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İ COPYRIGHT Connie Giordano - All Rights Reserved
 

 
How Shall I Abide This Blaze Of Glory?
 
"Man never knows his real littleness until he understands the greatness of God." - Pulpit Commentary - Old Testament
"We know that the nearer a man approaches to perfection in anything, the more sensible he becomes of his remaining deficiency, and the more hungry and thirsty he is after improvement." - Biblical Illustrator - Old Testament
"Whenever we draw near to God, it becomes us reverently to acknowledge the vast distance that there is between us and God. He is the Lord of glory, we are worms of the earth." - Matthew Henry
"He who has high thoughts of himself must have low thoughts of the dignity of the Divine nature, of the majesty of God, and the sinfulness of sin." - Adam Clarke
 
"The vision of God in His works humbles us."
- Pulpit Commentary - Old Testament
 
"And what does this teach us but this - that the more we have to do with God, the more we shall see and feel our unworthiness."
- Biblical Illustrator - Old Testament
 
"Yes, if anything can make us feel our littleness, it must be a view of His wisdom; if anything can make us sensible of our weakness, it must be the view of His almighty sovereignty; if anything can make us feel our depravity, it must be the view of His spotless purity..."
- Biblical Illustrator - Old Testament
 
There is a perturbing practice that is going on in the churches of today. In her attempt to understand or relate to God (outside of the means outlined in the Bible), the Body of Christ - generally speaking - has become "too familiar" with God - whereby she has attempted to bring Him down to her level. Resultantly, we find that the very key ingredient that keeps people away from sin is dangerously missing. That ingredient is the Fear of God
 
Nowhere in the Bible is there an account found where a human being had a "casual," matter-of-fact encounter with God. Usually, this very "blessed" individual - after coming face-to-face with Jesus - had to literally be picked up off the floor. Jesus' awesome Presence and Glory was just too much for human flesh to handle.
 
Let's examine some of the accounts that are found in the Word of God of those who did encounter Jesus' in His splendor and glory. May the Holy Spirit use this teaching to stir in us a desire to have our own experience as well as to clothe us with a humility that makes us fully aware of our own littleness in the presence of such Greatness.
                                                                               
 
1. Job
 
Job 40:3-4 says - "Then Job answered the LORD, and said, Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer Thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth."
 
Job 38 and 39 offer us God's answer "out of the whirlwind" to His servant Job. Throughout these two chapters, we find inquiries such as - "Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?...Where wast thou...Who hast laid...Hast thou commanded...Hast thou entered...Hast thou perceived...Canst thou bind...Canst thou bring forth...Knowest thou... Canst thou lift up thy voice...Canst thou number...Hast thou given...or Canst thou make him afraid...?"
 
These inquiries were simply too much for Job to handle. They accomplished what they were intended to accomplish - and that is to put Job in his place - as far as God was concerned. It was one thing for him to argue with man. But to challenge God to a duo was a totally different thing. He found out very quickly that the Lord was not to be brought down to man's level.
 
No one had to coerce Job to acknowledge his inward defilement. He was in the Presence of the Holy One. Immediately, he saw his own corruption. He answered the Almighty - "Behold, I am vile..." I am no longer able to argue my cause or vindicate my own righteousness. I am a poor, weak man who is a miserable, guilty offender.  I am but dust and ashes. I acknowledge my levity, vanity, and vileness. I talked so big when I mentioned how I would answer God, but now that I am face-to-face with Him, I have no plea to offer. "I...lay mine hand upon my mouth."
 
Something happened to Job after God displayed the perfection of His works. The Lord spoke of the great mysteries of creation and nature which illustrated His glorious majesty...creative power...and perfect wisdom. The result was striking. Job became strongly convinced of his own ignorance and sinfulness. He immediately admitted to his insignificance...meanness...smallness...feebleness...and contemptibleness in comparison to such a Being of far-reaching Power and wide-ranging Wisdom. 
 
2. Abraham
 
Genesis 18:27 says - "And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes."
 
Here we have a deep sense of unworthiness exemplified by Abraham as He spoke face-to-face with the Lord on behalf of Sodom and Gomorrah. From the beginning of life, man is "but dust"; at the end, he is "but ashes." This expression - "which am but dust and ashes" - expresses how humbled Abraham's soul was in the Presence of God. He considered himself to be no more than a frail, feeble, mortal creature who was not worthy to speak to God. He displayed the most profound humility and self-abasement in approaching such a Divine Being. He understood that even the greatest of men - the most considerable and deserving - are yet bust "dust and ashes" - mean, vile, despicable, frail, and dying - when standing before God.
 
