A Biblical Umbilical Connection

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Screen Shot depicting Zechariah the Priest offering incense. For the story see Luke 1:8-25.

When we as believers turn to God in prayer, we are like the one “lucky” lottery-selected priest who would enter the tabernacle or the temple of God twice a day to offer smoky, fragrant incense before the veil of the Holy of Holies. In fact, the priest’s ceremonial morning and evening offering of smoky, fragrant incense before the veil to the Holy of Holies was less significant and less potent than our discretionary whenever-and-wherever appeals to God in (sincere) prayer. Why is that so? It is so because the solitary lucky priest’s ceremonial service was merely a symbolic foreshadow of our more immediate (and real) spiritual access to the Throne of Almighty God in Heaven. Ours is the real deal, or perhaps, “realer” deal.    

As an analogy, our invisible, spiritual altar of incense can be compared to a baby en utero. By virtue of “its” placenta and umbilical cord, a developing baby is simultaneously physically connected to “its” mother and yet separated (and thus protected) from “its” mother. Likewise, as believers we are simultaneously spiritually connected to the provision of God and yet separate from the overwhelming, fearsome sin-consuming holiness of God.  

Ultrasound image of a developing baby.

When we are at the altar of incense (that is, while we are engaged in sincere prayers of faith) we have a simultaneous umbilical-like spiritual connection beyond the physical/spiritual veil into the heavenly throne room of Almighty God. Actually, believers always have that ongoing umbilical connection to the presence of God. But it functions most optimally and beneficially when we are deliberate and intentional — when we turn to God intentionally in faith.

So in summary, to depict the importance and effectiveness of prayer, I want to present two images: a priest offering fragrant incense in front of a temple veil, and a developing baby en utero. The priestly image is an image which scripture itself gives us. The developing baby is my own interpretive analogy. I hope these two images help you understand and appreciate the importance and potential of prayer.

Random Photograph

A Privileged Position

December 15, 2021

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! He also raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus,

Ephesians 2:4-6

The Epistle of Ephesians 2:6 reports something spiritual and something actual. Via our spiritual connectedness to Christ, those of us who belong to Christ are actually, currently, spiritually seated in heavenly places. Of course, physically, we remain mere mortals, stuck for the duration of our time here in the mundane and the milieu of Planet Earth. And yet spiritually, we are simultaneously stationed elsewhere. Although we reside here physically, we are also somewhere else altogether. Spiritually, we are seated in the throne room of highest heaven. In Christ, we are a royal priesthood — a privileged priesthood with the high honor of perpetual presence in the throne room of heaven. Consequently, we have constant, open access to the Chief Executive, the One forever seated on Throne of Grace. This is not a delusion, not imaginary, not exaggeration, not hyperbole. This is simply a depiction of our current reality, though veiled and unseen to us now. Once we begin to realize and believe the truth of our simultaneous spiritual station, it will motivate us to make the most of our immediate access to the Throne of Grace. Who would knowingly neglect the potential of such a privileged position?