Response to the Topic of Knowing the Holiness of G-d (Sep23 CSLI)

A Monthly Reflection

There is no fear like that which love begets. We do not fear God with the fear of the slave or felon, but with the fear of the love that cannot endure the thought of giving pain to the one loving and loved.

F. B. Meyer

G-d is NOT our equal.  He is not just different, not just better, not just an item we can use when we want.  No.  He is HOLY!  In fact, He is the Holiest of Holies – Holy, Holy, Holy is the L-rd G-d Almighty.  He is above our thoughts, our ways, our comprehension.  He is greater than the biggest item we can imagine or the finite well of our emotions.

This is hard to fathom and it should well be that way now and forever.  Over time, mankind has wanted and needed to worship something or someone more powerful than ourselves.  We long for a higher authority to rule over us.  We place items – or idols – in His place trying to grasp something we can hold, something we can understand – yet to no avail.  This is how vastly different He is to us.  He is the ultimate 1-up.  There are no limits to Him and to His attributes.

With cause and effect this can yield to two outcomes.

Outcome 1 – fear

Outcome 2 – respect

Let’s try to tackle the first one.  Fear.  Depending on the lens you choose (or forced) to use, you will either see G-d as a moral monster who can’t wait to smite you for every little mistake because He can and He will.  The other side of the coin, as mentioned in the quote above is the idea that because who He is to us and our love for Him compels us to try our best to do what should be right by Him because we want to never hurt Him.  This love, this “fear”, is perfected because it is an all-encompassing full-in effort to be His and serve Him and Him alone.  Our fear, in this case, drives us to Him to honor with our gifts, our being and we want His love in return. 

We are fearful that we could lose Him and be lonely without Him.  We fear the loss of His presence with us vs the first fear that we fear being near to Him.  The latter He is our everything and we absolutely desire to never leave His side, the former we must run quickly because we want to be at the farthest point away possible.

What is the difference between the extremes?


(an internal heart change with our eyes focused upward on Him, instead of downward in shame)

This is why, I believe, that so many people have a hard time accepting Him.  They either only believe the former because of guilt, shame, or some sort of internal conviction – even if they cannot name it or they are convinced that G-d will never love them and hence cannot fathom the latter.

Am I becoming more and more in love with God as a holy God, or with the conception of an amiable Being who says, “Oh well, sin doesn’t matter much”?  Disciples Indeed, 389 L

Oswald Chambers

Does sin matter?  Does it matter much?

It’s true – He is love yet He is justice.  He loves through justice and has justice through love.

This is why it is imperative to surrender our hearts and wills over to Him daily.  We want our own idols because these material things make (or should we feel) us happy and they don’t talk back.  They don’t impose rules, restrictions, or commands.  In the Ten Commandments movie, like the Bible, we are so quick to construct our own golden calf to worship because we desire to worship an “idol” – yet our focus is wrong.  We should know that while the idol is nice in respect as it gives us something for our five senses to latch onto – it will never suffice.  It is never enough.  Only the infinite G-d of the universe can fill our empty desires, longings, and cleanse us from our sinful guilt and shame.  He allows us to know that sin does matter much and with the Holy Spirit to help us perceive sin and then to be victorious with overcoming strength as He helps us to put sin to death.

Respect.  Our #2 item to ponder. 

If you have ever been in the presence of a celebrity or before a judge – you will know what I mean when I say that you feel inadequate.  You feel lesser of a person or in the case of a judge that you are waiting for the final word of judgement.  Innocent.  Guilty.  Your hand in his hands.  Your next few months or years hanging on as he/she seals your future.  You should instinctively feel respect and perhaps a bit of sorrow and fear.  Either of these should cause you to feel a sense of respect because of the differences between who you are and who they are, or in the case of the judge – he/she holds the next card to be played on the table of life for you.  Will it be a get-out-of-jail ace card or a back to jail deuce? 

The concept here – is the lesser to the greater.  While judges and celebrities by the nature of their role appear to be greater, they are in no way as big and as powerful as the Great Almighty.   He is infinitely famous and infinitely powerful.  He controls it all.

And that should convey the point of His awesomeness.  To me, He never ceases to amaze.  Just when I am blessed to see Him move in one way, He blows my mind with another detail.  He states that His ways our not our ways – and He is right – not even close.  That is what makes it fun to know Him.  He surprises so often.  How He knits things together.  How He blesses with big and little gifts.  How He loves us through the pain and trials we go through and how He takes care of our every need.

And He owes us NOTHING!

He asks for our heart, soul, mind, and strength.  Really, He wants all of us.  Imagine this.  Truly imagine this.  An infinite Deity who can have anything He wants at any time for any reason and it would bring Him glory – decides to not only create us (which we corrupted and treated with contempt) but to daily provide for us in addition to salvation.  Why?  He is great, we are little.  He is strong, we are weak.  We need Him, He does not need us.

This is why He holds the title “Love” and the other titles of “Yahweh”, “I AM”, and the other names for which we do not know (and may never know).  He is above all. 

He calls us to be Holy like He is.  He wants us to return back into the image He created us to be – perfect in the Garden of Eden.  He wants us to be Holy like He is so that we can be around Him and we can be made complete. 

The fact is though – we can strive to be Holy and more like Him via the spiritual disciplines.  As Billy Graham has said, “The effective Christians of history have been men and women of great personal discipline—mental discipline, discipline of the body, discipline of the tongue, and discipline of the emotions.” – yet effective, and while good and should be put into practice, cannot lead us to be Holy in of itself as only the L-rd can help us become holy.

Circling back to respect.  We would be wise, and I know I struggle, to remember that He is holy, and separate from us – yet He is watching and while He is loving and can forgive, we should try to treat Him with the utmost respect and dedication.

We need to pray for growth in love towards Him and others. 

We need to be reminded that He is our L-rd and King – we are His servants.

We need to appreciate Him more often and tell Him about it.

And we need to show ourselves approved by surrender, submission, study, service, and sacrifice.

A hymn to remember, a call to surrender:

Take My Life, and Let it Be

Frances Havergal 1874

1 Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to thee.

Take my moments and my days;

let them flow in endless praise,

let them flow in endless praise.

2 Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of thy love.

Take my feet and let them be

swift and beautiful for thee,

swift and beautiful for thee.

3 Take my voice and let me sing always, only, for my King.

Take my lips and let them be

filled with messages from thee,

filled with messages from thee.

4 Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.

Take my intellect and use

every power as thou shalt choose,

every power as thou shalt choose.

5 Take my will and make it thine; it shall be no longer mine.

Take my heart it is thine own;

it shall be thy royal throne,

it shall be thy royal throne.

6 Take my love; my Lord, I pour at thy feet its treasure store.

Take myself, and I will be

ever, only, all for thee,

ever, only, all for thee. 

May we forever serve Him faithfully.  Please Father, help us to do just that, take all that we are and ever will be.

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