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 and enter into God’s restorative peace.