“Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
Hebrews 10:19-22 (NIV)
I’ve noticed in some of the more crime-ridden sections of Guatemala, many of the small tiendas or corner stores have strong, iron bars at the entrance. Instead of walking in to the store to get what you want, you have to stand at the bars, tell the store keeper what you want and then pay for your purchases through the bars.
I’m not sure I could get used to that kind of shopping. I like to use all of my senses when I shop. I want to touch the different bottles of soda in the refrigerator to make sure the one I get is cold, to smell the different brands of shampoo, to look at the expiration dates on the milk cartons, etc. Not being able to actually go into the store to do these things would, I think, take the fun out of shopping for me.
I wonder how many of us are stuck in a relationship with God that resembles shopping at a store that you can’t actually enter. You consider yourself unworthy of His love, so you stand outside of God’s presence and ask for what you want with trepidation through a closely guarded opening in your heart. You might end up with what you asked for, but you don’t walk away from the exchange any closer to God because, under these constraints, you’ve had no real experience with him. You have not touched or felt His presence.
Friend, this is so far shy of the relationship that God is pursuing with you. Thanks to the free gift of grace offered to us through Jesus, you have direct access straight into the Lord’s heart. You are invited into a loving, communal relationship with Him, a relationship where we can actually experience God’s love and tenderness each day. All you have to do is accept the gift.