What is keeping you from drawing near to God? Is it that you don’t know how to act properly, or don’t believe fully, or feel guilty and ashamed about something that’s been done in your past? Be assured that God wants you to draw near to Him just like that – with a true, honest heart, in full assurance of faith, and with a clean conscience and life.
Baptism is sort of like a wedding ceremony – it’s the demonstration of a public commitment to an intimate, close relationship. Jesus brings us into a relationship with a holy God so that we can be nearer to Him. Now, how silly would it be for a groom and a bride to come together in a wedding ceremony, and then to go from there living their single lives again? Yet often, people get baptized and then drift away from any close relationship with God, which was the whole point of all of this.
Through Jesus Christ, we can be close to God. In Hebrews 10:22, we find an invitation to draw near to God and how to draw near to Him – not in terms of methods, but in terms of a disposition.
With a True Heart
… let us draw near with a true heart …
– v. 22a
Drawing near to God with a true heart means drawing near to Him with absolute authenticity. Just being real with Him. You may not want to go to church, read your Bible or pray because you don’t know how to act, but that’s the perfect condition to be in to draw near to God. He doesn’t want you to act.
In Full Assurance of Faith
… in full assurance of faith …
– v. 22b
Christian faith is not wishful thinking. It’s not the faith of a child when they blow out the candles on their birthday cake. It’s also not mental assent – recognizing a set of facts that are true, but not living in light of it. Christian faith is entrustedness, and it has implications for our lives. It’s the kind of faith you have in the chair you’ve plopped yourself down in.
How can you draw near to God with a true heart and in full assurance of faith? You might think, “If I’m truly honest, I’m not sure I do fully believed and am fully saved. I’m not sure that I buy all this about Jesus. How can I draw near to God like that?” Well, that’s the answer: draw near to God JUST LIKE THAT. Come to Him with all your doubts and skepticism honestly. He will always hold up.
With Clean Hearts and Minds
… with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
– v. 22c
Sin is sort of like a computer virus. It has been embedded into our moral operating system that has caused us to malfunction in such a way so that everything has been compromised. What Jesus does is removes the virus and refurbishes us so that we can run the original program we were meant to run: closeness with God.
In here there’s the phrase “hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience.” The word “conscience” gives the idea of joint knowledge (Latin con “with” + scire “to know”). It’s the morality that God has preprogrammed in every human being so that we all know and agree on what’s right and wrong. But, sin has damaged it, and it now misfires. Thankfully, Jesus purifies our consciences and cleans us up so that we can live near to God.
Are You Near to God?
With this in mind here’s a question to consider: Are you near to God or are you far away from Him?
If you’re far from God, perhaps that is because you don’t know how to act. And if that’s the case, be assured that God knows you perfectly and loves you perfectly. We can draw near to Him honestly and with a true heart.
If you’re far from God, perhaps it is because you don’t believe fully. And if that’s the case, be assured that you can investigate fully because God holds up. So you can draw near to Him in full assurance of faith.
If you’re far from God, perhaps it’s because you feel guilty about something you have done or something that has been done to you. And if that’s the case, know that Jesus cleans us inside and out. We can draw near to God sprinkled clean and washed with pure water.
What does it mean to draw near to God with a true heart?
What does it mean to draw near to God in full assurance of faith?
How is this faith different from other types of “faiths”?
How do we draw near to God with clean hearts and minds?