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Daily Devotion

More Than a Backstage Pass

By Paul Dailey
Guest Writer Recently, I made the two-and-a-half hour trek from Virginia Beach with some of the teens from our church to "King’s Fest," a three-day Christian music event at Paramount’s King’s Dominion in Doswell, Va. For an entire weekend, we jammed and worshiped with some of the premier acts in Christian music. Artists such as Third Day, Rebecca St. James, Pillar, FFH, Newsboys, Thousand Foot Krutch, Audio Adrenaline, and Jeremy Camp took the stage and led us on a journey into the presence of God.

There were thousands of people packed into the amphitheater there and the atmosphere was electrified. We were a few of the hundreds "fortunate enough" to be seated on the lawn, so far away from the stage that it was difficult to make out who was performing. In the midst of all the excitement, one of my teens made the comment, “It would be so awesome to get a backstage pass.”

The images of that enormous crowd and those distant figures on stage as well as that backstage pass comment came rushing back to me the next morning during my quiet time with the Lord. I was taken away in the glory of God as I knelt there in my tent while the sun crept over the eastern horizon. I began to express to the Lord as eloquently as I knew how that I love Him so much and that I long for real intimacy with Him. Then I said, “Jesus, I don’t want to be just one of the faces in the crowd. I don’t want to just stand there and watch You perform while being robbed of a relationship with You.” I could sense in my spirit all over again the Lord’s desire for more intimacy than I was even willing to accept. Then I felt the Spirit prompting me to ask for “more than a backstage pass.”

That’s pretty much the ultimate thing at a concert. People pay good money to go behind the curtains with their favorite artists, to see the inner workings of these “American Idols.” Though I’ve never gotten a backstage pass to any concert, I can imagine it would be exciting to get a few minutes to meet my favorite artists with only a small group or maybe even get a handshake. But Jesus wants even more than that.

There are three Scriptures that really spoke to me that morning that express God’s desire for intimacy with us:

“One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple. For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock” (Psalm 27:4, 5 ).

“You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence…” (Psalm 31:20).

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye” (Psalm 32:8).

Nestled gently within those verses are some incredibly delicious morsels of God’s heart. He longs to be close enough to us that He doesn’t even have to wave His hand --- we are close enough to see the movement of His eyes; to know what He’s thinking just by the direction He looks. And when He refers to “the secret place” or “the tabernacle” or “pavilion,” those are all pictures of the intimacy shared between a husband and a wife.

If you feel you have been standing in the crowd, lost in a sea of faces, there is hope. Even if you have gotten that backstage pass but your heart tells you there is still more, press in. Isaiah 30:18 is a reminder that in spite of your flaws, the Lord longs to be gracious to you. Slow down long enough to ask the Lord for that intimacy. Address Him the same as you would your spouse or your dearest friend. His ears are open to you and He promises that as soon as you ask, He will answer. He yearns to return to you as the Lover of your soul.

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