I approached the stage to make the announcements in church last Sunday. My smile and my posture exuded confidence, but they did not accurately portray what the nervous shaking going on in my heart. In my heart, I was scared. I was hesitant to be my silly, dippy, playful self on a stage in a room full of people because I had determined that not all of the people were safe. Many of the people at church loved me unconditionally, but there were two people whose repeated rejection and criticisms intimidated me. Honestly, I was afraid to mess up or make a mistake in front of them. To me, they were not safe.
I’m sure that you know what I mean. There are people in your life that you feel safe with. These are friends and family who accept you and love you unconditionally even though they know that you are imperfect. You are free to be your messed-up self in their presence. Then you have those people in your life who are not safe. These are people who are critical of how you live and what you say and how you act. For these people your best is never good enough. And when you make a mistake they just add it to their growing list of your imperfections. They sit like a judge over your life, ready to confirm your own insecure belief that you are not good enough. Pen and paper in hand, they stare you down and wait for you to fumble.
We have confidence to be appear before those who are safe. We are scared to appear before those who are not safe.
What about God? Where does He fit in to your paradigm of who is safe and who is not safe? Is He a loving friend who will accept you in your imperfect state, or does He sit like a critical judge ready to condemn you?
Whether you deem God as “safe” or not will affect your freedom of entering His presence. If God is safe, you will run to Him when you are an emotional mess. You will come to Him when you have just yelled at your children or you have let the sun go down in your anger. You will come to Him when you have just cussed someone out. You will confidently approach Him even though you have had an abortion or an affair. No sin in your life will keep you from drawing near to Him.
Why can you do that? Because God is safe. He loves and accepts you unconditionally. Even in your sinful state, you can still approach God. There is a BIG REASON why God is safe and you need to understand it:
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Because of the blood of Jesus, there is forgiveness in God’s presence, not punishment.
Because of the blood of Jesus, there is acceptance in God’s presence, not rejection.
Because of the blood of Jesus, there is unconditional love in God’s presence, not a standard you will never meet.
Imperfect and messy and even sinful people are welcome in God’s presence. All because of the blood of Jesus.
“For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” Hebrews 10:14 NIV
“…Since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God…” Hebrews 10:19-22
God wants us to draw near to Him. Because of the blood of Jesus, we have confidence to enter His presence. Jesus’ sacrifice dealt with all of our sin, forever. The blood of Jesus makes God safe. No matter what we have done, we do not have to fear punishment in God’s presence, because Jesus took all of the punishment we deserve. God will never punish us for our imperfection, our messes or our sin.
God is safe.
We can approach Him with confidence.
He will receive us in grace and love.
He will never reject or condemn us.
He does not sit like a judge, ready to punish us.
Because of the blood of Jesus, God welcomes us.
Draw near to God with confidence, my friend, no matter what you have done. God wants you to do this. Trust Him. He will not punish you.
God is safe.
What about you? What is keeping you from approaching God with confidence? Leave a comment, or send me an email and let me know. It would be an honor to pray for you.