Unrestricted Access to the Father: Final Part in a Series
Prayerless Christians Don’t Realize the Danger They’re In.
You may object, "So what if some Christians don’t pray?
"They’re still believers — blood-cleansed, forgiven and going to heaven.
"Where’s the danger in growing a little lukewarm?"
I believe our heavenly father realizes we live in a busy age, with many demands on our time and energy.
And Christians are caught up in busyness and activities as much as anyone else.
Yet I can’t believe God takes lightly our rejection of his access, which cost his only son his very life.
God has made Christ our strong tower.
But only those who "run in to it" are safe (see Proverbs 18:10).
If you don’t go in, then you’re still outside the door.
You stand where Israel stood.
But God doesn’t meet anyone at the door anymore.
All the provision we need is inside: forgiveness of sin, mercy in time of need, power to overcome.
Imagine the pain of rejection felt by the father and son.
I envision this conversation taking place between them:
"Son, you were beaten, mocked, crucified, buried.
"It so pained me, I shut my eyes at the sight.
"Yet you fulfilled the everlasting covenant.
"You provided acceptance and access for all who would trust in you.
"Because of you, a last days people would be able to come to me.
"And they would grow mighty in my strength, building reserves of faith against a devil who would tempt and try them as at no other time.
"Yet where are our beloved children?
"Monday passes and we never see them.
"Tuesday arrives and still no children. Wednesday comes, with no sight of them.
"Thursday, Friday and Saturday pass, yet still we don’t see them.
"Only on Sunday do they approach us, while they’re in church. Why don’t they come?
"Don’t they love us?"
God asked Adam the same question when he hid from the Lord in the garden of Eden: "Adam, where art thou?" (Genesis 3:9).
The Lord knew where Adam was all along.
He was really asking Adam why he’d rejected his fellowship.
And he was showing Adam there was danger in hiding from his presence.
Indeed, Christians who don’t appropriate access to the father end up in a Sardis condition.
The Lord instructed John, "Unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God...I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead" (Revelation 3:1).
Jesus is saying, "You may be a good person, someone who’ll do anything for anybody.
"You’ve got a good reputation among both the church and the world.
"You’re known as being truly alive in Christ, blessed of God.
"But an element of death has crept into your life.
"Something of the world has defiled you."
"Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments" (3:4).
What is the defilement referred to here?
It is prayerlessness.
And here is Jesus’ warning to us: "Be watchful and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God" (3:2).
The believers in Sardis hadn’t been watching.
They hadn’t been in prayer, waiting on the Lord, seeking him as they once had. Instead, they allowed themselves to grow careless, not coming to God daily for help.
Now a defilement had been laid on them.
The word Jesus uses for defiled here signifies a soil of sin, a black mark on a white garment.
Christ is telling us, "If you don’t pray, you have no defense against the enemy.
"Your negligence allows your garment to be stained."
Yet Jesus declares of a few, "Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy" (3:4).
He’s saying, "You still have a small flame of desire for me.
"You don’t want to lose my presence, to be given over to barrenness.
"Quickly now, stir up your hunger again.
"Go back to the secret closet of prayer and call on me.
"Set your heart like a flint. Fan the flame of faith before it dies — before death sets into your soul, as it has with so many around you."
Don’t ignore your great gift of access.
Your eternal future depends on it.
Pray and seek the Lord.
He has provided you with access.
And he promises to meet your every need.