Answering the Call

Answering the Call

"And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heavenís Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place." (Hebrews 10:19-20 NLT)

The temple curtain kept everyone out of the Most Holy Place except one priest once a year. When Jesus paid the price for our sin by dying on the cross, the curtain was torn in two as Godís sign that we may now approach His throne without fear and gain access to Him. God hears and accepts our prayers directly.

His Spirit also guides us towards increasing sanctification and speaks guidance into our lives, if we are prepared to listen. The trouble is that it is not always clear-cut.

I had such a prompting to go and see one of my friends here in Cheltenham, but I did not go. I said to myself that it was just me trying to organize Godís intentions in my imagination again. After all, I have the free will to make suggestions in my own imagination just as much as God does! So mostly, I test everything before acting to see if it will go away. Usually, things of God persist.

After a week, I was out in my car when the prompting bubbled up, this time more insistently, so, to silence the importunate thought, I called in on my friend. I asked if there was anything that he needed in prayer. He said that there was not -- except that he had a long-standing, sport-related knee injury which hurt. He had had it prayed for on the previous Sunday when it became momentarily better, only to revert the next day. In my experience, it is suspicious to see any form of vacillation in pain levels experienced during or right after prayer. It is something to be investigated further in prayer.

So, I suggested to my friend that we invite Jesus into the situation to see what He had to say about it, if anything. Sometimes Jesus says nothing. We prayed together. Then, my friend was immediately up and about, walking up and down the hallway to test his knee out, excitedly! He said that it was a lot better but not totally healed. So we prayed some more and thanked God for what He had already done, but it stayed the same. I guess that God had done as much as He was going to do that day.

My friend said that it was a good thing that I had called in when I did, because he was going to be busy working from the next day onwards. Maybe this limited-time window was the cause of my increased prompting. I rang the next day to see how it was, he confirmed that it was still better, and we prayed some more.

As Christians, we are a part of the priesthood of believers with open access to Godís ear. We are no longer separated by the need for intermediaries. Through Jesus and the Holy Spirit, we can always ask God directly, no matter how we feel, because the curtain has been removed. We have the right to ask, and often. Jesus is the One Who decides the outcome. Healed or not, itís His call. Praise God!

Prayer: Lord, we rejoice that Your love for us is greater than we can ever imagine. Thank You for hearing our prayers, and for giving us the choice to go where we are led today. It is amazing that You have a blessing for us all, as we call on the name of Jesus. May Your peace, which passes all understanding, rest on those who are redeemed and restored to fellowship, whether people are healed or not, through the name of Jesus. Amen.

Rod Marshall

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