The United States Bullion Depository in Fort Knox, Kentucky, is a high-level security facility. The fenced property houses a building constructed from concrete, granite, and reinforced steel. This structure is surrounded by rolls of razor wire and minefields. Armed police stand at the four corners and entrance. They are assisted by soldiers from the adjacent U.S. Army base in guarding the building’s contents—the largest U.S. deposit of gold. Access to this facility is so restricted that only three times have visitors been permitted to enter.<sup>1<sup> Over the years, due to these restrictive measures, the name “Fort Knox” has become synonymous with “security.”
If we look back in history to the time of Moses, we find another structure where access was even more restrictive. When the Lord instituted the Tabernacle in the wilderness, He gave Moses very specific commands about how it was to be built and fashioned. One set of instructions pertained to the veil that was hung like a curtain between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies. This veil provided a barrier, beyond which only the High Priest could go, and even then only once a year on the Day of Atonement. It also served as a type of warning. It was a reminder that entrance into God’s presence was restricted, for the Holy of Holies was where God manifested His glory in a cloud above the Mercy Seat.
Though the High Priest was permitted to enter God’s presence one day each year, careful preparations had to be made first. He was required to wash, dress in specific clothing, and make an atoning sacrifice for his sins. After that, he was to put “incense upon the fire before the <smallcaps>Lord<smallcaps>, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat.” This cloud of smoke from the incense was to prevent him from seeing God’s glory so “that he die not” (Leviticus 16:13).
When it comes to being in the presence of God, all of us should be interested in having full access. This was not possible under the sacrificial system of the Law.
Being denied entrance into Fort Knox is not a concern for most people; no one has ever tried to break in. But when it comes to being in the presence of God, all of us should be interested in having full access. This was not possible under the sacrificial system of the Law. However, Jesus’ death on the Cross opened the way to direct access to God. His atoning sacrifice fulfilled all of the requirements necessary under the Law to fully reconcile man to God. His innocent Blood paid the penalty for our sins so that when we repent, we will be saved. What does it mean to be saved? It means that our sins are forgiven, we have entered into a relationship with God, and there is a home in Heaven prepared for us.
More than that, we can be sanctified. Hebrews 9:13-14 lets us know that if “the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh; how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience.”
We can also be filled with the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Bible tells us in Matthew 27:50-51 that when Jesus died, the way into the Holy of Holies was opened. It reads, “Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent.” It was no accident that as Jesus died the veil in the Temple was torn in two. It was a miracle! If you or I were going to tear that curtain, we would have started at the bottom, but it tore from the top. And the tear continued all the way to the ground. At that moment, we were granted access to the Holy of Holies, into the presence of God’s glory. There was no more separation between man and God. Suddenly, we had direct access to the throne of grace. What an opportunity!
The Apostle Paul instructed us in Hebrews 10:19-22 to take advantage of this access and draw near to God. He said, “Having, therefore, brethren boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”
Though the way into God’s presence is open, there are some conditions we must meet to enter in. We must approach God’s throne with humility, fully surrendering ourselves to His will, and in faith, believing that He will hear and answer our prayers.
When we come before God for any need, whether salvation, healing, a deeper experience, or help in a situation, we must come with an attitude of humility, understanding who God is. It is revealed in Isaiah 57:15 that God abides with those whose attitudes reflect a right perspective. It says, “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit.”
This might seem to conflict with the instruction in Hebrews 10:19 to have “boldness to enter into the holiest” and also that of Hebrews 4:16, which says to “come boldly unto the throne of grace.” However, there may be misconceptions about what it means to be humble. The word humble as used in Isaiah 57:15 comes from the Hebrew root word shaphel, which means “to become low.” This is not the same as self-degradation, self-harm, or self-imposed humiliation. Instead, it is yielding to God’s preeminent will and His perfect way, understanding that He knows what is best and has all things under His control. It is simply coming before the Lord and saying, “I don’t know, but You do, and I place my trust in You.”
So how do we reconcile approaching God in both boldness and humility? We come boldly by having confidence in His promises, and we come humbly by recognizing His authority over us. When we do this, God will hear and answer our prayers.
Come in full surrender
When we come to the Lord to be granted access, He does not want us to hold back any part of ourselves. God tells us in Jeremiah 29:13, “Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” God wants it all; He is asking for a complete surrender.
A helpful illustration when trying to surrender our all to God is to think of our hearts as having several compartments, each holding a different aspect of our lives. One section might be for family, another for church, and another for work. Then, we picture ourselves opening up each compartment to God and inviting Him in.
The Lord not only wants to look inside our hearts, but He also wants to dwell in each area. Some might think, I understand why it is important for God to be in my family life and church activities, but what about the box that contains my job? The Lord wants us to search for Him with that part of our hearts as well. God wants to be involved on a daily basis in all the things that we do. He wants us to consult Him. I do this all the time in my job. Though I am not the best trained or most capable employee, I put my trust in the Lord and He helps everything work out. God said to search for Him with “all your heart,” so we want to come to Him with every part of our lives.
God knows what He is doing, and He has been proven faithful, so why wouldn’t we give every part of our hearts to Him? Why wouldn’t we give the most precious things into His care?
Sometimes it is difficult to let go of something that is precious to us. We might find ourselves holding back something from God because we are worried about what will happen if we release control of it. In those situations, we need to remind ourselves that God can protect the things that are most valuable to us better than we can. As a parent, I have experienced this. One time I learned that two sexual predators lived near our home. I was concerned about my children, but there was nothing I could do to guarantee their safety, so I realized I needed to entrust them to the Lord. I gave that compartment to Him, knowing that He is more capable than I am. Now my children are older, and as they go out into the world on their own, I think about what types of things they will be exposed to and what choices they will make. Worrying will not help them, but I can continue to trust God and pray that He will keep them from evil and harm. God knows what He is doing, and He has been proven faithful, so why wouldn’t we give every part of our hearts to Him? Why wouldn’t we give the most precious things into His care?
When we surrender every aspect of our lives to God, our whole hearts, He will be found.
To receive anything from God requires faith. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” None of us question that God is who He says He is, but we must also believe that He will answer our prayers when we diligently seek Him in accordance with His Word.
We are told in Romans 12:3 that the Lord has dealt a “measure of faith” to every Christian, and we find in 1 John 5:4 that our faith is sufficient to overcome this world. The Lord has given us the faith necessary to live for Him and to receive His promises, but we must exercise this faith. When we find ourselves lacking, we can do as the man who brought his demoniac son to Jesus and say, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief” (Mark 9:24).
Sometimes, we put up our own barriers through unbelief. We need to remember that the Lord wants to answer our prayers. He orchestrated events so we would have access to His promises. He invites us to come boldly before His throne with our requests. We should come to Him in full assurance of faith.
God wants to take care of all of our needs. He wants to touch our lives. He wants us to bring our struggles to Him. I heard of an incident where a young man went to an altar bench at church and prayed earnestly for some time. The people around him thought he might be praying to receive sanctification or the baptism of the Holy Spirit. In actuality, he was praying to know how to fix his motorcycle, because it was his only mode of transportation. He came boldly and said, “Lord, You know what I need,” and his prayer was answered. He left knowing how to fix his motorcycle.
What do you need from the Lord? Come boldly and receive all that God has for you. Jesus paid the price so we could be granted direct access into God’s presence, but to enter we need to come to Him humbly, in full surrender, and in full assurance of faith. If we come in this manner, He is sure to answer.
<sup>1<sup>Identiv, Inc., “The World’s Most Secure Buildings: U.S. Bullion Depository, Fort Knox,” Identiv Community Blogs, May 24, 2021, https://www.identiv.com.