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As much as we want to, it seems to be very difficult, even on the campus of a reputable Christian university, to find the time to take and approach God on an intimate level. Still, it remains the most important aspect of our relationship with God. It should be no surprise to us that God wants us to actually be relational in our relationship with Him.
Lately, I have been pondering the intimacy that God allows us to have with Him. We, as sinful human beings, should not rationally be able to approach the infinitely good God of the universe. In fact, it only makes sense that we are much too inadequate to even think about exposing ourselves to God’s glory. Despite this, God offers an invitation for us to approach Him with an intimacy that we will never find anywhere else!
Consider the ancient High Priest. According to the Talmud (code of Rabbinic Law) the person holding this position would actually enter the Holy of Holies to make atonement, by way of sacrifice, for all of God’s people. This would happen one day out of each year on Yom Kippur (the day of atonement). If the High Priest was found unclean before God, he would be struck dead and therefore be unable to approach God. What is different today? Why is it that God offers each and every one of His children today the opportunity to approach Him? Why would we think that we might be able to approach the God of the universe when people have died simply by exposing themselves to that same God without being clean according to God?
“10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence” (Ephesians 3:10-12).
I want to focus particularly on v. 12. In Jesus Christ and through faith in Jesus Christ, we have the opportunity to approach God with freedom and confidence! There is nothing that we did to give ourselves this opportunity, which also means that there is nothing we can possibly do to remove this opportunity. If we are in Christ, we can approach God with freedom and confidence!
Let’s think for a moment. If, before Jesus’ redeeming sacrifice on Calvary, one man would die by presenting himself before God while unclean, then this means we have the opportunity, having received the gift of Christ on this earth, to approach God without the fear of being struck dead! We have an opportunity that those before Christ did not have! We can actually approach God as if we were stepping into the Holy of Holies! If we know that we have this amazing opportunity, why then do we not make time to spend intimately with our God?
It is because of this amazing relationship with Jesus Christ that we can experience the holiness of God on a day-to-day basis! Think back to Genesis (chapters 1-3). God’s intent for humanity was that He would have a relationship with humanity: that they would be His people and He would be their God. Through Jesus Christ, God restored the possibility of that relationship in every heart, though it still remains that we must choose.
Look at verse 10, “His intent was that now, through the church (body of believers) the manifold wisdom of God should be made know to rulers and authorities in heavenly realms.”
God desires such an intimate relationship with us that He wishes to reveal Himself in and through us; not only to the rest of humanity but to “rulers and authorities in heavenly realms”. Look at verse 11. God wishes to reveal Himself in such a way “according to His eternal purpose that He accomplished in Christ Jesus”.
So, God reveals Himself to others according to the relationship He has with His people through Jesus Christ! You and I are the ultimate proof that God exists and that Jesus Christ is the messiah! Because God works in and through us and because of Jesus Christ, we have the opportunity to approach God. When we do not make the time to approach God and to learn who He is, His work is not as evident in our lives. If God’s work is not as evident in our lives, then we are not a satisfied here on Earth as we otherwise would be and others have room to speculate that God is not at work and therefore does not exist or is not relevant.
Make the time. Be satisfied. Proclaim God in and through your life. It is an amazing thing that we can approach God with freedom and confidence!