Two of the most powerful recorded encounters of God’s presence are found with Isaiah in Isaiah 6:1-7 and with Moses in Exodus 3:2-6. Let’s open our hearts to both learn from these encounters and allow them to guide us into a powerful encounter with the living God ourselves.
Isaiah 6:1-7 says,
In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;the whole earth is full of his glory!”
And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”
Isaiah demonstrated that experiencing the holiness of God and seeing our own sin in light of his holiness are consistent and important parts of encountering God’s presence. Time after time in Scripture, God’s people see their own sin, repent, and are healed after having an encounter with the presence of God. In fact, Moses has a similar response to being in the presence of God for the first time in Exodus 3:2-6:
And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
In light of God’s astounding holiness, Moses was filled with fear to look at the face of God. These two descriptions of God’s presence illustrate an important truth for all: the light of God’s holiness has the ability to pierce into the depth of our soul, bringing to light the darkness that destroys us from within. My prayer today is that we would follow the examples of Moses and Isaiah and allow God’s holiness to shine light on our sin and draw us to repentance. And may we experience healing today the way Isaiah did as the angel of the Lord cleansed him with the coal.
God’s presence casts light on our sin and brokenness because in order for us to live the fullness of life God desires, we must walk in righteousness. It’s because of God’s love that he reveals our sin. It’s because God longs for us to experience a life of holiness and freedom as his children that he shines light on our darkness and draws us out into the glorious light of righteousness.
God promises in Isaiah 42:16, “And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.” And 1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” God’s desire has always been to lead his children into his righteousness. God’s longing for us to partake in his divine nature has been a chief desire of his from the first sin of Adam and Eve. And through the life, death, and resurrection of Christ our nature has been transformed. Ephesians 2:1-6 says,
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
You have been set free from what once separated you from your heavenly Father. But the key to experiencing this freedom is allowing God to shine light on what does not belong to you anymore: your sin. You must walk as a child of the light, not as a child of wrath, and it’s spending time encountering the holiness of God that will transform you from the inside out. Spending time on holy ground as Moses did will heal you from the sins that entangle you. Spending time allowing God to reveal your sin and purge it from you as he did with Isaiah will empower you to choose the light over the darkness. A vital part of encountering God is repenting of our sin in light of his wonderful, holy love for us.
Experience the holiness of God today as you enter into guided prayer. Repent of whatever is in you that’s not in line with your new nature in Christ and walk as the child of God that you are in light of his wonderful and powerful grace.