Each week in worship at FBC Athens we draw our attention to a specific characteristic or name of Jesus. This week, we reflect on his holiness.
Holy. What does that word mean to you? God is Holy. What does that mean to you?
Have you ever been completely taken back by His holiness?
Are you drawn to God's holiness?
What does God's holiness look like to you? Christ's holiness?
For me, the image that immediately comes to mind for me is the grand canyon at sunrise. Now, there are so many beautiful places in the world but there is just something about the grand canyon that speaks deeply to me. I've never felt so small. Yet at the same time, I've never felt more a part of God's incredible creation.
The grand canyon (especially at sunrise) is a deeply spiritual place for me. Go ahead - google it. The images look fake - edited - high contrast. If you've ever been there you know... they aren't even close to the real thing. It is such a beautiful site to take in - it looks like the most beautiful postcard or photo - but there is depth to it that is hard to comprehend.
The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide, with a depth of over a mile (6,093 feet). I can read that and try, but my eyes and mind strain to even comprehend this vastness. And we are talking about a tiny piece of the desert in North America. God created the universe!
VY Canis Majoris (the largest known star) would be as big as 2,600 times the size of the sun. And about 1.3 million earths could fit inside of the sun. MIND BLOWN! That's 1.3 MILLION grand canyons (x 2,600)...
And lets not forget the minute details of creation... all the muscles, nerves, and brain synapses it takes to pick up a pencil or write a blog post.
Ok I'm going to stop.
I've been reflecting on the holiness of God this week and this depth, this desire for comprehension is drawn to how He could create with such artistry and on such a scale, yet desire for a relationship with us...
It's honestly terrifying.
Moses was allowed for God to cover his face and see God as he passed only from behind. His reflection of the Glory of God was so great that he literally terrified his people to the point that he had to wear a head covering.
The residual reflection of God's real presence terrified all of God's people.
HOLY HOLY HOLY - overwhelmingly set apart and terrifiyingly powerful, words can't describe, the universe can't contain, that which is our GOD. He is HOLY. HOLY. HOLY.
A book I'd recommend if you would like to search deeper into the holiness of God is RC Sprowl's book - The Holiness of God. He notes:
"Only once in sacred Scripture is an attribute of God elevated to the third degree. Only once is a characteristic of God mentioned three times in succession. The Bible says that God is holy, holy, holy. Not that He is merely holy, or even holy, holy. He is holy, holy, holy. The Bible never says that God is love, love, love; or mercy, mercy, mercy; or wrath, wrath, wrath; or justice, justice, justice. It does say that he is holy, holy, holy that the whole earth is full of His glory." (RC Sprowl - The Holiness of God - I added the bold and italics)
AW Tozer (another great theologian and christian thought leader) captured my attention with this quote:
"The stiff and wooden quality about our religious lives is a result of our lack of holy desire. Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people." (The Pursuit of God)
So, let's consider a dangerous prayer, the prayer of Moses in Exodus 33:18, "Show me your glory, I pray." Let's chase after our Heavenly Father's holiness. Lets bow in reverence and fear. Let's rejoice and dance in the beauty of His creation. Let's grow in HIM through our holy desire for more.
Pray. Show me your Glory Lord. Reveal to me glimpses of your holiness. Awaken my heart. Reignite in me a desire for your holiness. Make me holy, for you are holy.
This Week's Setlist:
Open Up the Heavens - Vertical Church Band
Agnus Dei - Michael W. Smith
Holy Spirit - Bryan and Katie Torwalt
O Come to the Altar - Elevation Worship