The Censer

Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf. Hebrews 7:25, NLT

There is great pomp and circumstance when it comes to meeting royalty and high-ranking dignitaries. They don’t just meet all people when requested. We can’t easily call them or send a text message hoping to arrange a tea date for any random afternoon.

If we’re to cross paths, it’s because we were invited. Not even a personalized invite, mind you because these people have no clue who most of us are. Perhaps we’re associated with an organization or cause of interest, so a meeting with us would benefit their cause. Usually, it’s nothing personal.

Included with these invitations are a detailed list of rules and guidelines for the upcoming meeting. As an added bonus, for their safety, they may conduct a background check. They will investigate us months in advance, in some cases, to ensure that we are not a threat or that there is nothing risky about having us in their presence.

With all of this, I’ve never heard anyone decline these prestigious invitations. We’d willingly go through hoops and red tape for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. To see someone from afar, not even to sit and chat. The guest of honor may leave there without even learning our names from our lips.

As a complete opposite, there is God. He is the highest-ranking Being that exists. If there’s anyone who deserves and has earned the right all kinds of prestige at approaching Him, it’s the Almighty God.

The censer and the incense are a symbol of Christ’s intercession for us.

Though our sin has caused a vast chasm between us and Him, God has gone through hoops and blood-red tape to bridge the gap.

Through prayer, God is always approachable. We can chat with Him while sitting, standing, walking, dozing off, and much more. He knows us all by name. God desires an intimate relationship with each of us because He loves us intensely. He has given us a personal invitation to come to Him that has no expiry date.

God requires no background checks first before we pray. Our prayers will not get stuck in a holding queue, to see if we’re deemed worthy of His ever-attentive ear. God knows all about our pasts. In fact, He freely offers to forgive us if we simply ask. Once God forgives, the offense is gone, stricken from the record.

With God’s excellent character coupled with the fact that He loves us, why do we hesitate to come to Him?

We don’t have to worry about impressing God. We’re able to talk to God through Jesus, our intercessor. Jesus has covered us with His righteousness when He died on our behalf.

The enemy uses falsehoods and phony feelings to make us believe otherwise. There is power in knowing God’s truth. We can get better acquainted by spending time with God through daily prayer and reading His Word.

God enjoys us and being with us. May we also be excited to be with Him.


This article is part of the Ten Days of Prayer 2018 series. Visit that page to find all the other articles in this series.

Urim and Thummim

So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Ephesians 5:15-17, NLT

On the television program, Undercover Boss, a top-level executive would alter their appearance to immerse themselves in their company undetected, to learn more. While the chief executives had overall goals, they needed all parts of their organization to work together to achieve them. They wanted to be sure that employees on all levels understood the mission and purpose of the organization.

Pretending to be a new applicant, the disguised executive would ask questions to learn about the company. They would ask about the overall goals and whether this was clearly communicated and upheld all throughout the organization. Additionally, the executives would also spend time getting acquainted with staff, learning what their personal goals and intentions were as part of the organization. Why did this job matter to them.

The Urim and Thummim were placed on the shoulders of the High Priest and revealed God’s will to His people. It is essential for us to understand the work of Christ on our behalf and His will for our life today.

Jesus came to earth as a type of undercover boss. He altered His appearance and immersed Himself in our world to learn more. Disguising His glory, Jesus put on a costume of human flesh. His goal was our salvation. He wanted us to be sure of God’s love for us.

Jesus spent time asking questions and teaching those who were willing to learn. He also spent time getting to know people on a personal level. He learned what mattered most to them. Jesus also showed us what things are valuable to Him. He was always willing to meet needs. Especially if that fulfillment would help to strengthen a relationship with Him.

We no longer rely on the Urim and Thummim method to learn of God’s will. Jesus’ death on the cross gave us direct access to God. We see His will revealed throughout history and in the Bible. God’s will is for us to be saved.

