Hebrews 10: 19 – 22, Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. NKJV
Are you a bold Christian, who is fearless when it comes to entering the presence of God and enjoying His goodness? You might be surprised to learn that many believers struggle with being near Him. However, there’s a very good explanation as to why even believers are “bashful” when it comes to entering the presence of God.
Today, my main focus is the way people react differently to His holy presence in a church service. Many believers sit as far back in church as they possibly can, thereby, getting lost in the crowd. They’re very timid and shy in God’s presence. Nevertheless, they possess a hunger to be there. As a pastor of many years, I have discovered that if you bring attention to someone who struggles with being in God’s presence, it can cause them to back away altogether. I you are bold, this tendency may seem a little immature or backwards to you; therefore, allow me to share some insights with you today.
The subject the Lord has me addressing today isn’t about a personality trait. It is a spiritual issue among many in the church. The writer of Hebrews does a masterful job at describing why believers aren’t bold in God’s presence and why many will run if they’re called on in a service. He writes that we must draw near to God with a true heart in FULL assurance of faith. This tells us that we must learn how to be developed through our faith in Jesus so that we can gain the boldness to be in God’s presence, unafraid and unashamed. He goes on to address the importance of having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. These are the primary roots that cause believers to be apprehensive about being in God’s holy presence. Therefore, it is a spiritual issue.
Where did this backwards attitude originate, and how can children of God overcome it and have boldness to enter? It originated in the garden with the fall of man. When Adam heard God’s voice, he hid himself from the presence of God. Part of the answer for this dilemma can be found in Psalms 103; here, we’re told that Israel knew the ACTS of God, but Moses knew the WAYS of God. Why was there a distinction between Moses and Israel? Moses obeyed God from the beginning of his relationship with God. Through an obedient heart to God’s commands, he had his heart purged of the evil conscience of his past.
Although Moses initially struggled with his inadequacies while in God’s presence, God quickly taught him to look to the Lord for assurance. As a result of Moses’ obedience to the voice of God, he could learn the ways of God. However, Israel didn’t have a deep desire to obey God. This lack of want-to caused them to fall prey to their guilty conscience, and it kept them from entering into God’s presence. When God invited His people to know Him at Mount Sinai, after bringing them out of Egypt, they rejected His invitation because of fear. The reason was very simple. Because of their unbelief, they had no desire to obey His voice and overcome timidity.
If you are fearful about being in God’s presence, or you feel “unworthy” or “dirty” in His presence, then this is a word from the Lord for you today? Instead of looking at your weaknesses and failures, which are unbelief, begin to focus on hearing and obeying God’s voice in your life. As you develop a hunger to know God’s will and then obey it, His Word will begin to purge your conscience from the residue of sin, which causes guilt and shame. Before you know it, you will develop the boldness to come into the presence of God, bask in the warmth of His Light, and not feel ashamed. Faith has to have a beginning; therefore, why not start right now? Submit to His will, and the Lord will do the rest. It all begins with a decision to trust and obey the Lord.
Nothing like His Presence,
Pastor Asa Dockery
Pastor Asa Dockery