There has been a major movement within the body of Christ that tends to assume one position when we enter into God’s presence. That position is to enter God’s presence with confidence, or boldness. The problem arises when we neglect the flip side to that coin. Entering God’s presence also involves stepping in to the presence of a Holy and righteous God. Sometimes it seems as though we have forgotten God’s holiness.
There are a few primary verses used in conjunction with this confidence theology, which tells us to boldly enter the presence of God.
Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus – Hebrews 10:19
Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. – Hebrews 4:16
This was in accordance with the eternal purpose, which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him. – Ephesians 3:17
It’s true. We now have the ability to confidently enter in to God’s presence. What Paul was illustrating in these verses was that the Holy of Holies (HH) was now open to us freely. Christ tore the veil so we can all enter God’s presence, not just one man. He came to remove the dividing wall that separated man from God’s presence, by becoming the atoning sacrifice once and for all.
Within the constructs of the Old Testament temple we could only enter God’s presence through a middle-man, that is, the high priest. The people had to have confidence in the High Priest’s sinlessness to enter the HH to make atonement for their sins. If the high priest was not without sin, he would die beyond the veil.
Paul’s confidence for believers to enter the HH was solidified in the understanding that Jesus Christ is now our high priest. He is the sinless incarnation of God who is now our advocate before the Father. Our confidence is in Him, knowing full well He can be trusted. We can be assured that Christ’s sacrifice was sufficient and sustaining. This is our confidence and source of boldness.
The problem with confidence in Christ comes when it makes it way to our head. I hear people boast of their position in God, thinking it elevates their stature among the world, and sadly even among the Body. This sort of thinking denies the teaching of both Philippians 2:3 and John 3:30,
Do nothing from selfishness or empty (vain) conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves. – Phil. 2:3
He must increase, but I must decrease. – John 3:30
By believing that we, in our own sufficiency or position, are worthy of God’s presence, we falsify the Gospel and the word of God. God tells us through the prophet Isaiah:
I am the LORD, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another – Isaiah 42:8
While the Christian can walk in confidence of his position in Christ, and can boldly enter God’s presence, knowing full well the blood of Christ is sufficient to enter, we must remember whose throne room we are entering. He is:
- The Alpha and Omega
- The First and the Last
- The King of Kings
- The Lord of Lords
- El Elyon – The Most High God
There is none above Him, and none who stands beside Him. God’s holiness is the same today, as it was when He called forth creation, regardless of our current adoption status in Christ.
God will not share His glory with us. He is all. We can’t live for Him and take a commission of His glory. His glory is his holiness, and that holiness must be honored when we enter His presence and when we serve Him. Listen to Tozer’s thoughts from Voice Of A Prophet:
We want to serve God, but we want a commission. “Oh God, we will give you Thee 95 percent of the glory, but could we have 5 percent?” Then we get blessed at some revival meeting and say to God, “Oh Lord, let it ne 3 percent.” … God will not give his glory to anybody. A day will come when He will allow us to share His glory with Him, but that day is not now.
We have made God so personable, likeable, and palatable that we have neglected His holiness. I would dare say we have forgotten it. We have made God more our “buddy,” than The Almighty; the creator of the heavens and the earth. We want to share His glory with Him, when indeed it is His alone to receive.
God is personable and loving, but he is also holy and righteous. He is worthy of reverence and fear as well. A major problem we have is taking ourselves too seriously, and not taking God seriously enough. When God’s holiness is elevated, it illuminates our own unholiness. When our unholiness is illuminated it draws us into deeper fellowship with Christ. He is our advocate to the Father.
May we never take for granted the ability to boldly enter the presence of God. May our spiritual pride never blind us to God’s holiness. May we never take ourselves more seriously that we neglect God’s holiness when we come before Him. May we never forget that although God has become our Father and friend who still closer than a brother, He is also holy, and he calls us to worship Him alone as the Holy One.