Moses was told to take off his sandals for he was standing on holy ground (Exodus 3:5). Joshua was told to take off his sandals for he was standing on holy ground (Joshua 5:15). Holy means set apart or sacred. One of my favorite passages references Isaiah’s commission. Isaiah sees the Lord sitting on His throne and He is in complete awe and reverence as he hears the words, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty.” He knows he is unclean. He knows he is undeserving.
It is important to approach God with fear and awe. The fear is not the fear we consider when we typically speak of fear. When Proverbs 1 speaks of the fear of the Lord being the beginning of wisdom, it doesn’t mean we are frightened as we are when watching a horror movie. Fearing God means that you have a fear of disobeying and displeasing God which would result in judgment and a disconnection from Him. It is about reverence and submission. God is holy and exalted above all. It is approaching with humility.
Yes, the blood of Jesus has cleansed us and when we repent we are forgiven of our sins. Yes, the veil has been torn and we can approach God once again. But it is important that we still approach God with fear and awe. The song says you have a friend in Jesus, and you do, but that is to be treasured not stomped on. When you approach God in prayer, in church, wherever—don’t take it for granted. Focus on Him. Remember He is holy and you too are to be holy. May your heart be filled with a passion and desire to worship, to truly worship Him, with all that you have and all that you are, each and every day.
“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.’ At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. ’Woe to me!’ I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.’” – Isaiah 6:1-5 [NIV]
I remember the school days when it was time to line up and select teams for various sports. There were some sports that I was selected as one of the first picks and others when I was standing on the line awaiting the selection till the very end. As children we chose our friends and we chose those we thought would help us to win. That was how it went. I don’t think this ever ends because as adults in the workforce, we chose people who will help us succeed and sometimes we pick our friends.
With God, we are chosen simply because He created us and He loves us. Today’s verse states “For I have chosen you and will not throw you away.” To God, it doesn’t matter if you aren’t the “best player” for the team. He is not necessarily looking for the person who can recite the most Scripture or the one who has the least blemishes on his record. It is He alone who qualifies us for the team. He also doesn’t have favorites. Each of us is His favorite. He loves each of us like an only child.
The bottom line is He chose you and He’s not going to toss you away. Like Abraham, He calls you “friend.” When you believe in Christ, you are called a “child of God.” Child. Friend. Chosen. Loved. It always felt good to be picked for the team, whether it was for recess or gym class or even today in the workforce. How great is it to be chosen for God’s team? How great it is to be called a child of God? To be called friend?
“I have called you back from the ends of the earth, saying, ‘You are my servant.’ For I have chosen you and will not throw you away.” – Isaiah 41:9 [NLT]