“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with His glory!’ Their voices shook the Temple to its foundation and the entire building was filled with smoke. Then I said, ‘It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people of filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies’” ~~ Isaiah 6:3-5 (NLT).
What a vision Isaiah had from God about one of His greatest attributes – holiness. During the time of Isaiah, the land was filled with sinful people. They were broken and suffering – surrounded by evil and sorrows. Does this sound familiar? It is much like our world, isn’t it? It’s in the news feeds. Sin seems to reign unchecked – in politics, business, sports, and on the nightly news. Our world parallels that of Isaiah’s day. Isaiah saw that the people of his day were doomed and without hope “for the people’s hearts have become hardened.” He asked, “Lord, how long with this go on?” The people’s eyes were shut, and their ears were unable to hear His truth.
God is Knocking on Our Heart’s Door …
The Lord knocks daily for us to turn from our sinful ways, repent, and invite Him into our hearts. Are you willing to allow Him to reveal what is in your heart?
Have you ever become unglued? Undone? Filled with Remorse? Convicted of sin that has reigned deep within your heart? Maybe your thoughts and desires slowly have succumbed to the ways of the world. Have you tried to justify and rationalize your actions in order simply to survive in this seemingly god-forsaken world? Or, after having received His gift of salvation, do you have an inner desire to serve Him in holiness? For it is only by His righteousness that we are prepared for living eternally in His Kingdom.
What Does Holiness Mean to You? …
When you think of the word “holiness” what do you imagine? What do you envision? Does it seem unattainable? Maybe, you have actually already had an Isaiah experience. I know I have – when God Almighty reigned me back in – when He reminded me that through the sunrises and the sunsets, the mountains and the great wide oceans, the stars that shine brightly on a cold winter day, He enables me to whisper … “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies!”
When God invaded my life, HE consumed my being and caused me to see that I was UNDONE! My pride and competitive spirit got burned out by the Holy Spirit and replaced with humility. Now I cry out “Holy, Holy is Your Name!” Yet, like Isaiah, I still feel the tension between the two worlds, and I ultimately realize that I cannot straddle both, and neither can you. What I love about Isaiah is that he was willing to change. He was open, bold, and courageous to allow the Lord to do something within him that he was unable to do for himself – that was to make Him holy – cleansed from sin – and to put him in right standing with a holy God! I want that for my own life, too. Do you?
When Isaiah encountered God’s holiness, it penetrated His core being. He realized that he had been separated from the holiness of God because his heart was unclean and filled with sin, and he dwelt among a people of unclean speech.
God yet today calls you and me, too, to a right and holy relationship with Him. Why, because only His great love can fill our broken hearts, restore the joy of our salvation, and separate us from the unholy ways of the world.
God Desires to Do Phenomenal Things in and Through Our Lives!
God Himself desires that our hearts become clean so that He is able to do through us amazing things for His kingdom and His glory. But He can’t and won’t use unholy vessels. Are you willing to allow Him to change you so you can be more useful to the Lord? Are you ready to take that step of faith? For we all as Christians have been called by God Himself to allow His holiness to penetrate our beings so that we can do “the impossible” in His power. And what He does through us is not at all because we are good and faithful, but because His holiness has cleansed, restored, and renewed us back to a right relationship with Him. Here is Isaiah’s account of how it happened:
Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. He touched my lips with it and said, ‘See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven’ ~~ Isaiah 6:6.
A great transformation suddenly had taken place in the life of Isaiah. No longer was he a slave to His sin. He was no longer held captive by the enemy of our souls. The holiness of God transformed his life and brought him into right and restored relationship with the Almighty which led him to pursue the highway of holiness … no matter the cost! He had no idea what this call looked like. All he knew was that he had been changed by the Lord Himself – changed to make the choice to go, serve, and speak whatever, whenever, and however God chose to use him.
Are You Willing?
Are you willing to be obedient to God’s call on your life? Yes, it is possible to trust God and “walk by faith” even if or when the outcome is one that may not turn out the way you had thought. Your life may not be glamorous once you surrender and are changed by His power, for there is a cost to walking with the Lord. But when you really encounter God and His holiness as I have, you will be undone, filled with remorse and shame and in a position to receive from the Lord! Only then can we fully realize how dependent we are upon His mercy and grace.
A.W Pink writes: “God is only truly known in the soul as we yield ourselves to Him, submit to His authority, and regulate all details of our lives by His holy precepts, and commandments.”
It is my hope that this year we will allow the Lord to make us holy – set apart unto Him. For the Word says
“It wasn’t so long ago that we ourselves were stupid and stubborn, dupes of sin, ordered every which way by our glands, going around with a chip on our shoulder, hated and hating back. But when God, our kind and loving Savior God, stepped in, he saved us from all that. It was all his doing; we had nothing to do with it. He gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by the Holy Spirit. Our Savior Jesus poured out new life so generously. God’s gift has restored our relationship with Him and given us back our lives. And there’s more life to come—an eternity of life! You can count on this” ~~ Titus 3:5-7 (MSG).
Pray with me
Lord, give me eyes to see, ears to hear Your voice – the voice that says “I am Your Lord. I clear the way through the wilderness and make a straight highway through the wasteland so that we can walk together! I fill the valleys and level the mountains and the hills. I straighten the curves and smooth out the rough places in your life.”
Lord, I want to serve you with my whole heart. I ask You to burn out my fleshly desires that have held me captive. Holy Spirit, do the deep cleansing within my being so that as I cry out for YOU, You change me. Make me holy. Then I will follow you, wherever, whenever, and however, You choose! I trust that You cleanse me from every evil tendency so that we can dwell together, and I will live with You in Your Kingdom eternally. Amen.
Meditate upon these Scriptures …
“Set yourselves apart for a holy life. Live a holy life, because I am God, your God. Do what I tell you; live the way I tell you. I am the God Who makes you holy” ~~ Leviticus 20:8 (MSG).
“Let it be your ambition to live at peace with all men and to achieve holiness ‘without which no man shall see the Lord’” ~~ Hebrews 12:14 (PHILLIPS).
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” ~~ Romans 12:2 (ESV).
“ …who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity” ~~ 2 Timothy 1:9 (NASB).
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Born on Valentine’s day, Elizabeth Bowman is on a mission to unlock women’s hearts so they can receive healing, restoration, and most of all come into a full understanding of God’s LOVE, VALUE, ACCEPTANCE and SECURITY. Elizabeth is a Board Certified Biblical Counselor with a specialization in addiction and recovery.