Our remarkable access to God

Our remarkable access to God

Christians can speak to God anytime, anywhere, in prayer. Have you considered how special that is? It is easy to get so used to the idea of prayer that we take it for granted. We can speak to the Almighty God, the Creator of all that exists, and He listens to us! How can that be?

The episode in 2 Kings 3 gives us a great illustration of the great blessing access to God really is. King Jehoram, a son of Ahab, was facing a rebellion from Moab. Jehoram was a golden calf worshipper who showed no interest in the true God. He gathered two kings to fight with him: King Jehoshaphat of Judah, who we know as a follower of the true God, and the King of Edom, who likely had no choice but to fight as a vassal state. These three kings set off to teach Moab a lesson, and their victory should have been easy as they had a much stronger force. However, bad planning led to a disaster. They ran out of water for their army in the middle of the desert. It looked like they might all die before even reaching Moab.

Jehoram had a problem with no easy solution. He decided the true God was to blame, and went off to seek the advice of Elisha, the prophet of the true God. Elisha was incredibly rude when Jehoram sought him out: “What have I to do with you? Go to the prophets of your father and the prophets of your mother” (v13). Later on, he told the king that he would not have even looked at him or received him if it were not for the presence of King Jehoshaphat of Judah (v14).

King Jehoram would be used to getting his own way. He usually got to order people around, not have them refuse to see him! Yet Elisha represented the true God. For someone like Jehoram, access to the true God was not guaranteed. Jehoram had spent his life ignoring the true God, so God would be well within His rights to ignore Jehoram if he asked for help.

Why does King Jehoshaphat make a difference? Jehoshaphat was a descendant of David and a faithful believer in the true God. As a faithful believer, Jehoshaphat had access to the true God whenever he wanted. His presence means Jehoram is welcomed, and in the end the kings get what they want: water and a promise of victory. But they would have none of the benefits of being one of God’s people unless Jehoshaphat was present.

This is a great picture of the gospel, isn’t it? God does not need to listen to us when we pray, or help us in any way. We don’t deserve it. We are sinful people and God is a holy God. Yet we can speak to him directly, knowing he loves us and hears us. Why? Only because of Jesus. Jesus has interceded for us before the Father. Being united with Christ means we have the access to God that Jesus deserves and we do not.

This means that prayer is a much bigger blessing than we often think it is. Prayer should not be some kind of duty or chore. We have access to the King! Access we don’t deserve but Jesus has won for us! So use the access. Why not pray right now? The Almighty God will receive us and not turn us away.