Grace is probably the thing I need most from God. It is God's favor pointed in my direction. It is his enablement when I am weak. It is God's main force behind what saved me (Ephesians 2:5), and after I became a Christian, it is the main reality which keeps me fighting and striving for Christ in this world (2 Corinthians 15:10). I acknowledge all that.
By definition, grace is something that only God can give. He alone can bestow his grace. But I'm newly learning that God has appointed a way by which I literally can go to get grace.
God's grace is free and cannot be coerced. But at the same time, God has said in his Word that there is a way to obtain and receive grace. There is a thing I can do that literally gets me more grace (as strange as that sounds). And as I'm learning, the way is by simply asking him earnestly for it.
From His Throne
Before digging into the text which shines so much light on this, I encourage you to imagine a throne. Somewhere a king sits. Now take the next step and imagine seeing God's throne. It is real, right now. So imagine somehow being able to get a glimpse of God's throne–where he who is "king forever and ever" rules (Psalm 10:16).
As this is imagined, feelings of fright, awe, respect, wonder all probably rise up in your heart. And these are good, biblical feelings. The God of the universe is an awesome God.
But the Bible in one place describes this throne in a more comforting term: as a "throne of grace" (Hebrews 4:16). It is a throne of awesome majesty, yes, but it also is a throne that is characterized by grace. It is the place where this wonderful reality of grace originates. And, as I'm learning, it specifically is the place we come to in order to receive grace ourselves.
We Simply Boldly Come and Ask
Here is the entire text where this term occurs in Hebrews 4:16:
"Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
The call is to go to the throne of grace, to draw near to him in confidence. But us Christians draw near confidently to the throne of grace for a reason. What is that reason? To get mercy and grace. As the context makes clear, Jesus has done what needed to be done so that I can actually enter God's presence, his throne (Hebrews 4:14-15). Now I go there for a reason. And that reason is to get mercy and get grace.
There is no ambiguity about the text. There is a throne of grace. God wants his own to come near to it with confidence, which is another way of talking about earnest prayer. And he gives a reason for doing so: so that those who come may receive grace.
It Isn't Selfish or Using God; It Delights Him
This implies that God doesn't see it as selfish or as using him when I come to him in order to plead for grace for myself. If I forget he is a person–the King, my Savior, my Friend–and only want to use him as a heavenly vending machine, then yes, I am mistaken about how he works.
But if I come to him, desperately seeking grace, he is thrilled. This is because in doing so, I first am acknowledging my desperate need for him–admitting my fallenness, my frailty, my faultiness–and therefore asking him for help. And second, he is pleased because I actually am coming to him, instead of thinking I can do it on my own. In short, I am learning that this is a prime way to exercise faith. Faith which glorifies him as the Giver, and supplies me with the grace I need.
Ask Earnestly to Get Grace
I need grace. I depend on grace. Desperately. We all do. More than we'll ever know. And because of Christ, we have a God who gives it to us–day by day, moment by moment. But we're not left to just hope that it'll come. Instead, God urges us each to come to him for his favor and help. He is aimed and ready to give it to each of us–so much so that he calls his own throne a "throne of grace".
The question is, will I admit that I might not have much grace right now because I haven't ask for much grace? Will we as God's people eagerly seek him for it? Will I acknowledge my need for it and set aside time in the morning and throughout the day to really ask God to give it?
If we do, he says he is ready to give it out. So let's be intentional about asking. Let's embrace his grace.