God's Holiness Exposes, Pt. 7
Yesterday I observed that God does indeed see sin and punishes it while at the same time providing an alternative. So what happens when sin gets near God? It is for sure that God's holiness is in no way diminished, which means that we are somehow affected when we draw near to it. What happens? Sin is exposed! When this occurs, we can either throw ourselves on the mercy of a holy God or stay as far removed from God as possible. And boy, how we've tried! Sinful humans can't enter the presence of the Lord!
Do you recall what happened when Isaiah saw the Lord? His first response to the holiness of God was, "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because 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" (Is. 6:5). Not only was Isaiah's sin exposed, but the sin of the world he lived in, the people he hung out with, and those to whom he ministered! When Gideon sought to hide, God exposed his hiding place, and God made Gideon into a mighty warrior (Judges 6:11-12). When Ananias and Sapphira lied to God, their sin was exposed, they refused to repent, and they died (Acts 5). What happens at the point of exposure is up to you, but God won't sugar coat your sin. He can't be anything but true and truthful.
If we, as the church, are serious about revival, we must first and foremost get serious about our sin. God will confront it, and it will be up to us how we respond. When faced with the reality of our sin compared to God's holiness, we can either bow our knee and say, "Woe is me!" or we can tuck tail and run, but it is impossible for us to stand there in defiance of ultimate reality. There are no compromises to be made with the God who created time, space, and matter so that you could live with the ability to reject His counsel. What is there to say or do?
The first option is to run, and that is our natural inclination as humans. But what are the consequences of doing so? Romans 1:28 states, "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting." Running is undoubtedly an option, but the danger is not realizing when God has given you over to your own desires, and you begin to call that which is good, evil, and evil good. The problem is that you continue to sink and are still at the place Isaiah was at, "Woe is me," only not for the reason you suppose. Isaiah 5:20-21 states, "Woe to those that call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!" These are the ones who prefer the fig leaf to the animal skin. I have to say, this isn't an appealing option, yet nonetheless, many choose it.
Isaiah chose the second option, repentance, and in response, God purged his sin and removed his iniquity (Is. 6:7). And it is here, when we stand righteous before God with an attitude of repentance, that God tells us that we are to be holy, for He is holy. He doesn't tell sinners that. He commands us. We, like Him, must maintain our separateness while living in the world. Thank God we have an intercessor in Christ Jesus who prayed, "They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth" (John 17:15-16).
So, how do we live as the other-worldly? We'll take a look.
Father, I'm ecstatic to be able to call you that! Thank You that You purge sin from my life. When I stray, You bring me back into right relationship with You and tell me to go and sin no more. You have said that I am not of this world, so could You please show me how to live in it? Thank You that You never give up on me and that You continue to create a place for me even as I live in the temporary. Thank You for exposing the sin in my life so that I can draw near to You. I can think of no greater pleasure. In Jesus' Name. Amen.