studio. One reason I bought this particular model was to avoid ever having to call tech support. You see, my computer-savvy friend Steve Cook had the same computer. Steve told me to call whenever I needed help. No flames, smoke, or registration number required.
One night I took him up on his offer.
Graciously, he listened to my problem and guided me toward the solution. "Mark, do you see that little apple icon in the upper left corner of the screen?" he said. "Click on it."
This was what I needed--someone to tell me to click on the little apple! Using plain English, Steve got my computer up and running again.
In a similar way, I often feel intimidated entering into worship. In fact, the longer I walk with Christ, the more aware I seem to become of my sins, selfish motives, and general unworthiness to stand in Gods presence. I can identify with Pauls experience in Romans 7: when I want to do good, sin is right there with me.
Meanwhile Satan, the accuser of the brethren, is quick to weigh in. "How can you presume to lead worship? Have you forgotten that conflict you had with your wife last night? You hypocrite!"
Do you lead corporate worship? Even if you do, I bet you can identify with this feeling.
Hebrews 4:14-16 provides great comfort for all worshipers who struggle with fear and intimidation:
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin. 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.
Because we have a great high priest on the throne of grace, we should come to it with, in the words of Charles Spurgeon, "unstaggering confidence."
In his message "The Throne of Grace," Spurgeon describes this throne:
It is...set up on purpose for the dispensation of grace; a throne from which every utterance is an utterance of grace; the scepter that is stretched out from it is the scepter of grace; the decrees proclaimed from it are purposes of grace; the gifts that are scattered down its golden steps are gifts of grace; and he that sits upon the throne is grace itself.
For believers, Gods throne is not called the Throne of Law or the Throne of Condemnation, but the Throne of Grace.
Because of the shed blood of Jesus, there is now no wrath, no eternal judgment, and no condemnation remaining for us who have called upon Christ. All that remains for us is Gods favor.
I was far more confident calling my friend Steve for computer help than some anonymous tech-head because I knew him to be not only capable, but also gracious and eager to bless me.
Over the next few weeks, we will reflect further on the idea that worship is an invitation to the throne of Jesus Christ, where there is only grace and favor waiting for us. May this thought give us great joy and confidence as we approach Him in worship.
Mark Altrogge is senior pastor of PDI's Lord of Life Church in Indiana, Pennsylvania, where he has also led worship since 1976. An internationally known songwriter, Mark has published more than 150 songs with PDI, including the classic songs, "I Stand in Awe," and "I'm Forever Grateful." He has written on worship for numerous magazines, and is a popular speaker at worship conferences. Mark also writes and produces the Scripture memory series, Hide the Word (www.forevergratefulmusic.com).