Preparing to Worship the God of the Universe


Reading the Bible through with me? Then grab your pen and journal and read Nehemiah 10-12. Chapter 12 is all about the celebration and worship in the rebuilt Temple, which symbolized Yahweh’s Presence among His people. There were Levites and priests, gatekeepers, singers, and everyone else who feared and followed Yahweh/God. It was a boisterous celebration of the greatness of their God. BUT there was one thing that took place BEFORE they could offer to God the sacrifice of praise. Verse 30 tells us that “After the priests and Levites had purified themselves, they purified the people, the city gates, and the wall.” In the Old Testament, the nation of Israel understood that to meet God, one must prepare oneself. The often-repeated phrase was “Consecrate yourselves!”

The Lord Jesus atoned for our sins through His suffering, death, and resurrection and now He sits at the Father’s right hand to intercede for us. Does that mean that we can approach Him in a sin-stained, unrepentant, or backslidden state to offer praise or ask for His intervention or blessing? Our prayers might be more effective, more God-centered, and more in line with His purpose and plan IF we made it a practice to prepare to meet Him. Our first act before trying to engage in praise, thanksgiving, and petition should be to consecrate/purify ourselves through confession and repentance.

When the people of God consecrated themselves, God always showed Himself mighty in their behalf. Consecrating ourselves really means to humble ourselves, to see ourselves as the Father sees us and acknowledge our need for Him. That is why, in that great, often-quoted verse in 2 Chronicles 7 begins with humility. “And if my people called by My Name will HUMBLE THEMSELVES and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, THEN I will hear from heaven . . .” Think about it before your next time in your prayer closet or your next worship service. Then Consecrate yourself to enter the presence of the Ancient of Days because He really does want to hear from you.