Upwards

Ephesians 6:18
Pray in the Spirit at all times with all kinds of prayers, asking for everything you need. To do this you must always be ready and never give up. Always pray for all God’s people.

Okay. Got it. We are told to pray at all times. I know. It's great- a prayer before a test, before a meal, before a trip, for people walking by. Sounds good. Now that we've gotten that taken care of, let's move on.

The other day, chapel was simply amazing. I felt the presence of God swoop in like a hurricane. So many of the students were inspired and completely overwhelmed with God's truth which was being presented. The powerful music and worshipful songs had us all standing, eyes closed, tears streaming, arms lifted, voices raised.

I say that I "felt the presence of God." I suppose that is kind of 'Christian lingo,' meaning that I felt like God was in that room with us, and working very powerfully and visibly. It's true- He was. But I though back to a message that I heard near the beginning of last year, and my perspective has been not necessarily changing, but it's been growing.

I began to imagine, as I was standing in that room so filled with awe and abandon, that we were standing in God's throne room. I imagined a towering throne and, sitting on it, brilliantly bursting with shining white light, surrounded by angels and seraphim covering their faces from the sheer holiness and screaming, "Holy! Holy! Holy is the Lord of Heaven's Armies!" sat God. I tried to picture the infinitive size compared to this minute group of people, all of us worshipping this awesome, powerful, victorious Being before us. 

It was then that I realized that we were standing there. We were in God's throne room. We stood before God. The angels around us worshiped too, I am sure. We entered into His presence. We humbled ourselves and came vulnerably to Him. He saw us. He searched us. He renewed us.

So then I look back at that first verse. The first time I read it, I thought, "Okay. I want to apply that verse to my life. I want to 'pray in the Spirit at all times.'" So then I thought even longer about it, and realized. If when I pray and worship, I enter into the presence of God- I enter into His throne room... and if I want to pray "at all times"... then I am going to be striving to live my life in God's throne room. He can already see everything I do, He is always with me, but I am beginning to strive for that constant acknowledgment that I am in His presence. 

That means letting go of lots of things. There are so many things that I say to people that I wouldn't dare to think of, if I were physically and visibly standing right before the King of the Universe. I would turn off all electronics and spend all the time I could completely engrossed in my devotions and in His word. I would work hard at everything, and never complain- because standing in front of the very One who sacrificed His own Son for me... It's almost too much to comprehend.

Have you ever thought about how cool it is that when we come before the Throne of Grace, there are many other Christians around the world that are there, too? Some of them are repenting, some are worshiping, some are giving thanks, some are earnestly praying, and some are coming for the very first time! We are in the same room with all these other people of God- it's such an amazing thought! And He is listening equally to each one of us, and giving us His love, His forgiveness, and His revival. We are not alone! 

But this is how I want to live my life. This is how I want to make judgment calls. This is how I want my decisions to be made. If I am going to be praying in the Spirit at all times, then I am going to be living my life out completely in front of the Throne of Grace. I want it to be a beautiful dance- one of pure abandon and surrender, and one where I move out of the way to let God step in and make all the decisions, and steer me to any place of the dance floor that He wants. His way is best!

So the next time I'm debating whether or not to click that  article, the next time I'm debating whether or not to say 'hi' to the stranger at the store, the next time I'm tempted to go to sleep without saying a word to my Heavenly Father... I want to remember who I'm living my life before. Is that a life worthy of, "Well done, my Good and Faithful Servant?" I'm going to realize that every person, every obstacle that is put in my path, God is with me and He is watching. And the knowledge and understanding that I am in this Holy throne room should change everything about how I live my life. Christianity is a VERB, people!

Hebrews 4:15-16

For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
It's my resolution- one of many. So, from now on, as I am going to be trying to stay in this state of praying in the Spirit, will I see you there as well?