Moses was told to take off his sandals for he was standing on holy ground (Exodus 3:5). Joshua was told to take off his sandals for he was standing on holy ground (Joshua 5:15). Holy means set apart or sacred. One of my favorite passages references Isaiah’s commission. Isaiah sees the Lord sitting on His throne and He is in complete awe and reverence as he hears the words, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty.” He knows he is unclean. He knows he is undeserving.
It is important to approach God with fear and awe. The fear is not the fear we consider when we typically speak of fear. When Proverbs 1 speaks of the fear of the Lord being the beginning of wisdom, it doesn’t mean we are frightened as we are when watching a horror movie. Fearing God means that you have a fear of disobeying and displeasing God which would result in judgment and a disconnection from Him. It is about reverence and submission. God is holy and exalted above all. It is approaching with humility.
Yes, the blood of Jesus has cleansed us and when we repent we are forgiven of our sins. Yes, the veil has been torn and we can approach God once again. But it is important that we still approach God with fear and awe. The song says you have a friend in Jesus, and you do, but that is to be treasured not stomped on. When you approach God in prayer, in church, wherever—don’t take it for granted. Focus on Him. Remember He is holy and you too are to be holy. May your heart be filled with a passion and desire to worship, to truly worship Him, with all that you have and all that you are, each and every day.
“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.’ At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. ’Woe to me!’ I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.’” – Isaiah 6:1-5 [NIV]
This last winter was horrible. I remember being stuck out in the cold many days having to shovel and shovel some more. I remember once my kids locked me out too. I did not have my keys with me because I wasn’t leaving. I was simply shoveling the inches of snow that had once again come our way. But I couldn’t get inside. I was cold. I knocked. They didn’t answer. Thankfully they came to my aide a bit later. It was no fun being outside in the cold.
The Bible says that there will be people who “will find themselves out in the cold.” It is sad but it is true. When you read the verse, something has to stick out—THOSE WHO GREW UP ‘IN THE FAITH.’ Wow. They will be in the cold?!? But they grew up in the faith. The second part says BUT HAD NO FAITH. It’s much clearer then. You see you cannot save your family members. You cannot grow up in a church and say you are a Christian because you were raised Christian. What even is that? YOU, yes YOU PERSONALLY, need to repent of your sins and give your life to Jesus. You need to say, “Not my will, but Yours.”
Growing up in a church won’t save you. I cannot save my own children. I try to follow God’s Word to parents. I take them to church. I lead by example. But they ultimately have to make the decision on their own. If you have been going to church all your life but you have never fully accepted Jesus, never repented of your sins and given your will for His, pray about it today. I don’t want any of you outside in the cold. I know God doesn’t want you outside either. He wants each of you saved. He wants each of you with Him.
“Then those who grew up ‘in the faith’ but had no faith will find themselves out in the cold, outsiders to grace and wondering what happened.”
-Matthew 8:12 [MSG]