Social-Distancing from God
In our fight against the coronavirus, we have been told that we need to social-distance. People in the Old Testament practiced this when they came across a leper. The one afflicted with this disease was supposed to warn anyone approaching them by yelling, “Unclean. Unclean.” How humiliating. Social-distancing has been practiced throughout history. Before this pandemic, it was referred to as quarantine or isolation. These were attempts to combat the spread of disease.
When I went to India with Apple of His Eye Charity, one of the highlights for me was to visit the leprosy churches, composed of lepers and their families. Some of the adults had lost body parts. The children looked fine, but they were treated as outcasts by the public because a member of their family had leprosy. I don’t know if these people have to call out as they approach people, but because no one will hire them, they are doomed to a life of begging. It’s very sad. However, what was so amazing was to see their joy and faith in Christ. Next time we go to India, plan to join us. Your life will never be the same once you witness the joy of our orphans, our widows, and the members of our leper churches.
This raises the question, does God want us to socially-distance ourselves from Him? Is He waiting for us to “clean up our act” before approaching Him? Jesus answers the question by His actions when He was approached by a leper. His disciples were aghast that He would close the distance to the man. Even more so, they were completely shocked when He actually TOUCHED the man. “A man with leprosy came and knelt before Him and said, “‘Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.’ Jesus reached out His hand and TOUCHED the man. ‘I am willing,’ He said. ‘Be clean!’ Immediately he was cured of his leprosy.” (Matthew 8:2–3)
None of us are without sin. None of us are holy enough to deserve to come into God’s presence. Yet, the Bible says, “Let us DRAW NEAR TO GOD with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled [by the blood of Christ] to cleanse us from a guilty conscience.” (Hebrews 10:22). God does not mandate that we keep our distance from Him. He has provided a way for us to approach Him as a loving Father through the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.
If you have felt “distanced” from God, know that His arms are open and ready to receive you. Repent of your self-will and ask Christ to come into your life.