I don’t know about you, but I’ve been struggling to keep my mind on the all powerful holiness and sovereignty of God amidst the barrage of lies and ugliness coming through the media and words of tragically deceived people on social networks.
I wake up each morning to the sound of the birds, both the budgies in my own home and the wild birds outside in the trees that line the creek behind my house. I listen to each song in the chorus; happily; joyfully celebrating the new day as if they are surprised and exuberantly proclaiming “It happened again! The sun is here! It’s another glorious day!”
The miracle of each new day is not lost on birds.
Each morning, I catch their enthusiasm and turn to my Father in gratitude; “Thank you!” I pick up my bible, read a bit and talk to my King.
All is well in the world.
My memory starts to wake up. I desperately try to hold on to the majesty of those waking moments, but they’re soon muddied by what’s happening to people in America, to people all over the world, to God’s beautiful creation. I turn on my computer and check the internet for events of the day and can literally feel my joy being extinguished as the sea of bad news pours from the monitor.
“Democrats present more reasons to continue the lockdown.”
“Scientists are one step closer to the vaccine.”
“5G forges ahead with wireless companies insisting it is safe.”
“More seniors die alone, their loved ones forbidden from being at their side.”
“Life as you know it is over. Be afraid. Be very afraid.”
Maybe your mornings go something like mine.
So, how do we hold onto our beautiful, Holy God in face of the lies, fears and cruel realities surrounding us? I think this is where we need something much stronger than our own willpower. We need the supernatural help of our King! And what a king we have! Listen:
“In the year of King Uzziah’s death, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings; with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said,
‘Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts,
The whole earth is full of His glory.”
And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filing with smoke. Then I said,
‘Woe is me, for I am ruined!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I live among a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.’” (Isaiah 6:1-5)
Those words bring tears to my eyes. They bring me back to that moment when I was taken up into ‘heaven’ and God revealed His holiness and glory to me. There is simply no vocabulary for what I saw during my NDE. I try to use the words that I know in this realm, but they utterly fail to describe it. And I was only in the supernatural realm. Isaiah actually saw the Lord Himself on his throne! It’s no wonder that from that point on he referred to God as “The Holy One of Israel”!
This Holy God has promised to be with us in times of trouble. (Psa 46:1, Deut 31:6, Matt 28:20). And through His Son we can draw close and enter into His throne room every time we bow our heads to pray!
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb 4:16)
The worldly circumstances that would steal our happiness are no match for the joy found in His presence. (Psa 16:11) Joy and happiness are ours. Today. Now.
“But wait a minute”, you might be saying, “God’s call to holiness is a call to sacrifice. There’s joy in knowing that we’re pleasing to God through the “Christ filter”, but we need to be focused on saying ‘no’ to sin, otherwise you’re talking about hyper-grace.”
Tragically, somewhere along the line, and I’m convinced it was not by chance, in an effort to underline the insidiousness of sin, we’ve lost sight of the miracle God performed when we were born again. So many of us find it easy to nod an “amen” at any scripture passage that points out the problems Christians will have with sin. But we find it hard to take the passages telling us that it is the Christian’s nature to produce holiness at face value.
Are you stuck there? I was for a long time. Well, certainly “In me dwelleth no good thing,” right? Ah, but let’s read that in context:
“Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.” (Rom 7:17-18, 22,23)
God has made a miraculous transformation in the deepest level of your personhood. Your “inner man” delights in God’s “law”. But the dichotomy of “two natures” has confused many believers about their true, miraculous identity in Christ and as a result, we struggle to “enter His gates with thanksgiving in our hearts and his courts with praise”. (Psalm 100) Tragically, as a result of too many bible teachers and too few believers reading the Word for themselves, many Christians continue to think of themselves “according to the flesh” after they have been born again. They believe that their truest self is represented by the “principle at work in their members”, and as such, that their true desires are contrary to holiness, even though Romans 7:16-25 says the exact opposite! Yes, those “members” belong to you and you are responsible for them. They haven’t been redeemed yet so you can’t expect them to naturally fall in line with holiness. But you, the real you, has been born again. For you, holiness is happiness! For you, personal purity is your deepest desire. Don’t let yourself be bullied by the enemy’s lies about your failures in the flesh anymore! Brothers and sisters, let’s draw close! The spotless purity of God’s holiness is here for you. Now!
And in the light of His Holiness, His happiness, His joy; the cares and concerns of the world finally fall back into their proper place.