It’s such an important key, I believe it is the difference between being able to enter God’s presence and connect with Him or not being able to at all.
I’ll start by sharing a story about someone who is very dear to me.
We have a member of our family who we love very much but we don’t see or hear from very often.
Recently it was his birthday and a number of friends and family sent him birthday wishes on Facebook. He responded by thanking us very much and he made this comment –
“I would really love to thank you personally but I’ve never been one to communicate much, mainly because I feel I have let down so many people who have loved me at one time. Today is a very difficult day for me”
Well, this absolutely broke my heart because, sure he’s had a rough time and probably made some poor choices in his life but we still love him and to think he thought that we wouldn’t love him was just heart breaking.
It could have been so easy to interpret the fact that we don’t see him or hear from him very often as him having lost interest in us or he had stopped loving us but actually he stopped loving himself. Because he felt so ashamed he could not face his friends and family anymore. He could not see how they, or we could still love him.
And this is what happens when we come to God sometimes. Sometimes we feel so guilty and so ashamed that we have let God down that either we don’t approach Him at all or we come to Him feeling so little and so ashamed and so undeserving. We think we don’t deserve and can’t expect to receive anything from Him; certainly not His beautiful anointing and presence.
We feel that we need to take time to work on being more holy and build up the relationship with Him again before we can approach Him.
But this may well be one of the greatest deceits of the devil to keep us from approaching God.
And let me say it is actually often the ones that are most trying to please God that feel the most guilty and most ashamed when they feel like they have let God down.
But I have discovered an incredible and powerful truth. I was feeling like this one day (actually I have felt like this many times – that feeling of “I have to start again from the beginning with God because I’ve let Him down and I don’t deserve to enter His presence)
But one day the Holy Spirit led me to 1 John 3:21 “Dear friends if our hearts do not condemn us we have confidence in the presence of God”
This is incredible. I realised that the way to approach God is that we must always come to Him with confidence and not allow our minds or the devil to condemn us.
Yes, we may need to deal with sin and asking God for forgiveness is an important part of meditation that I’ll talk about another time but it must not stop us from coming to God and coming to God with confidence.
Barnes (the Bible commentator) says “The confidence or boldness we have toward our Maker is founded solely on the evidence that He will graciously accept us as pardoned sinners, not the belief that we deserve His favour”
Barnes also says “If our hearts condemn us we cannot hope for peace”
We are forgiven and we must live in that forgiveness. It is faith to live and believe in His forgiveness and to approach Him with the confidence of knowing we are forgiven. This is the faith that pleases God.
1 John 3:20, the previous verse, says “God is greater than our heart and He knows all things”
In John 21:17 Jesus asks Peter “Peter, do you love me?” Peter had let Jesus down big time. In Jesus’ greatest time of need, Peter had denied even knowing Jesus. Peter was so ashamed and yet he replies to Jesus “Lord you know all things, you know that I love you”.
And that is the truth. God knows that you love Him. God knows our human weakness and that we will fail and let Him down but He also knows that we love Him. Jesus asked Peter this question not to condemn him but to get Peter to speak the truth. “Yes Lord I love you”.
So next time you come to God and it’s been awhile since you last approached Him or you feel that you’ve done something to let Him down, come to God with confidence. Nothing pleases Him more than when we say “I don’t deserve it and I don’t understand it but I am going to accept and believe you have forgiven me and I can walk boldly and confidently into your presence”.
In some cultures it is a great offense to not accept food that is offered to you. In some ways God is like this. It is a great honour to Him when we accept the forgiveness that He has given us. We are not showing Him honour if we feel like we’re just a little worm trying to enter His presence. No, He wants us to live in the confidence that He has already forgiven and accepted us and loves us dearly as beloved sons and daughters.
I have found that it is never possible to enter into meditation and connect with God when my heart condemns me. I have to make the choice to shift gears, so to speak, hold my head up high and remind myself, “I am forgiven, I am accepted and God loves me and it’s because of Jesus I can enter into His beautiful peace and presence today”.
We will never be able to enter God’s presence and find peace if our hearts condemn us. We must come to God with confidence. So don’t let your mind or the devil condemn you this week. Enter into your meditation with Him and His presence knowing that you are dearly loved, forgiven and accepted.
Praying this helps you this week. God bless – praying peace and blessing for you!