While finishing my quiet time, I asked (no, begged) the Lord to let me know His presence. I was like a little girl in the store asking her daddy to please let her pick up a piece of candy on the way out. I longed for an assurance of His nearness with every fiber of my being. Some time later, while I was taking a shower, I was still praying for it. Then God answered in a way I had not expected.
While the water was pouring over my head, I was suddenly overwhelmed with a downpour of guilt. I was recalling sinful times from my past and when I looked down at my self, I felt ashamed of my body and the weight I had gained because I let my flesh be in charge. “How could anyone love a person like that?”I was trying to let this feeling of disgust wash away, but it stuck to my heart like the water droplets were trying to stick to my body. I hung my head as tears and water rushed down the drain.
But then, when I grabbed for my towel, a beautiful assurance took hold of me. It was as if Jesus was handing me the towel. He was making His divine presence known.
Earlier, I read in Matthew 22 about a man at a wedding banquet who didn’t want to wear the garments provided for the feast. He hadn’t taken the Master seriously when confronted with his condition and his dire need to wear something other than his old clothes. The Master kindly made provisions for all who attended to look presentable. This man didn’t think he needed it. As a result he found himself in the outer darkness with hands and feet bound, unable to do anything further.
Coming to God is costly; it was in the Old Testament, and it still is today. There is only one way to come to Him, in humility, knowing of our unworthiness, and covered in the means He provides. There is no other way.
Clothed in the blood of Jesus and His sacrifice, in the freedom of a forgiven conscience, we can boldly approach a Holy God, who is willing and able to show us His loving presence. In that assurance we can stand strong, even when our own flesh (or the enemy) tries to condemn us.
“He entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctifyfor the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify ourconscience from dead works to serve the living God.”