Sometimes a court of law will throw out a case due to lack of standing. Unless you’re into legalise, this may sound strange and has nothing to do with physically standing at the right time. Instead, “standing” means that the plaintiff, the person suing, has to meet a certain number of criteria before the court may consider the matter. Has an injury occurred? Were they the ones injured? Is this lawsuit in the right jurisdiction? The term “standing” is actually far older and goes back to when kings judged. Did the person have the right to stand before the king to plead their case or cause? In similar terms, we are invited to confidently approach God in faith.
Several verses mention confidence. The writer of Hebrews said, “Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16, NASB95) Paul, speaking of Jesus, wrote, “in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.” (Ephesians 3:12, NASB95) And John wrote in his first letter, “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God;” (1 John 3:21, NASB95)
I love this idea of confident access to God because it strikes a balance of tone. We are neither coming to God groveling and pitiful nor arrogant and commanding. Confident access invites us to boldly lay our case before God without begging, demanding, or bargaining. It reminds us we didn’t earn or pay for access to the King of Kings but that we enter by the blood of Jesus. That’s where our confidence lies.
As we proceed with our study of faith, it is important to get this balancing point of confidence in the right place. Some well-meaning teachers overstress our utter unworthiness before God making it impossible to approach with confidence. Leaving hearers with the dim hope that God might hear. On the other side are teachers of faith that overstress access to where it seems God has to do whatever we say. Confident faith is a humble faith that recognizes both our own unworthiness and God’s invitation through Jesus. Confident faith is a trusting faith that leans into God’s promises. Confident faith is a peaceful faith that is content to leave a matter in God’s hands.
Followers of Jesus have standing with God through Christ. We’re invited to boldly and confidently enter the King’s hall to state our case, our needs, our pains, our concerns, our questions, our praises, our acknowledgments, and our reliance. And if our heart condemn us we are invited and implored to confess our sins before God to receive forgiveness and cleansing (1 John 1:9). We can have confidence that God’s answer will be filled with grace and mercy. His answer may not be what we want; it will be what we need.