Sit for a moment and soak in this picture of holiness:
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!” And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. So I said, “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.” Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged.”
Isaiah 6: 1-7
When God called Isaiah to become a prophet, to speak forth His truth, this happened. Before Isaiah could go forward and proclaim God’s messages to the people, he needed to first see the glory of the Lord. And he needed to see the extent of his own sin.
This is a pattern that holds true for us even if we aren’t being called to the role of prophet. In order to banish sins and to grow as a Christian, we must see the glory of the Lord and the extent of our own sin.
Perhaps we reason away what is even sin anymore is because we have lost sight of God’s glory? If the measuring stick of good vs. bad is relative, then surely I can justify my “issues” with others’ “weaknesses”, right? My selfishness looks angelic compared to the mass murderer’s problems. Plus, who am I to judge you for homosexuality when you seem so happy?
Yet, we are not to trust in our own understanding. Without a fear of the Lord, there is no wisdom. Isaiah feared the Lord. Why? Because he witnessed God’s glory. He knew God’s holiness (make that His holy, holy, holiness). The result–various translations of the Bible capture Isaiah’s response to God’s holiness: He was undone. He was ruined. He saw that he was a foul-mouthed sinner. He was lost.
Do you see yourself in the light of God’s holiness? Can you read His Word and surrender to the commands and truths or do you justify, excuse, and turn words around in order to explain away the plain truth on the pages? There will be no banishment of sins in our lives until we are undone.
Then, because we are undone by God’s glory, then we can rest in the saving and cleansing work of His Son on the cross. Jesus’ perfect sacrifice for His own is what has taken away and purged our sins! May we never pick those sins back up again and live in them. May we never wallow around in the mud pit after being cleansed so completely.
Recently, I’ve struggled with seeing some of my own sins and their effects on my family close up. Along with seeing these sins of mine, I’ve also been fighting the good fight against the enemy of my soul. I’ve felt battered, but in the process I’ve also dug into the Psalms, prayed diligently for the Lord’s help, and resisted the devil over and over again. God is faithful. He hears His children’s prayers. Keep in His ways–He will never leave you or forsake you.
When you are in distress because of a spiritual attack or because some sins have been revealed to you, the Lord will hear you when you call to Him. Be still and meditate on His truths, His promises. Obey Him–offer the sacrifices of righteousness–because you love Him. Put your trust in the Lord and He will put gladness in your heart.