There’s something rather thrilling about starting a brand new blog post… not quite as exciting as a new notebook, but still something. It’s Sunday. That means have even more things than usual to think about and write about and talk about. Though normally it takes me longer to talk about them than to write about them…
Holiness. I’ve been thinking about it lately–God’s holiness, to be precise. I don’t–get it. Not yet. But I think that’s the point. He is so very horribly awesomely… other. Set apart. Different from us. Perfect. Flawless. It’s… scary, quite frankly. I was thinking about it the other day–about actually getting to know Him more and then one day SEEING Him. Him! The One who… is holy holy holy. Who made all this up. Who died for me. Without that last I should be purely terrified of Him. With it, I am still afraid. Not knees knocking fear, not yet. But awed, amazed, stunned… and yes, scared. I do not understand Him. I do not know all of what He is like. He is not a tame lion…
And yet the beautiful, wondrous mystery is that I CAN know Him. That even today I have learned more of Him. But I shall never finish learning Him… there is always always more. And I am so glad of that. If I could explain and diagram and learn all of Him… what a pathetic god that would be. I am very relieved that our God is not a cardboard god. He is not a statue. He is not man-made.
He can stand up to our questions and our reasoning. Not that He is obliged to explain Himself, or that we can really get Him– but we can ask, with no fear of Him disappointing us. Habakkuk asked–almost impertinently–for God to explain Himself. And God did. By the end, Habakkuk was… awestruck. He got it. He understood that even when things down here aren’t good, God is still good. He is still worthy to be praised.
Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls—
18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
19 The Lord God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills.
Habakkuk 3: 17-19
I’ve also been realizing a horrible tendency within myself to, instead of glorifying God because He is glorious and worthy, sort of… cover up for Him. Keep up appearances. Make it out to be like He really is–not so bad as it seems He is from circumstances. I know it’s complete foolishness… and yet I have found that attitude within myself. It is… horrifying, really. That I would… take from Him in that way. That I would not see and display HIS real, everlasting glory… that I would act as though I must sort of make it up for Him instead of revealing what has always been there more clearly to people who don’t yet see it. God, keep your glory always before me!
I have been thinking about unity a great deal lately. Especially within the church. It is burdening me more and more to see and hear about Christians separated by such silly things as dress and music style and minor doctrinal issues and styles of church services. The body of Christ is capable of so much more!! And this sort of division is so horribly unproductive and unglorifying to God and so–the opposite of what God meant when He said we are the BODY of Christ.
When we all separate ourselves into our nice little cliques, we often become dreadfully imbalanced in one way or another– we’ve got the “Doctrine is everything!!” people in one corner, getting more and more dry and less and less excited about GOD–and then we’ve got the “Feeling is everything!!” people over in another corner, getting more and more hyper and less and less grounded in the Bible.
We’ve got the “Modesty IS important!!” people over here, getting more and more legalistic and judgmental and less and less gracious and beautiful–and on the other side, we’ve got the “The heart is what matters, actually!!” people over here, getting more and more lax in their standards of modesty, and less and less concerned about what sort of message they are portraying to a watching world.
Of course, when you mix all those people up, you often get fireworks. Why? Oh it’s quite simple–they don’t love each other or God enough. That’s what most everything boils down to. So I am praying–God, love through me. Teach me to love.
And I am praying that the body of Christ will become that unified, spotless, loving, effective bride that Christ is coming back for.