“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.” Isaiah 6:5
Our only possible reaction to an encounter with the holiness of God is a heart-piercing realization of our own sinfulness. I don’t care if it’s Mother Teresa, St. Francis of Assisi, John Wesley, or the Apostle Paul, no human can match the holiness of the great I Am. Even if we’re not usually given to comparison, seeing ourselves so far below the glory of God is as inevitable as it is sobering. But I think it’s healthy to be reminded of who God is … and who we aren’t.
Isaiah got a glimpse of the hidden world of heaven, a world that is just as real as the one we can see. Though we are almost never aware of the fact, all around us are angels and archangels, principalities and powers, and maybe even the odd seraph—which literally means “burning one.”
These heavenly beings are our role models for worship. They never lose sight of who is God and who is not. Take a look at the angelic beings in Isaiah 6: They were not just calling to the Lord, which we might think would be enough to honour Him. Rather, they were also encouraging one another as they sang: “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord Almighty, the whole earth is filled with his glory.” This is a lesson for us. When we get together, there needs to be a horizontal aspect to our worship as well as a vertical one. We are to spur one another on by our passion and desire for the Lord.
We are also to look for the glory of the Lord everywhere, because the whole earth—not just our meeting house—is filled with His train. But meeting the holy is not for the faint of heart.
Think about it
Where can you look for the glory of the Lord today? How should you respond when you see it?