Tuesday, January 5, 2010
I Feel Like a Monster
There is a monster in me trying to get out. It is the selfishness that daily invades my habits, my face, my heart, my life; it hurts the people around me, and some times, most of the time, I don't mind. "I feel like a monster!" Skillet screams to the skies in one of their latest hit songs. They're right. There is so much filth in my life and I realize I've just uncovered the first layer. I don't know what to do about it half the time, but then I realize that I have a Savior. He was so perfect that this filth, while plainly visible to both me and God, doesn't make a difference in my acceptance into the family of God.
I am so unworthy of everything that it should keep me in constant awe of the fact that I have a family, a life, breath, but for some reason, I take it all for granted. Again. I think about me. My life. My family. My non-existent relationship. My school. My worries. My fears. My insecurities. My absolute inability to keep myself from spiraling down-wards into depression. Why does God love me? Again with the "me" word. He certainly doesn't love me for me. There's too much nasty in me for me to love me. There's definitely a reason I haven't "found someone" yet.
God is infinite good. That word infinite is so strange. We use it occasionally in every day conversation, but we really fly past the meaning and still use it. This really shouldn't be done, but it's hard to help sometimes. Infinite is such an impossibly large word. It has no end. A God who is good and who is infinite can never be anything but good. His goodness will never come to an end. And because there is nothing that is innately evil, only good things that have been twisted and used for the wrong reason, as CS Lewis wrote in his book Mere Christianity, God can never be evil, or bad either, because He is also infinitely unchangeable.
After writing that last sentence I had to stop and think about that for a little while, because I was overwhelmed.
But anyway, how am I supposed to approach this infinitely good and unchangeable God? How would you approach a God who created you, and who is, besides infinitely unchangeable, and infinitely good, also infinitely just and holy, pure, and wrathful towards sin? God's holiness is so holy that it consumes anything that is not as wholly holy as itself. "Our God is a consuming fire," says Hebrews 12. In the Old Testament there were several instances where people were literally fried because they were in the wrong place, they said the wrong thing, or their unholiness had got in the way of God's holiness. It's simply because of His grace and mercy that people aren't being fried right and left right now.
Unholiness of my magnitude cannot stand in the presence of holiness of God's magnitude. No one can see God and live. They can hear God, as demonstrated with the Israelites at Mount Sinai, but for some reason, the Israelites demonstrated, not a fear of God, but an unwillingness to listen to Him, a complete stubbornness towards entering into communion with the God of the universe. Part of me doesn't understand that! Every little bit of me, most of the time, longs, yearns, to hear the voice of God, to see His face. So many times, I've wanted desperately to be in Moses' place, in the cleft of the rock as God covers me with His hand and then passes before me.
But then we have a problem. I am unholy. My filth would be consumed, and me along with it, if I were to see God. I think it would be worth it though, to be consumed. Yet, I would not be consumed: just my filth. Christ has placed Himself between me and God's holiness. He has given me His holiness, and I am seen as holy, and pure when God in all His holiness looks upon me. That doesn't mean I can sin and get away with it. That doesn't mean my filth won't be judged. It just means that Christ has taken all my sin and filth upon Himself. Christ the Rock of my salvation was cleft for me, and now, like Moses, I can hide myself in the cleft of the Rock while I gaze on the glory of God's back as he passes by me.
It is a strange and wonderful God who requires that all I do to be washed of my utter filth and to see His glory is to admit that I am filthy. I am wholly unclean, the lowest of the low, and yet God, in all His goodness, His love, His infiniteness, God decided for some unfathomable reason that He would allow me into His kingdom, and would allow me to see His glory. I, a mere mortal, am allowed into the presence of the King of Kings who is wholly immortal and holy. Thank God that He loves me not because of me, but because He is love, infinite love.
I would be completely and utterly lost, drowning in a sea of me, but God came and pulled me out by my hair. And for that I worship Him as much as my mortal and forgetful person can.
God, save me.