The Humbling Hand of God

I read the following quote yesterday. I found it in a book written to pastors, but it is without a doubt applicable to each of us:

There is nothing that will put you in your place, nothing that will correct your distorted view of yourself, nothing that will yank you out of your functional arrogance, or nothing that will take the winds out of the sails of your self-righteousness like standing, without defense, before the awesome glory of God.

In the face of his glory I am left naked with no glory whatsoever to hold before myself or anyone else. As long as I am comparing myself to others, I can always find someone whose existence seems to be an argument for how righteous I am. But if I compare the filthy rags of my righteousness to the pure and forever unstained linen of God’s righteousness, I want to run and hide in heartbreaking shame.

This is exactly what happened to Isaiah, recorded in Isaiah 6. He stands before the awesome throne of God’s glory and says, “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”(v.5) Isaiah is not speaking in formal religious hyperbole here. He is not trying to ingratiate himself with God by being oh so humble. No, it is only in light of the awesome glory and holiness of God that you come to have an accurate view of yourself and the depth of your need for the rescue that only a God of glorious grace can provide.

Tripp, Ted, Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry, p. 121

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