When you saw that title, I bet you were thinking, “This is what happens when you have completely run out of things to say!” The title is so corny that you may be too embarrassed to read this post, but to tell the truth, the Lord gave me an amazing revelation tailormade for my twisted thought processes and I want to share this revelation with you. Last time I wrote, I shared what the Lord showed me regarding sugar. What I learned on that topic has made a mountain of difference in my life–as in mountain of fat. Now the Lord has given me a unique revelation in the spiritual realm. He took advantage of my bent toward analogies. He gave me that bent, so why shouldn’t he use it. Therefore, open your mind and suspend judgment until you have seen the power in this analogy for your life.
Since I am not a thrill-seeker, I can get a charge out of watching grass grow; and since my idea of a great movie is footage from a security camera, you can understand why going to Costco or Sam’s is Disney for me! That’s why this analogy is so strong.
What You Need to Know
If you are not a regular at these warehouse club stores let me give you a primer on the shopping experience. These stores are really big. Usually, I advise people who have not been to one to take a canteen and a week’s worth of food to hold them as they travel from one side of the store to the other. As the twelve spies who checked out Cannan found, EVERYTHING is big in these stores. The shopping carts are the size of a 1973 Cadillac Eldorado. Every product comes in family-sized packs of 500. Vitamins are in bottles that could energize an army regiment for 50 years and cereal comes in boxes that would crush you if they fell off the shelf. Many products require that you bring a forklift to get them to the checkout. But this is the fun of those places. You know you don’t need all this stuff but, hey, where else can you see 6 million toothbrushes in one pack.
Yet all this bounty is not for everyone. To stroll into this paradise of consumer gluttony you have to be a member and, of course, that requires a fee. However, you only need one card for the family. Once you have the card, you’re in! Load that cart and head for debtor’s prison! OK, I have exaggerated, slightly, but only slightly–ok, a lot.
Here’s the analogy in the form of an allegory
God has this big warehouse store of amazing blessings. EVERYTHING there is big and life-changing. As inviting as that seemed, it turned out that it’s a membership store and that means there’s a fee, but as I read what the fee was I turned away in total discouragement. The fee was the righteousness of Jesus. I didn’t even have the righteousness of a snail, so I knew I was finished. Then, as I turned toward the parking lot, I heard the voice of the guy who checks the cards at the door, “Hey, Sir, come back. I have a card for you!” Confused, I headed back to a man with a big smile holding out a golden card beckoning me to come in. Trembling with apprehension, I took the card and saw imprinted on it a chip–a bright red chip. A little booklet stated that this chip was the blood of Jesus and that’s what makes this card official. No one can duplicate it and this card is for you alone; it can’t be shared. The card with the chip makes you eligible to access all the blessings in the store. “What about the fee?” I asked. “That chip says it is paid,” the attendant said with glee. “Go in boldly, knowing that you are welcome here and enjoy your time! Oh, and tell others to come with you when you come again.”
As I walked through the first aisle, a lovely lady handed me a stack of coupons so heavy I had to set them in the cart. “I’m not sure I can use all these,” I said. “You’ll need every one of them. This is a lifetime’s worth of coupons for every kind of purchase. Serious, deep discounts that you won’t believe and these coupons never expire!” I stopped and read a few and saw that the coupons were the promises of God.
Experience the Power
So here’s the deal: God wanted me to share that our approach to him is too distant. Our trust in him is measured by our lack of confidence in the strength of our ties to him. Our weak track record makes us feel as though we have no right to ask anything of him so we come to him sheepishly when we have a need. God has given me a new perspective on prayer and this Gospel According to Warehouse Clubs has made a difference for me.
Think about it: Our spiritual standing before God is hopeless based on our own righteousness. Entry into the kingdom of God, entry into the presence of God is impossible without the righteousness of Christ. God is saying through the golden cards with the blood chip that he has given me his righteousness as a free gift. That blood-chip says my membership is paid for. Note: God did not cancel the fee, That is not why the card is free. He paid a heavy price for my membership and has the wounds to prove it. No matter how short I was on the fee, He covered all the costs by His second-death sacrifice on the cross. Now He commands me to come in and rejoice in this big, bountiful store of blessings and power. But as I walk the aisles, I remember that I have no money. All I have is this cart full of coupons. As I read the coupons, it becomes clear to me that these are no ordinary coupons. These coupons constitute full payment for any item purchased in the store.
So the process works like this: God commands me to come into his store using the golden card with the blood chip; I come boldly to his customer service desk. I have needs, so he commands me to use the coupons to address those needs. I pull out one that says “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Wow, that’s discouraging, I have no righteousness. Then he tells me to look at the card, again. He makes it clear that that blood chip is my new and complete righteousness because my sin-debt was paid at the cross. That’s how I can come boldly to the customer service desk; the blood clears away the barrier. Now I feel great and read the next coupon that says, “Call upon me and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things that thou knowest not.”
A New Way to Pray
This is real, I actually started praying this way. Since I am covered, I can now go confidently–not cockily–into his presence. I feel oddly free because I am following his command to call on him. Oddly because I know I am not what I should be, but I am what he has declared me to be–righteous! Then I see this coupon: “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” He not only declared me righteous, He promised to make my life match those credentials by his grace and power through my faith in Him.
Think about it: He’s commanding us to call on Him! That sounds like a set-up for answered prayer. My new prayer goes something like this:
“Father, thank you for providing all that I need to open the pathway to your throne. I don’t deserve to be here, but you actually took a sinner like me and made me fit through your grace and promises to come to you. You have commanded me to come into your presence and have given me promises to supply my needs and the needs of those you are calling me to pray for. That means you intend to answer those prayers because this is your idea and command. I’m asking, seeking and knocking about this; I’m expecting great and mighty things concerning that; I’m expecting my prayers to avail much because I’m covered by your righteousness and the prayers of a righteous man avail much. Since this was your idea and you commanded me to do this, I have faith that you will do magnificent things because it’s not about me–it’s about you! But above all Father, you said in your word that you want to be one with me. I’m still trying to wrap my head around that one. You love me that much. Whatever you command, please empower me to do. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, LORD, AMEN!!!
What a difference it makes to pray this way! The Gospel (Good News) According to Warehouse Clubs–It sounded silly at first, but it’s the real deal when it comes to meaningful, powerful prayer. Get your card; it’s free. Grab your coupons and shop til you drop!