12 February 2008

When God Makes a Point

For the last couple of weeks I have been following my normal routines and am detecting a pattern or theme that God is bringing to my attention. I can be as dumb as dirt so He's left all subtlety behind and is using a holy 2x4 at this point. Let me explain. I just read a fabulous post on holiness on Steve Camp's blog. I recommend it, you can find it here. Earlier today I attended a community bible study where the topic was on God's holiness and our sin. Sunday my pastor delivered a sermon that was both convicting and encouraging. He was preaching on Philippians 2:9-11 and tied it to the holiness of God. Just before that I was asked by a group of women to define the holiness of God. See what I mean? One of the principles of hermeneutics is when God repeats something, it's important. It seems apparent to me that God wants my attention and He wants it focused on His holiness.

I know I was going to write more about confrontation, but when God keeps bringing something to your attention it is best to listen. I don't believe in coincidence. I believe that God has providentially placed these people and circumstances in my life to snap me to attention. So here I am, Lord and I am listening.

The holiness of God is a truly awesome and terrible thing. The only way to begin to understand His holiness is in juxtaposition to my sin. No matter how I try I cannot really comprehend the absolute righteousness, perfection, and goodness of my God. I think a nanosecond of seeing Him in all of His holiness and glory would vaporize us. Isaiah was undone, Moses' face and hands shone after spending time with God and God protected Moses from seeing Him. (Isaiah 6, Exodus 34). The holiness of God will lay you out flat and make you tremble. Sitting here thinking about it has moved me to tears.

God, in His merciful providence, is allowing me to see how great a gift I have been given in my salvation. If I could, I would run from Him. I know who I am. I know the wicked heart I have. I know that He is the one person I cannot trick into thinking there is something good in me, other than His Holy Spirit. I know my bent for sin. I know that even after this glimpse of His holiness and the way I tremble here and now, in the next moment my flesh can rise up. And yet, for reasons I will never understand let alone never merit, He has called me to be one of His own. Jesus Christ, my Savior, has paid the penalty for my sins past, present and future. Knowing exactly how many times and ways I would fail Him, he has imputed his righteousness to me.

Recently I asked God to help me desire heaven. I think His answer has come in reminding me of His holiness and seeing my sin for what it truly is. My salvation is secure and I am free from the penalty of sin. My sanctification continues as I am freed from the power of sin. When I serve Him in heaven I will be free at last from the presence of sin.


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