Sit In The Holiness
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King,the Lord Almighty.”
Holy. I don’t understand this piece of God. I cannot wrap my mind around it. He is holy. Holy means He is intensely good, righteous, radiant, and anything that is not holy will be obliterated by His presence. I don’t visualize Him as holy. It’s easy to see Him as present, or good, or faithful, but not holy. This last week my eyes were fixated to the blinding holiness of God, and my absolute unworthiness to approach Him on my own. Isaiah was in the same place when He recorded Isaiah 6. In the presence of God and His glorious holiness, Isaiah cries out that he is ruined, doomed for death, because he recognizes his own depravity. Isaiah recognizes that he is not holy. He isn’t even close.
But Isaiah doesn’t die in the presence of God. There is more to the story.
Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.
The angel uses a “pure” object to make Isaiah pure. This is one of the many examples of atonement presented in the Old Testament. This was to represent what was to come in and through Jesus Christ.
This was the moment I started to tremble as the realization of God’s holiness collided with the realization of His mercy. God sent Jesus to be the burning coal that allows us to enter into God’s presence. Because Jesus died for our sins, we are seen as pure before God. Nothing can taint Jesus’ atonement.
But, this does not give us permission to keep sinning as we see fit. No. God has something so much more incredible for us: sanctification. God is holy, and He outlines in His Word how to live a holy life. Our lives are not meant to be our own anymore, but living offerings returned to God with thankful hearts.
I know that as I sat in the reverence and humility of God’s holiness, I wasn’t thinking about my own pride or arrogance anymore. I wanted to know how to live a holy life. If my life is supposed to reflect God, I need to reflect holiness. But, am I? Or have I only been reflecting the world’s perspective of holiness. What does it mean to live a holy life for God?
Paul outlines it in 1 Thessalonians 4:1-11: “As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit. Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you,for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.”
I read this and was struck by the emphasis on self-control. The culture around me thrives on the concepts of indulgence, self-care, and grabbing pleasure from whatever gives it to us. But that’s not holy living.
I indulge in a little too much social media, or random TV show clips on YouTube. I love a good rabbit trail of random information. I indulge myself with a little too much retail therapy, and I resist spending time with God because I allow myself to believe that I deserve “me” time.
These are things that, on their own, and in moderation are okay. But, I let them control me. I wrote about distractions and how they keep us from our life with Christ. When I am not exercising self-control, these things become sin. Sin that interrupts my relationship with God, and injures my witness before others.
That realization sobered me to my selfish desire to behave however I want. My heart breaks for the lost and the unreached. But when they see me, do they see Jesus? Do they see how he changes lives?
I love sanctification. It is the glorious mystery of the Holy God taking my hand and showing me how to walk with Him, and become more like Him. I don’t want to miss out. Jesus died for me to have that relationship with God, and I won’t treat sanctification as an inconvenience. It’s a mercifully given gift. I can run into the presence of God freely now, and not fear death or destruction.
If I say that I want to reflect God, why would I not want to reflect every aspect of Him? He is Holy, and He has invited us to reflect His holiness too. I invite you to sit in the holiness of God today, and allow yourself to recognize what Isaiah recognized. Then I invite you to rejoice in the mercy given through Christ. You are welcome to sit in the presence of God forever.
What is illuminated by the holiness? What needs to be made pure in your life? Are you willing to let God speak into that impurity? Are you willing to hear what He has to say?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mia Grace loves sunflowers, words, old hardcover books, and fountain pens. She adores Jesus Christ, and seeks to listen and obey him in her life. Her life verse is Isaiah 52:7, and her prayer is for every girl to grasp the height, weight, depth, width, and power of Christ's love for them.