Holy, Mighty, Glorious God

With 2017 quickly coming to an end, many of us will take some time to reflect on this past year and make resolutions heading into 2018.

What was 2017 like for you? For some, this past year was awesome and surpassed any expectations you had. For others, 2017 was very difficult filled with loss, disappointment, pain, setbacks and heartbreak.

Our new year’s resolutions often reflect our hopes and dreams, our desire to be better, and our reaction to the previous year.

As we prepare for and anticipate 2018, let us long to see God as Holy, Almighty, and Glorious.

Not only with our heads but with our hearts.

For many, God’s Holiness, His power, and His glory are attributes we read about in the Bible, pastors preach about, and other Christians talk about. However, many of us do not  often experience those realities.

Therefore, we remain content with the way things are and our Christianity does not reflect life through Jesus.

You may call yourself a Christian, be a good person, go to church and live with Christian values but still be very dead inside. Although your life appears to be going well on the outside, deep inside you know there is more to Christianity than what you are experiencing.

This is about the life we have through Jesus from the moment He saves us. In Christ, we see the Holy Spirit working in and around us. This Gospel reality, eternal life through Christ, is available to all believers from the moment Jesus saves us.

Why are many Christians not experiencing this Gospel-centered life? Why are so many Christians satisfied to just go through the motions and live a "Christian life" that Jesus never intended for us to live?

Here are a few questions to wrestle through as you think about that question.

Is your Christian life dead or alive?

We know God is good but what does God’s goodness look like in your life?

We know that God is love but are you experiencing His love in your life? How is that love expressed back to God and toward others?

What controls you more—the peace of God or anxiety?

Does God seem distant more than He does with you?

Are you experiencing the abundant Christian life? 

Is your walk with Jesus dry? Does God seems distant? Do you feel disconnected from God?

The prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 6:1-8 saw a vision of God high and exalted. In this vision, Isaiah saw God as supreme, awesome, glorious and great. Angels surrounded God and called to each other:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
the whole earth is full of His glory.”

Isaiah saw God’s divine nature, which set Him apart from everything else. God is so great, pure, perfect and above us. Because He is God, the whole earth reflects God’s glory.

This vision of God brought Isaiah to a place of reverence, humility and worship. Isaiah recognized his sin, his human fallibility, his unworthiness, and his brokenness before a Holy God.

Isaiah’s vision of God led him to surrender to whatever God asked of him. This was the foundation for Isaiah’s prophetic ministry for 50-60 years.

Isaiah’s writings expressed deep awareness of God’s Holiness, might, and glory. His message to Judah was not easy to deliver. Isaiah rebuked kings, challenged Israel to obey God, and preached God’s judgment on Israel.

From a human perspective, we wonder why and how someone would serve God under the extremely difficult circumstances Isaiah faced.

When we truly encounter God, He changes us. For Isaiah, God was not just someone he read about or someone others talked about. Isaiah experienced the Holy, Almighty, and Glorious God.

What about you and God? From this passage, we see a few things that show us how Isaiah encountered God in a life-changing way.

Isaiah was broken
Isaiah believed King Uzziah gave Judah the best hope of turning back to God. So when King Uzziah died, Isaiah was broken. Isaiah lost hope, he lost a close friend, and he mourned over Judah’s broken condition. Isaiah sought God in the midst of his brokenness. That's when God showed up.

Our broken circumstances, empty hearts, missed opportunities, and failures can lead to brokenness. In the midst of our brokenness, how do we respond? Do we pursue God first with all our hearts or do we look elsewhere?

For some, your brokenness will lead you to realize you do not have a relationship with God and that you need Jesus to save you.

For those who know Jesus, brokenness leads you to recognize your need for God. Brokenness places us in a position to hear from God. 

Matthew 5:3-4
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

Matthew 6:33
"… seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

What is broken in your life? Relationship, health, marriage, family, school, job, loss, relationships, pain. God could be using your brokenness to draw you back to Him.

Isaiah recognized who he was before a Holy God
When Isaiah saw this vision of God, he cried out: “Woe to me! 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.”

In the same way, we must recognize our sinful nature before a Holy God. God's Holiness exposes our sinfulness. Sin is the ultimate brokenness and separates us from God. Without Jesus, there is no hope. But through Christ, we have eternal life.

Salvation happens when we admit our sin has ruined us--and that our only hope is in Christ alone. We must repent and ask God to forgive our sins. We surrender to Jesus and believe in Him--place our lives in Him. Jesus gives eternal life and restores our broken relationship with God.

If you are a Christian, is there sin holding you back from knowing God more deeply?

The sin we hang on to and engage in will prevent us from recognizing God's Holiness, Might, and Glory. Sin causes us to take our eyes off Jesus, focus on something else, idolize ourselves and depend on our limited human abilities or on the fallen nature of this world, which will all fail us. 

Isaiah recognized his sin, frailty, and humanity before a Holy God. What about you? How will you respond?

Isaiah said: “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’”

The longer you wait to obey, the longer it will take for you to experience real life that comes through Jesus. What are you waiting for?

Trust and obey God. Surrender your life to Him. In doing so, you will see that God is all He says that He is.

For 2018, let us see what happens when we truly surrender to what Jesus said in Matthew 16:24-25: “24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."

Let 2018 be the most awesome year because of what God does in and through us--in a way that is alive and reflects Jesus. This does not happen because we strive for something, strive to be good, or strive to live a certain way. This happens when we are fully surrendered to Jesus. 

The whole point of today's blog is to encourage all of us to surrender to Jesus. Because only through Him can we see God's Holiness, Might and Glory.

Let's do it!

“Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.” 
-Psalm 34:8