There are a lot of healthy fears that we have, for example a fear of heights tells me to be careful when I am up on something high so I don't easily fall. A fear of cars can teach us not to drive like an idiot, not to cross the street when one is coming and not to jump out while it's moving. A fear of lions, tigers and bears will help us keep our distance if we ever happen across them or other dangerous, wild animals. So in the past few years I've noticed that a lot of people in the church will tell you not to fear God. Despite the fact that the Bible talks about it often and says a few different times that "the fear of the Lord is where wisdom begins". So when I noticed this, I tried to study God for who He really is. It's been blowing my mind to think about how huge He really is, Biblically and even just logically. Even in the agnostics eyes or anyone that believes in a higher power or even by the definition of God, being the highest power. So that means, if you think about the most powerful thing, He is more powerful. You think about how bright the sun is, God is brighter, how big the universe is, God is bigger, how detailed the atom is, God is more detailed. By definition if we are thinking of the word "highest" and you think of something that is extremely high, by definition, highest would even be higher than that.
I believe that if we don't start our understanding of God with fear, we aren't understanding God for who He is. We are cheapening who He is. He becomes one of us. When Isaiah had a vision of the throne room, he fell on his face and said "I'm a sinner, unworthy, I have unclean lips and live with people with unclean lips" in the midst of God's righteousness and might, Isaiah fell on his face and became fully aware of his sins and shortcomings, he even came to realize the shortcomings of people in his town. This response is all over the Bible by anyone who comes close to a glimpse of God's majesty. Even the angels, sinless creatures, fly around God and cover their faces and feet in His presence.
Isaiah sees God sitting on the throne and sees angels flying around just singing "Holy, Holy, Holy...".
A couple of thousand years later, John has a vision of God sitting on the throne and sees angels singing "Holy, Holy, Holy..."
All these sinless creatures can say in the midst of God is "Holy is the Lord". I never understood this, until I free-climbed something really high, with no ropes or anything, I looked down and my body went weak and all I could say was "wow". I really couldn't get anything else out. Same thing. It's not like in church when the worship leader goes a little longer than we'd like and repeat the song and we get tired of it. But it's when they see God, they can't say anything else. I don't think it's something God is making them do, like as if He is telling them "fly around me and say how holy I am" I think it's because they don't have any other response. Just wow. So it's safe to assume that from the two visions of God on the throne that are a few thousand years apart that all they say for eternity is "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord..." they say more, but not must else more and they repeat it and everything that they say is a proclamation of God's holiness.
Please try to picture this. Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy... for eternity. Think about that, eternity. Then in Revelation, in John's vision of Jesus in Heaven. It says that "When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was a silence in heaven for about a half an hour." That gives me chills even typing this. Think about the times the refrigerator or air condition cuts off, when the noise that you got used to stops, it feels weird. So in every vision in the Bible that I've read has had God being praised by the elders and the angels. Just constantly in awe of Him with their words. Then bam. Silence...
All the noise, the praise, the cheering, the worshiping, everything, silent.
The reason that the Bible says that the fear of the Lord is where wisdom and understanding begin. Is because if you don't have a sense of awe or fear of God when you think of Him is because you don't understand Him. You cannot begin to understand God without fearing Him. Don't let people rob this of you. It's amazing. I have enough "homeboys" I don't need Jesus to be my homeboy. I want him to be what he wants to be to me.
So please, think about God's majesty. Do yourself a favor. Your brain will start thanking you that you are giving it something to try to figure out. It's actually fulfilling to try to see God for as big as He is.
It's hard to truly picture how holy God is and not see how sinful you are. That is a Biblical response, so many glimpsed God and say "I'm a sinner, unworthy". My mind has been thinking about this a lot. It's been so good for me. But then, like in the first part of this blog, I got to a point where I'm trying to figure out how to serve this huge God.
Let's say there is a perfect pitch singer, never sang a bad note in their entire life. If you ever got the chance to sing in front of them, you'd either not sing, choke or try your best and feel horrible after. There is no way you could approach that singer with confidence. And even if they asked you to sing along with them, you'd shutter, hesitate or outright resist. Their singing in your presence would make you realize your flawed pitch and you'd start looking down on the way you sing, for good reason.
Also if you were a homeless man, with filthy clothes and tattered rags for an outfit. If some rich guy invited you to their house or their wedding. You'd feel so underdressed or worthless in comparison if they were in a three-piece suit. Think about it, have you ever been to a party underdressed? You feel like everyone is staring at you. Especially if the contrast to your outfit and everyone else's is substantial.
If God is love like the Bible says, than it's almost discouraging to even attempt love, knowing that I'm flawed and I'll fail often if I even try. So why even try. I can't do it on my own. Why even try to sing if you know you're tone-deaf and the best singer ever is listening. He'll probably be repulsed. For good reason. If you have perfect pitch, just by nature, hearing someone sing off-key isn't pleasant.
This is another thing that people will try to explain away, but it robs from who God is and the gospel. God is perfect, sinless and holy, so righteous that he can't even look upon a sinner. Just like light cannot look upon darkness. A sinner and a perfect God contradict each other. It's not because God is trying to be a big meany, it's because He is a great holy God. Light and darkness cannot be friends, even if light wants them to be. One of them has to be transformed to the other to have any kind of communion.
I talked about in the last blog how I prayed in a very frustrated way to God saying "how the heck do you put on Christ, he is not some kind of suit I can zip up". I have in a very real way related to what Job says in his prayers when he says so many different ways "I will speak to the Almighty and argue my case before God". He says it so much, saying "I know he is God, but let me ask him this". That's what I kept praying, "God I know you are huge and powerful, but let me ask you this, how do I put on Christ. He isn't like a Chuck E. Cheese outfit I can put on and zip up".
I got sick of Christians telling me to "put on Christ" or "let go and let God" without any direction of how to do this. I wrote the first blog about it, with no answer or conclusion, just hoping that I'd find an answer.
So for the past week I have been thinking about how to put on Christ and praying about it. It hit me. When I prayed "Jesus isn't some kind of outfit I can put on and walk around", the answer is "yes He is". When you put on the Chuck E. Cheese outfit, you then can walk, talk and act like Chuck E. Cheese. If you tried it without putting on Chuck E. Cheese, you'd look like a fool. Putting on the Chuck E. Cheese outfit will allow you to walk anywhere with confidence. You could walk into the break room with ease. If you didn't have that outfit on, you couldn't go into the break-room or other restricted areas.
When we are to put on Christ, we are given the opportunity to walk, talk and act like him. We can then attempt to love one another in a very real way. it's when we love others like Christ loved us that is the act of putting on Christ. God is the perfect pitch singer, we are the tone-deaf people and Christ is the auto-tuner that allows us to sing before God with confidence. We are not good singers, but through Christ we are made acceptable before God. Christ is our righteousness that we put on to approach God. We are in filthy rags, God is the well-dressed rich man and Jesus is the three-piece suit we put on to be able to approach God.
When you are wearing tattered rags and old clothes to paint in. You don't get bummed when you spill paint or dirt on those clothes. But when you were a brand new suit, you are careful to keep in clean, you watch how you eat and where you go. When we put on the righteousness of Christ. We then change our ways and walk in righteousness. Jesus makes us righteous so we then are able to live righteous lives.