A few months ago I was privileged to chaperone my 4 year-old-son’s pre-school field trip to the zoo. In my experience, most trips to the zoo are spent walking for what feels like miles and just to peer in on nearly non-existent, or sleeping animals. This trip was different.
The first place we visited was the big cats area. As we walked into the exhibit, I expected to maybe see the mane of a sleeping lion off in the distance. What we found instead, was a monster of a male lion pacing back and fourth in front of the glass, mane blowing in the wind looking like Mufasa in all his glory. Even knowing it was impossible for this enormous animal to breach the glass, I shuddered at the sight of his size and capability.
On the heels of this humbling experience I started thinking about the size and scope of God’s holiness. I thought about all the Biblical accounts of people experiencing the presence of God and how they almost unanimously fell on their faces in presence of His holiness.
When was the last time you trembled in the presence of God’s holiness? The honest truth is that most of us have never truly trembled in the presence of God. The reason we don’t tremble in His presence is that we don’t adequately conceive of His holiness. While only God can enable the increase of our vision, we have a role to play in the process. Here are three essentials for increasing our view of God’s holiness.
1. Meditate on Scripture
The Bible is the means by which God has chosen to reveal Himself. If we want to know Him, we have to be in His Word. We’re not free to run off and sit in a field somewhere, dreaming up our own definition of who God is and what He’s like. The Bible is the only definitive revelation of God’s character and capability (Revelation 22:18-19). Any revelation of God that is not subject to Scripture is satanic. If we want to increase our view of God’s holiness, we have to be people who meditate on Scripture.
2. Pursue Personal Holiness
God’s holiness demands holiness from His people (1 Peter 1:15-16). Sadly, each of us has differing brands and degrees of habitual sin that we struggle with. The problem is habitual sin hinders our view of God’s holiness. Anytime my 2 year-old finds my glasses lying around he insists on bringing them to me. Unfortunately, he can’t seem to do this without covering the lenses with fingerprints making it virtually impossible for me to see through them. Sin does the same thing to our view of God. Sin clouds the lens through which God means us to see Him. We need God’s grace to cleanse us and empower our pursuit of personal holiness so we can see Him for who He is.
3. Experience God’s Creation
King David teaches us that humility is the byproduct of gazing into all God’s created in the heavens (Psalm 8:3-6) and that the sky proclaims God’s handiwork (Psalm 19:1). Experiencing creation expands your view of the Creator. Get outside! Swim in the ocean, stand on the edge of the Grand Canyon, or simply go outside at night and see the stars God hand-placed in the sky (Isaiah 40:26). All of creation screams of the glory of our holy God, so we should seize every opportunity to experience it.
Worship is what’s at stake here. Until we see God as he is, we won’t worship Him as we ought. We need God to expand our view of His holiness. We can pursue this increase through meditation on Scripture, pursuing personal holiness, and experiencing God’s creation. Let’s take advantage of the gracious opportunity God has put before us today and ask Him to help us see Him for who He is.
Ryan Huguley serves as Lead Pastor of Redemption Bible Church in Mount Prospect, IL and blogs at ryanhuguley.com. He and his wife, Tami have three children – Ava (6), Ryder (4) and Lincoln (2). You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram@ryanhuguley.