“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
At the end of a recent concert in London to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Prince Charles made a moving speech honouring his mother. He began by addressing her as “Your Majesty … Mummy …”! In that way he was combining the familiarity of his relationship with his mother with the honour and respect due to his monarch.
It struck me then that when we approach God we should come with that same combination. We can come to Him in the confidence that comes from knowing that we are His children (1 John 3:1), that we have been adopted into His family (John 1:12), and that He wants to be a Father to us (2 Corinthians 6:18). As such there should rightly be intimacy and familiarity in the relationship. We can address Him as “Abba, Father”. However, God is at the same time our Sovereign Lord and the King of King. We therefore need to maintain a right reverence and awe of Him – the fear of the Lord. If we lose the correct balance of these two attitudes, we will lose something crucial in our walk with God.
These two aspects of who God is to us (both Father and King) provide just one example of many seeming opposites in Scripture which need to be combined in balance in order to bring fullness of understanding. They are binary truths. It is not a question of either/or, but both/and. For instance, Jesus is both the Lion of Judah and the Lamb of God; we are part of God’s family, but we are also soldiers in His army; God is a loving Father but He is also a consuming fire – and so on.
Today’s verse tells us that we can approach the throne of grace with confidence. Through the work of Jesus on the Cross we have been reconciled to God and adopted into His family. We are His children! But we should also remember that it is His throne we are approaching, and that He is King of Kings – Majesty, as well as Abba, Father.
Prayer: Almighty God, thank You that we can approach Your throne with confidence because of what Jesus did on the Cross, and thank You for the wonderful privilege of being able to call You Father. Help us to maintain the right balance of intimacy that comes from knowing we are Your children, with the reverence and awe of knowing You as Almighty God and King of Kings. Amen.
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