Friday, April 27, 2012

C'mon in!

There are a couple verses written on the fly-leaf of my dearest and most battered Bible:

And I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel, and will be their God. And they shall know that I am Jehovah their God, who have brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, to dwell in their midst: I am Jehovah their God. (Exodus 29:45--46)
Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he shall tabernacle with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, their God. (Rev. 21:3)
They remind me of the most remarkable and surprising truth of Scripture: that God enjoys my company.

It's hard to remember that sometimes. Life can be a real struggle, and sometimes (as Rich Mullins pointed out) the road of righteousness can be really steep. And the better we get to know ourselves, the worse we know ourselves to be. The more we see of ourselves, the more we know God saw nothing in us.

But the shocking truth is, God doesn't save us as some form of urban renewal. He doesn't save us because He wants us to be good, He saves us because He wants us to be with Him. And everything He has done for us is to this end: Christ died for our sins to bring us to God. Our Advocate is with the Father, because we so often sin along the path. We have an High Priest over the house of God, because we are clothed with infirmity and we need someone to help us make it there. Christ has come down as the Bread of God because we can't make it through the desert without Manna.

It's sad, but we tend to assign ulterior motives to God. The Father doesn't need anything from His children. He is quite content to be everything for them instead. What He wants of us, is to come into His presence and enjoy Him. That's what Christ told the woman at Sychar, the Father is seeking worshippers. He doesn't look for servants, or ministers, or helpers. He looks for worshippers.

Johnny D said I better than I can:

The Lord does not need us to bless Him, but He is pleased to bless us: what He asks of us is to sit at Jesus' feet and receive the abundant grace He bestows on us.
(J. N. Darby, "Notes on 1 Chronicles 13-17", Collected Writings, Vol. 30)

So Hebrews 10 draws an application from the truth of the once-for-all sacrifice of Christ: we have a great High Priest over the house of God; He has shed His blood for us, He is our new and living way. He's done all this so we can come boldly into God's presence, so we should get in there. That's perhaps the main point of Hebrews: don't hang back, come boldly into God's presence.

God saves us so we can delight in His Son. We can do and say and think things that make that hard. We have a lot of trouble delighting in the Son when we're walking in a way that doesn't please Him. But what we don't immediately see is, it's not a godly walk that enables us to enjoy Christ; it's enjoying Christ that enables us to walk godly.

2 Corinthians 3 tells us it's by beholding the glory of the Lord that we become like Him. I suppose the immediate application there ought to be: we should spend more time beholding Him.

Hebrews 10 tells us that worshippers, once purged, have no more conscience of sins. Sins on our consciences can be a real weight on us; what's the solution? worship. It's the worshippers who have no more conscience of sins.

It's hard to believe God loves us, it's hard to believe He wants us to be with Him. But He does. We need to believe Him.

1 comment:

Gwen said...

Oh, I like this.