Does “just as I am” mean the same thing as “come as you are”?
We come to the Lord in prayer for salvation and at other times just as we are. We really have nothing else to offer than our real selves. How does that translate into “come as you are to church”?
Actually, it doesn’t translate very well at all.
Is it okay to role out of bed, into your jeans, and off to church if you have something better to wear? Is it okay to do what you want 6 days a week, but only behave on the one? Do these 2 things have anything at all in common?
And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD. And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes, And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.
Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.
In Exodus, God did not just pop in on the Israelites. He told them to prepare. They were to prepare their clothes and their hearts. They were to sanctify themselves before they met God. In Leviticus, we read that they were told to be holy all the time because God is holy.
When we choose to not prepare, we choose what we want over what God wants. That would be a pride issue wouldn’t it?
And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
Isn’t it interesting how pride is tossed in there among murder and theft? God says it is evil.
How much of you does God have? What are you bringing Him when you go to church? Are you bringing Him your best? Did you prepare your clothes and your heart?
What about the rest of your week? Are you giving God the leftovers of your life? Do you attempt to be holy? Does God get only that part of your day that is not taken up by other things, or do you plan for Him first?
Today’s challenge is to look at your life and decide where God fits in. Ask God to show you where you need to change. Is He – your relationship and obedience to Him – at the top of your thoughts and actions? Does He rank at the bottom after everything else that is going on? Ask God to help you live a holy life. Before you go to church again, ask God how you need to prepare for your time with Him.