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Not at all times
Topic Started: May 5 2012, 07:16 AM (311 Views)
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One of the unique elements about the faith relationship described in the Bible is that we are not free to access the holiness of God on our own terms or even according to our own schedule. This is often mistakenly overlooked by the misunderstanding of Hebrews 4:16, "Let us come boldly come unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy..." Without the proper context, this is often given as an invitation to enter the presence of the Most High and Holy with an arrogant, haughty and self-willed attitude.

If the true Word of the Bible stands constant, and not to be understood as a before and after, Leviticus 16 places a sense of perspective in the manner and circumstance in which the Holiest levels of intimacy may be accessed.

After the death of Nadab and Abihu, Aaron is commanded by God that he may not enter the Holiest Place "at all times." The reference to the profane fire that the priest's offered, resulting in their deaths (Leviticus 10) has been speculated upon for thousands of years. Universally, though, the most basic consistent understanding is that they approached God on their own terms or in self or selfish justification. They did their own thing.

Probably the greatest fallacy in our ambitions of worship is the hope that we should spend every moment in a transcendent state of holiness: that truly spiritual people live in a constant state of being in the euphoria of the Holiest Place. One of the suggestions of the sages is that Nadab and Abihu did not die because of their lack of spiritual sensitivity; but rather because they simply desired to draw too close.

It may be that the point of drawing near to God in intimacy is not something that we are privileged to accomplish at our own will. It is not according to our terms or by our own definition that the Highest levels of spiritual intimacy are to be achieved. According to the lesson of Asherie Mot (Leviticus 16-18), it may not even be a worthy pursuit. Too often, we define our spirituality by our comfort with inactivity: being quiet in the presence of God. Biblically, however, it is more straightly defined by our activity: the following Parashah of Kedoshim (Leviticus 19-20) describes our holiness by what we do. The pursuit of the passive state (abiding in holiness) may be utterly condemned by the Text, though it is regarded as the most desirable by our religious society.

The point may be that it is those who do what is right who may be drawn in to Him on His terms. Those who seek intimacy without regarding the steps of holiness (walking in righteous obedience) may be creating idolatry for themselves without even realizing it.
Visit Mark Staneart at www.renewourdays.com
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