Monday, October 23, 2017
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They often give you one when you check into some sprawling motel complex, or a big theme park, or a large convention facility. It's a map of the place. And for the directionally challenged like me, there's one important thing I look for on that map. It's that "X" and those very helpful words, "You are here". See, you're not helping me very much by just giving me a drawing of where everything is. In order for me to use that to get where I want to go, I need that one fundamental piece of information-where am I right now?
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Starting Where You Are."
It is important to know exactly where you are when you're trying to get to a destination, and when you're trying to get to God. In fact, the failure to talk to God about where you really are may explain why He seems a little farther away than He once did-a little less real than He once did.
Hebrews 4:16 is God's powerful invitation to come boldly to His "throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." The verses that precede this promise of God's total availability have to do with our total honesty. Hebrews 4 beginning in verse 12 is our word for today from the Word of God, and it begins by saying that God's Word "is sharper than any double-edged sword." In other words it opens up our soul surgically and exposes what's really inside.
Verse 13 goes on to say, "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account." So you might as well come to God totally unmasked, because there's nothing He doesn't know about you. If you talk to Him about how you're honestly feeling, He's not going to say, "Oh, you're kidding! Really? I didn't know that!" No, it's understandable why you may not tell other people how you're really feeling; they might think less of you. But God already knows, and there's nothing you can do to make God love you more or love you less.
In fact, these words go on to remind us that "We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence." Why? Because God already knows all about us, and because we are coming to the Father through a Savior who has felt all the feelings of being human.
You might say, "Well, God already knows, why do I need to tell Him?" So you can open up that part of your heart and your life to His cleansing, His restoring, and His healing. He only goes where He's invited. Maybe you've been saying, "Well, God doesn't seem real to me right now." Maybe He's saying the same thing to you; you're coming to Him all religious, all together, and all dressed up. If God doesn't seem real to you, maybe it's because you aren't being real with Him. You aren't starting where you really are. You're coming as you think you're supposed to be.
Tell it all to your Lord, won't you? Tell Him where you're hurting, tell Him where you're afraid, tell Him where you feel like giving up, where you're angry, where you can't forgive, where you can't fight anymore, where you can't understand, where you're desperate for love. Tell Him when you're spiritually flat. See, He already knows, but He's waiting for you to open up that part of you so He can bring in His mercy and His grace and His love.
Your spiritual drifting, your distance from God, your unnecessary pain may be because you've been coming to God without the real you. You need to get your map out and mark where you are right now. Then your Lord will take you from there to where you need to be. When Jesus says, "If you will open the door, I will come in" He invites us to come just as we are with a lifetime of sin and doubt that He died to pay for on a cross, and then prove that He could give us eternal life by walking out of His grave under His own power.
There's an old hymn that expresses this very well the only way to come to Him. "Just as I am without one plea, but that Thy blood was shed for me; and that Thou bidst me come to Thee. O Lamb of God, I come."