For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God. - Hebrews 7:18-19
We are working our way through Hebrews during Sunday morning worship at Grace. The above passage was in the section of Hebrews from which Brother Billy preached yesterday.
The "better hope" we are promised in this passage is in relation to access to God. When the first Adam disobeyed his Creator, he lost intimate access to God (the very thing for which Adam was created!) - lost access to God for himself and for his offspring. But the second Adam - Jesus - through his obedience, has provided access to God once more.
That thought - access to God, the nearness of God, intimate knowledge of God - that thought both encourages and terrifies me. On the one hand, I draw tremendous comfort and assurance from the knowledge that God is very close at hand. That He is near, present in the ups and downs of my life in this fallen world. God knows me intimately, knows my struggles, and He is ever present and ready to give me strength and guidance and comfort.
God is near, close at hand. That thought terrifies me. Whatever I do, where ever I go (in my mind, on-line, with my eyes or ears or heart), God is with me. He sees and hears and knows every detail of every circumstance of every moment of my life. He knows the inclinations of my heart.
So, we watched a couple of trashy movies at the Kendall house this weekend. Not only did these movies leave me feeling physically blechy, because I stayed up late to watch them, but they also made me feel mentally and emotionally blechy. Like I'd been eating poop.
I got to thinking this morning...if I get covered in the muck of this world because someone next to me is splashing around in it and flings it on me, that's one thing. If I get covered in muck because I inadvertently allow my mind to wander from what is pure and lovely to what is base and vile - sort of accidentally find myself back in the pigsty again, without having meant to go there - that is another thing.
But if I walk intentionally, deliberately, right into the sewer and start to bathe in its filth; if, when I perhaps feel some slight twinge of conscience, I defy such gentle nudgings by wallowing even deeper; if I walk into the sewer and lie down and bathe in it with the full knowledge that God is near, God is with me, and I am debasing not only myself but my holy Creator - that is something entirely different.
What? Do I think that I can make the Holy unclean?! That I can smear his vision so that He cannot see into the darkness of my heart?! That somehow I can make his righteous gaze less searing if I coat myself and my conscience with muck?!
God, forgive me! Make me ever mindful of the reality that not only did Christ make it possible for me to draw near to God, but He opened the door for God to draw near to me.
God, help me to live every moment with the consciousness that You are near. Cause that truth to shake me and break me and utterly transform me.
The door is open, Lord - please, come and make me new.