I want to follow up with my post a few days ago about how we approach God. I was reading a'Kempis this morning again, and came across some insight that was helpful for me in trying to maintain the balance between approaching confidently (Hebrews 10:19-22) versus timidly and respectfully versus brazenly.
The Hebrews 11 passage says that we have confidence by the blood of Jesus. Likewise, you will see that a'Kempis says that our confidence is in God's goodness and great mercy. Yes, we can approach the throne of God with confidence and boldness, but our confidence has nothing to do with us and everything to do with God. It's not because I am worthy in and of myself or even because he has made me worthy. It is because in his goodness and mercy, he allows it because of the sacrifice of his son. Having a proper perspective, then, of who I am and what God has done helps me maintain that balance. Check out this prayer from a'Kempis.
With confidence in your goodness and great mercy, O Lord, I come as one sick to the Healer, as one hungry and thirsty to the Fountain of Life, as one in need to the King of Heaven, a servant to their Lord, a creature to the Creator, a desolate soul to my own tender Comforter.
But why is it granted to me that you should come to me? What am I that you should give yourself to me?
How dare a sinner appear before you? And how is it that you condescend to come to a sinner?
You know your servant, and you see that I have nothing good in me for which you should grant me this favor.
I confess, therefore, my unworthiness, I acknowledge your goodness, I praise your tender mercy, and give you thanks for your transcendent love.
For you do this for your own sake and not because of any merits of mine, so that your goodness may be better known to me, you love more abundantly poured down upon me, and your gracious humility better manifested in me.
Since therefore this is your pleasure and you have commanded that it should be so, your graciousness is also please to me. O that my sinfulness does not get in the way!
Behold, you are the Holy of holies, and I the scum of sinners!
Behold, you bend yourself down to me who am not even worthy to look up to you!
Behold, you come to me! It is your will to be with me! You invite me to your banquet!