How do you come before the Lord? And, with what do you come before Him?
Psalm 100 is one of those magnificent and attention-altering passages of Scripture that beckon the reader out of temporal living.
Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. (NIV)
The Psalm urges you to approach the Lord with some attitudes and actions. We’re counseled to do so “with singing” and “with thanksgiving” and “with praise.” It is the picture of jubilant entry. Let us as His people – as “the sheep of His pasture” – not stumble or drag ourselves dejectedly or halfheartedly into His presence.
The New Testament gives us another thing to bring with us as we come before Him:
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4.16, ESV)
Our approach to God reveals our attitude towards Him. Do we view Him as a loving Savior and Gracious Redeemer? Or do we view Him as a Capricious Creator and a Demanding Deity?
It’s obvious that the attitude that we approach Him with reveals our experience (or lack of) with His love. Even when times are bad, we are to approach Him with joyful trust. James 1.2 give us countercultural advice: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds…”
In truth, if we do not have a rejoicing heart towards Him and, we may not know Him. We may have only acquainted ourselves with a half-god that is no god – a figment, a fade, a little “g” god that disappoints, fails, and is unable to deliver. Our faulty approach may reveal that we’ve created a non-god out of all our disappointments with ourselves, others, the church and life.
If you regularly come before god with anger, with doubt, with anxiety and with _________, look up for a minute and realize that there’s no God there. You’ve got the wrong equipment and attitude.
You want to approach the Living God? The God of Redemption? The God of Salvation in Jesus Christ? Come before Him with singing, thanksgiving, praise and confidence.
That’s not to say that He doesn’t dwell with the brokenhearted and the contrite. He does. We don’t have to put on a false face of forced happiness. Rather, we clothe ourselves with humility (1 Peter 5.6) and trust (Proverbs 3.5) and come before Him with a new attitude. His perspective and knowledge is far grander than our own.
How do you come before God?