That’s a word that completely describes the Lord and seems to be the antithesis of mankind. When I am in the presence of a holy and powerful God, I can’t help but examine myself. I look at all that I am, all that I have to offer and I cry out for more of Him to fill me to overflowing and remove all that is unholy. The presence of the Lord will do that…or it may do the opposite. I’ve found that there are generally two responses to the manifest glory of God:
1. a drawing in – those who are seeking seem to long for more and are drawn towards His glory
2. a retreat – some who see or feel the presence of the Lord are either frightened, ashamed or defiant and will turn away.
Take a look at what the prophet Isaiah records for us:
“…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 voice 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.” 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.” Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:1-8 NIV)
How great and terrible is the presence of God. He reveals His glory but at the same time reveals those not-so-great parts about us. His Spirit searches our hearts and exposes our frailty. Isaiah’s resopnse to the glory of God was just that. But even better, an angel carries down this hot coal, touches Isaiah’s mouth and declares his guilt wiped. And with that, God right away asks who is available to be His mouthpiece. Isaiah then boldly declares, “Here I am, Lord! Send me! You can send me!”
Jesus by his sacrifice has taken away our guilt so we can be called righteous. We can be called set apart. We can be called worshippers. And when He calls for reinforcements, we can boldly stand up and be counted in His army.
As you spend time with the Lord this Sunday, in your daily devotions or even your worship team practice, allow the Spirit of God to search your heart and make adjustments. Our imperfections are a reminder of His perfectness and of what He has done to make us qualified to enter His presence and share in His glory.
That is the best part of all.