Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Horror The Joy

I saw the Lord seated on a throne high and exalted…. “Woe is me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” Isaiah 6: 1&5.
Someone told me this week that one sin is as bad as another. He spoke the truth and that is the great horror. There is a strange mix of joy, and horror in a relationship with God. The joy of being close and growing closer is very real but so is the horror of the awareness of sin and ugliness in my life. The closer my relationship to Jesus, the more I become aware, like Isaiah, of sin in myself and sin in the world.
Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the alter. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for. Isaiah 6: 6-7.
Ouch!! Sounds painful and it is. Once sin is seen it must be repented of and cut out. I have found that sometimes God uses people who are just like me to do the cutting. He has used other Gary’s who are arrogant, prideful, selfish and hurtful to cut out the arrogance, pride, selfishness and hurtfulness in me. Sometimes sin is a one time occurrence that once revealed can be forgiven by saying I’m sorry and never doing it again. More than I would like to admit, it is deeper than that and can only be taken care of with pain.
“My son do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” Hebrews 11: 5-6.
And there is joy! He loves us. He changes us. He helps us to become the human beings he always intended us to be. Oh what a mix!
“ If his sons forsake my law and do not follow my statutes, if they violate my decrees and fail to keep my commands, I will punish their sin with a rod, their iniquity with flogging; but I will not take my love from him, nor will I ever betray my faithfulness. I will not violate my covenant or alter what my lips have uttered. Once for all, I have sworn by my holiness…Psalm 89: 30-35. “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;The whole earth if full of his
glory.” Isaiah 6: 3.

1 comment:

DawnTreader said...

Are you familiar with C.S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters? It came to mind when I read this post + a few earlier ones. In this book Lewis uses the narrative perspective of a senior devil giving instructions to a junior devil, how to lure a new Christian convert (called the "patient") off his new track in life. Quote from Ch2:

"One of our great allies at present is the Church itself. Do not misunderstand me. I do not mean the Church as we see her spread out through all time and space and rooted in eternity, terrible as an army with banners. That, I confess, is a spectacle which makes our boldest tempters uneasy. But fortunately it is quite invisible to these humans. All your patient sees is the half-finished, sham Gothic erection on the new building estate. (...) When he gets to his pew and looks round him he sees just that selection of his neighbours whom he has hitherto avoided."

Quite beside the point: I've returned to your blog a few times because you left a comment on the very first post on mine (The Island of the Voices) and it amazed me that someone found it that soon. Do you mind telling me how…!? Anyway it was encouraging, so thanks.