Know before whom you stand

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We have all experienced this, being completely exhausted because we’ve been running around from pillar to post, our minds being scattered all over the place trying to focus and prioritise on what needs to be done next, trying to find some rest, peace and quiet, only for a moment to catch our breath.

When we finally do make a moment to sit still, before too long we often allow the guilt to make us get up and move again, because nothing has ever been achieved by sitting around … in the moment … we tell ourselves.

And then we realise at some stage during all this “important busyness” that it’s been days since we last visited with our Friend … that we stood in the presence of greatness … finding rest for my soul…

God called to him from within the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.”  God said, “Do not approach any closer! Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” He added, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Then Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. Exodus 3:4-6

“Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? And who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart.” Psalm 24:3

When I look at the lives of the ancient people, it seems like they had a different rhythm of life.  They saw life and therefore God and the purpose of themselves, life and God a lot different from how we do today.

For example in synagogues, above the ark that holds the Torah scrolls, there is often a plaque that says, Know before whom you stand, which reminds us of a time when people lived life in awe.

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A couple of years ago we went on this journey to the “inner sanctum” and what it meant to be “putting in the mind of Christ” and we touched on the Hebrew topic of Kavanah (כונה), and what it means to approach God, especially in prayer.

“Kavanah” means having a sense of standing in the presence of God, and to know that you are addressing the sovereign Lord of the universe and directing our heart to Him intentionally and unscattered.

Part of the reason of how we do life today seems consequential of how we stand in the presence of God.

Many don’t at all.

But the many who do, do so differently than the ancient people.  Where is our Kavanah?  Where is our reverence and awe?  Where are our hidden faces?  Where are our clean hands and pure hearts?

Do we need to be holier than thou to approach our Father?  I don’t think so. Jesus showed and taught us a simple way.  Yet, I do believe that Jesus’ way was thoroughly soaked in Kavanah.

“I am the way, I am the truth, I am life.” -Jesus

May light and peace fill your life.