Saturday, February 14, 2015

Approaching God



Scripture

Psa. 24:0   Of David. A Psalm.
1     The earth is the LORD’S and all that is in it,
        the world, and those who live in it;
2     for he has founded it on the seas,
        and established it on the rivers.
 
Psa. 24:3        Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD?
        And who shall stand in his holy place?
4     Those who have clean hands and pure hearts,
        who do not lift up their souls to what is false,
        and do not swear deceitfully.
5     They will receive blessing from the LORD,
        and vindication from the God of their salvation.
6     Such is the company of those who seek him,
        who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah
 
Psa. 24:7        Lift up your heads, O gates!
        and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
        that the King of glory may come in.
8     Who is the King of glory?
        The LORD, strong and mighty,
        the LORD, mighty in battle.
9     Lift up your heads, O gates!
        and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
        that the King of glory may come in.
10     Who is this King of glory?
        The LORD of hosts,
        he is the King of glory. Selah

Observation


As Christianity began to take hold the Old Testament Scriptures took on new meaning for the Christ followers. In the Greek version of the Old Testament this Psalm eventually carried the superscription “On the first day.” Throughout the years it was often used as a text for Easter and foundational to an understanding of the resurrection and the ascension of Jesus. It is Christ, in this instance, who is displaying his nearness to God in and through his life, and we pick up on the theological theme of approaching God.

We end up with a series of questions surrounding the approach of God. Do we have a right to enter into God’s presence? How could we expect God’s presence to come and be among us? What does holiness have to do with approaching God?

God is the strong and mighty King of glory who he comes to us, but because of his very nature, we cannot force our entry into his presence. We can participate in worship which approaches God, one which arises and goes to where the Lord will be found. We are to worship and plead before him. Approaching his presence is wholistic as we are not to just worship him with our lips, but with everything about our lives. We are to have clean hands and a pure heart, a life which has been transformed by the all-consuming presence of God’s Holy Spirit. Our personal, spiritual and social lives are to be holy. Origen says that we will never see his face unless we have been changed.This radical transformation becomes our set of credentials, the documents which allow us to approach the LORD. This is the King of glory, the one who redeems his people, and overthrows the enemies.

Because of Christ’s resurrection and ascension we have the possibility of approaching God. Christ has created the pathway for God’s holy people and as we step into that path we experience transformation and are made holy as we follow in Christ’s footsteps and draw ever closer to the King of glory.

Application


Life can become overwhelmingly busy at times — doing really good things. This past week was a case in point, it was a great week of worship and fellowship at our denominational meetings. At the same time the meetings overwhelmed my life and schedule. For the last number of years I have tried to set aside time almost every day to spend in the Scriptures and prayer. At the same time, I’m a person who needs to get enough sleep and when I get down to 5-6 hrs. of sleep a night, I don’t function very well. Trying to catch enough sleep, I found myself giving up this time in the word and here’s the confession — Oh how I missed it! I couldn’t wait to spend time here this morning and realized this is where I want to be — with my Lord, and soaking in him and his presence and glory!

In my own life, this daily time with the Lord has become foundational to living. What I discovered this week was that I felt that I was without my daily anchor — that grounding for the day. It is in approaching God that we are transformed by him. I can’t live on the transformation that I experienced last week for too long — because I will run out of energy. However, if I approach God on a daily basis and experience his continual and on-going refilling in my life, then I can pray for his leading in living-out his presence in every aspect of my life. He transforms my thought-life, my actions, and my attitudes!

I rejoice in him today and I’m grateful for a Savior who has made it possible for us to approach God.

Prayer

Lord, please continue to do your work in and through me as I approach you.  Amen.

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