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Just A Glimpse Of God

Philip, the disciple, challenged Jesus, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us” (John 14:8 NASB). Something is intriguing about seeing God. It has an element of danger for many because of a fear of physical death. God said, “You cannot see my face, for no man can see Me and live” (Exodus 33:20 NASB). While death does happen for anyone who sees Him, perhaps it is not always a physical death. There are things in us and about us that must die when they come face to face with God.

            Remember Isaiah, the prophet. He saw God but did not physically die. Isaiah said, “In the year of King Uzziah’s death, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple” (Isaiah 6:1 NASB). Isaiah had an encounter with the Living God that would alter his life. Isaiah saw God in all His glory and accepted his calling (Isaiah 6:8). He would “Go” and proclaim the Word of the Lord. Isaiah did not die a physical death by seeing God, but there were things in his life that needed to die.

            There is no shortage of people who claim to have seen God. Usually, these people talk about how good they felt in His presence. Their “vision” is all about them and how they feel. However, Isaiah had a different experience. He and John the revelator (Revelation 1:17) did not feel terrific when they saw the Lord. When Isaiah saw the Lord, he said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts” (Isaiah 6:5 NASB). He knew he was not good as soon as he could see the Lord. Isaiah immediately realized his need for God. His response to seeing God was repentant, acknowledging the very thing that the angels were crying, “Holy, Holy, Holy” (Isaiah 6:3). It was a vision of God in all His glory and holiness that caused Isaiah to see the things in him that needed to die.

            In our modern version of Christianity, we chase emotions and opportunities to feel good about ourselves. We need a real encounter with God that will reveal to us the things in our lives that need to die. For some, it may be selfishness. For others, it could be lust or arrogance. Seeing the Lord will quickly remind us that we need Him. It will remind us that we need forgiveness, mercy, grace, love, and many other things from Him. C.S. Lewis said, “In God, you come up against something which is in every respect immeasurably superior to yourself. Unless you know God as that, you do not know God at all. As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you” (Lewis 1942, Mere Christianity, pg. 124).

            Christians should desire to see the Lord because it helps us realize what we need to change. When we allow our sinful selves to die, we will become more in the image of Christ. Then, we can reflect Him to those around us.


In Christ,

Pastor Josh May


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