We don’t have to live forever wondering why we’re here. God has a plan for us. To save us and to help share this good news and blessed hope with others. Anytime we’re unsure of how to serve Him, we can ask. We have access to Him at any time, through prayer. He always has time for us.


This article is part of the Ten Days of Prayer 2018 series. Visit that page to find all the other articles in this series.

The Breastplate

I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. 1 Corinthians 1:10, NLT

When you first unbox a new puzzle, the pieces are not pre-assembled. A puzzle is a deconstructed image. It’s up to the user to take the time to put the puzzle together. Often the box cover serves as a reference point.

Each piece is a tiny section of the larger image. It’s hard to understand what the final product is supposed to be if we’re only looking at the puzzle as individual pieces. They must come together to achieve the effect that the artist intended.

The 12 stones representing the 12 tribes of Israel were kept in the breastplate close to the heart of the High Priest. From this we learn how important it is for us to press together, to be united in Christ’s love, and to reveal this love to people, inside and outside the church.

The Breastplate was a beautiful part of the High Priest’s garment. However, its significance is more than ornamental. The breastplate symbolizes that loves that God’s people should have, for Him and for each other.

In order to represent Christ accurately, God’s children need to be united. Just as a puzzle is designed to fit together, God has created us to fit together. There are talents and skills that He has gifted us with to compliment each other as we work toward the Kingdom.

Have you ever tried to complete a puzzle on a soft or uneven surface? It doesn’t work well. Jesus is the solid foundation on which we can assemble together.

Unity is key in order to display God’s love as He intended. His love is perfect. If we, as puzzle pieces, are missing or try to force ourselves into places where God hasn’t called us, we ruin the larger picture. The image is distorted without all the pieces in the right places.

The love that we display when we’re not unified is distorted. Let’s keep working together to provide a clear and accurate picture of God’s love.


This article is part of the Ten Days of Prayer 2018 series. Visit that page to find all the other articles in this series.

The Girdle


Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. (1 Peter 3:15, NLT)

I remember learning about the benefits of a girdle. Designed to be worn under clothing, this article was small, yet powerful. The main goal was to restrict and alter your shape into something more flattering. Many people do not want to reveal their full selves. Many are uncomfortable with their true selves being on full display. Certain clothing drapes the body better when parts of the midsection are held back.

One of the articles of the high priest’s garment is a girdle. Surely with all the layers of his clothing, no one would notice whether or not his midsection was a bit bulky. Why would he need a girdle?

For the high priest to be girded with his sash meant that he was fully arrayed in his garments and ready to serve. Likewise, we should always be prepared to serve and witness.

The girdle or sash the high priest wore was the opposite of what we know today. His girdle was not restrictive in any way. Rather, when his girdle was on and tied, it was a symbol that he was ready for service. He was ready and available to be used by God.

Are we ready to serve?

Have we loosened whatever may be holding us back from fully engaging in God’s work? He wants to use us to reach other people. God has filled us with gifts and passions that will help spread the gospel message in a unique way. Our stories, our daily life experiences allow us to share a common ground with people in similar situations. But we cannot be effective if we’re living restrictedly.

God wants us to be free.

Free to love. Free to serve.


This article is part of the Ten Days of Prayer 2018 series. Visit that page to find all the other articles in this series.

The Ephod

I will be your God throughout your lifetime—until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you. Isaiah 46:4, NLT

Competitors on the television show The Amazing Race each carry a large backpack. The bag, when empty, is light and easy to manage. But once it’s packed full of additional clothing, outerwear, extra shoes and other necessities, it can become a cumbersome burden. In fact, sometimes the weight of the full bag can even be a hindrance of sorts.

The racers compete in teams of two. On occasion, the stronger team member would offer to carry their partner’s bag when they notice a struggle. After a time, the unburdened partner would have to resume carrying their own bag again.

As the high priest carried the ephod on his shoulders, so our High Priest carries our burdens, strengthens us in our trials, and enables us to witness for Him even in difficult circumstances.

