February 8: To Enter and Remain in God’s Presence
Aaron, the first high priest is the model for us as the priesthood of believers who serve God in Christ. God’s commandments to Aaron help us understand our New Testament role as: a royal priesthood(1 Pet. 2:9). From God’s instructions to Aaron on how to enter His presence on the day of atonement, we may understand how to come into His presence today. Our study of Leviticus 16 will help us to discover ten ways to enter and remain in God’s presence, where we can commune with Him, offer effectual prayers and mediate on the world’s behalf.
First, we need a clear appropriation of God’s grace in our lives. Leviticus 16:3 says, “This is how Aaron is to enter the sanctuary area: with a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering.” God told Aaron to offer animal sacrifices to atone for the sins of Israel. Aaron could not enter the sanctuary area without the sin offering and the burnt offering. Similarly, God says to us, “if you want to enter my presence, your sin has to be dealt with.”
Therefore, the first step in prayer is not to present our petitions, but to examine our lives for sins. Sometimes sins are not glaring; they may be subtler than we can easily recognize. They may relate to our families, the church, our finances, or our jobs. When we go to God in prayer, He may say, “I have a problem with this area. You want me to cooperate with you, but you have disobeyed me. If I answer your prayer, I am condoning disobedience.”
God wants to answer our prayers. That’s why He wants us to confess our sins and appropriate His grace. Therefore, we have to confess our sins first, ask for forgiveness through the blood of Jesus before we proceed. Note: Do you examine your life as you come to God in prayer? Please also remember, as you ask God for forgiveness, He will want to hear you forgive others who sin against you; that will justify God’s forgiveness of your sin.
Let’s pray: Father, may all my sins be revealed to me, both subtle and glaring, that keep me form you. I want to walk in your grace and holiness. Lord, please give me the grace to be a forgiver of the sins of others against me, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Today’s reading: Leviticus 6-7; Matthew 25:1-30
Lord, Forgive Me as I Forgive Others.