Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10, verses 19-22.
Before moving on, let’s talk about “a sincere heart.” It’s mentioned there in the verses above and it bears some extra pondering. The verse talks about being active, about doing something: drawing near to God…but under two conditions. One, that we have a sincere heart and, two, that we are blessed with the full assurance (of forgiveness) that faith brings.
There’s an old country song, a Clint Black song, “Something That We Do.” It’s a love song, of course; a sonnet from Black to his wife. One lyric stands out to me: “love isn’t something that we have, it’s something that we do.” I like sappy old songs, so naturally I like this one. Yet let’s apply that lyric to these verses.
Love isn’t just something that we have it’s something that we do. We have to DO something to demonstrate love to God. It’s not something that He requires us to do, or needs us to do to satisfy a command. It isn’t even something that He asks of us. Let’s keep it real: God doesn’t NEED us to do anything for Him. He’s God and we aren’t. Instead, if we are to be near God, and if we are to be blessed by His presence, then we have to ‘draw near.’ We have to do the physical action of reading His word, praying with Him, confessing to Him, talking with Him. Those are things we do that we’re motivated to do because of His love. That love is both what He does and what He is. It’s very much a ‘both/and’ kind of thing.
And with what do we draw near? You know: that sincere heart. According to dictionary.com, the most common meanings for ‘sincere’ are “free of deceit, hypocrisy, or falseness; earnest, genuine; real; pure; unmixed; unadulterated.” We GET TO have a sincere heart because of the love that is something He does. He makes us new. He makes us righteous. He takes away our sins, our guilt, our shame, our anxiety and, in return, He makes our hearts sincere. He does that because that’s genuine and real. God operates exclusively in the realm of genuine and real. There is nothing disingenuous or unreal about Him. Accordingly, He makes us whole to draw near to Him so that He can be earnest, pure, free of deceit, and unadulterated with us. And when God does that, He is blessing us beyond measure, giving us the full assurance of His forgiveness and His constant presence in our lives.
He does it from the inside out. It’s the heart that God remakes. It’s what’s dearest inside of us, closest to what we really believe and really feel, where God moves. God operates on us to make our hearts blameless and sincere again, like they were before we clouded them up with the insincerity of sin. Like a little baby’s heart; like my little granddaughter, Kaleigh Grace’s heart. She seems so uncompromised by sin, so pure starting out. Yet deep inside even that precious little girl lies the nature of rebellion. You hear it in desperate crying and a refusal to be comforted easily. Already, even at only four days old, she desperately needs the love of a sincere God to be something that He does. That’s much better than an old country song.
For further reading: Ephesians 3:12, Leviticus 16:2, Ephesians 2:18, Hebrews 9:8.
My Lord, thank You for blessing me by being in my life. Thank You for loving me in a way that I couldn’t do myself.