Monday, December 28, 2009

Holy, Holy, Holy

A few months ago I was sitting in church back home at Grace Point listening to a sermon and the Lord began to work a thought process in me that has been growing since. What I began to wonder and question is whether we Christians have forgotten about the Holiness of God. Oh sure, we talk about it and sing about it in song, but it seems as if it is not the foremost description we would give if someone were to ask us about the attributes of God. Perhaps we would say that He is the creator of everything; He is loving, kind and merciful; He is ever-present and all knowing; He is Father, Son, and Spirit; He is with us always; He became the sacrificial lamb in Jesus to make atonement for our sin...

But would we say He is Holy? And do we think of Him first and foremost as Holy? I believe it is absolutely critical to our relationship with Christ to see Him first as Holy, and then to see His other attributes. To be Holy means to be perfect and free from any impurity and to see God first and foremost in that way will forever change our attitude when we approach His throne of grace. It is true that if we have been born again we are covered in the blood of Christ and therefore can come boldly to the throne, but boldly does not mean irreverently. Only when we see the true Holiness and perfection of God can we truly see the depth and filth of our sin, and then begin to accurately appreciate the gift of grace in the shed blood of Christ. If we do not understand the Holiness of God and do not understand that only perfection can be in His presence, then we will take for granted the forgiveness we have received. We will approach the throne with a cavalier attitude, feeling somewhat entitled to His grace and foregiveness.

The more we see the Holiness of God, the more difficult it becomes to excuse our own "special" sins, the ones we justify and make excuse for. When we truly see the perfection of God, displayed in Jesus Christ, we have no excuse for continuing in sin. I am not saying that if we are to truly see God as perfect and Holy we will never sin again; we are both flesh and spirit living in a fallen world and will never attain perfection in this life. BUT, to willfully continue in sin is the worst form of disrespect to a Holy God. We say "I just can't help myself", "I have no control", "I'm only human, after all", or any other of a thousand excuses to allow ourselves to continue in our sinful ways, and then we come "boldly" before the throne and ask to be forgiven, knowing deep down inside that we have no intention of putting that sin to death.

I know what I write is true, because I am a prime example.

I met Jesus in 1985 in the middle of my living room. I had moved to Portland in September and was invitied by a friend to a Spirit filled church. Being born and raised a proper Lutheran, I had never seen anything like what was going on in that building and I was sure they were all crazy. People with raised hands and voices, praising God, a preacher telling me that I needed to be born again? I had no clue what that meant. I had hit rock bottom in every way and knew that I needed whatever those people had or I would end my life. Jesus came into my heart that day and immediately made some radical changes. But the warm fuzzy high of being a new babe in Christ began to fade and 5 years later I found myself back in the pig pen, slopping around in my old ways. For 8 years I lived my life in a way that NO ONE would know that I was a believer. I was a Christian in label only, stating that I was "backslidden". The Holy Spirit was living in me, however, and I lived in continual turmoil. I knew what was right, but I would not bend my selfish will and instead excused my behavior in any way I could. It wasn't until 1998 after my son Michael was born that I began to give my life back to God and to seek His will instead of serving my own.

The last 11 years has been a series of growing and stumbling, 2 steps forward, 1 step back, as will the rest of my life be. But only in the last 2 years have I truly begun to see the Holiness of our God and what that means in the context of my relationship with Him. When I come before Him now I no longer throw out a somewhat sincere prayer asking to be forgiven for such and such. No, now I am beginning to see the depth of my sin, to see how undeserving I am of forgiveness, and am beginning to have true gratitude that He gives it to me anyway.

In order to come to Honduras and serve the Lord among the lost and forgotten of the world I have to see my own sin for what it is in relationship to the Holiness of God. If I do not, I will stand in judgement and condemnation of those we came to minister to. When I see myself as utterly hopeless and lost without the grace and mercy of a Holy God, then I can have compassion for others and show them the love that has been shown me.

He is Holy.

http://musicremedy.com/audio/index.cfm?fuseaction=showvideoplayer&audioid=34448&quality=11

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YV4so2jZLrg


Blessings,

Natasha

4 comments:

Mark said...

Hi, Laurie gave us the address of your blog. With you guys here, we are no longer the "new kids on the block!" I'm Mark, my wife is Ashley, we have three boys and are just a few months into God's adventure here in Tegus. Please email us at mark@partnerhonduras.org
so we can get in touch. You can find out more too at www.partnerhonduras.org
Blessings, Mark <><

DK said...

Beautiful Natasha! Thanks for sharing!

Laurie said...

Nice post. I am trying to be a bit more spiritually focused in the next few days. This was a good place to start. I am back in H. so I will email u soon. Maybe we can see each other soon.

carolyn said...

yes. beautiful.

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