Monday, May 21, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 76

Answered Prayers continued...

If possessing a true heart is the first step required in being able to come boldly before God’s throne and enter the Holiest, the second attribute of great import - one that is as much of a necessity as that of possessing a pure heart - is being in full assurance of faith.

Full assurance of faith springs forth from our hearts not because of who we are, or what we’ve accomplished, but because of who Jesus is, and what He accomplished.

If we attempt to approach God based on our own merits, accomplishments, works, or self-righteousness, we will never be able to do so with full assurance of faith, because if we are honest with ourselves, we will realize how often we’ve fallen short, and how worthless our works and deeds and accomplishments truly are in the sight of an eternal God.

Yes, I know some people have an inflated sense of self and see anything they do, from waking up in the morning, to giving a glass of water to a thirsty person as a priceless self-sacrifice which God could never repay in full, but by and large, I believe or at least hope, that we realize it is through the blood of Christ, and His blood alone, that we are washed clean and able to stand before God’s holy face.

The secret to being in full assurance of faith, is realizing, on a very fundamental level, the true worth of the blood of Christ and what His sacrifice did for us.

Full assurance of faith means more than theoretically approaching God, or reasonably understanding and perceiving something. It is to live spiritual realities deep within the heart, and it is likewise seeing these spiritual realities manifest in our everyday life. We cannot separate full assurance of faith from a sincere heart, as this assurance encompasses our understanding, our intuition, our desire, and our trust in the truth of what God has declared in His word. Faith goes beyond our feelings and our sentiments, it goes beyond our limited understanding, and sees a God who can do exceedingly beyond what we ask for or imagine as being possible. Full assurance of faith gives us the power to walk the path of the new life, seeing Christ our Great High Priest before us in perpetuity.

It is said, and rightly so, that life is in the blood. If we take this saying to its rightful conclusion, it would not be a stretch to conclude that the blood is worth as much as the life is, since both blood and life are inexorably connected and interdependent. Since we already know that in Christ was the life of God, the true worth of the blood of Christ, is as limitless and priceless as God Himself.

We can never minimize or diminish what Jesus did on Calvary’s tree for us all. We can never minimize or diminish the true worth of His blood, the true worth of His sacrifice, because it is His sacrifice and blood that enable us to walk in full assurance of faith, into the Holiest, and petition God for that which we need.

Jesus consecrated the new and living way for us, He sanctified it that we might have access to God the Father, and enter the Holiest with full assurance of faith, knowing the authority in which we stand.

When one has full assurance, they have unwavering confidence in something or someone. Knowing what Jesus did on our behalf, knowing the price He paid, knowing no one in heaven, on earth or below the earth could have paid the price but Him, we stand before God with unwavering confidence.

The third attribute the word tells us is necessary in order for us to enter the Holiest, is a clean conscience. This is what the passage in Hebrews is referring to when it says, ‘having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience.’

One can only possess a clean conscience once the heart has been sprinkled with the blood of Christ. Once we’ve poured out our heart in repentance toward God, and confessed all that burdens us or weighs heavily upon us, we are forgiven, restored and renewed. One cannot have their heart sprinkled from an evil conscience, unless they’ve asked God for forgiveness, and repented of that which they knew needed to be acknowledged.

It always amazes me how some individuals attempt to put on airs, and pretend as though they need never come before God in repentance, they need never come before God in humility, that they are perpetually pristine in all their conduct, speech, and actions. God knows! He already knows what we must repent of, He already knows what we need to ask forgiveness for, He already knows the evil of which our hearts must be purged, and He’s waiting for us to come before Him and pour out our hearts. There is much to be said for humility, for humbling oneself and falling at the foot of the cross acknowledging our need for forgiveness and restoration.

Our refusal to acknowledge our need for forgiveness, our stubbornness in regards to repentance, is damaging to none other than ourselves. By our unwillingness to humble ourselves, by our unwillingness to submit to the word and authority of Scripture, we retard our own spiritual walk, and suffer setbacks, impediments, and delays.

Many a soul ought to be more spiritually mature than they are, many a soul ought to possess more faith and power than they do, but because they drag their feet concerning the elementary requirements of God, because they choose to heed those who would insist that no repentance, no trueness of heart, and no assurance of faith are required in order to enter the Holiest.

Absent these four attributes, absent these four requirements, the best we can hope for is deceiving ourselves into believing that we’ve entered the Holiest.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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