Friday evening at the prayer meeting, as we were worshipping the Lord singing a simple spontaneous melody ‘We worship your majesty’, I fell face down, prostrate, and all I could see was the astounding purity of God, the light of His Person, the absolute cleanness. Shaken and sobbing, my one cry was that He would purify us and make us holy, as He is holy. I heard myself say ‘holy, holy, holy’, overwhelmed by the consciousness of what we call His ‘holiness’ and which we understand so little.
Grace gives us access to a holy God, but does not do away with the need for us to be holy. Grace is an open door to transformation. We can stop where we are, many do it, at their own expense; many receive salvation by grace and continue to live without the fear of God, in the same mud as before. Greater consciousness of God, of His nature, will cause us to hate, to see the gravity of, and renounce things that we would otherwise consider acceptable. It enables us to see the separation these cause between us and God. Truly our great need is to see.
The is a place of seeing in prayer. There is a place in prayer where you become so starkly conscious of God that you are gripped by fear and call out for mercy. I have always been told that we no longer need be afraid of God and I heartily concur, yet it is no less true that there are those times when spectacular glimpses of the awesomeness of God strike terror in our hearts. Perhaps indeed we need more of those for our consciousness is so often overly darkened and insensitive to Him. And we need to be shaken, as Isaiah was.
When Isaiah saw a vision of God, of His majesty, His glory, and His holiness, he was aghast and exclaimed : “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” He was so awed as to be overcome with the overwhelming sense of his own inadequacies. As for us however, we have no qualms whatsoever in glibly calling for the glory of God to come upon our impure hands. Isaiah understood that the two were grossly incompatible..
Job had a similarly telling experience, he said to God “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; (6) therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes Job 42:5-6 ” And the end of Job ? Restoration, healing, renewal, over and above all that he had ever known. If we have never been horrified by ourselves and our actions, it is quite likely that we have never ‘seen’ God, we have only received second hand information about Him. Oh may God cause us to see such as will drive us to repentance.