Hebrews 4:14-16 – The act of approaching requires one, or more than one moving person or thing to come into contact with something or someone else. For the “approacher”, and even at times for the “approachee”, such encounters are fraught with Psychological challenges. Sweaty palms, shaking knees and an increased heartbeat rate frequently occur when we are approaching someone who, for one reason or another, intimidates us. One of the most challenging maneuver of a commercial pilot’s career is landing an aeroplane, and for that, the approach is critical and consists of the correct attitude, speed and positioning of the aircraft.
But if your experience is anything like mine, we frequently discover that after we have completed the approach, we realize that many of our fears were unjustified. It’s like being in an elevator, and everyone is serious, usually looking upward to the floor indicators avoiding looking at others in the enclosure. And then if you were to dare to say hello to one or all, most if not all will smile and return the greeting.
Such repeated experiences teach me that the real obstacle in approaching others, quite often is ourselves. It is our knowledge of our inadequacies and shortcomings, and our imaginations and expectations of others that prevent us from confidently approaching others. It was only after they had disobeyed God that Adam and Eve were afraid to approach God. And when the Israelites saw the glory of God consuming the mountain in fire and thick smoke, they were, understandably, afraid to approach the mountain.
Today, Believers in Jesus are still having difficulty approaching our Heavenly Father for many of the reasons already given, and more. Let us look at the singular greatest blocker which is unfamiliarity with God.
In every close, productive relationship that I have encountered, a “get to know you” period is required. Now, after I get to know you, I might not like you; but I cannot meaningfully like you before I get to know you. The surest way to get to know God is by reading and feasting on His Word as laid out in the Bible. Personal experiences count, but these must be validated by His Word to minimize the impact of false teachings. All that God wants us to know about Himself is revealed through His Word.
In Hebrews 4:14-16 we learn that Jesus, the Son of God is our great High Priest.
- We learn that He knows and understands EVERYTHING about us, and is therefore totally qualified to represent us. As Adam discovered, hiding our sin is meaningless, because He already knows.
- And because He did not sin, although tempted as we are, He now commands our respect and worship.
- We also learn that He wants us to approach Him, and invites us to do so.
- We also learn that He is a forgiving and merciful God who will also supply us with the grace both to recover, as well as to avoid falling the next time (1 John 1:9).
One of the best proven ways to get to know God is to study His numerous Biblical Names which invariably emphasize one or more of His attributes. “Yahweh-Jireh” emphasizes The Lord who provides. “Yahweh-Rapha” emphasizes the Lord who heals. “Yahweh-Shalom” emphasizes the Lord our Peace. And there are many more. But ultimately, nothing beats the personal experience-driven one-on-one interaction that God wants to have with each of us as He relates to us in the hundreds of little daily experiences we all have.
Remember to visit RBC’s Our Daily Bread Devotional today at www.ODB.org