by Ajay Chakravarthy (based on RLCF Bible Study on Wednesday, May 4, 2016)
“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”
Is it possible that I think I’m worshiping God but it is all in vain? That was the case with those Jesus spoke about in Matthew 15 verses 8 and 9. They were speaking of wonderful things and outwardly perhaps had a testimony that they were worshipers of God, but in God’s eyes it was worthless. Why? Because their hearts were far from Him.
I see that danger in my life that I could have an outward testimony of one who honors God but my heart could be far from Him. Only I and the Lord know where my heart is.
We see in the Old Testament that God showed a picture of drawing near to God through the service in the tabernacle. There was the high priest that would go into the most holy place once a year to worship the Lord in the holy of holies. He had the greatest privilege to be able to draw near to God.
God’s intention was not that just the high priest would have that privilege but all of His children through Jesus (Heb. 7:24, 25) would be able to enter into this nearness. And this nearness was not a physical nearness like the high priests had when they entered into the holy of holies once a year but a nearness of our heart to God.
For centuries, God demonstrated this as a picture through the tabernacle but now God has brought the reality through Jesus opening up the way (tearing through the veil which is His flesh) and calls us to follow Him through the veil to worship God in the most holy place (Heb. 10:19-22). Are we willing to deny our will (flesh) and enter in?
According to Hebrews 10:22 we see that we can only enter that place if we have a sincere heart, heart that doesn’t have any guile, one who doesn’t come to God in pretense but in honesty. Secondly, we see that we need to have full assurance of faith, like it says in Hebrews 4:16 to come boldly to His throne of grace to receive mercy and grace in our time of need. We can only come boldly into His presence if we have faith that He has completely taken away the guilt of an evil conscience. It says, that the blood of bulls and goats couldn’t make the worshipers perfect in conscience; thank the Lord that the blood of Jesus can make us perfectly cleanse us in conscience (Heb. 10:1; 9:9; 9:14). Finally, because we’ve been washed and sanctified can draw near to Him (Heb. 10:10).
God longed for ages that His children would draw near to Him in this way. We have been given this privilege and God has opened the way. May we bring joy to the heart of God by drawing near to Him and enter into this intimacy with our Lord.