Ask five people on the street, “How can I find my way to God?” and you’ll likely get five different answers. They may not even believe in God. Or your God.
As I’ve thought about this question, I think it requires we ask another question first.
This one question boils down the issue like nothing else can.
The First Question
Before we ask how to find our way to the Lord, we need to answer: “Is God holy?” Because if He is holy, then we can approach God only one way: the way He provides.
King David knew this well.
After David conquered Jerusalem and secured it as his capital, he desired to bring the Ark of the Covenant into his new City of David. But in his passion to have God’s presence, David neglected to follow the Lord’s principles–and that negligence of improperly transporting the Ark cost a man his life (2 Samuel 6:1–7).
Three months later, David correctly transported the Ark into Jerusalem.
In this experience, David gained a profound respect for the Almighty’s holiness. His opening question in Psalm 15 reflects this awe:
O Lord, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill? (Psalm 15:1).
David’s answer is humbling: only holy people may approach a holy God.
The Final Question
If only the holy may approach God’s holy hill, that leaves me out. (All of us, by the way.)
By ourselves, none of us can approach a holy Being, because we all fall short of His perfection (Isaiah 56:3; Romans 3:23). The only way we can approach God comes from His grace in removing the impenetrable obstacle: our sin. But how can justice allow such a thing?
No one has ever entered the Father’s presence without a sacrifice for sin, either then or now.
The Lord Himself offered the perfect sacrifice when His Son, Jesus, died on a cross in Jerusalem. Isaiah predicted this. Jesus’ sacrifice removed the obstacle of sin and imputes God’s standard of holiness to those who would receive it by faith. God’s love and God’s justice met and both were satisfied . . . and neither were contradicted.
The Only Way is the Way the Lord has Provided
It’s not enough to believe in God and live as sincerely as we can. That does not allow us to approach God. He is holy, and the place He resides is holy. We have to approach Him as He prescribes.
According to the Lord’s own Word, that way is Jesus (Isaiah 53:6; John 14:6).
Question: Why do you think people come to God on their own terms? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
Adapted from Wayne Stiles, Going Places with God: A Devotional Journey Through the Lands of the Bible (Ventura, CA: Regal, 2006), p. 45. Used by permission.