2/19/16: On Approaching God
Using my computer and a program called Skype®, I can call my sons (and anyone else who has Skype) and see them as I talk with them. With just a few clicks, I visited with Mark who is thousands of miles away at college, saw his room, and “met” his roommates. Then I visited with Matthew while he ate his bowtie pasta meal. All of us had the same thing in mind: let’s call each other and talk. Skype erased the miles and allowed us to just be together for a few moments and it felt good. Since we all had the same program, we could be together.
Prayer is like Skype. Prayer is the program that erases the miles between Heaven and earth and ushers us into the presence of God. Through prayer, we meet Him face-to-face and have conversation. We talk and He listens; He talks and we listen. We respond back and forth. When we have the program—connection to God through Jesus Christ—we can approach God.
However, I wouldn’t want to use Skype and have my boys see me if I looked bad. Each time I visit with them using this program, I want to be presentable. As with Skype, so with prayer. I’m not saying we only pray when we’re in great shape and nothing’s wrong; I’m saying we ought to approach God regarding Him with respect. Aaron’s sons didn’t do this and were severely punished. Leviticus 10:1-2 says, “Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them. So fire went out from the LORD and devoured them, and they died before the LORD” (NKJ).
God explained His actions. “By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; and before all the people I must be glorified” Leviticus 1:3. We are not to just treat God any kind of way. We are welcome to approach Him, but we must remember to do so with the proper respect for who He is. God lays forth two requirements here for approaching Him. He says, “I must be regarded as holy,” and “I must be glorified.”
Matthew Henry’s commentary explains this much better than I can.
What was it that God spoke? “I will be sanctified in those that come nigh me, whoever they are, and before all the people I will be glorified” (KJV).
- Note, First, Whenever we worship God, we come nigh unto him, as spiritual priests. This consideration ought to make us very reverent and serious in all acts of devotion, that in them we approach to God, and present ourselves before him.
- Secondly, It concerns us all, when we come nigh to God, to sanctify him, that is, to give him the praise of his holiness, to perform every religious exercise as those who believe that the God with whom we have to do is a holy God, a God of spotless purity and transcendent perfection, <Isa. 8:13>.
- Thirdly, when we sanctify God we glorify him, for his holiness is his glory; and, when we sanctify him in our solemn assemblies, we glorify him before all the people, confessing our own belief of his glory and desiring that others also may be affected with it.
- Fourthly, if God be not sanctified and glorified by us, he will be sanctified and glorified upon us. He will take vengeance on those that profane his sacred name by trifling with him. If his rent be not paid, it shall be distrained for.
Bottom line: As the gospel song says, “Call Him up and tell Him what you want.” Approach God often, but approach God right.
©2016 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
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