“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” This phrase has taken on new meaning for me in the last few years as our community partnerships have grown and the community center is being used for a wide variety of activities and purposes. As a result, I am finding out more than I ever wanted to know about the inner workings of this place….and it is usually because something has broken!

In the process, I have met a lot of the “right” people. I now have a sizeable list of contacts for the contractors and service providers who can address the variety of issues that our aging facility tends to face. In fact, as I’ve gotten to know some of these people better over the years (did I mention the aging facility and how often things tend to break!) many have entrusted me with their personal cell phone numbers and permission to call anytime.

While I try not to abuse this privilege, the gift of access to them proved VERY helpful last weekend when an issue with a transformer caused the power coming into the church to go “haywire” for several hours. When power was finally restored early Sunday morning, access to these skilled men and women proved invaluable as we assessed possible damage to our facility and equipment. In addition to the amazing group of knowledgeable and helpful volunteers who made themselves available throughout this process, within a few hours I had spoken with the electrician, the security alarm guy, the thermostat lady, the HVAC repair guy and a several others. The fact that I could call on them and their expertise even over the weekend helped me resolve some problems and put my mind at ease about others.

The whole episode reminded me again of how grateful I am for another type of access; the access that I have to my Heavenly Father through Jesus. Paul writes in Ephesians 2:18 that “18 For through him [Jesus] we have access…to the Father.” In his book Prayer, which our Wednesday morning study is currently working through,Dr. Tim Keller puts it this way,

“The word access was commonly used when an ancient king granted someone an audience. No one could simply walk into the presence of a powerful monarch. The consequences could be imprisonment or even death. That, however, describes the power differential only between an ancient oriental king and a commoner. The gulf between a holy God and sinful human beings is infinitely greater. No human being can look upon God and live. Paul’s claim that we now have access to God’s very presence “through him” is therefore quite astounding. We always have an audience because of what Jesus Christ has done. His death on the cross reconciled us to God.”

The person and work of Jesus gives ME access to God through prayer. Any day. Any hour. No matter the circumstances, no matter the need. I have access to an all-powerful, all-loving God who receives me as he would His own perfect Son. When I pray in Jesus’ name, I am putting my faith and trust in the fact that our Heavenly Father will extend to me that which only Jesus deserves; full access to him.

As much as access to our building experts brought me peace of mind last weekend, knowing the grace that has been extended to me that I should have full access to a mighty and holy God humbles and overwhelms me with gratitude and causes me to ask myself a few tough questions:

Do I take full advantage of this all-access pass? Do I appreciate the cost at which this access was bought on my behalf? Do I trust God to answer my prayers according to His will and bring to him with my every question, doubt and fear?

No. I don’t do any of those things to the extent that I know I could and should. I hope that by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit I will continue to grow in this and other areas of my Christian walk, but in the meantime I’m grateful that it is not in my name or by my own merit that I approach the throne of our King. I’m thankful that in terms of my access to God, the same rule applies; “It’s not about what I know, it’s about Who I know”. Jesus is the “right” person and it is only in His name and by His merit that I can approach and access the One who has the power to fix not just a building, but to redeem and restore all things.

In Jesus’ name,

Angie Nitz