The people on the floor below me are scurrying around in a mad frenzy. The place is jammed. From my soundproof window above them, I see papers flying everywhere. Computers display numbers that change in the blink of an eye. People in business attire wear vests of various colors. My tour guide explains that the vests help them recognize people from the same firm so they don’t bid against each other. It is, as you may have guessed, a scene from the New York Stock Exchange.
Travel with me in your sanctified imagination to a place that is probably even busier than the stock exchange, yet more orderly. A place where futures more precious than anything this world produces are being “traded.” We’re in God’s sanctuary in heaven—the command center of the universe. Angels are coming and going, dispatched on errands of mercy and deliverance. To us, it all seems a blur of random activity, for His amazing work to redeem every human soul is more than we can understand. He even urges His agents to aid those who don’t believe in Him, and He responds to the prayers of His believing children on behalf of those who don’t know Him yet. We can’t possibly take in everything, so let’s focus on three scenarios.
An angel presses his way to God’s throne. “Lord, it’s Sam! He’s in trouble! He’s on a business trip, and against my suggestion, he’s gone to the motel pool for a late-night swim.
God, the enemy has planted a seductress in the pool near him, and even now she’s making him a blatant offer. Lord, it just isn’t fair! You know how the enemy has been tempting him to leave for work without studying the Bible and praying. It’s the perfect setup. Sam needs help fast, Lord. I know he wouldn’t want to yield if he was really thinking!”
Suddenly an agent dressed in black presses forward. “Get back!” Satan hisses. He glares at Jesus. “You get out of my way!” he demands. “Sam may have been Your follower at one time, but his life these last few months shows that he isn’t anymore. He hates prayer and Bible study. His mind drifts every time he’s supposed to be worshiping You. This adultery will surely be the natural outworking of his real desires.”
Jesus steps before the throne. “Father, I ask that You remember My sacrifice on Calvary for Sam. I thought of him when We made the decision from eternity past to provide an escape for human beings. I love Sam, and I can’t let him go. Not yet! Father, I pray that You will forgive Sam for his neglect of Me and My Word these past few months. Cover Him with My righteousness. He isn’t worthy, but don’t look at him. Look at Me. Remember My blood. My blood.”
The Holy Spirit steps forward with word that Sam has sent up a prayer for help. Instantly, God dispatches an angel to Sam’s side. With a strength that he himself doesn’t understand, Sam turns his gaze from the woman, exits the pool, and hurries down the hall before the temptress has a chance to follow him. Quickly he slides the key card in and out of the lock, slips inside his room, and falls on his knees. “God,” he says, “I recommit my life to You. Please give me grace and strength to remain pure.”
No sooner has the angel been dispatched to help Sam than another presses toward the throne. “Lord, Kaylee needs help. She’s so distraught about her drinking that she’s about to commit suicide. She already has the gun in her hand! But I just checked, and we still have on file the prayers that her mother sent us before she died. We have to do something fast!”
The accuser steps forward again. “You have no right to do anything in this case!” he protests. “This is the sure result of Kaylee’s own choices. Her mother is dead and gone. You can’t intervene now. Kaylee doesn’t want You.”
Jesus fixes His eyes on Satan. “You stand to one side,” He orders. Then turning to God’s throne, He says, “Father, Kaylee learned about Me when she was growing up. You know that the seeds she’s now reaping were planted by Our enemy. He knew full well the inherited tendency to alcohol that was passed on to her from her grandfather, her greatgrandmother, and her great-great-grandfather, yet he still set her up to take that first drink. Kaylee’s faithful mother loved Me and claimed her for Me while she was still in the womb. In light of all this, I ask that You again consider My blood in her behalf.”
God gives the order. Instantly, an angel is dispatched to Kaylee’s side.
Then the Spirit delivers the word that Kaylee has prayed, “Dear God, if You’ll have me, and if You want me to live, please help me not to do this.”
Not quite understanding the sudden positive impulse in her heart, Kaylee puts down the gun and faces another day.
Let’s take an even closer look as the last of our three scenarios unfolds.
Jack waits till everyone else is gone before he finally leaves the exclusive party at the mansion. Hopping on his Harley Davidson Screamin’ Eagle®, he hits the starter and roars off to enjoy the cool evening—without the burden of his helmet.
Life is good. He has earned his way into the elite crowd of young executives, and he revels in the success he enjoys and the rich life it provides him.
Moments later he overtakes some of his friends, who are also enjoying the cool mountain air in a convertible. He laughs and waves as he passes them. Not to be outdone, they accelerate and pass Jack on a curve. Hating to lose, Jack pushes his bike harder and passes the convertible again. Looking back he laughs as he rounds the last curve at the foot of the hill. But he fails to see that his bike is headed straight for a telephone pole.
“God, help!” Jack’s angel pleads. “Give him another chance!”
“Not this time!” Satan demands. “Jack loves the world far more than He does You. He doesn’t even profess to serve You. His heart is wrapped around his god of gold. Ha, ha, Jack is mine for sure!” Satan gloats and pumps his fist in the air.
Jesus steps forward again. “Father, I ask that Jack be given another chance. Not because he’s worthy, but because I stand in His behalf. I died for him even before he existed. I died for sinners like Jack. Look at My life instead of Jack’s. Please, give him a chance to learn more about Me. I know he would love Me if only he knew Me better. Please give Me more time to work with him.”
God gives the command.
The motorcycle hits the telephone pole with a deafening crash. Jack sails headfirst toward the ground. Evil angels step in to push him into the pavement, but God’s powerful angels shield his fall.
Jack lies on the road, stunned. Finally, he looks up. Sore and shaking, he gets to his knees and stumbles toward his mangled motorcycle. One of his friends rushes up and stares in his face. “Man, there’s no way you should be alive! There isn’t a scratch on you! This is weird. Really weird!”
Jack rubs his forehead. “Must be some kind of miracle,” he mutters. “Someone must be watching out for me.” And he resolves to find out who that Someone is that cared enough to save him.
What Does Jesus Do All Day?
While these three “heavenly” scenarios are obviously imaginary, the stories on which they are based are true, I assure you. Satan obviously doesn’t stand in God’s presence, but he is the accuser of God’s people (see Revelation 12:10). And each of these stories reflects what the Bible tells us about Jesus’ work on our behalf in heaven right now: He is very busy interceding for His people who believe in Him—and for those who don’t.
And the good news is that you have access to the same help that each of these people had. Regardless of how imperfect your life has been, you qualify for God’s grace. Jesus is anxious to take on your case and defend you against all of Satan’s accusations.