The Robe

The Lord revealed something totally radical to me recently, and because it’s pretty complicated, I thought I could explain it to you all.

He is God. Me? Not so much.

I know, RIGHT?!?!?! I should really try and make it in the world as a writer because I  drop KNOWLEDGE BOMBS left and right.

Truly, though, I have really been marveling at what the Lord is doing in my life. He is revealing things to me about myself and the way I see Him. I won’t say I’m a totally different person, but I will say it has rocked me in a spectacular way.

It has been a sacred journey, and I’ve hesitated to even write about it, because you can’t usually translate these things in words. Which is kind of the point, I guess. It’s so beautiful that words just look ugly, and it all pales in comparison.

I’ll try, though.

I think it started in church, but it might have been the shower. That’s normally where the knowledge bombs detonate.

I was lost in a worship song and singing it out when I asked myself the question that should always be addressed during praise.

Do you believe what you’re singing?

Your hands are raised up and your eyes are closed, but the words…

Are they buried in your soul or just falling from your lips? 

I want it, Lord. Every part of me that doesn’t feel it. The parts that doubt. That wonder if heaven is just wishful thinking and if I’m a fool to believe He left the tomb.

Despite the times when I question, there is always, always a genuine core of faith that doesn’t let me wander too far off. But my mouth runs in every direction and I’m angry about the food burning and I just want her to LISTEN to me. And if this is life with Him, maybe it’s just not going to look like I thought it was. Because it’s still hard. It’s really, really, really hard sometimes.

And I can’t help but wonder what I’m doing wrong.

Several months ago I was reading and I came across a description of Isaiah 6. I can’t articulate what it was that moved me so, because I have gone back and read that commentary again and I didn’t see any words that jumped out as overwhelming. It wasn’t the words, I know. It was the Holy Spirit wooing His broken bride, and I will never forget it.

In this part of the text, Isaiah is describing a vision He had of the Lord. I’ve read it before. Lots of times. And I’ve thought it was interesting. But still, you know…a story of someone else’s encounter with the living God. I mean, good for him and all, but I’m not having that vision so I can’t see it like he does. Go Isaiah. Happy for you, buddy. Let’s carry on and do a church craft project.

For some reason as I read though, I got through Isaiah 6:6 and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Not like in a cute PG-13 movie where the girl has been on a date and she closes the door and slides down the back of it doing that weird thing where she’s trying to breathe. And they always have pretty tears. Thank you, movies, for making my husband think I am a freak when my head swells up to three times it’s normal size and I sound like a dying animal.

Anyway, it wasn’t that way. I was legitimately undone.

UN. DONE.

“…I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple…”

I could see it. Not in a prophetic, visual way, but I felt it to be true. In fact, I don’t know that my children playing a few rooms away were any more real than the train of His robe.

I kept my hand in my Bible and bowed my head, speechless.

It filled the temple.

“Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory…”

It fills the earth.

I’m not a Bible scholar, much to my chagrin, but that doesn’t mean I can’t read the word of God and ask Him to give me a glimpse of Himself. Don’t you think He wants to speak this way to all of us? I do.

I’ve read this story many times, as I said. But in that moment, sitting still and listening closely, I asked Him why I was crying.

It filled the temple.

The words echoed over and over and spoke life to places that have always been dead. It was a fundamental, clear vision of who I am in regard to Him. I have worn Todd out telling him about all of these beautiful revelations I’m having and I’ve come to believe I might be the last one on the bus with this. Because every good Christian realizes this, right? I didn’t, and it troubled me. I gave myself way too much credit, and as a result I wasn’t able to worship Him the way I should have.

I’ve always felt like I’m one bad decision away from wrecking everything. And therein lies the issue, I suppose.

I’m already wrecked. That’s the whole stinking point.

I mean, I would have answered that on the “Are you a Christian” multiple choice test, but I don’t know that I felt the weight of it.

I am all of those things I don’t want to be. I am wretched in my sin. Flesh and good intentions will get me nowhere. It’s horrifyingly ugly to see yourself this way.

Well, it used to be.

Until that train filled the temple.

Hear me say this, because it doesn’t end with words like “wretched” and “ugly.”

I have never felt so beautiful.

I think what I have needed in my walk is a clear vision of who I am and who He is, and for whatever reason, this was that moment. I saw myself the way Isaiah saw himself while the angels covered their feet because they knew they were unclean.

