And one cried to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts . . . " (Isa 6:3)
Isaiah received a vision of God when the king Uzziah died and it was quite overwhelming. In the vision (recorded in Isaiah 6) He saw the Lord high and lifted up and the angels crying holy to the Lord. There was a sudden shaking of the doorposts and smoke filled the house. His natural reaction was a feeling of woe because of his sense of personal unworthiness next to the holiness and majesty of God. But the Lord called Isaiah from this humbled position, purged his unclean lips with a coal from the altar, and called him to be a prophet to the people of Israel.
One thing that really gets me is that Isaiah received this call in chapter six of the book of Isaiah. His glimpse of the holiness of God was not revealed until after his initial prophesying of chapters 1-5. This should make us ask ourselves how well we understand who God really is in His glorious essence. Have we been going on without a true vision of a holy God? Maybe it’s time that we understand what holiness is all about.
Let’s talk about what holiness is not. It’s not hibernating in your room from everybody else because you don’t want to get contaminated with the spiritual pollution of the world (John 17:15). It also is not walking around with a posture of superiority because we don’t watch TV or peruse the news or whatever. This is not the true love of Jesus but is spiritual pride (1 Cor 13:4).
What is holiness? It is a characteristic of purity and sinlessness that is unique to God. For us it means to be set apart for God and to be like Him. We are to be holy as God is holy (1 Pet 1:16). We will never be perfect until we stand in His presence, but it does mean we can grow in righteousness.
Like Isaiah you might feel very intimidated by the holiness of God when you feel so sinful in yourself. This is the way it should be. That is true reverence for a holy God. Yet we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins (Col 1:14) and we now have the righteousness of Christ imputed to us. We should desire and pursue personal holiness. And we should be encouraged that we have a promise that the Holy Spirit will lead us into that ongoing consecration and desire to be like the Lord (1 Thes 5:23-24).
You can be pure in an impure world. But you must have a vision of a holy God. Let’s ask the Lord for a fresh revelation of who He is so we too can cry "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts . . .”