The Path to God’s Presence

God isn’t interested in a relationship with a false version of you.

Want God to disclose himself to you? You first. Draw near to him and he will draw near to you. This isn’t about changing locations. God is everywhere and therefore cannot move from a place he is to a place he’s not. God draws near by revealing himself. His promise is that if you’ll draw near he will. If you’ll disclose yourself, he will too. It’s really not even “you first.” He already fully disclosed himself in the incarnation. From the manger to the cross he has already offered you his vulnerability. Will you offer him yours?

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12, ESV)

Don’t think primarily about the Bible when you read “word of God.” Jesus is the word. And what does he want to do? He wants to go deep. He wants access to the thoughts and intentions of your heart. He wants the real you.

“And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:13, ESV)

What does Jesus want? He wants vulnerability. He wants us to quit hiding and covering. In the original language, the word for “exposed” is a graphically violent word picture that means to bend back the neck and expose the throat. This is the position of vulnerability: that we would offer the most vulnerable part of who we are to the sharp sword of his gaze.

To refuse this is to be stiff necked.

“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14–16, ESV)

Because of who he is, because of what he’s done, it’s safe to offer him our vulnerability, to bring our real selves before him. It’s only by offering him our vulnerability that we are positioned to access his presence and receive the grace and mercy he so freely offers.

Stop having a nice little quiet time, reading your verses, reading your devotional and saying your prayers. Get real. Get raw. Bend back your neck and expose your throat to the High Priest whose words are a sword that pierces. You will find help no other way.


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