Come as You Are!

Just as You Are. Right Now. Even if Your Sweater is Crooked. 

Humbled, not Discouraged

A passage in my Bible struck me as I read it a few days ago. I’ve read this passage before, but on this occasion it leaped off the page.

“Don’t wait until you’re ready,” I heard.  I’m sharing the passage here because it feels obedient to do so.

18 For a multitude of the people, even many from Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun, had not purified themselves, yet they ate the Passover otherwise than prescribed. For Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, “May the good Lord pardon 19  everyone who prepares his heart to seek God, the Lord God of his fathers, though not according to the purification rules of the sanctuary.” 20 So the Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people. 21 The sons of Israel present in Jerusalem celebrated the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days with great joy, and the Levites and the priests praised the Lord day after day with loud instruments to the Lord. 22 Then Hezekiah spoke encouragingly to all the Levites who showed good insight in the things of the Lord. So they ate for the appointed seven days, sacrificing peace offerings and giving thanks to the Lord God of their fathers. 23 Then the whole assembly decided to celebrate the feast another seven days, so they celebrated the seven days with joy.
2 Chronicles 30:18-23 (NASB)

You may recognize this snippet of Scripture. It’s an excerpt from the episode wherein King Hezekiah of Judah reinstates the Passover celebration.  Mosaic law required special preparations: one had to be “clean” to participate in the feast. This Passover that Hezekiah celebrated? People feasted, clean or not.

Hezekiah prayed for their pardon, and “the Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people.”

The Lord sees hearts. And if you’re waiting around until you overcome on some wrong you’ve done, some sin in your heart, if you’re waiting to be clean before you come to Him, well–it just doesn’t work like that.

But when we realize that we can’t scrub that deeply, and invite Him into our hearts? He sanctifies us. He justifies us. He saves us. 

So basically, once you realize you’re dirty, He says, “It’s okay. I knew you would be. I’ve cleansed you.”

Ready or not? Not, of course. Come anyway. 

6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11  And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
Romans 5:6-11 (NASB)