“…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!”

My Bible says this in the footnotes: “The revelation of the Holy One is disturbing.”

Yes, disturbing. And what a strange word to describe the presence of God. But the truth is, it settled something deep within me.

I’m uncomfortable in the presence of God. And you know what? That’s the appropriate response. I’m not supposed to cuddle up to Him like He’s my teddy bear and He is just going to give me whatever I want if I ask nicely. His majesty is disturbing.

It fills the temple.

And just like that, I loved Him more. Differently. I felt myself tremble at the thought of being in His presence, and it wasn’t that I was scared. Just, I guess, aware of what that really meant.

I can’t see Him the way Isaiah did, but I believe that he was a real man who walked into a real temple and had a true vision of the Lord. In that, he recognized his sinfulness and cried out in awe. Scripture tells us that one of the seraphim flew to him and touched a burning coal to his lips and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

Instead of asking why I felt disturbed, I realized I had missed the entire point.

Why was I ever allowed to open the temple door in the first place?

The posture of my heart shifted and I just let it take its toll on me, because the fear I had was equal to the gratitude that spills from having your door on the handle and knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is just as He says it is. That His presence is real, and that His mercy still speaks life over us.

And it filled everything in me.

I didn’t deserve it, but in His mercy, the door turned. I beheld Him and I loved Him.

As the coal burns us, so it heals…

Thank you, Jesus. 

Let it be for your glory, and for that alone.

~A

Here is a book I read recently and HIGHLY recommend if this resonated with you…The Holiness of God by RC Sproul.

 


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  • http://ashleywb.blogspot.com AshleyB

    There’s a quotation from Matthew Henry that goes something to the effect of, “No attribute of God is more dreadful to sinners than His Holiness.”  And I’d finish the thought by saying, “And no attribute of God is more beautiful to those who know His Grace than His Holiness.”  
    Thanks for Good Words, friend.
    Grace & peace,
    Ash

  • Lisa

    Thank you, Angie, for putting these words down.  He did give you beautiful words to share your experience.  Even with my two sweet children talking to me as I was reading, I could see it, and feel it, and know it.  It is disturbing and incredibly humbling.  It is amazing how He seems to bring me here on the days you post.
    I also want to thank you for a sweet prayer you offered up for me last month.  My sweet little girl, Kaylee Marie, was born on May 20th and is now with Jesus.  We had 2 beautiful hours with her before she was went to heaven.  Several of your readers also offered up prayers for us as well, and I am grateful for each one. 
    Oh how faithful He is to come down to the pit to heal and comfort.  Moment by moment.  I give Him praise for His faithfulness.  My Jesus is still the same…I find myself repeating this often :)

  • Californialove_la

    We sing a song at church that is from that passage. I was just singing it myself this morning while I waited (and waited). ;) for my Sophia to finish one of her subjects. “I see the Lord, seated on his throne, Exalted, and the train of his robe fills the temple with glory! And the whole earth is filled, and the whole earth is filled, and the whole earth is filled, with His glory.”

    I don’t have sufficient words to describe how this post resonated with my soul, but oh, did it ever. Thank you for sharing what the Spirit revealed.
    Ruthie :)

  • Coby

    I’m reading this, and all I can say is, “Uh-huh….”  This SO resonates with me today.  I was praying in the shower this morning, begging for God’s mercy and compassion on me, asking Him why He would love me because I am so wretched and sometimes full of foolish doubts and fears, when He spoke to me, “If I would send My Son to die for you while you were still in your sin, what makes you think that I would turn away from you when you are needing and asking for My sanctification?”  Like you wrote – disturbing, filling me up, and healing me.  He is so awesome, and that word absolutely does not do Him justice!

    For what it’s worth, last night I was crying like a dying animal, and this morning I woke up and my face LOOKED like the animal who had died!  I think I startled my husband and children…

    Thank you for this.

  • Jenny

    There is a line in Selah’s song “Hosanna” that takes my breath away (literally) and leaves me shaking EVERY time I hear it: I see the King of glory, coming on the clouds with fire, the whole earth shakes, the whole earth shakes.  Man, what a visual!!!!!  I can FEEL what that means!!  The thought of seeing Him in person…….whoa! Disturbing is right :D  Love this post!

  • lindalouise

    I understand every bit of this Angie. I do. I had a dream a while ago based on this portion of scripture. It was so real, so overwhelming I will never forget it. Thank you so much for the way you share your heart. It always ministers to me.

