How do You See God?
One of my favorite chapters in all of Scripture has got to be Isaiah 6. The more I study this passage the deeper I understand and appreciate its teaching. At the foundation of the text is a call to see the Lord the way He deserves to be seen. We are forced to ask ourselves the question, “How do I see the Lord?”
How do you see the Lord? For many in our culture today, at least for those who even acknowledge that He exists, they just see Him as an absent figurehead that is some entity with high expectations. They do not even give Him much thought. If they do, they think He is just there to love us, and everything will be ok if we just try our best. They reject the thought of a loving God that is a God of justice and will deliver punishment upon those who reject Him. The God of culture is a God of convenience, always there when we need Him, but absent from daily life.
That view of God is not unique to our culture. The Israelites had much the same view. They sought to appease Him with acts of sacrifice and motions of worship, while hanging on to the idols of false gods that the outside nations introduced them to. Sound familiar? God told them that He was tired of being seen that way and told them very plainly in Isaiah 1:11-15
“What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices?
says the LORD;
I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
and the fat of well-fed beasts;
I do not delight in the blood of bulls,
or of lambs, or of goats.
12“When you come to appear before me,
who has required of you
this trampling of my courts?
13Bring no more vain offerings;
incense is an abomination to me.
New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations—
I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly.
14Your new moons and your appointed feasts
my soul hates;
they have become a burden to me;
I am weary of bearing them.
15When you spread out your hands,
I will hide my eyes from you;
even though you make many prayers,
I will not listen;
your hands are full of blood”.
Ouch! God was tired of been seen as simply a part of their lives and wanted to be seen for who He truly is. That is why He brought Isaiah into His throne room and gave him a glimpse into heaven. What Isaiah saw was the Lord, seated on His throne, high and exalted. Not down as one of us but lifted up in glory. Glory so radiant that the angels had to cover their faces and the rest of the room was filled with smoke to keep Isaiah from being blinded by the radiance of His glory. The train of His robe filled the temple such that there was not room for anything else to be present.
We however like to keep God in just a part of the temple of our heart and make sure there is plenty of space for other things, like money, possessions, relationships, etc. When we do this, it is called idol worship. Allowing other thigs to be in the place where only God should be. This happens because we do not see God as high and exalted the way we should. We see Him as existing for us, but in reality we exist for Him. When we get ourselves off the throne and understand that God alone is to occupy the throne of our heart, it will change the way we see Him. It will then change the way we see ourselves, others, and even our purpose.
What is occupying the throne room of your heart today? Maybe you need to pray, as David did, "Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting"! (Psalm 139:23-24)