Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of
faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies
washed with pure water.

Hebrews 10: 22


It may seem as if I am no where near clean enough to be in
the same town as the presence of God. After all, He is righteousness, truth,
justice, love, peace, and faithfulness to their absolute degrees; and I am none
of them to the least. The notion that I need to do something radical about my
state of affairs before approaching God would be very plausible except for one
life changing fact. When Jesus took all of the sin of the world onto His back,
and He shed His perfect blood, Christ was taking care of all of this for every
one of us, and He did it for the rest of time.


There is nothing left for me to do except to accept on faith
that Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection are real and that He is the one true God
and Lord of my life. In accepting this fact, I am also accepting all of
Christ’s work on my behalf. There is nothing left for me to do. This radically
altered perspective can be a very hard one to live out of. It seems much easier
to develop a plan of action and to work hard to achieve the goals in that plan,
than it does to trust Christ’s Spirit to work in me to affect the sort of
dramatic change that living righteously requires. Yet that is the simple and
direct calling of Christ.


Faith and trust that are founded upon Christ’s actions and
that are grounded in His Word lead to a heart that sincerely desires to follow
His calling to draw near to God. Drawing near to God means that I am choosing
to leave behind my safe and comfortable ways of handling life. It means that I
am willing to set aside my defenses and my protective shields in order to enter
into other people’s realities. It means that I am deciding to love people, to
accept them as they are, and to speak the truth of Christ’s grace and
righteousness regardless of the perceived risk. When Christ’s righteousness is
my own, I can engage fully in a world that is broken by sin. When I do this, I
will bring with me the glorious and restorative righteousness of Christ so that
others can choose to accept His cleansing water of salvation.