Hebrews 4:16 is a verse that stirs me deeply. From the New Living Translation, So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. The Message paraphrase states it this way, So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.
God’s grace comes to us in a variety of ways. One of those ways is what I call the gap-closing grace. There is an undeniable truth that God is sinless, righteous, and glorious. And we, well, we are not. The difference between these two realities leaves a gap.
Without something to bridge this gap, we cannot be in relationship with something that is perfect. Sin cannot co-exist with glory. In the book of Exodus, there is a story where Moses requests to see God’s character in its fullness – the very essence of God. Do you recall God’s reply? Exodus 33:20, you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live. It’s not because God is unapproachable or doesn’t want to be close to us. It’s because we can’t handle it. We can’t take it. It’s too much for us.
But, just as God protects Moses as He reveals Himself, so does God bridge the gap for us in order to be in relationship with Him. He bridges the gap with grace. Which is why the writer of Hebrews encourages the early Jewish Christians with words that encourage us still today. Go to Him. Get what you need. He’s ready to bridge the gap by offering His grace to you.
There are times. Yes, certainly there are times. Times when we feel undeserving of being in relationship with God. Times when we know we’ve messed up and disappointed Him. Times when we’ve chosen safe over right. Or easy over loving. Or self-serving over self-sacrificing. There are times.
But can we believe? Can we wholeheartedly believe that in those times is when He most wants us to confidently approach Him, receive the mercy He so willingly offers, and be renewed in the knowledge that His grace covers us and cleanses us? Or will we wallow in mistakes and squander the opportunity to be reconciled with the One who loved us first and best?
He loves you so much. He wants relationship with you. He wants to use you in ministry that points other people to Him. He wants to grow you, heal you, restore you, renew you. Will you let Him? Will you confidently approach His throne and let Him pour His grace down over you until you are simply drowning in the abundance of the gap-closing grace He has for you? Peace.