How often have you wanted to run away or turn away from God? Perhaps it was shame, guilt, or maybe despair that was making you unable to even look at your own self in the mirror, let alone approach God. Those feelings of regret, shame, fear, and a guilty conscience often make us want to crawl in a hole and hide. Fear is a powerful emotion and pushes us away from God. But the words of Paul tell us that we no longer have to feel that way. We no longer have any reason to run away or turn away from God. We no longer have to hide in shame and disgust. We no longer have to be fearful of who we are, or what we think we are. Instead of running away from God, we can run to Him, and fall into His loving arms. When we run to God into His loving arms we are entering the most holy place. Paul calls it such in Hebrews 10:19. That should take your breath away. Just think about it. No matter who you think you are, or what you are, you can enter the holy place, into the very presence of God Himself. But Paul says one more thing that is almost too good to be true. He does not say that we have to crawl into that holy place, hide behind someone else, or that we have to enter wearing sack cloth and ashes. We don’t even have to sneak in the back door so no one sees us. No, he says we can come into that holy place in God’s presence with CONFIDENCE. Wow! How often do we enter a classroom about to take a test, and go in feeling confident? But Paul says we can enter the presence of God feeling confident!
How is that possible? Is this all just a dream or make believe?
No, it is real. Very real.
Let Paul explain.
“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that He opened for us through the curtain, that is, through His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.” (Hebrews 10:19-22a)
We no longer have any excuse for running away from God, turning away from God, or hiding in shame or despair. Instead we can approach God and enter His presence without fear but rather with confidence. Paul even tells us to come up close, draw near, maybe so close that we feel as if we are sitting in His lap just as we would sit comfortably in our dad’s lap as a child. Paul tells us in Romans 8:15 “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!” We are no longer a slave to fear. Instead, we have been adopted by God, and we are His children. We call Him Father! We are surrounded by the arms of God our Father. And all of this is possible because of the blood of Jesus.
Paul calls this a new and living way (Hebrews 10:20). Instead of fear and guilt we’ve been liberated from our bondage and shown a new way of living. Our sin is washed away with pure water, and our guilty conscience is wiped clean (Hebrews 10:22). That guilty conscience, which we often lug around in our heart, has been wiped clean. The chains are broken, we’ve been redeemed. I know, it is almost too hard to imagine or fathom. We can hardly understand something so great and wonderful. But it is real. Now, without fear or guilt, we can fall into His loving arms because Jesus has opened the door for us. His blood became the pathway into God’s presence! No more sin and guilt! We have been set free!