Andrew Murray: Let Us Draw Nigh!
There are some of God’s children who have read this book, to whom the teaching it contains may appear new or strange, and who, for this reason, may not fully have taken in the one lesson from God’s word it has sought to bring. There may be others who have accepted the teaching and admit its truth, and yet by reason of unbelief or lack of whole-heartedness, have not entered into the blessed life to which this portion of God’s word has opened the gate so wide. For the sake of such I feel urged once again to give a simple summary of the truth the word has taught us, to trace with them the steps of the Christian life as it has marked them out, and to beseech them to see at what point it is they have failed. Do believe, my dear brother, that it is in very deed the will of God that you should enter into the Holiest and live there. Rest not till, step by step, you have at every point yielded yourself to God’s command: you may trust Him to make all the salvation He has prepared in Christ, your own blessed possession and experience.
1. The Holiest is opened now. Full access into God’s presence is secured to us. A continuous and unbroken experience of God’s presence every day is a possibility, is a certainty. We are called to enter in and live there with Jesus. This is the consummation of His work as High Priest, to bring us in, and keep us there. Nothing in heaven, or earth, or hell, can prevent you entering in and abiding here continually and for ever, if you are willing.
Do not satisfy yourself with the thought that there are many Christians who have never entered in. Look up to the Father calling you in. Humble yourself under the thought: My Father has prepared this home for me. His love longs to have me live with Him all the day. I have refused to believe that it can be, and, instead of His immediate nearness and continual fellowship, live at a distance. Oh, do count it a settled thing: the Holiest is opened for us to enter in and dwell with Jesus, and say to God that you will not rest till it is your experience.
2. We have boldness through the blood. Is not this what has kept you back? You have never taken time to study, to believe, to realize the infinite worth and power of the blood of the Son of God. It conquered sin, and death, and hell. It opened heaven to Jesus our Surety. It will most surely bring you in; it will remove all the fear and doubt your sin and impotence can cause; it will enable you with the utmost confidence and boldness to draw nigh and claim admittance. See to it, O child of God, that you honor the blood, that you glory in its power; it can bring you in.
3. A new and living way has been dedicated for us. Are you willing to enter upon this way? To the flesh it appears hard and impossible. It is the way in which Christ walked; the way of self-sacrifice; the way of entire surrender to God’s will; the way of death to self and the world; of being humbled and made obedient unto death. You surely would not wish or expect to enter heaven in any other way than Christ did, in any other way than the will of God. Give up at once the halfhearted religion that fears an entire consecration to the most blessed will of God: give yourself at once wholly to it; choose and enter even now upon the new way.
It is a living way. The Holy Spirit lives and moves in it, and bears all who walk in it. Give up yourself to the Blessed Jesus to follow Him in it: in His strength it will be to you the highway of peace and holiness.
4. We have Jesus as our Priest over the House of God. Have you not learned from the Epistle that the one work of Jesus as our High Priest is to bring us nigh to God? So nigh that in actual life and experience we can know and enjoy His nearness all the day? Is He not Priest over the House of God, the Father’s Home, just to bring us in and watch over us there, and by His dwelling in us, to make us one with Himself, living our life in the immediate presence of the Father?
Oh, beloved, will you not begin to trust Jesus for this, His heart’s desire, and yield yourself to enter in?
5. God asks a true heart. And that you have. He has given you a new heart. And the new heart is a true heart. Believe it, and act upon it. Believe in the power of the Spirit within you to act it out: come at once and say that with your whole heart, with a true heart, you desire to enter in. Look not at sin within, or at feelings: come in the faith of what God has said, of the new nature He has given you, and enter with a true heart. Choose, resolve, will, to say to Jesus that you cannot longer stand without; that you are ready, in the boldness the precious blood gives, to draw nigh and abide with Him.
