Aren’t you getting tired of them? Enter Wal-Mart, apply sanitizer… leave Wal-Mart, apply sanitizer… enter Dollarama, apply sanitizer… leave Dollarama, apply sanitizer… enter McDonald’s — you know…
Of course the reason we do this, or at least know we should do this, is that there are nasty things out there that want to do evil to us…. possibly destroy us… and others. The stores and restaurants don’t want these nasties in their midst. They have a reputation. They have a Name to uphold… unsullied… pure, and trustworthy.
There’s no point in complaining about it… no point in getting angry or disputing with the merchants. This is just the way it is. If you intend to get in, clean hands are required.
When you think about it, coming before our Creator is something rather similar. Paul writes,
“…I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.” (1 Tim. 2:8).
Our God is not merely clean, He is Holy! He is Holy not simply by preference, but by His very Nature. Holiness is what God IS, not simply a state in which He keeps Himself. In a sense, God too has a Name to uphold… to keep unsullied… pure, and trustworthy. In fact, He has no choice! Un-holiness in the presence of Holiness is like paper in the presence of fire. As scripture states, “…without holiness no one will see the Lord.” (Heb. 12:14).
There’s no point in complaining about it… no point in getting angry or disputing. This is just the way it is. If you intend to get into God’s heaven, be heard by Him when you pray, clean hands are required.
So what are we to do? James tells us clearly,
“Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (James 4:8-10).
When we come to God broken and repentant, relying on His provision in Christ for our redemption — and our holiness — then and then only can we “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Heb. 4:16).