Some aspects of our lives can burden us from time to time. Depending on what’s happening in that moment, we may struggle to survive. There are times when we may be physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually exhausted. We may have no energy left to carry anything else.

We do not have to shoulder our loads alone. We have a High Priest. We have Jesus! He has offered to carry our loads, permanently.

Shouldering our burdens is only one part of the role. Our High Priest’s work doesn’t end there. He continues to support us by strengthening us through the trials and sticking by our side the entire time. He doesn’t sit on the sidelines, waiting for us to conquer life on our own.

One reason why our High Priest willingly carries our loads is that He loves us. Another reason why He carries our loads is to free us up to share the good news of Jesus with others. Even in our bleak moments, we see glimpses of God’s goodness. These glimmers of hope motivate us to keep moving forward. They’re meant to be shared with others, to motivate them to keep moving forward as well.

Thank you, Jesus, for being our High Priest. Thank you for carrying our burdens.



This article is part of the Ten Days of Prayer 2018 series. Visit that page to find all the other articles in this series.

The Robe

I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding or a bride with her jewels. Isaiah 61:10, NLT

There used to be a television show that aired called “What Not to Wear”. While friends and loved ones would apply to the show on behalf of a friend–the featured guest–who desperately needed a fashion makeover, the ultimate choice to accept it lay with the guest. The show hosts would explain the guidelines and rules before offering a shopping spree and physical makeover. They would then ask the guest if they wanted to accept.

Most people jumped at the chance, particularly those who recognized their need for help. But on occasion, there were also those who said no and rejected the entire idea. They were unwilling to accept help to change and couldn’t see how this positive change would benefit them.

The Robe is a symbol of Christ’s righteousness that covers our nakedness when we accept it.

Because of sin, there is a chasm between us and God. While the enemy tempts us to believe that this breach is unrepairable, God is not satisfied to live this way. God loves us too deeply to let us go without making every effort possible to reconcile our relationship. He wants us to be right with Him. God wants to bridge this chasm. This is why He offers us His robe of righteousness.

On our own, our righteousness is like filthy rags. But we can come to God in our tattered state and He freely offers us a makeover. God is a master designer. His expertise is in radical transformations. Yet, we are the ones who must choose whether or not to accept. He’s awaiting our permission to complete our transformation.

Even though He has the best plans and all the answers that we need to live well, God doesn’t force His will on us. He doesn’t blackmail or manipulate situations to get His way. It has to come unforced, from our own desire to be with Him for Who He Is.



This article is part of the Ten Days of Prayer 2018 series. Visit that page to find all the other articles in this series.

Bare Feet

“Do not come any closer,” the Lord warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground.” (Exodus 3:5)

Beaches are beautiful meeting places. The best way to enjoy the beach is to experience it. Postcards, while picturesque, don’t offer a scratch ‘n sniff option. The air is different, the noises are different at the beach. To truly experience the beach, your feet need to be bare. This allows you to feel the heat from the sand as your toes sink in. As the curves of your feet come in contact with the sand grains, they sink in deeply. Some of the gritty sand sticks to us even as we walk away from the shore. The evidence of where we’ve been lingers.

Bare feet were part of the high priest’s attire for temple service. Going into the sanctuary to serve and worship God was a holy meeting. The high priest met with God in the sanctuary. In addition to the reverence and humility required for this role, with his feet bare, the high priest was able to have an intimate experience with God.

With his feet bare, the high priest had nothing between him and God. He was all in, able to immerse himself fully in the presence of God.

While many of the sanctuary customs have changed since the death of Jesus, God’s love for us has remained steadfast. He continues to love us with the same intensity and desires an intimacy with us. He wants us to immerse ourselves fully in our worship to Him. He doesn’t want there to be any obstacle between our hearts and His indescribable love.

As we spend time in worship with God, our lives will be the evidence of our time together. There will be something different about our characters, our behavior, our words, our service that will linger long after we’ve left His presence.


This article is part of the Ten Days of Prayer 2018 series. Visit that page to find all the other articles in this series.