Friday, May 4, 2018

Why You Should Take Off Your Sandals In God's Presence

…having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus… —Hebrews 10:19

{CHAMBERS} “Our ability to approach God is due entirely to the vicarious, or substitutionary, identification of our Lord with sin. We have “boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus.”  […] We have the idea that there are certain good and virtuous things in each of us that do not need to be based on the atonement by the Cross of Christ. Just the sluggishness and lack of interest produced by this kind of thinking makes us unable to intercede. We do not identify ourselves with God’s interests and concerns for others, and we get irritated with Him. Yet we are always ready with our own ideas, and our intercession becomes only the glorification of our own natural sympathies. We have to realize that the identification of Jesus with sin means a radical change of all of our sympathies and interests. Vicarious intercession means that we deliberately substitute God’s interests in others for our natural sympathy with them.”

{ELGIN} We must never lose sight of who God is.  You think, “Oh I know who He is.  He is the  ……. “ Yet we can become irreverent in our attitude and even references to God.  Have you ever heard someone call God “the man upstairs”?  Normally when I hear that I assume that the person is not born again, but that is not necessarily so.  When God spoke to Moses on the mountain,  (Exodus 3:4-6)  “When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.”  Why take off his sandals?  When you are in the presence of the Creator God, you must stand clean before Him.  Taking off his sandals represented all of the things that Moses had picked up from a sinful the world.  We have access to the Holy of Holies – God’s presence through the blood of Jesus – the veil was torn.  But that does not mean that we can approach God with sin in our heart .. any way we want to .. like the relationship is up to us and not God.

Years ago it was customary for people to dress up in the “Sunday-go-to-meetin’ clothes” when they went to church.  It was akin to taking off their shoes in the presence of God.  Today – there is a casualness on church attire.  Shorts and flipflops are considered acceptable.  It’s not really about the clothes you wear on the outside but your heart on the inside.  Jesus said (Matthew 23:25-26) “ “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.”  (Proverbs 21:2) “A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart.”  I want to encourage you to consider how you approach God.  If you are going to talk with Him – your heart must be clean.  You should have a reverence toward Him.  Moses had to look away because of God’s glory.  I have a friend who stand in bare feet when he preaches.  When I first saw that, I thought it was a little quirky.  But on reflection, it is actually out of great reverence toward God.  A reminder to himself that what he is doing has eternal consequences as he is fulfilling his God-given purpose. That he has a great responsibility to a holy God and must stand clean before Him.  Something to think about.

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