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  • Cynthia Swenson

    Still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that WE ARE HIS TEMPLES and that HE fills us with HIS GLORY. That sounds conceited to me but then again, conceited would be full of ourselves,right? One of my favorite prayers is “less of me & more of YOU,Lord. I don’t want any of me left, JUST HIM! Is that possible? You are delightful Angie & so are all your readers who love the Lord!  Love & prayers, in Jesus, Cynthia

  • http://twitter.com/suzinbk Suzin Brenton-Kelly

    wow….hauntingly beautiful….and convicting, in that good kinda way

  • Jen Deitz

    Thank you for sharing this. 

  • http://arearrangedlife.com/ Miriam

    Love your words!  Thank you!

  • Carrie Rogers

    Beautifully said.  There is nothing quite like getting a glimpse of more of Him!!  That’s what I’m after … always more of Him.  Thank you!

  • http://randaclay.com/ Randa Clay

    Bwahahahah! ”
    Go Isaiah. Happy for you, buddy. Let’s carry on and do a church craft project.” 
    Thanks Angie, this touched my heart… and my funny bone. ;)

  • Aishavandy

    Wow!! How beautiful and awesome is that! I hope someday I will get to experience that!!!

  • Fancydelights

    Angie I would love to know which bible you use – I really liked what it said in the footnotes.  I am looking to buy a new bible as a gift for a friend and happened to read your post at just the right time!  Michelle

  • jkrueger2007

    Angie, I’ve read your blog for years and years now, and I’ve never commented until now.  Thank you.  Thank you for opening my eyes a little bit more to the majesty of God.  I needed that this morning more than anything else.  
    Blessings,
    Joy
    http://following-his-path-daily.blogspot.com/

  • Shayne Welch

    Boy howdy.  Gee whillikers.  Huh.

    A little speechless here.  I was just explaining to my son yesterday about how we all deserve hell.  That’s hard for us to wrap our minds around sometimes that even our best, most purely intentioned, deepest and sincerest worship is nothing…nothing but filthy rags without the gracious and majestic gift of Jesus.

    I think the majority of us are going through a sort of transition period right now…maybe there has been a call to our spirits for holy desperation, a sacred thirst for Him…something…I don’t know.  Jesus give us strength to yield to it and allow it to change us.

  • http://KatieAxelson.com/ Katie Axelson

    I love those little moments when scripture just leaps off the page and you have no choice but to realize it was the Holy Spirit. Those moments when you try to explain and human words just fail (although, you have done a fantastic job here).

    I also love your side note about tears. I do not have pretty tears. In fact, I think crying is one of the ugliest
    things a girl can do to herself. Of course, it’s also the most natural, easiest,
    and healthiest things to do. Just don’t look in the mirror.

    Katie

  • Rebecca

    I am reading The Holiness of God right now-it is amazing-your post-beautiful!

  • Jamie

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.  I am ALWAYS encouraged by your words to chase the One who chases me. 

  • Crystal Balentine

    This is so beautiful Angie!!  You are a strong women and I am thankful God is using you in such great ways to inspire other women.  

  • http://espressoyour-self.com/ Malory H

    Thank you for these words!!!  This is most definitely what I needed to hear today!!!  God never ceases to amaze me and His timing…just wow :)   I’ve been feeling this way (esp. here lately) and I’m just so thanful for these words!!!  Have a blessed week/weekend :)

  • RY

    and to think, YOU are that temple!

  • Beth Haglin

    I loved reading this.  It was so encouraging and awe-inspiring early in the morning.  Thanks, Angie!

  • http://www.vanderbiltwife.com vanderbiltwife

    Sweet Angie, You are so brave and oh, I love this.

    A few months ago I encountered the same course of thoughts reading Ezekiel. Yeah, Ezekiel. Right, I know. Weird. But Ezekiel describing the visions of God he was given – of a being who burned like blue fire, it just undid me. Right then I realized just how much we needed Jesus. While that Abba Father is a characteristic of God, He is also SO incredibly holy and fearsome that we needed to be able to relate to the Christ. Oh, thank You, Father! 

