Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord? Who may enter your presence on your holy hill? Psalm 15:1 NLT
We could see the building from my grandparents’ house, but it was off-limits.
Several miles from my maternal grandparents’ house was a pool hall. My cousin and I were only twelve-year-old boys. Had we been older, our grandparents would still have forbidden us to go there. Why I’m not sure. Racial tensions were high—and this place was owned by African Americans. Drinking and gambling also took place there.
Being off-limits only made the pool hall more attractive. So one day we took off for the pool hall. When we entered, we could see the surprise on the owner’s face. What were two white boys doing patronizing his establishment?
After we had played a few games, we went home—satisfied we had gotten away with visiting this off-limits establishment of ill repute. But we hadn’t. Somehow, my grandparents found out. Probably because the owner knew my grandfather and told him.
The psalmist wanted to know who could worship the Lord. He wrote against the background of the Old Testament Tabernacle which was divided into two parts: the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place. Only designated priests could enter the first part, and only the High Priest could go into the second.
Having moral uprightness isn’t enough to grant me entrance into God’s presence, although He does require that. The trouble is I have little moral righteousness and couldn’t get enough to approach God even if I wanted to. My sinful nature prevents it. I may do some good things, but overall my nature is corrupt.
The news gets better. While I can’t be moral enough to get to God, He gives me perfect moral uprightness when I ask. When I accept what Jesus did on Calvary—paid for my sins—God gives me the righteousness of Christ. And then God is no longer off-limits.
Additionally, God gives the presence of His Spirit. He begins to change my outside to match my new inside. When I do, say, or think something against God’s principles, the Spirit pricks my heart. If I stay on track, things remain good between me and God. If I go astray, God disciplines me to bring me back into line.
Through Christ, God has removed the barrier between us and Him. Don’t let God be off-limits to you. The advantages of fellowship with Him are too wonderful to miss.
Tweetable: Does God feel off-limits to you?
Prayer: Father, thank You for making the way possible for us to have fellowship with You.