In an amazing story in the Bible, Isaiah saw the Lord sitting on His throne (Isa. 6) and the angels were crying “Holy is the Lord of hosts”! His response was “Woe is me, for I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips...” He saw God’s Holiness and was deeply distressed, and felt condemned by his own sinfulness. This is the response that is evoked in anyone who is allowed a glimpse into God’s holy nature: He is pure, holy, and good and we are anything but. He is light, and we by comparison are black as the darkest night. His light shines into our dark hearts and all the unclean things are clearly seen.
Many years ago my wife and I were getting ready to move into a house that had been vacant for months. As we walked in for the first time and turned on the lights, hundreds of cockroaches scattered everywhere! They were on the floor, on the walls, the ceiling, some running and some flying, trying to get back into their hiding places, away from the light. We backed out (very quickly!), locked the door and called the exterminator. When God shines His light into our hearts and we see Jesus as He is, in all His Glory and Holiness, we are exposed. All we have ever done and said...our sins and sinful nature are out in the open. He sees us, and we see ourselves as never before: dirty, unholy, and ashamed. We have two choices, we can run and hide or we can fall before Him, ask for forgiveness, and receive His cleansing.
This is when a real miracle happens. Rather than receiving punishment, we receive mercy, grace, and forgiveness. We trade in our old sinful lives for a new life in Christ, and we receive His Righteousness. We become holy and blameless before Him (Eph 1:4). Did you realize when Paul wrote his letter ‘to the saints in Ephesus’, the word ‘Saints’ is actually the same word that means “Holy”? So Paul wrote his letter to the “holy” or “holy ones” in Ephesus (Eph1:1).
What does that mean for us today? First of all it means it’s okay to see myself as God sees me. I am not just ‘a sinner saved by grace’, I am a saint. I am holy (because of Jesus), He lives in me and He gives me the ability to live like it. So now I must be determined to do just that! 2 Timothy 21 says, “if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.”
It is so important that we see this; we are set apart as holy…ready for every good work! God has cleaned us up so He can use us. After Isaiah saw God’s glory and received his cleansing, his response was “Here am I, send me!” This is exactly what our response should be. “Lord, I want to be useful, do with me whatever pleases you the most.” This kind of attitude results in amazing things:
It glorifies God because our obedience reflects His goodness to others
The light of God shines through our lives and can actually bring others to Him by this same process of exposing their own darkness
- It brings us great joy to know that we are fulfilling the purpose for which we were created…to glorify God!