There is something about my heading to the bathroom that creates a Pavlovian response in my children. They’ll all play perfectly happily while I’m folding laundry or doing dishes, but as soon as I get up and go to the bathroom it all changes.
Knock-knock. “Mom? Can you help me find middle C on the piano again?”
BAM BAM bam BAM “M000-000m! Mooo-ooom! Mom! Mom! Can I have some candy? Mom?”
*The door flies open* “Mommy? Mommy go potty? I go potty too! I potty on my own! Hi Mommy!”
I think they plan it: “Okay, Mom’s heading to the bathroom. I’ll spill something. You start screaming, and you go lay on your back in the hallway and drum the door with your heels. She loves that one! Break!”
As much as I dream about having a few minutes a.l.o.n.e, I know that in some ways it’s a monster of my own making. Because while sometimes the lock on the bathroom door is the thin red line on the edge of my sanity, don’t we all want our children to come to us freely? They bang on the bathroom door and shoot toy cars underneath because somewhere along they way they’ve learned it’s good to be with us. We care for them. We answer their questions. We meet their needs, and they are confident about approaching us.
“In [Christ Jesus] and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence” (Ephesians 3:12).
Read it over again and wonder. We may approach God with freedom and confidence.
It wasn’t always that way. When the Lord led the people of Israel out of Egypt he brought them to the base of Mount Sinai. The Lord warned Moses to put limits around the mountain so that the people would not touch the mountain. Any person or animal who touched it was to be put to death. The Lord descended on the mountain in fire with the sound of a trumpet blast, and the whole mountain trembled. Even the priests had to keep their distance from the power of their holy God. The people trembled with fear. They “stayed at a distance” and begged Moses “do not have God speak to us, or we will surely die” (Exodus 20:18-19). Only Moses entered the Lord’s presence. “The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend” (Exodus 33:11).
Jesus has called us friends (John 15:15). We don’t have to tremble at the foot of the mountain or bang on the outside of the door. Through the blood of Christ “we may approach God with freedom and confidence” (Ephesians 3:12). The word we translate “freedom” was commonly used in the Greek world to describe the kind of open, frank, and honest communication that takes place among friends (Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary Vol. 4). We don’t approach God as fearful slaves. We confidently come before him as friends.
It changes everything. We come to God knowing that he desires to communicate with us “as one speaks to a friend.” And we can confidently, boldly come before him as we would talk to a friend. Our dreams, our pains, our anger, our sorrow–we can boldly pour them out before the God who knows us, loves us, and has called us friend.
Like this post? Subscribe to get updates by e-mail.