Restricted Use

February 8, 2021
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "How Firm A Foundation"1 (Lyrics)

Jeremiah 29:13 – If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. (NLT)

If I didn't pay, I couldn't talk.

As my wife and I sat on the front porch of the hundred-year-old home that we rented, we often heard it ring — a pay phone situated next to an old country store across the road. Each night around the same time, the ringing began.

Listening to the phone ring took us back to a time when pay phones were everywhere. When I was away from home and needed to make a call, I either stopped by someone's house or a business — or found a pay phone. But pay phones needed … pay — not only to start the conversation but also to continue it. Operators interrupted conversations with, "Please deposit __ cents if you wish to continue your call." If I didn't, she ended the conversation. Money restricted use, unless I made a collect call and the person on the other end agreed to pay the charges.

God once restricted access to Himself as well. He appointed priests to intercede for the people. They made the sacrifices, approached God's throne, and heard the confessions. Only the high priest could enter the Most Holy Place once a year — where he made a sacrifice for himself and then for the people, before confessing a year's worth of sins.

When Jesus died on the cross, things changed. The curtain keeping people out of the Holy of Holies was torn in two, symbolizing unrestricted access to God for all who choose to approach Him through Jesus by confession and repentance of their sins.

I'm glad that the old ways of doing things are gone — both of making calls and of approaching God. A few hours without my smartphone and I experience nomophobia. I should feel the same about interaction with God. He is continually with me, by the presence of His Spirit. I need recurrent communion with Him — and I can have it. Talking with Him doesn't cost a dime, nor does He establish a time limit. I can come as often as I want and with as much stuff as I need to unload.

What's more, God wants me to come. After all, He's the One who cleared up the restricted use policy of old. He wants us to share the details of our life and ask for His guidance. He wants to share in our joys and our sorrows.

Don't let anything keep you from enjoying your unrestricted access to God.

Prayer: Father, our praises rise to You for opening the way for us to come to You. Amen.

Forward this devotional     Share this devotional on Facebook     Like PresbyCan on Facebook

About the author:

Martin Wiles <>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

Send your feedback to the author

1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen to that!

    Thanks Martin. Blessings.

    Thank you, Lord, for your constant presence!

    Thank you, Martin, about simplicity of God’s presence. Blessings.

    Thank you, Martin, for sharing this interesting devotional with us. Blessings.

    Thank you, Martin.
    That is a great example of unrestricted prayer time.

    Good morning Martin
    Very good devotional this morning, true words and easy to understand.

    Good morning Martin, some interesting thoughts indeed.
    I also liked the bit of history about pay phones etc.
    Blessed day.

    SHALOM Martin!
    You brought back a flood of memories! I have used the type of phone you mention. Our number was line three, ring two. Thank you.

    Dear Martin,
    What a wonderful analogy to how phone calls used to be and how interact with God was before Jesus. A great reminder to keep in touch with Jesus and it is free. Thanks for sharing.

    Greetings Martin,
    Thank you for another very meaningful devotional. You are so right in saying we have unrestricted connection with our loving Lord. He certainly is available to us at any time and is ever ready to hear our prayers.
    Blessings for your writings.

    Dear Martin,
    Your example reminds me that Jesus presence is near, even before we have time to find coins for the pay phone, or to call the name into our smart phones. He is our ever-present help in the time of trouble. We have unhindered access to God through His son. Thank you for writing.

    Had to look up the word nomophobia! It’s a word made from “no more phone phobia!” What a hoot! What’s truly needed is a phobia that absolutely needs to keep in touch with God…maybe nomoprabia…no more prayer phobia? Maybe that’s a state of being found in hell…to not be able to keep in touch with God would indeed be being in hell. Thanks for this stimulating devotional. Blessings.

    Much to think about and act upon.

    Thanks for sharing Martin.
    Blessings on you and yours. Indeed, unrestricted access to the father is what we have forever through Christ.
    Stay safe.

    Thanks, Martin. I belong to the same generation. There is a funny video called, ‘Helping Hands,’ showing young people guiding various folks who are so intent on their cell phones that they would otherwise bump into this one and that one – as well as helping out in other cell phone situations. Made me smile.

Previous Post
Next Post

PresbyCan is a community of faithful, Holy Spirit-filled, Christ-centred, God-honouring Christians.