  • http://findingchristinme.wordpress.com/ Jamie

    Angie,
     Thank you SOOO much for sharing this. I have been feeling and asking the same questions for quite some time. I am so greatful for christian women like you who are so honest about their walk, it brings so much comfort to those of us who have the same struggles. Knowing I am not alone. Thank You! Much love and many blessings to you sweet friend.
    Jamie

  • http://saamusings.blogspot.com/ Annie28

    “I’m already wrecked. That’s the whole stinking point… [but] I have never felt so beautiful.” Amen, Angie. This is beautiful. My pastor actually spoke on this in church a few weeks ago, and I agree: the image is breathtakingly overwhelming. {Breathtakingly? Maybe more like breathpunchingly. ;] } I’m humbled and broken and deeply thankful He allows us to open the temple door.

  • http://twitter.com/liveabundantly8 Living in Christ

    So beautiful! May Jesus continue using your words for His Glory.

  • http://kristaonpurpose.com/ Krista Wilbur

    Oh Angie. I know this is not the point of this post, but you got me the first time with these lines:

    “I want it, Lord. Every part of me that doesn’t feel it. The parts
    that doubt. That wonder if heaven is just wishful thinking and if I’m a
    fool to believe He left the tomb.

    “Despite the times when I question, there is always, always a genuine
    core of faith that doesn’t let me wander too far off. But my mouth runs
    in every direction and I’m angry about the food burning and I just want
    her to LISTEN to me. And if this is life with Him, maybe it’s just not
    going to look like I thought it was. Because it’s still hard. It’s
    really, really, really hard sometimes.”

    I feel like this too many days to admit. Knowing I am not alone? Priceless. The rest of this? I’ve been thinking about it and what His holiness means. I can’t stop thinking about what it means that His majesty is disturbing. It reminds me of what I was little, maybe ten, getting my hair cut. The stylist looked my hair and then asked my aunt, who’d taken me in, if it was my natural color, because I’ve always had red hair with ten other shades woven in. (Side note: seriously? Who asks this about a ten-year-old???) When she said yes, the stylist grabbed my hair and said, “Oh, that is just DISGUSTING.” It took my years to understand what she meant. It was a good thing. God’s majesty SHOULD disturb us. It should disrupt us. It should break us and make us want to seek Him like nothing else ever has.

    Thank you for making my mind WORK.

  • MovinForward1

    I read this post with such joy.  It is amazing, isn’t it?   That one chapter of Scripture is so powerful.  Don’t get me wrong – all Scripture is powerful, God-breathed – I know that but Isaiah 6…  I can remember vividly my “like yours” experience with it.  It was the day Jesus rescued me from myself and I realized, as much as I humanly can, the price He paid and got a bit more than a glimpse of the power of God. I mean – we know it, right?  Our head knows it, our heart leaps at it but then…I don’t know.  That little sliver of doubt creeps in.  I know my soul came to life the day I accepted Christ but that day, the day Isaiah 6 struck me?  It felt like my soul came fully awake. It shook off the last of what was and took firm the promise of God. I can still wander into my old way of thinking but God brings Isaiah 6 to my mind and I am reminded just how…I don’t know… silly?  I’m being by doubting.  He “rights” me with that passage. I LOVE how gentle He is – despite the sheer volume of His power.  Ahhhhhh… God.  How I love loving Him!!!!  Thanks for sharing and my apologies for my long-comment (I can rarely leave a short one!!!)

  • Michelle

     Thank you for sharing this.   I  needed it today.  As a newly stay at home mom (was working but recently been laid off) to my tenacious 3 year old, I so feel like a failure.  Staying at home is not for the weak and today I really feel beaten and the day is only half over!  This post put it in perspective for me. 

  • http://www.differentparent.com/ Wick Anderson

    A great reminder.  May we never take for granted the Holiness of God, and the fact that we’re invited to dance with the Trinity….

  • Linsey Hasenbank

    I don’t know whether to let the tears flow or the laughter fly today. What a gift from God that I would meet you at a pool…in a neighborhood where I don’t live…in a town where I have just moved. My heart paused when you said your name. Now I know why. The story about the bunny from Anthropologie with the black mark. I feel like that little bunny sometimes. Angie, what a gift from God you are today. A reminder that God is up to BIG things. And one more thing before I go to sleep: God loves to drop bombs on me in the shower. It’s why I take LONG showers! 

    xo,
    Linsey

  • Linsey Hasenbank

    Forgot to share my blog with you: http://www.llhdesignsblog.com

  • Maria Varela

    WOW!!!! I am at a loss for words Angie I believe I have been on a sacred journey with our Heavenly Father on how to worship him fully in spirit and truth and THANK YOU for sharing this it has opened my spiritual eyes so much more and my heart to the Lord’s leading. I thank God for putting it in your heart to share your story! May He continually bless you in Jesus name.

