The thought of drawing near to God can stir up some very interesting responses. Why would I want to do that? What will happen when I do? Why do I need to draw close to Him, if He wants something from me wont He let me know? Does God really want to be personal with me anyways? Wont that get messy, or weird? To some of us approaching God may be a scary endeavor, we may have conditioned our heart to only believe contact with God is when we are in trouble, or if we are so desperate we turn to Him and beg for a miracle. Yet God does want to be intimately close with us. We are His children and He is the perfect Father. He loves us so much He did something so profound and radical to ensure that closeness with Him was not lost- He sent His Son Jesus, He paid a high price, to restore the intimacy hindered when sin entered the world in the days of Adam.
I will be sharing today from the book of Hebrews, and we will be turning to Hebrews 10:19-23 in a few minutes.
History of the book of Hebrews:
The book was written to Jewish converts. They had been going through much tribulation and were on the verge of reconsidering their choice to follow Jesus, and turn back to Judaism. The writer of Hebrews wanted to remind the Jewish converts about how much better the open relationship Jesus bought for them on the cross was for them, versus the Old Testament law the Jews had been living under. The law, established by God through Moses had not changed, but was fulfilled by Jesus life, death, and resurrection. Prior to Jesus, drawing near to God was impossible because of sin, with the exception of the high priest who would enter the Holy of Holies- the place where the presence of God resided, on what is called the Day of Atonement, and then only after the priest went through a long ritual of sanctification and cleansing for he had to be perfect before entering the Holy of Holies for God is holy and perfect.
For the sake of time I wont explain the layout of the temple, the place where the people came to worship, except that the presence of God resided in the most inner part of the temple called the Holy of Holies and was separated from the rest of the temple by a huge veil thought to have been three feet thick and 30 feet high. This is the veil that upon Jesus death supernaturally tore in half from top to bottom signifying that the Old way of approaching had ended, and a new covenant now began. Jesus blood had now opened the door for all who believe to enter into His presence. Because of Jesus we have no obstacles or veils in the way of drawing near to Him. We can know Him deeply, passionately, honestly, and Him us. Jesus is our high priest who sacrificed His life for ours. His resurrection from the dead proclaims our new birth and resurrection into eternal life with Him. Jesus is the perfect priest, seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us continually.
These were the facts the writer of Hebrews was addressing, the superiority of Jesus over the law, so were they going to place their trust in the law or Jesus.
Do we do that? The law is full of what we must do to control the situation, while following Jesus involves relying on His offering, sufficiency, and terms
A. Why do we need to draw near to God?
1. Because God wants us to
a. He wanted intimacy with us from the beginning, even after intimacy was lost
- He would someday send His son Jesus to set things right.
b. Jeremiah 31:31-34 says
B. God doesnt make us
1. James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you
2. The more time I spent with Him in worship, the more I understood Him, the more I understood Him the more I loved Him, the more I loved Him the more my life was changed and how I wanted to serve Him!
C. How do we draw near?
1. Honestly: Believe in Jesus and being real.
a. Romans 8:1
b. Romans 12:1
c. Priestly: Ready to serve and obey (Heart sprinkled and body washed)