Roger spoke this morning at Cherry Tree Court about the need to be naked before God – not literally, but to approach Him with purity of heart and the confidence that He accepts us through Jesus Christ. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were naked and felt no shame (Gen 2:25), but when sin entered the world through their rebellion against God, they became aware of their nakedness and hid from God. (Gen 3:10) Most of us now carry that sense of embarrassment and shame related to nakedness, though it becomes the ultimate sign of intimacy in a marriage and children reflect the innocence once known by all humanity when they have no hang-ups about nakedness. Nakedness symbolises our dependence on God and the fact that He sees us and knows us through and through. (Eccl 5:15)
Spiritually speaking, the nakedness God wants from us is related to purity of heart. If we harbour sin in our hearts, we cannot approach a holy God, but through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, we can come before God with clean hands and a pure heart. (Ps 24:4) Sincerity, love and purity effectively act as a spiritual nakedness (see Prov 22:11, 1 Tim 1:5, 2 Tim 2:22, Heb 10:22). God asks us to leave everything and follow Him, to go and make disciples of all nations and to live a life of daily repentance and faith. Then we can approach God humbly, like children, with pure hearts. We don’t need to be dressed in our ‘Sunday best’ to come to God. As we prepare ourselves through personal and corporate prayer, forgive others, repent and are filled with the Spirit, we can live a life of freedom from shame.