6. God calls you to come in fullness of faith. And God never asks for faith, without giving a sure ground and abundant reason for it. And if you will but look up to Him and what He has done in giving His Son to be your High Priest, and the blood of His Son to be your confidence; in opening the Holiest for you; in giving the Holy Spirit to lead you in the living way of union with Jesus—surely you cannot doubt or fear. No, at once begin and say: Whatever may appear dark or difficult, of this I am confident: my weakness cannot hinder me: I trust God, I trust Jesus, I trust the Blood, I trust the Holy Spirit: I shall surely enter in.
7. Let the heart be sprinkled with the blood. We have seen the boldness the blood gives; we have heard the call to come with the true heart. Let the two be inseparably united. The blood is the sign that Jesus gave Himself wholly, His very life: let the true heart give itself wholly to trust and yield to the blood. The power of the blood is, it opened heaven and dwells there for ever: be sure, your heart, sprinkled with the blood, rises into the heaven of God’s love. Begin now and sing daily the song: “To Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His blood.” The power of the blood, if you will give your whole heart up to it, will bring heaven and its joy, the joy of God’s presence, down into you.
8. Let the body be washed with pure water. Surely, in sight of all the wonderful privilege just set before us, there needs no further pleading to make you willing to put away every sin, every habit, every indulgence of the body, that interferes with full and abiding communion with God. Think ever of what Christ is doing—keeping the heart, by the power of the Holy Spirit, sprinkled with His blood in its heavenly sanctifying power—and let that urge you to put away and cleanse yourself from everything, the greatest or the least, that could hinder you dwelling in the Holiest. Wait on God in prayer till His presence be the power that rules the whole being.
9. Let us draw near. That is, let us enter in and appear before God. Yes, let each one of us, with his whole heart, with his whole life and walk, draw near, and abide in the blessed nearness of God.
This is the sum and substance of the gospel. This is what Christ can give because He is able to save completely. This, alas! is what many Christians do not possess, do not even seek, do not even know of. My reader! I beseech you, be not content with anything less than this—a life every moment in the presence of God, through the mighty keeping power of Jesus. His one work is to bring us near to God: yield yourself to Him for it. He will do it. Let us draw near.
10. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope. Lift up your heart above all fears, and doubts, and evil forebodings of unbelief as to failure, and hope against hope. Abound in hope. Confess your hope. Speak it out to God and your fellow-believer, that you have set your hope upon God for a life of ever increasing nearness of fellowship with Him. Hold fast the confession of the hope firm to tho end, with the one thought: He is faithful that promised. Live through any failure or disappointment that may come in the hope of what God will do, and you will find that hope makes not ashamed. A life in the Holiest of All is your heritage.
11. Let us live in love. The Holiest of All is the home of God’s love. The new and living way is the way of death to self and self-will. The Great Priest over the House of God, Jesus, can bring you nigh in no other way than by entering into you, becoming your life, animating you with His Spirit and disposition. Believe in Him for this. And Jesus is the Son of God’s love, born of that love, filled with it, its messenger and dispenser. Yield yourself to the love of Christ, who pleased not Himself: walk in love as He loved us. Give yourself to a life of love, considering one another, provoking to love and good works. In the power of Jesus, abiding continually in the life of love, in the love and presence of God, is possible.
12. Let us maintain the communion of the saints. Let love manifest itself as a unity of the body, a binding together of the members in external fellowship and intercourse. Let us remember, the Spirit of Christ is not given to us in isolation and separation from each other. As we live in the Holiest of All, we shall learn how closely we are one with each member of Christ; how our own life in God’s love depends upon our relation to our brethren; how their life and growth must be our care, and will be our reward. A life in the Holiest of God’s presence will be a life of love and labor, of power and blessing.
Beloved reader, have you in very deed accepted the teaching of God’s word that the Father calls you to dwell in the Holiest of all? Have you entered in? If not, I pray you, in the name of our great High Priest, who waits to bring you in, rest not till you have drawn nigh, and found your abiding-place in the secret of God’s presence.