Something that either through prayer, sermons, or meditation that keeps coming back to me is the Holiness of God. It sort of reminds me of that Clorox commercial, where they compare white, to Clorox white! Every time I think I get a little closer to understanding how holy He is, His appearance just keeps getting whiter; especially compared to my sin stained life.
“The Bible says that God is holy, holy, holy. Not that He is merely holy, or even holy, holy. He is holy, holy, holy. The Bible never says that God is love, love, love, or mercy, mercy, mercy, or wrath, wrath, wrath, or justice, justice, justice. It does say that He is holy, holy, holy, the whole earth is full of His glory.” RC Sproul
I seem to have a reoccurring issue of fear in my life, or possibly more relate-able to others if I use the word anxiety. In my B.C. years it used to cripple me, and often. While I still battle this occasionally, He has helped me learn to lean on Him more through the years. Sometimes the fears are significant, sometimes they’re ridiculous (when it comes to my thankfully ever shrinking issues of hypochondria), and sometimes they are just every day issues.
A couple days ago I took my youngest daughter and my son to their first day of floor hockey. It’s a local recreation league for the kids, all different skill levels, and while they compete it is structured as recreation. A couple years ago, due to lack of volunteers, I decided to coach my son’s team. While he didn’t know it, I was far from comfortable with this idea, I was scared. As social as I seem to others, I really do not like the spotlight on me, let alone conflict, and with excited kids and well, parents, you know how that can go.
I know most of you will either be able to relate with my anxiety about coaching a kids team, or at least understand why (if you don’t freak out yourself). However, I didn’t just do it because no other dads/moms were stepping up, I also did it because of the look and reaction I got from my then 6 year old son when I told him I was going to be his coach; absolutely priceless! Practically bringing a tear to my eye as I write this … ok, literally. Hold on.
Anyway, long story short, I got a little more comfortable, and of course I put on a good front so all the parents were very gracious and thought I did a great job, but inside this was still not in my comfort zone. The following year I didn’t coach, in fact I think I had my wife go the first day so I didn’t have to be guilted into it! J Yet this year, a couple days ago, somehow I am coaching not only my son’s team again, but my daughters! I have been reciting this verse in my head a lot lately:
“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7 ESV)
I could look at this as a mission field for me, all these kids that I am able to touch, and perhaps show them a love and excitement that He gives me. However, while I think this is a mission field indeed, it’s me that is being the one touched. Volunteering this time didn’t require the rec worker to ask me 3 times, and I ended up volunteering for both teams. Yet I’m still a little freaked out!
So what does this have to do with the Holiness of God? Well, to me fear is not only not from God, but it is clearly a sin; one I struggle with a lot. What is different about this year from the last time I coached is that a couple years ago that sin was triggering panic, palpitations, etc. I was more worried about the symptoms of my fear, then dealing with the sin itself. When I picture myself standing next to the creator of the universe and He reminds me that He “told me not to fear” it affects the way I think. However, He didn’t just say it like we do here on earth as in a “just get over it” mentality. He gives us the opportunity to come to Him in prayer, and through the Spirit (a very real power) we are able to unload that fear and burden on Him. Easy, no, but He teaches me more all the time how exactly to do that. Learning to use the Spirit reminds me of watching my father learn how to use a computer. On day one I got phone calls that made me want to pull out my hair; now, not so bad! So when I come to my Holy God asking Him to teach me to unload this fear on Him, it’s not easy, but I’m learning more each day, week, year, how to do it.
I don’t have just an anxiety problem, when I stand next to the Holy Living God I have a sin problem, a big one; and one of those sins is called fear. Some things just don't mix, and being holy, and having sin are two of those things for sure.
When I stand next to His Son … I have forgiveness and salvation!