Who is Waiting for Whom?

I had a clear picture/vision this morning during worship at church.  To my shame, I did not share it at the time.  Sadly, sometimes, the voice of self doubt shouts louder than Holy Spirit and by the time I’d quietened it, the opportunity to share the picture had passed.

I’m hoping sharing it here will still have value.

The picture formed from the juxtaposition of two songs that we sang.  Firstly, “Boldly I Approach (The Art Of Celebration)” by Rend Collective, followed by “Waiting Here For You” by Christy Nockels.

The first song conjured up a vision of the Throne Room – actually a personal vision of mine that I’ve had since the age of 4.  The second song came and suddenly the picture changed as my perspective shifted, and I came out of the Throne Room and in to a waiting room outside.

The waiting room was full.

Many were waiting there for an invitation to go in to the Throne Room.  Despite the fact that they HAD such an invitation in their hands, “good manners” stopped them from just walking in.

Imagine the Queen of England had sent you a Royal Invitation to the Palace.  It gave you a date and time and said that, when you arrived, you were to go straight in to the Throne Room.

You wouldn’t, would you?  You would turn up, in the waiting room, and, well, wait.  You knew in theory it said “go straight in” but no one does that!  Not in to the Queen’s presence! Surely there is an etiquette? A butler?  If you wait around, someone is bound to come past and you can let them know you are there. Ask if it is ok to knock and go in.

Why is it that we are like that with God?

We have in our hands The Invitation. The Gospel. It says we can “boldly approach the Throne”.  It says we are Sons and Daughters.  We have a right to go straight in.

Yet we sing “waiting here for you” whilst God listens from inside His Throne Room, waiting THERE for YOU.  Arms wide. Lap empty.

Others are waiting out here. For them, for a variety of reasons, they wait in the waiting room because that’s what you do when you get summoned but for them, there isn’t an exciting encounter waiting on the other side but judgement.

They sat in waiting rooms outside headmaster’s offices.  Outside the boss’s office.  Outside the divorce lawyer’s office.  Outside the bank manager’s office.  Outside the doctor’s office.

For them, sadly, the experiences they have had means they really truly don’t believe an invitation leads to something good. Whatever awaits them, it doesn’t really fill them with hope but rather fear.

Whilst we wait, the outside door is flung open and some children pile through.  With the noise, bustle, fun and energy of youth they run across the waiting room and straight in to the Throne Room, without even a moments pause.

Go back to the analogy of the Queen.  Do you think, when her children were little, that every time they came in to the room she was in, they stopped and thought “that’s the Queen of England”?  Or do you think they thought “Mummy!”.

When her grandchildren visit, do they wait or do they catch and glimpse and run up shouting “Nanny!” and put their arms out for a cuddle?

They of course get taught as they get older how to behave “in public”, they get taught who Mummy/Nanny is and how important.  But I’m pretty certain the FIRST thing they see when they see her is Mum/Nan NOT Queen.

Holy Spirit is nudging us today, those of us loitering nervously in the waiting room.  He is whispering: “Look up.  Look at the doorway”.

If you do, if you look up at the doorway between the waiting room and the Throne Room you will see it is open.

“Here I am! I stand at the door!” Jesus is calling.  He is the Way to the Father.  He has MADE the Way to the Father.  The written invitation in your hands, the Gospel, is the Living Word who stands at that open door.  There is no barrier between the waiting room and the Throne Room.  This is an “open plan” Kingdom.

God is in Heaven, and Jesus is at His right Hand.  We have to, as it were “go to Him” now, in spirit because He first came to us.  As a man. Immanuel. God with us. Because He came to us we can now go to Him, as spirit, hand in hand with Holy Spirit, in to His Presence. In to the Presence of Father.

Please, please don’t sit in the waiting room.  Don’t picture a door or a barrier between you and Daddy.  Instead become like a child again and run with abandonment to Him, to Daddy, because as His Child you have that right and He is waiting for you.

A Childlike Faith

Jesus called a little child to Him and set him in their midst, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18: 2-3 MEV)

This isn’t a deep revelation, nor anything new today, but just a reminder of something I already knew – that we are called to be “childlike” in our belief in, and relationship with God our Heavenly Father.

What does becoming like little children look like?  I looked up the Strong’s reference for the word and there is no hidden meaning, no scrabbling for interpretation – it simply means childlike!

So what is a childlike faith?

For my quiet time, I park the car by a steep slope that brings the local cycle way down from the cliff top on to the sea front and on school days this means there is a steady stream of kids rushing down the slope on their bikes on the way to school.  I am always struck by their exuberance, their excitement, abandonment, as they hurtle down the slope and even the teenagers often can’t help letting out a “whoop!” or yell as they free wheel down at high speed!  But is that just the part of the analogy to take?

As a parent, thinking about my own children (I’ve got 4), when they were young they were unquestioning in their love and devotion.  They were new to this life, unaware, looking to me as someone who knew all the answers.  Complete trust.  “Blind faith”.

Always enthusiastic.  Delighting in the smallest thing that they discovered about the world around them (I could watch a toddler for hours as this is a most delightful stage to observe), fascinated by everything.

Always, always asking questions!

Always seeking.  Always exploring.

Easily moved..

If they were hurt, they always came to me with complete faith in my ability to make it better.  When they were little, this meant just a kiss and a hug truly did “make it better”.  A hug comforted enough, soothed enough, even when I couldn’t change what had happened/was happening that made them afraid or sad in the first place.

They are persistent!  They always know what they want and are quite determined to get it, unashamed to be selfish, to keep asking.  Not taking “no” as an answer if it was to something they really wanted.

They have always been able to ask for “unrealistic” gifts! Especially before they learn the value of money and what things costs, they would happily come to be and ask for the most outrageous things, fully expecting me to fulfill!

How much does that sound like your relationship with God?

How much greater would we understand Him, walk closer to Him, draw most from Him, if we truly became “like little children” when we come to Him?