February 13, 2017

February 13, 2017

NUMBERS 5-6

Focus Verse: “Command the people of Israel to remove from the camp anyone who has a skin disease or a discharge, or who has become ceremonially unclean by touching a dead person. This command applies to men and women alike. Remove them so they will not defile the camp in which I live among them.”

Numbers 5:2-4

 

We, as fleshly creatures, have a tendency to do this with God. No, I’m not talking about going to church on Sunday even though we have a skin disease. Thankfully we have ointment for that now. But I am talking about trying to be in God’s presence while we’ve got all sorts of junk in our lives. Just like here in Numbers, the two cannot coexist.

Now, once again, this can very quickly turn to legalism if we aren’t very careful. So let’s get one thing straight right away: you can’t clean yourself up for God. There is no soap on this earth that can get you clean enough, no deodorant in the universe that can mask the stank of sin. Jesus Christ is the only One who can take care of that. And once He cleans you, you are clean. No other detergent is needed; you are white as snow.

I am also a firm believer of progressive sanctification. Fancy, right? Progressive sanctification says that I am completely saved, cleaned and made new when I put my faith in Jesus Christ and His work on the cross. I am justified immediately. But there is also a process of walking with Him. I still have days where I screw up because I’m not there yet. He is progressively making me more like Him. In other words: I am a work in progress…HIS work.

I want to make sure that this passage is read in that context.

There is a fact presented here: God will not dwell with dirt. He is too holy for that He will not permit His presence to coexist with sin in our lives.

But we love to push that envelop. How close can we get to the line before it’s considered “sin”? How far is to far? How much junk can we keep around us and still keep that warm, peaceful feeling of God’s presence on Sunday mornings? Or, better yet, how much can we NOT do? How many times can we ignore God’s prompting to talk to that person about Jesus? How many poor people can we walk past without helping them? How many hurting people can we see without praying for them?

God’s presence won’t deal with this junk. He is so gracious and has given us His Spirit to teach us, lead us and convict us when there is something we need to clean up. But once He has told us to clean something up, He’s not going to wait around while we test the waters with it.

The best part is, He won’t make us clean up OUR mess alone. He is always there to help us dig ourselves out of the pit we’ve caused. All we have to do is ask. I particularly love 2 Corinthians 10:5 where it says, “we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” You can make every thought (both yours and others’) obedient to Christ. Give it a shot! That may be the only prayer you pray all day today: “Lord, I take these thoughts captive and make them obedient to You.” But it’s a really good place to start.

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  1. Lovely post. It really enlightened me on this passage. Thank you for sharing. I will have to read more of your posts as I am currently reading through the whole Bible.

    • Praise God! This process of journaling through the Bible has been really awesome for me in my walk with the Lord. He is so good all of the time!

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