3. Isaiah
 
Isaiah 6:5 says - "Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts."
 
The Prophet Isaiah had an encounter with God. Isaiah 6:1 explains - "...I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne..." What was his initial and only reaction? Was he filled with pride and self-confidence above his peers? No, on the contrary, his reaction to the Divine Vision was to cry out - "Woe is me! for I am undone..." In other words, "Woe is me! for I am filled with an overwhelming conviction of my own unworthiness." In seeing the Lord, he was deeply impressed with a sense of the holiness of God and his own unfitness to join in worship so holy or to deliver the message of so pure a God. He felt compelled to respond with these words - "...I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips..." How can I, or the people with whom I dwell, join the seraphim in singing praises? Or how can I ever utter the word of the Lord to His people when I myself am a man of polluted lips?
 
4. Daniel
 
Daniel 10:8 says - "Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength."
 
Daniel had a vision of the Son of God. His reaction? "...and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength." His bright complexion became deadly pale...his lips began to quiver...his joints to tremble...and his vigor and health became impaired. His body was left lifeless and spiritless. He was unable to stand before the unveiled revelation of God. This vision of Jesus dazzled his eyes and overwhelmed his spirit - overwhelmed it to the point of feeling that he was about to perish.
 
5. Peter
 
Luke 5:8 says - "When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord."
 
Peter went from extreme self-confidence and pride to abject humiliation at the sight of a Miracle from God. He had fished all night and caught nothing., Nevertheless, at the word of the Lord, he cast his net into the water and immediately brought forth "a great multitude of fish" insomuch that the net began to break. His response? He fell down at Jesus' feet - trembling and afraid - at the proof of His power and manifestation of His goodness. Feeling conscious of his own unworthiness, he said to the Lord - "Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord." He was so convinced that Jesus was a high and holy Being, and that he was so unworthy of the favor of His Presence in his boat. He was amazed at the greatness of Christ's majesty and conscious of his own vileness and unworthiness.
 
6. John
 
Revelation 1:17 says - "And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead..."
 
Revelation 1 reveals the vision that John saw of Jesus while he was exiled on the isle of Patmos. The influence of the vision had such an overpowering effect on him so much so that he became deprived of sense and consciousness. He was overcome with awe. The impression the appearance of the Lord had on him was that of terror. He was instantly overpowered with the greatness of the lustre and the glory in which Christ appeared.
 
1 Timothy 6:16 seems to give the answer why Job, Abraham, Isaiah, Daniel, Peter, and John all reacted to the Lord's Presence as they did. It says of the Lord God - "Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to Whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen." Jesus dwells in an inaccessible and unapproachable light. It is so brilliant and so dazzling that mortal eyes cannot endure it. It is unapproachable on account of its exceeding brightness.
 
When mortality comes into the midst of immortality, the reaction on man's part will always be that of abject humility - being totally sensible of one's own unworthiness, weakness, and depravity.
 
Have you come into Jesus' Presence lately? How did it leave you? In what frame of mind? Were you fully aware of your "littleness" and His "greatness"? Did your imperfections become so evident in the light of His perfections?
 
As the church of the Living God, we must never become so familiar with this Great God Whom we serve - to the extent of attempting to bring Him down to our level. He will forever be God, and we will forever remain His subjects. As Pastor Henry stated -  "...He is the Lord of glory, we are worms of the earth." 
 
In closing, we leave you with more enlightening quotes on this subject.
 
Just remember one thing - if you claim to have been in Jesus' Presence, then in order for your experience to line up with the Word of God, you will have had to feel so overpowered and overwhelmed by His goodness and your sinfulness - insomuch that you are not able to physically stand the awesomeness of His glory. Otherwise, you will have to admit that you felt a Presence, but it certainly wasn't that of the Lord Jesus Christ!
 
"The man who has never felt unfit will never be fit for any great thing."
- Pulpit Commentary - Old Testament
 
"Those are fittest to be employed for God who are low in their own eyes and are made deeply sensible of their own weakness and unworthiness."
- Matthew Henry
 
"A man needs visions of God who has the work of denouncing sin. When a man has visions of God, he at first feels helpless, and dares not undertake God's work."
- Pulpit Commentary - Old Testament
                                                                                                
May God Bless His Word.
Connie
 
İ COPYRIGHT Connie Giordano - All Rights Reserved