therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then i will welcome you, [2 cor 6:17]
“then i will welcome you.”
what does it take for God to welcome you into his presence every day?
in the old covenant, God’s promise of presence was conditional and limited. because of man’s sin, because of man’s rebellion, because men and women were unholy – God’s presence was separated from them. only one man could enter God’s presence and then, only once a year.
 now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly place of holiness.  for a tent was prepared, the first section, in which were the lampstand and the table and the bread of the Presence. it is called the Holy Place.  behind the second curtain was a second section called the Most Holy Place,  having the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden urn holding the manna, and aaron’s staff that budded, and the tablets of the covenant.  above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat.  these preparations having thus been made, the priests go regularly into the first section, performing their ritual duties,  but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the unintentional sins of the people. [hebrews 9:1-7]
only through prescribed actions of the heart and hands, sacrifices and prayers, could one man be declared right and enter into the Most Holy Place – where God’s presence resided. in this place, one man made sacrifices for all the people. if this happened according to God’s plan, then God would welcome the jews as his people. the welcome however, was limited and conditional. limited, for the average person could never go into the second room and be in God’s presence. conditional, because they had to live holy lives just to be God’s people. if that stopped, the relationship would end.
thousands of years later, one man/God (Jesus), came and lived a sinless life. he lived the holy life God demanded of his people, of us. and then, he did the amazing, the unbelievable, he became the priest and the sacrifice. his holy life was given up for our sin and as The High Priest, he went into the Most High Place offering this sacrifice once and for all.
 but when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation)  he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. [hebrews 9:11-12]
now, by the blood of Jesus (the sacrifice) and by the work of Jesus (the high priest), we are forever welcomed into the presence of God. by faith in his work, by faith in the once and for all work of our hight priest and sacrifice, God tore the veil that separated man and God and welcomed you into his presence! no longer do we enter a temple of wood and stone, because now God has entered flesh and blood for his temple – you!
amazing – God has welcomed you by making his home in you!
today, be still, … and enjoy the welcome of God.
“be still, and know that I am God. i will be exalted among the nations, i will be exalted in the earth!”t he Lord of hosts is with us; the God of jacob is our fortress. selah [psalm 46:10]
~ john ryan