Today I asked God to spend the entire day in His presence. It then occurred to me how absurd this request was. We would not last a single moment in His presence. He is too holy, too overwhelming. We have become numb to the glory of God. We ask to be in His presence without realizing we, in our sinfulness, would immediately perish. The truth is, we’ve made God too small and too normal.
While we acknowledge He is higher than everything, we have not even begun to understand His height or depth. We have seen but a glimpse. Or have we? If we had, we would be terrified, and we would be transformed. But we are not terrified of our sinfulness, nor have our lives been yet transformed to look like Jesus.
I submit the reason we hold too lowly an image of God is that we still think too highly of ourselves. Until we consume our thoughts with the majesty of God, how can we hope to understand who He is? Instead of contemplating the wonder of our Creator, we spend our days entranced by screens of all sizes portraying things that, if we’re truthful, rarely reflect the beauty of our King. If we aren’t taking a picture of ourselves, we’re talking about ourselves, and thinking about ourselves. The pride we exhibit is sickening and undeniable.
This is not about self-flagellation, but about looking away from the imitation beauty and gazing into the eyes of the source of all beauty. We need to live lives that are progressing toward someday being able to handle the magnificence of His presence. Nothing compares to the love and beauty of our God. We need no other proof than the life of His Son Jesus. Never has an individual been so captivating and influential on all of humanity. People flocked to Jesus not because of physical beauty (Isaiah 53:2), but for the beauty of His love and holiness.
The beauty of our God is such that we have no choice but to fall on our knees. The smallest glimpse of His glory would ruin us. And that is the point. As we grow closer to Christ, we will indeed be ruined. It will change our lives forever. When you surrender your pride and obsession with self for Jesus, your life will never be the same. You cannot have a genuine encounter with the Son of God without being changed. It’s not just your actions that will be different, the way you think will be transformed. Suddenly, life is no longer about you. It’s about Jesus and what He can do for others. This is a radical way to live. It changes everything.
Looking at my life and those around me, we have not been slain by the beauty of our God. We aren’t surrendered. If our lives don’t look different from our neighbors, we aren’t surrendering everything to Christ. When Jesus enters your heart, He changes you. You will be different. We’ve got to get over ourselves and our fascination with the cheap imitations of beauty and success that pervades our culture. Imagine being in the presence of God. What would you think about yourself then? How much would you value everything else you have right now? The beauty of our God demands our attention. Jesus is everything. There is nothing else.