This morning, as I made a concerted effort to come before the Lord in awe, I realized two things very quickly:
First, that I need more prayer time. It takes a long time to appreciate how great God is, how vast his love, understanding, and power are. This realization led very quickly into a deeper understanding of just how unworthy I am to stand in his presence, and what a gift prayer is. Who am I, to speak before the One who was, is, and shall be?
But even in this state of reverence and wonder, I still found myself incredulous and unprepared when I discovered that Pastor Patricia was preaching on the very same verse that I had been studying in Crazy Love yesterday! In Isaiah 6:5, Isaiah shares his response to finding himself in the presence of the Lord –
It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lodd of Heaven’s Armies!
Simon Peter has much the same reaction when he first encounters Jesus in Luke 5:8 –
Oh, Lord, please leave me – I’m too much of a sinner to be around you.
Both realize that they have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), and are thus unworthy to stand in his presence.
I, too, stand before God unworthy. I admit that I am a sinner – the commandments I haven’t broken stand few against the ones I have. There have been times that I have been fearful and ashamed to stand before God, much as Eve in the Garden of Eden – wanting to run and hide, but unable to.
And make no mistake, God has every right to judge me. He created me for his purposes, knows my inner most being (Psalm 139:13)., and he stands sinless and blameless. If anyone can judge, it is him.
But instead, he calls me to him. Not only to be reconciled, but to be trusted with his most important work – sharing his truth with the rest of the world.
See, Isaiah and Simon Peter knew they were unworthy, knew the punishmemt for breaking God’s law is death (Exodus 21:12-19), and fully expected God to exact punishment. Instead, God called and molded them to his purpose. Isaiah became one of the great prophets of the Lord, and Simon Peter one of Jesus’ first disciples.
I wonder today what God is calling me to. Where, in my unworthiness, he will lead me and use me. I hope that I will be listening, so that when he calls, I can answer him as Isaiah and Peter did – humbly, with reverence, and immediate obedience.