I tried to call the White House once. I got a busy signal. Figures! On another occasion, I attempted to reach Billy Graham. I did not get through. A hectic schedule, poor health, and pressing demands made it impossible for him to carve out the time. It seems that’s the way it is with important people in high places. I'm not bitter. I am sure that the President and Dr. Graham would love to sit and chat with everyone who wanted to bend their ear, but realistically that is just not possible.
That is one of the reasons I am grateful for prayer. God takes all calls. The heavenly switchboard is never full. When calling on God I have never been put on hold, transferred to voice mail, or been informed that my wait time is twenty-two minutes. Even better, when I talk with God I know he is not impatiently glancing at his watch, looking at his appointment book, or tapping out an email message while we converse.
The “phone line” to God is crystal clear, but it wasn’t always this way. The author of Hebrews reminds us of what things used to be like:
Only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. By these regulations the Holy Spirit revealed that the Most High Place was not open to the people as long as the first room and the entire system it represents were still in use. (Hebrews 9:7-8 NLT)
Think about it. One man had access to God’s presence and that man had an audience with the Most High only one time a year. Then Christ came and upgraded my “calling status.”
But our High Priest offered himself to God as one sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down at the place of highest honor at God’s right hand. . . . And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. . . . And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s people, let us go right into the presence of God, with true hearts fully trusting him. (Hebrews 10:12,19,21-22 NLT)
There are no busy signals when it comes to God. I can speak boldly and talk as long as I like. God invites me to pour out my heart to him and to cast all my care upon him. That kind of calling plan is an open invitation to share my deepest hurts, my most frustrating experiences, and my biggest hopes and dreams.
The importance of this privilege has been hammered home this week. I've been meeting with church planters in Long Beach and Las Vegas. Prayer has been their recurring theme. God is changing their lives and their churches as they spend time with him. Should I be surprised? Crystal-clear communication and no busy signals! I need to pick up that phone.
STAY FOCUSED TODAY: Each time you pull out your phone today thank God. Jesus made possible crystal clear communication with the Father. Take advantage of the open line.