No matter how big of a concern I may have with certain leaders, I don’t get to march in and give them a piece of my mind. At the company where I work, I know where the CEO sits, but I’m expected to be professional if I talk with him. If I disagree with what the mayor of my town, the governor of my state, or the president of my country is doing, I would be unwise to barge in angrily and start yelling at him or her. Security forces would likely escort me out, perhaps to my own private room (with bars across the door!).
In the book of Esther, the Jewish people were living under the rule of a foreign king, named King Xerxes (or Ahasuerus) of the Medes and Persians. Like the fictional land of Mordor, one did not merely walk into the presence of this real king:
“All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that for any man or woman who comes to the king to the inner court who is not summoned, he has but one law, that he be put to death, unless the king holds out to him the golden scepter so that he may live. And I have not been summoned to come to the king for these thirty days.”
Esther 4:11 NASB
I’m concerned that there are people who come to God with the same fear, afraid that He is just waiting to destroy them if He feels like it that day. They finally come to God with their broken lives only when they feel that they have no other choices. When someone having this perception of God runs out of all alternatives, they may come to God as a “last resort”, believing that the risk of not being accepted is better than remaining where they are.
I commend anyone who gives God a chance to turn their life around, but I wish that this preconception about a hostile or reluctant God could be universally dispelled. So many people live in the mess of a sinful life in a fallen world for years, because they don’t realize that God is actually eager to restore the relationship that we broke. And, when we come to God seeking forgiveness, but continue to make mistakes or get pulled into sin sometimes, God still loves us and is present to help restore us..
The song, Who You Say I Am, by Hillsong Worship, starts with the following lines:
Who am I that the highest King
Would welcome me
The lyric here express the amazement that God – perfect, all-powerful, and omniscient – would welcome us. As the ultimate sovereign authority, it is indeed a wonder that we can talk with God without fear.
A song – by itself – doesn’t make something true, though. We can write anything into song lyrics, but can we back this up with what God has told us through the Bible? As long as we are living under the oppression and destiny that we deserve because of our sin, we should probably fear the just consequences. However, God showed us so much love while we were separated from Him, that any fear of approaching Him should be quickly dismissed:
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:6-8 NASB
(See also John 3:16, and remember that we all fall under the umbrella of the “world”, and “whoever”.)
So, let us not wait until we have exhausted all other options before we call upon God for help. His grace is waiting for us, and He wants us to accept His loving offer of salvation. No one is turned away if they choose to find God – through Jesus Christ – before it is too late.