"I am ruined! I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty." Isaiah 6:5...."The dark side of glory is that it shows us how unclean we are....But the bright side of glory is that God always offers us a recovery from our woeful lament." Chris Tiegreen
I think the majority who have read or heard the above Scripture understand the cry that was coming from both Isaiah's heart and voice. In the Presence of a perfect, Holy God, his fallen, sinful and imperfect heart was confronted with both the reality of who God is, and the reality of who he was without Him. He was ruined. Ruined as concerns any further ability to deny his real spiritual state. Ruined as to any thinking he had that he could "work" his way into God's favor or acceptance. His need was total. His inability to provide for that need was as well. To come face to face with Him in His glory is to have just about everything we believe about ourselves and Him to be proven wrong. All the lies we've believed and hidden in, all the counterfeit "gods" we've constructed and worshiped. Everything that is counter to Him, has been ruined. We are ruined, undone, as another translation reads. That's the dark side of His glory for us. The bright side of His glory is that He offers us, in Jesus Christ, a way to be remade. Born anew. A new creation in Christ. And it all begins with the realization that we are ruined. Have you ever really come to that realization? Or do you still hide in lies, half-truths, preconceptions and misconceptions about you, about Him? The first step to real wholeness and life in Him is our ruination. Has that ruination ever happened in you?
As I read this Scripture, another kind of ruin came to my mind. It comes from that bright side of His glory that Tiegreen writes about. Out of the ruins of seeing who He is and who we are, and in the making of the new life He offers us in Christ, comes this reality. We are now ruined for all but Him. Oswald Chambers said that "When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die." That is, die to all that is not Christ. Die to everything that seeks to control, enslave, or woo our hearts away from Him. Die to every competing "idol" that seeks to have His place in our hearts. John Wesley said that anything that reduces our fervent love for Him, or lessens our hearts focus on Him, "that thing for you is sin." No one can behold Him and stay the same. We will either be ruined for the world, and reject every hold it has on us, or, we'll be ruined for Him, fleeing from His Presence, rejecting Him and the wholeness of life He offers us. One way or another, we'll be ruined. Have you been ruined? If so, has it been in One Way......or another?
We live in the day of what some have called "Easy believism." We issue a general call to a generic Christ. Our portrait of the Father can be pretty fuzzy. We emphasize His love and goodness, but His holiness gets lost in that. We invite people to a God who doesn't much resemble the One seen by Isaiah. But only by beholding Him as He really is, are we changed.
I close with this; Vance Havner said, "We cannot have a heavenly fellowship if we allow a hindering fellowship.....We must deal with our carnalities if we desire the spiritualities." We must be twice ruined. Ruined by Him, and then ruined for all else but Him. Many are called, few are chosen. To which group do you and I belong?