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Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16

In the classic story ‘The Wizard of Oz’ Dorothy and her three traveling companions take a trip to see the ‘wonderful Wizard of Oz’. Each of them has a need that no one else has been able to meet. Each of them is scared, discouraged and in a seemingly hopeless situation. Their only hope is the wizard.

Once they get to Oz they find out that the wizard is almost impossible to meet with and, at first, they are turned away. When they are allowed a visit, they are terrified to come into his presence. His throne room is full of flames and terror. His voice is scary and gruff. Once they make their urgent requests known he finally agrees to give them their wishes, but only if they risk their lives doing something that meant certain death.

You know the story. They get the broom from the wicked witch and, upon returning to the wizard, discover that the so-called wizard is really nothing more than a bumbling old man with no special powers except to talk a good line.

While we all realize that ‘The Wizard of Oz’ is nothing more than a fantasy, in our more honest times we have to admit that we view God more like the wizard when we are in our time of need. We view him as unapproachable, fearful, powerful and demanding our very souls. Other times we view him as a bumbling old man that is really only interested in saving his own skin and living a life of prestige and power.

It’s time to get over the ‘Wizard of Oz’ mentality in our Christian lives! As Christ followers the writer to the Hebrews gives us a completely different view of who God is and our position before him. First of all we have the right to enter the Throne of Grace. Throne implies absolute and complete power. But this throne isn’t a throne full of flames, smoke and fear. It’s a throne of grace. Grace doesn’t require anything of us but to accept the free gift of Jesus Christ’s forgiveness. No witches broom to sacrifice. No life-threatening or personality destroying actions to gain admittance. We don’t need to clean ourselves up. We can enter this throne room just as we are: selfish, rebellious, angry, afraid, battered, bruised and addicted. No matter where you are, what you’ve done or how you got to where you are you are qualified to enter the very throne room of the Creator God. AWESOME!

Secondly we enter the throne room with confidence. Why? Because as our Father, God welcomes us as his children. He isn’t a father that is too preoccupied with the game on TV, the yard work, his own status or anything else. His one and only concern is to hear you, comfort you, guide you and forgive you. He isn’t interested in making you something you are not; He’s interested in making you the best you can be!

Lastly, when we come before Him we find mercy and grace. He won’t accuse us. He won’t say ‘I told you so’. He won’t demand you jump through a bunch of hoops. It’s absolutely amazing! He knows our need before we even get to the throne room. He isn’t concerned about who is at fault or how many times you’ve stumbled, strayed or rebelled. He’s only interested in making you the best you can be so you can live a life of freedom from the affects of the pain we all encounter.

Get rid of the “Wizard of Oz” mentality in your life as a Christ-follower. When you pray and read His Word remember that you are coming into a room full of love, forgiveness, understanding and healing. God loves you and wants nothing more than to show you the grace and mercy you need to live life to its fullest.

PRAYER: Holy God. I confess to you that often times I see you more as the fearful or bumbling wizard of Oz. I’m ashamed of what I’ve done, angry at you for not doing what I wanted you to do and doubt your ability to take care of me. I’ve gone off on my own journey to find fulfillment and run aground. Please help me to realize what it means to come into your presence. Help me to come with confidence to You so that I can experience the grace and mercy that is already mine because of my faith in Jesus. In His name I pray, Amen.

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