Come as you are, but don't stay as you are the everyday faith company

Come as You Are, but Don’t Stay as You Are

If we’re being honest with ourselves, most of us would consider our lives ordinary. We have our routines, our schedules, our every-now-and-then wonderful vacations. But even if we will never fly to the moon or travel to every continent or find the cure for cancer, shouldn’t there be something more to the mundane?

Actually, yes, there is more. Much more. It’s just so a part of our normal that we forget about it. You can come as you are before Jesus. God, in His wonderful benevolence, has given us all a way to come into His presence. 

And that makes every day exceptional. No matter our routine.

Come as you are, but don't stay as you are the everyday faith company

The Holy of Holies

It wasn’t always so easy to come before God. We read in the Old Testament about the role of the priests in entering the Holy of Holies (Leviticus 16). The Holy Place was a symbol of the “unapproachable presence of God,” and Aaron and any high priest after him could not simply enter whenever and however they wanted.

Coming before the altar was unheard of for anyone aside from the high priest. And that man had to be dressed specifically and without blemish. These regulations weren’t for the purpose of God throwing around His power and authority. They were to signify just how holy and awesome our God is. They were to remind the people that God is pure, unblemished and worthy of perfection.

While we don’t really know how God communicated to people in those days—did He speak audibly, did He communicate at all with those who weren’t priests, etc.—we do know entering God’s presence for the “ordinary” person was forbidden. 

That’s not to say God had favorites or loved certain people enough to communicate with them but not with others. Rather, it reminds us of just how serious it is to come before God. To speak with Him. To experience His presence.

Come as you are before the throne

When Jesus breathed His last, the curtain of the temple was torn in two (Mark 15:33-39). God’s physical representation that we now have access to Him. We now have forgiveness of sins, and we can boldly approach the throne (Hebrews 10:1-25).

No longer must we rely on a high priest. No longer must our bodies represent God’s holiness when entering the Holy Place. Jesus has washed us clean. He made the ultimate sacrifice. You can come as you are before the throne of God, and He will accept you. All because of Jesus.

However, coming as you are boldly before Jesus does not mean coming as you are casually. God says to come as you are, not stay as you are. It’s easy to pull Scripture out of context and think coming as we are means it doesn’t matter how we come.

We can use it to say it doesn’t matter how we look when attending church, because we can come as we are. Or it doesn’t matter how we pray, because we can come as we are. Or even it doesn’t matter when we ask for forgiveness for that sin we keep on committing. Jesus has forgiven us, and we can come as we are.

But, oh, it truly does matter. We can approach the throne with confidence and boldness, but we must also approach with humility. With an understanding of how we are able to approach in this way. 

And we must approach with our best.

What is our best?

Our best does not mean Jesus won’t accept us otherwise, but do we really want to give Him anything less? Do we want to show up to church wearing T-shirts and ripped jeans when our attendance signifies coming together before God’s throne? Sure, God accepts us, but why do we want to come before God looking anything but our best?

Do we want to pray in casual postures constantly because we know Jesus hears us whether we’re kneeling or slumped on the couch, distracted by the TV? True, God might hear us, but is that really how we want to approach the throne?

Approaching God with our best should never turn into legalism, for you truly can come as you are before Jesus. But coming as you are boldly before the throne should not give us the excuse to come casually.

Praise God He tore that curtain. Praise Him that He allows us, mere humans going about our routines, to come before His throne at any moment in our mundane days. May we worship Him with gladness and humility that we truly can come as we are. But may we never desire to stay as we are.

And may we use that truth as a way to remember our ordinary days are always exceptional. For we have a God who desires us to come. To come covered in the blood of His Son. To come as we are, but to not stay as we are.

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