Finally admitting to myself the need for more exercise in my life, I’d gotten into the habit of walking a mile or two every day. On one particular day I found myself with an hour to spare before the evening’s church service started, so drove to the park and began to hike. The day was warm, the exercise strenuous, and I soon found myself sweating as I made my way at last back to the car for the drive to the church building. With neither time nor opportunity to shower again before the service began, I found myself keeping my distance from people and reluctant to hug their necks, fearful that I might offend somebody with possible body odor.
Perhaps that’s why we’re sometimes hesitant to draw close to God. We know where we’ve been in life and what we’ve been doing, and we’re afraid that God might find us offensive as a result. So we keep our distance, worshiping him from afar when He longs for us to draw close enough to be touched by His love.
The solution in both instances is simply to wash ourselves clean. Just as a little soap and water take care of the problems caused by sweating on a hot day, the Blood of the Lamb likewise washes away our sin when we confess our need of cleansing and ask God to make us right with Him once more. Then we can draw as near to Him as we desire and be assured of being pulled into His warm embrace.
“…let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:22 NIV)