Since the time I’ve become a follower of Christ – some ten years, now – the biggest flashes on the radar screens of the men around me have fallen into three categories – struggle with purity, struggle with God’s will for their life, and struggle with consistency in quiet time with Him.
Know anyone like that?
This morning, I thought I’d pass on a piece of scripture that hit me in the back of the head pretty hard and jolted me back into alignment with Christ. It comes from chapter 4 of Hebrews. The first century Jews that the writer was addressing were well aware of the holiness of God if they were pressed to consider it. God is Holy – we are not. No one unclean like that could possibly stand in front of his Holiness and not be obliterated. It was a light too intense, a purity too awesome to comprehend, (and thanks to Christ, we will all stand there someday…) In the temple courtyard there was a division. In the temple proper, an even greater division – the “Holy of Holies” – a place where no one, save the High Priest would dare enter, and even then only after proper sacrifices had been made on his own behalf and proper “clean” attire had been donned.
God’s holiness was a big deal.
Is it still?
Have we become so lost in the love story of how God desires us to call Him “father” and become so familiar with Him that we take the depth of His holiness for granted? I think so. Otherwise, if we’re struggling with purity, God’s will for our life, and are drifting into busyness instead of time with the Lord we’d revere Him as sovereign and go to Him instead of back to our to-do lists, our agendas, and our efforts. But, so often, we don’t. We forget He is holy, capable, and willing to walk us through this, so we turn to our own works.Other times, we look at our mess and think “God’s got to be a little busy with the two earthquakes, tsunami, meltdown, and volcano over there in Japan… He can’t be bothered with my little quiet time struggles…” Read the scripture lately? That dog just doesn’t hunt.
“…we do not have S)’>tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us V)’>confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb. 4.15-16)”
This week, as you’re preparing to disciple someone, preparing for small group, or just rolling out of bed to get your day going, would you consider this verse and the sheer AWESOMENESS of a Holy God who would not only reach down and take care of our problems Himself, but from this point forward grant us unlimited access to His throne, his empowerment (grace), and assurance that He knows the ins and outs of what tempts us, wracks us with guilt, and drives us off course?
He’s seen temptation and passed it by unscathed. (Alleluia)
He’s got a plan for us and He’s under no obligation to tell us every detail or we’d probably mess our pants when we realize how BIG He is and how great this plan is. (Alleluia)
He’s got the power (called “grace”) to fuel our engine and bridge the gap between impossible and “done”. (Alleluuuuia!)
He’s willing to generously give us the wisdom we need without criticizing us for asking (James 1.5). (Alleluuuuuuia… GLO-RRHAY!!!)
Yet, He’s still holy…
So, with all of our junk, all of our struggles with temptation, all of our control-freak-power-grabs for sneak previews of His will that will only lead us to running off on our own steam to accomplish what He plans for us to do on His power, I have one question:
Why wouldn’t we want to approach that Holy throne, when the confidence to do so is available, and throw ourselves at His feet for wisdom, understanding, empowerment, and direction every moment of every day?!
A friend of mine recommended a great book to me once – the Bible. Since that was a bit too daunting for me to digest in one sitting, another friend recommended “Good News for Those Trying Harder“. It ripped the lid off my faith. Later, I read Crazy Love and have since been even more impacted by how Holy He is and how much I desire to commune with Him. My prayer is that God will guard me from the ills of self effort and the lie of self sufficiency and He’ll do the same for you.
The gospel – the “Good News” is that God’s kingdom has come and He’s given us access to Him by faith in Christ, but we have to quit walking away from him in fear, complacency, and doubt or we’ll never experience His empowerment, wisdom, and mercy.
At one of the lowest points of my life about 5 years ago, my mentor said to me “you’re never more than one prayer away from access to the full resources of Heaven”. If he was right, (and I believe this scripture bears that out) why wouldn’t we pray, read, seek God every moment of every day?
in it with you,