Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Seeing Ourselves as He Sees Us

Then I 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'
(Isa 6:5).

I am a poor participant at dinner parties, staff meetings, or any other gathering requiring a lot of enthusiasm. I tend not to be encouraged by myself nor by the work of my generation. Turns out this really handicaps good banter.

I think Mr. Hamilton explained this phenomenon well:
When Isaiah 'saw' God as he is, he was not left standing - he was not left proud and dispassionate - he was deeply humbled! There is little doubt that Isaiah already was a believing servant - but a stranger to the pulse-quickened sense of God's ineffable greatness - Isaiah was seeing himself as God saw him - this is experimental Calvinism... his encounters with "the King" caused him to see through the fa├žade of Israel's religion cf 1:10ff. - onlookers would have complimented Israel on the 'healthy state' of its religion - but when a man has had a sight of the majesty of God, he sees not only his own sinfulness, but the sinful state of his own generation - of his own.

- Ian Hamilton, "Heart-Warming Calvinism"
Once your formal principle is established as unconditionally worshipping whom God reveals Himself to be, you are, to put it mildly, disappointed with everything else. I would venture to guess that the holy Sovereign is not as impressed with our retarded obedience nor our corporate accomplishments as we would like to think.

When the stain of sin is fading from sight, I try to remember how He sees it. This may ruin me for peppy chit-chat, but it seems good for life... just ask Isaiah.

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