The Stuff in My Purse
Hebrews 4:16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace . . .
My family recently attended a professional sporting event where we were required to pass through security before entering. Purses were not allowed into the venue, so at the gate, there were trash cans full of purses. Those with a purse had the choice to keep it and remain outside or discard it and enter. Most, it seemed, wanted to enter more than they wanted to keep their purses.
Because of Christ’s sacrificial death at the cross, we may enter into a right relationship with God. We do not have to become perfect and we do not have to rid ourselves of our baggage before He accepts us. This is the beautiful message of the gospel. He loves us and nothing we do changes that. When we come to faith, we are forgiven for all time.
However, to practically know God’s intimate presence while in the confines of this flesh, is somewhat different. The author of Hebrews, in today’s passage, insisted that we must make the choice to boldly enter and live in the manifest presence of God. Though we are forgiven and restored to God in position, we can come to know Him a little or a lot in practice.
Here is where we must choose to discard our baggage and draw near to Him, or we hang on to that which keeps us from Him. I may be forgiven for all time, but the practical reality is that I cannot willfully defy God while enjoying the wonder of His intimate presence. I do not get to indulge in my pills, porn, greed, anger, resentments and selfishness while simultaneously enjoying intimacy with God.
If I desire to enter into God’s very real presence, I need only choose to do so. I simply must be willing to discard that which prevents me from entering. I cannot defiantly cling to my purse and enter. I must choose one or the other.