Fresh Hope – 14th September 2018

It’s so easy to take for granted our freedom in Christ. We can pick up a Bible and read it at our leisure, or attend weekly corporate worship meetings without thinking twice, or meet with God whenever we feel like it. If we are truly honest with ourselves, how often have we made worship “I” focused? How often do we seek Him out for what we can get? Have we ever complained about having to get up and go to church? Have we stood in church just thinking about our lunch? Or spent a worship song angry at what a person two rows back did to you? Or failed to make time to sit and just listen to God? Could we be spoilt, and losing our sense of wonder?

While the grace of God is extravagant, unconditional and invites us to ‘approach the throne of God with confidence’ (Hebrews 4:16), we must never lose the deep thankfulness and awe of now being able to approach an all-holy God. The freedom we have now hasn’t always been the way. Once upon a time, there was only one appointed priest, who could meet with God on the people’s behalf. This priest would carry all the prayer requests of the people and present them to God. He would wait to hear God speak and then report back. He would enter the most sacred part of the temple to meet with God. This part was called, ‘The Holy of Holies’. The presence of God was contained to this exclusive space, blocked off with a curtain. The curtain was so thick, it would take 300 priests to manipulate it so there was no way that someone could inadvertently trip and stumble into the Holy of Holies and subsequently die as a result.

The appointed priest would wear bells on his robe so outsiders could hear that he was still alive and walking around, and hadn’t been struck down by God, and if he had, then the priest had a rope around his foot so he could be dragged out upon death, as no one else, under any circumstances could enter! At the death of Jesus, the curtain was torn. The divide was broken. Through Jesus, our access to God was now granted. We live in the days that many, once-upon a time only dreamed about – we have 24/7 direct access to a Holy God. When God looks at us, He sees us as holy too, and asks that we approach Him with confidence! How amazing!

Let me remind you that God is now totally approachable, but still the same holy God. His degree of glory and holiness hasn’t changed since the Holy of Holies days. It still remains as it did back then – only now we just have access to it. So why do we take for granted the honour that it is to come before Him? This is why we are told to “enter his gates with thanksgiving” (Psalm 100:4). It is with hearts full of thankfulness that we come to God.

‘Holy” may not really be a “cool word” anymore – it may seem old-school and imply that God is unapproachable, but a true understanding of the holiness of God evokes a different response –it reminds you that you now have an all-access pass to the glory of God. Let His holiness stir up a reverence for Him in you. Reverence isn’t religious. It is instead a deep gratitude and humility for the price been paid to have a relationship with the Lord of Lord and King of Kings!

Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.