Every year, on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest would enter behind the veil into the Holy of Holies to offer sacrifices on behalf of himself and the nation. He would sprinkle the blood of a spotless lamb on the mercy seat. He wasn’t to linger in that place ‘lest he put Israel in terror’. It was dangerous to loiter in case he dishonoured God and was struck dead.

Each year, through this repeated atonement for the sin of the people, the barrier between God and humanity was removed. People had access to His presence once more.

But as soon as they sinned and broke the Law, the door slammed shut, the twisting, wheeling sword of the cherubim snapped back into place, and to open the gateway to the heavenlies once again, more sacrifices would have to be made next year.

The desire of every sinning heart was for a Lamb so perfect that no sacrifice would ever have to be made again, along with a pure High Priest to offer the Lamb so that both priest and sacrifice would be acceptable in God’s sight.

This is exactly what Jesus accomplished for us on the Cross. The perfect priest, the perfect victim, made the all-sufficient sacrifice for the sins of the world. Nothing more required—for all generations to come.

Since this is the case, we can easily identify the problem when it comes to finding the doorway into our divine calling locked and blocked. If, instead of an open entry and a cheerful welcome, we find ourselves bounced onto the pavement, bruised and bleeding, it’s not hard to identify the cause.

The doorway into our divine calling—the passover of the threshold into our appointed destiny—is guarded by watching spirits. Like the cherubim on the mercy seat, they require a sacrifice to open the door. These days, it doesn’t have to be blood sacrifice—it can be time or money, relationships or service. When we stab someone in the back to get the promotion God has already lined up for us, we make an unnecessary sacrifice. When we self-sabotage and shoot off our mouth or shoot ourselves in the foot, we make an unnecessary sacrifice.  

When a threshold guardian like the spirit of Python or Rachab demands a sacrifice, the correct response is: I am invited through the doorway into my calling by God Most High and this invitation is signed in the blood of Jesus. It is His perfect, all-sufficient sacrifice that has paid for my entry.  

When we’ve butted up against the door into our calling time and again, getting battered and beaten in the process, we can know one thing for sure. It doesn’t matter how correct the theology in our heads is, our hearts simply do not believe that Jesus is the perfect sacrifice who has opened the door for us.

And our only recourse is to appeal to Him: ‘Help my unbelief.’

This is Grace Drops and I’m Anne Hamilton. May the Lord change your unbelief today.

Thank you to Lorna Skinner of www.riversofmusic.co.uk for the background music.

Unbelief in the atonement in the primary issue when it comes to our inability to enter into our calling. Hidden in the Cleft explains how this unbelief causes us to flee to a false refuge and create an unholy covenant. Hidden in the Cleft is available as a paperback or an ebook.