    Maria

  • http://crazydayssleeplessnights.blogspot.com/ Bethany2880

    I LOVE RC Sproul.  And your knowledge bombs are pretty rockin’ too. : ) 

  • Blessed Assured

    Ha! Love it: “I think it started in church, but it might have been the shower. That’s normally where the knowledge bombs detonate.” That’s so perfectly true! Just goes to show God can speak to us anywhere.

  • Blessed Assured

    I love the description of God’s presence as disturbing. So many people have a hard time realizing this. They think God is all about their revelation of love and refuse to see the truth because they’re too busy justifying themselves as self-righteous beings.

    As a former porn addict still dealing with obesity and food addiction issues, I come to this realization – that I am undone by God, but that Christ saves me – over and over again. It took me so long to get there, too. I can’t tell you how many times I woke up in the middle of the night thinking my parents would be raptured and I’d be left behind because I was stuck in my sin. All that time, I was saved. I had accepted Christ in simplicity and was still growing in a process of sanctification. No one is perfect, not even after saving grace, but Christ washes away our sins.

    – Blessed Assurance
    http://blessedandassured.blogspot.com/
    “Blogging about the deep, and often confusing, spiritual and daily issues and questions of life.”
    “A blog for those struggling with pornography, food, or other addictions who need to know that God still loves them and uses them, even in their faults.”

  • Debbie

    I just read this tonight, it was so appropriate. My husband is unemployed and has been for 14 months, I’m recovering from meningitis and we are a family of 5 trying to survive on 330.00 a week. I’ve been questioning God as to why this is happening to us and the answer I get is, have faith. Today, at the pharmacy we didn’t have the money to pay for our meds. I lost it, just fat ugly tears. Thank you for this post, I really needed it……

  • SouthernGalThoughts

    I’m so glad you shared this.  God is so gracious to give us what we need when we need it. Being in his presence should be disturbing.  I remember re- reading Nahum 1 one day.  We all know Nahum 1:7, but the third verse jumped out at me and I have never looked at the sky in the same way.  
    Nahum 1:3b
    His way is in whirlwind and storm
    and the clouds are the dust of His feet.

    Looking at the clouds as the dust of His feet puts everything else in perspective.  Wow. Such an eyeopener for me.  

    (That picture of Charlotte with the paci in your sidebar is cracking me up!! My granddaughter who is close in age to Charlotte is waiting on her little sister to make her arrival any day now.)

  • Laura Moore

    This is beautiful! Thank you so much for writing it down and sharing.  I love when God reveals his word to us even though we may have seen that word a handful of times, its so neat when we really understand it.  
    Laura

  • Daniel Farrow

    Angie, I realized in reading your post something that I don’t believe we think of easily. Its that the temple His train fills is US! Our spirit, our heart, our minds He fills, and I find myself feeling SO unworthy and yet SO loved and beautiful before Him. Something to think about…

  • http://homeschoolingmomtographer.blogspot.com/ Homeschoolingmomtographer

    What a beautiful post Angie.  I love that passage as well and have had moments similar to yours.  And this is all just a shadow of what it will really be like.

  • http://sufficientgrace-kelly.blogspot.com Kelly_SufficientGrace

    This…

    “I’ve always felt like I’m one bad decision away from wrecking everything. And therein lies the issue, I suppose.
    I’m already wrecked. That’s the whole stinking point.”
    YES! Cry of my heart…
    Thank you! And, yes…why were we ever allowed to enter the temple in the first place. Because of Him…because of Him alone.

    Love to you!

  • Busso

    I loved this post Angie and just feel moved to share with you a vision I had many years ago about the Lord, His robe and the temple. We were singing the chorus, “He is high and lifted up and His train fills the temple.” I had a picture of his robe and it was made up of believers of every type, colour etc. Just masses and masses of followers of Jesus, falling behind him making the train of his robe. and it FILLED the temple. Every time I hear that song or reference to it I think of this picture and it must be 35 years ago now. So glad I saw your blog in my Reader recommendations. I have read before and then it slips away. God Bless you. thinking of you from Australia.

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