Sanctuary by Carly Ogletree

Psalms 63:1-2

O God, You are my God; Early I will see You; My soul thirst for You; My flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory

In June 2018, I had the privilege of being able to go on a mission trip to Peru. I stayed in a water village called Bretaña which is located on the outskirts on the Amazon Rainforest. While I was there, we went to a wildlife preservation and though I don’t remember the actual name, they called it the “Sanctuary.” When we arrived to the Sanctuary, we had to wait to enter in because the owner of the preservation wanted to speak with the leader of our trip, our pastor. He had to go and give a word from the Lord to him in order that we could all enter. So he went up to this grand house and the rest of us waited in the boat. We waited for what seemed like forever while being annoyed and bit by these flying bugs that were on the river. He finally came back and said, “We can’t go in.” At first we surprised and discourage but then he was just kidding. “Of course we’re going in!,” he said, and we were thrilled. So there we were floating along the river, and we saw and heard animals we’d never seen before. When we got to the location we would sleep at, and it was in the heart of the sanctuary and the most tranquil place I’d been in my life. It was worth the wait.

There are places in our lives that we’d like to get to. There are areas in our lives that we’d like access to be granted to us. There are people in our lives that we desire. But God is God over all. Not only does He know what’s best for you but He has what’s best for you. Just like when we went to the wildlife preservation, you can’t just have access to things of the Father because you think you should. You can’t just take what it’s in the Father’s hand because you want it. No. Our God is a God of order. He is a pure, holy God and we must approach Him pure and holy. But how do we do that? We’re born in sin. We live in a tainted world.

What Jesus did on the cross wasn’t just about salvation, it was about having access to the Father that we lost when sinned entered the world. Through Christ, we have now been reborn and reconciled back to God. And now, through Christ, we have access to what the Father has for us. We can now come boldly before the throne of grace knowing that Jesus intercedes on our behalf. We know that by His Spirit that dwells in us we have the freedom to ask for anything and it will be done for us, according to His perfect will for our lives.

God always has the best things for us! He knows what we want and what we need and has the desire to give us both. But because we love Him and because He’s holy, He deserves to be approached properly. I wouldn’t dare walk up to my mother and say, “Give me this,” just because I knew she had something I wanted. I love my mother, and I love my God even more. So then, how much more humble and graceful should I approach the creator of the universe, my heavenly Father?

When desiring anything from the Lord, here are some practical ways to approach Him:

  1. In purity: A hearts get dirty from all of the junk in the world. Our eyes are constantly attacked with lusts that draw our hearts away from God instead of towards Him. We get distracted daily because we live in a sinful world. And because of that we can sin, and we can begin desiring ungodly things and even start to covet them in our hearts. Come to God clean, washed in the blood. He says that He’s faithful and just to not only forgive us of our sins but to cleanse us of all unrighteousness. Unrighteousness is anything that doesn’t line up with the word of God. He will cleanse you from it all. Even if you haven’t physically done anything wrong, there could be ungodly thoughts lingering around your mind that need to be confessed and that you should be cleansed from. This isn’t about being religious, it’s about maintaining a healthy, pure relationship with God. It’s always nice when someone approaches you after a shower or brushing their teeth, I believe God desires the same courtesy.
  2. In humility: Pride is one thing that the Bible says He hates. Every time you approach God with pride you are imitating Satan, the enemy, because pride is not from God. Don’t approach God in your prayer life as if you’ve done anything to deserve what you’re asking for. It doesn’t matter how much church you attend or how much scripture you know. Never feels as though God owes you anything because he doesn’t. Instead, come to Him in humility. Come to Him knowing that although He doesn’t owe you anything, you desire something from Him. Sometimes when I pray I say, “God your word says that I can have this, so I’d like to have this. Lord, please allow me to have access to this in my life.” Simple. It’s humble and meaningful, and it gives God the chance to bless me with His will in my life because I addressed that I know what His will is through the word of God.
  3. In boldness: You need to speak to God like you know who you’re talking to. You need to speak to God as if you know that He can do anything, any time, any place, any how. You need to speak to God like you know that He has the power to do what you’ve requested of Him. King David says he looked for God in the sanctuary to see His glory and power. You need to be looking for God at all times because you know that He’s got it like that! Recognize the God you serve and pray in faith and not in doubt. Pray like you know God will do exactly what His word says He’ll do.

I challenge you to look for scriptures that you want to see come to pass in your life. Put the word of God to the test and say, “Lord, your word says this and I’d like to have this.” As long as your heart is right, you’ll be surprised at what this change in your prayer life will do. Trust God and simply ask. He is there to be your God, so let Him be your God!

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