The prophet Isaiah was called by God in one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring ways in the Bible. Read his account and imagine yourself in Isaiah’s place:
‘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.”
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.” Isaiah 6:1-7
Breathtaking. Frightening. Awesome. Humbling.
Even more mind blowing: Isaiah’s God is my God. With the same power and holiness He is high and exalted in my life. He is seated on the throne now; just as he was in Isaiah’s time.
I realize I don’t ask to experience God in his most powerful holiness in my everyday life. He is my friend. My comforter. My Father. My Solid Rock. My salvation. He is all these wonderful, holy things. But how often do I walk hand in hand with the ‘Lord Almighty’? How often to I see him seated on a throne, high and exalted?
How often do I pray: ‘Show me your glory, God’. The answer: Not enough.
All these emotions of unworthiness came to the surface of my heart as I read a Muslim women’s testimony this week. Latifa was praying to God : Show me! Show me the way! Show me. If Jesus Christ is the true way, show me.
I was so blessed by her bold prayer. I cried as I read on how she was at the beach with some Christian friends and they asked her to partake in communion with her. They asked her to read from 1 Corinthians 11. This is what happened:
“As I was reading,” Latifa recalls, “I was in the Spirit. I was transferred to the upper room. I could see Christ. I could hear Christ. I could sense him saying, ‘This is my body, broken for you.’ ” I didn’t know how I looked. Everybody disappeared. Time stopped. I was there with Christ, with the awesome presence of his holiness. I started looking at my life with his eyes. Suddenly my life, with which I’d been content, looked terribly dirty. I wanted to run away. then I heard him say, ‘Eat. I came not for you to run away, but, on the contrary, for you to come close to me.’ ” (Daughters of Islam, Miriam Adeney).
Tears welled up in me from a deep place as I thought of Isaiah and Latifa. They both reacted the same way in the presence of God’s holiness. Isaiah cried, ‘Woe to me! ‘ He immediately saw his uncleanliness. Latifa immediately saw how ‘terribly dirty’ her life was. Isaiah thought he was ruined! Latifa felt she had to run away. But God is the same today as he was in 740 BC. God reacted in the same spirit to his children…thousands of years apart from each other! Isaiah was cleansed and his sins were forgiven. Latifa was told to ‘Eat’ at the communion table. She was told to come close to him.
Such grace. Such holy, holy grace.
We must see how worthy God is, to understand how unworthy we are. We must understand his mighty power, to understand his grace. Our God, with his robe filling the temple, being worshiped by seraphim, their voices shaking the thresholds as they cry, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty’– this true God: He could wipe us out.
He has every right to leave us dirty and unclean. We are sinners. He is sinless. How dare the unholy enter the presence of the holy? Only by the blood of the Lamb. While Jesus was hanging on the cross, Matthew 27:50-51 reads:
‘And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom”.
The veil was torn the moment Jesus gave up his spirit as a ransom for us. We can enter into the temple with confidence.
Only because our holy, powerful God, is good.
He is always good. Forever holy and always good.
So this week, I am praying for the boldness to pray like Latifa and Moses. Moses declares to the Lord in Exodus 33:18 “Now show me your glory.” I pray that I have a passionate heart to see God seated high and exalted everyday. Isaiah’s God is my God too. He is sitting on his throne, waiting for me to enter into his temple.
At his feet, I will be cleansed.
At his feet, I will be loved.
Dear Lord Almighty,
Show me. Show me your glory. Teach me to want your presence above all else in my prayer life. I only want you. I want to see my life through your eyes. I want to have a deeper understanding of your holy grace. Give me a deeper understanding of your holiness. Set me apart for you. Amen.