Good Evening Renew Church,
I pray that your week is going well and that as we begin to wrap up the week that you feel encouraged and loved. One of the many issues I confront in my own life very often is, how do I approach God? I have really struggled with this pretty much throughout my life. I mean honestly, I have always heard that God is approachable and that really the work that Jesus did made us part of God’s family. The problem is, I also have heard and experienced many messages, as well as some Christian groups that state that God is not approachable and that you need to be all right or completely together before you can approach Him. These individuals and churches usually point to the Old Testament of the Bible where the High Priest would very timidly and carefully enter the Holy of Holies – that’s associated with the Temple Worship of the Jews – after having gone through a meticulous cleaning ceremony and lots of preparation….and then and only then would they even remotely think of entering the place where God dwelt, called the Holy of Holies. They were so concerned about the Priest having been unclean that they would tie a rope to his ankle just in case God struck him down for not being clean or not having done the ceremonies correctly.
That’s freaky scary! Now, you need to understand the Bible makes it very clear that God is Pure and Right and Just and Holy. And the Bible also states that nothing Holy or Unclean can enter His presence…..aaaaahhhhh, well I’m totally screwed. But that’s where most get the whole story of God wrong. The point of all that stuff in the Old Testament was to prepare us for Jesus in the New Testament. Jesus was Pure and Holy and Right and Just, and according to the New Testament Jesus takes our place…literally, He stands in front of us – right in front of us before God. And because Jesus stands in front of us, everything that is not perfect inside of us is not seen by God. So all the imagery in the Old Testament and the High Priest entering the Holy of Holies was supposed to be the human stand in for what Jesus would do in the New Testament. Isn’t that amazing? God was so very careful to think this whole thing through so that all the stuff from the Old Testament foreshadowed everything that would happen in the New Testament. Now, do you need to be afraid of God? No! Jesus takes away all fear and stands before you -right in front of you before God and says Fizz is Mine (you can insert your name here). He is Mine and Mine alone….when you see Fizz you see Me. When you hear Fizz you hear Me. When you smell Fizz….well I guess you smell Me? Not sure about that last one but you get the picture. We don’t need to be afraid before God….as a matter of fact, we have scriptures from the Bible that actually say to come boldly before God the Father. What? Yeah you heard right….come boldly.
I shared this piece with many of you this week, but I figured I would share it again today. It’s from a book I’m reading and I loved it so much that I’ve been posting it everywhere:
“God can also meet you at any time no matter how crazy things may seem. You don’t have to have a perfectly organized daily life to experience God. Your spiritual house does not need to be tidy for God to enter. In the Gospels, Jesus often meets people in the midst of their busy lives: Peter mending his nets by the seashore, Matthew sitting at his tax collectors booth. Just as often he encounters people when they’re at their absolute worst: an adulterous woman about to be stoned a woman who had been sick for many years a possessed man not even in his right mind. In each of these situations God said to these people, busy, stressed out, worried, frightened,’I’m ready to meet you, if you’re ready to meet me.'” ~James Martin
Today I share Hebrews 4:14-16
14-16 Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.
I pray you feel bold today as you approach God.