Boldness Before the Throne

Let us, then, feel very sure that we can come before God’s throne where there is grace. HEBREWS 4:16

Jesus tells us … ,“When you pray, pray like this. ‘Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come.’”

When you say, “Thy kingdom come,” you are inviting the Messiah himself to walk into your world. “Come, my King! Take your throne in our land. Be present in my heart. Be present in my office. Come into my marriage. Be Lord of my family, my fears, and my doubts.” This is no feeble request; it’s a bold appeal for God to occupy every corner of your life.

[And] who are you to ask such a thing? Who are you to ask God to take control of your world? You are his child, for heaven’s sake! And so you ask boldly.


The Great House of God

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Without Form and Void

“I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.” (Jeremiah 4:23)

The language in this verse is clearly patterned after Genesis 1:2, the description of the primordial earth: “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” That it is a metaphor, however, and not an actual reference to that primordial earth is evident from its context. The previous verse speaks of “my people” (that is, the people of Judah) and the following verse of “the mountains” (there were no mountains as yet at the time of Genesis 1:2).

Furthermore, the broader context makes it plain that the prophet is speaking of a coming judgment on the land of Judah because of the rebellion of its people against their God (verse 16 specifically mentions Judah, and verse 31 mentions Zion). The land is to be so devastated that the prophet compared its future appearance to the unformed and barren earth at its very beginning.

This ultimate fulfillment will be at Armageddon. The same Hebrew words (tohu for “without form,” and bohu for “void”) occur again in this context in an awesome scene of judgment described by Isaiah: “For the indignation of the Lord is upon all nations” (34:2), gathered together in the former land of Edom to fight against Jerusalem when Christ returns, “and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion |i.e., tohu|, and the stones of emptiness |i.e., bohu|” (34:11). Instead of the regular surveyor’s line and markers ordering the property boundaries, God’s judgment will bring such disorder and barrenness to the land that it almost will seem to revert back to its primeval state at the beginning of time. “Nevertheless we, . . . look for new heavens and a new earth” (2 Peter 3:13), and that earth will be beautiful and bountiful with “no night there” (Revelation 22:5). HMM

Chosen in the furnace of affliction

“I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” Isaiah 48:10

Comfort thyself, tried believer, with this thought: God saith, “I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” Does not the word come like a soft shower, assuaging the fury of the flame? Yea, is it not an asbestos armour, against which the heat hath no power?

Let affliction come—God has chosen me. Poverty, thou mayst stride in at my door, but God is in the house already, and He has chosen me. Sickness, thou mayst intrude, but I have a balsam ready—God has chosen me.

Whatever befalls me in this vale of tears, I know that He has “chosen” me. If, believer, thou requirest still greater comfort, remember that you have the Son of Man with you in the furnace.

In that silent chamber of yours, there sitteth by your side One whom thou hast not seen, but whom thou lovest; and ofttimes when thou knowest it not, He makes all thy bed in thy affliction, and smooths thy pillow for thee. Thou art in poverty; but in that lovely house of thine the Lord of life and glory is a
frequent visitor. He loves to come into these desolate places, that He may visit thee.

Thy friend sticks closely to thee. Thou canst not see Him, but thou mayst feel the pressure of His hands. Dost thou not hear His voice? Even in the valley of the shadow of death He says, “Fear not, I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God.”

Remember that noble speech of Caesar: “Fear not, thou carriest Caesar and all his fortune.” Fear not, Christian; Jesus is with thee. In all thy fiery trials, His presence is both thy comfort and safety. He will never leave one whom He has chosen for His own.

“Fear not, for I am with thee,” is His sure word of promise to His chosen ones in the “furnace of affliction.” Wilt thou not, then, take fast hold of Christ, and say—

“Through floods and flames, if Jesus lead,
I’ll follow where He goes.”

The evil spirit came out of him

“And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him.” (Mark 9:26.)

EVIL never surrenders its hold without a sore fight. We never pass into any spiritual inheritance through the delightful exercises of a picnic, but always through the grim contentions of the battle field. It is so in the secret realm of the soul. Every faculty which wins its spiritual freedom does so at the price of blood. Apollyon is not put to flight by a courteous request; he straddles across the full breadth of the way, and our progress has to be registered in blood and tears. This we must remember or we shall add to all the other burdens of life the gall of misinterpretation. We are not “born again” into soft and protected nurseries, but in the open country where we suck strength from the very terror of the tempest. “We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” —Dr. J. H. Jowett.

“Faith of our Fathers! living still,
In spite of dungeon, fire and sword:
O how our hearts beat high with joy
Whene’er we hear that glorious word.
Faith of our Fathers! Holy Faith!
We will be true to Thee till death!

“Our fathers, chained in prisons dark,
Were still in heart and conscience free;
How sweet would be their children’s fate,
If they, like them, could die for Thee!”