Summary: How does one properly enter into the presence of almighty God?
This is the transcript of the ACTUAL radio conversation of a US naval
ship with Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland.
Canadians: Please divert your course 15 degrees the South to avoid
Americans: Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees the North to avoid a collision.
Canadians: Negative. You will have to divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.
Americans: This is the Captain of a US Navy ship. I say again,
divert YOUR course.
Canadians: No. I say again, you divert YOUR course.
Americans: THIS IS THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS LINCOLN, THE SECOND LARGEST SHIP IN THE UNITED STATES’ ATLANTIC FLEET. WE ARE ACCOMPANIED BY THREE DESTROYERS, THREE CRUISERS AND NUMEROUS SUPPORT VESSELS. I DEMAND THAT YOU CHANGE YOUR COURSE 15 DEGREES NORTH, I SAY AGAIN, THAT’S ONE FIVE DEGREES NORTH, OR COUNTER-MEASURES WILL BE UNDERTAKEN TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF THIS SHIP.
Canadians: This is a lighthouse. Your call. (Pause)
Sometimes we aren’t as big or important as we think we are. This story illustrates that if we pay attention and follow the rules, we can avoid catastrophic hazards and save ourselves much embarrassment.
This brings us to our sermon topic today “Entering In.”
How does one properly enter into the presence of almighty God?
Perhaps we should ask - Is there a proper way to enter into the presence of almighty God?
Some people think that we can just wily nilly dance into the presence of God any time we please, and that God is happy to accommodate us.
The answer to the question, “Is there a proper way to enter into the presence of almighty God?” is, “Yes there is a proper way to enter into His Majesty’s presence.”
Too often we take for granted our privileges of priesthood. Too often we try to enter the holy of holies through prayer without having first prepared ourselves to meet with God, the King of the universe.
Isn’t God greater than our political dignitaries? (Yes)
We have to go through a whole series of steps in order to get an audience with a political dignitary like a governor or the President and his cabinet, yet we think nothing of rushing into God’s thrown room of grace and plunking down our demands without any prior preparation.
Fortunately, our God is a gracious God and He is patient with His people, even when they don’t adhere to protocol. God will hear you and answer your prayers even when you aren’t properly prepared, but I must tell you that your prayers will be much more effective If you follow a few simple protocols when approaching God in prayer.
Our instruction in this matter is Psalms 24 (Last Monday’s reading) and the Lord’s Prayer.
Psalm 24: A psalm of David
“The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;
for he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the waters.”
When Jesus taught us to pray the Lord’s Prayer, what was the first sentence?
(Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.)
The New Testament Greek word for “hallowed” is hagiazo (hag-ee-ad’-zo) which means to make holy through ceremonial purification. To be consecrated, set apart as holy unto God.