In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the     hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings:   with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they        flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole      earth is full of his glory.” The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called,  and the house filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean  lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of  hosts!” Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the  altar with a pair of tongs. The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: “Now that this has  touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.” 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 New Revised Standard Version

When Isaiah glimpsed God in all His holiness, it was as if a light came on in a dark room. All the imperfections, blemishes, sin, uncleanness and crookedness of Isaiah’s life became exposed. He had to discard any pride in his own accomplishments. He knew he was being revealed for what he really was – unclean and unholy.

When we truly understand the holiness of God, our response should be the same as Isaiah’s: our pride unravels  and we stand expose us for the sinful creatures we truly are.  Our utter dependency on God for even our next breath becomes apparent. Our Wesleyan tradition within the Church of the Nazarene maintains that when the Holy Spirit initially brings us to awareness of our sin, we should view it with repugnance.  Spiritual senses which have been dead awaken us to the fact that the Savior is our only hope and only help. The ability to do this, to become aware of our sin even when our spiritual senses are dead, comes through prevenient grace, an act of grace by God that exists without reference to anything good which men or women might have done under their own power. Prevenient grace allows humans to use free will to either accept the salvation God offers through Christ, or to reject it.

Perhaps we don’t often enough consider our own response to God’s holiness. Have we allowed God to expose all of our imperfections, blemishes, sin, and uncleanness? Have we allowed our pride to be ripped from us, and become fully dependent on  God? If we say that we are pursuing lives of holiness, more is required than mere mental assent to Jesus’ atonement for us on the cross. To live a life of holiness – to be different, to be set apart for God – requires intentional commitment, effort, and discipline each day. It doesn’t matter how long ago we were first sanctified – but it matters greatly if we are sanctified right now.

Advertisements